Song of the Week: Matoma ft. Becky Hill – False Alarm

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

I’ve seen a lot of Twitter chat about tropical house being overplayed and annoying. And yes, there’s a lot of it about and most of the tracks were clearly produced in less than an hour, but I still say as far as dance music trends go, it’s far from the worst. I much prefer it to dubstep and EDM, and recently it’s inspired some quality pop songs, from Justin Bieber’s comeback hits to Dua Lipa’s Hotter Than Hell. The latest tropical pop tune to catch my attention is False Alarm by Norwegian producer Matoma (aka the budget Kygo) and the feat scene’s finest, Becky Hill. It has a really strong chorus, sweet verses and great vocals from Becky, who strangely sounds a bit like Taylor Hanson at times. Now that’s something I’d like to hear: Hanson goes tropical. Can someone get on that?

Future Hits: Caught off guard by your favourite song

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Bastille – Good Grief
  • Maggie Rogers – Alaska
  • Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
  • Martin Jensen – All I Wanna Do
  • Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris – Hype

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.

Future Stars: J Balvin (Capitol Latin)

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He’s never had a hit in the UK, but it’s still fair to say J Balvin is a global superstar. Despite having a title that sounds like a children’s TV character, his latest single Bobo has gained almost 150 million views in just six weeks. That’s 25 million a week. 3.5 million a day! 31-year-old Colombian José Balvin is one of the world’s biggest reggaeton artists. He had his first no.1 in Colombia in 2011, and his international breakthrough with 6 AM in 2014. His latest three singles have all topped the US Billboard Latin chart, and he has become the go-to featured artist for reggaeton remixes. He has been called upon to give some of the hugest hits of the past few years extra appeal to the Latin market, including Ariana Grande’s Problem, Justin Bieber’s Sorry, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and Major Lazer’s Lean On. With reggaeton proving to attract such a large following, it’s surely only a matter of time before a major act experiments with this sound, and teams up with J Balvin in a more official capacity, giving him his long-awaited crossover moment.

Future Stars: Jordan Fisher (Hollywood Records)

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With Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas blossoming into cool pop stars with quality hits, it’s a good time for male solo artists, and Disney label Hollywood Records are hoping their new signing Jordan Fisher will give those two a run for their money. If, like me, you love a teen musical you might recognise Jordan Fisher from Grease Live or Teen Beach Movie, but now he’s focused on his music career, and promoting his debut single All About Us. It’s a high quality, glossy R&B-pop track and feels like a very credible debut, compared to the half-hearted imitation-pop many Disney stars are lumbered with. Jordan himself has the talent to pull it off, with smooth vocals, dance skills and genuine pop star potential. All About Us has had a strong start on US radio with lots of early support, but sales and streams need to catch up – he’s yet to reach the iTunes or Spotify top 200 anywhere in the world. Nonetheless, I’ve got a feeling he’s one to watch. The label seem committed to giving him a fair chance, and I think he has a long career ahead of him.

Song of the Week: Jillian Jacqueline – Prime

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Since I overdosed on country around the time of C2C in March, I haven’t been listening to it so much, but this week I revived the obsession thanks to the release of the new Maren Morris album and the new Ward Thomas single. I also discovered a promising new artist by the name of Jillian Jacqueline. If she wasn’t signed to a Nashville publishing company, I might not have even considered her as a country artist – there’s no particular country twang here, and her sound is more singer-songwriter-pop, with Sheryl Crow a likely influence. However, it will certainly appeal to fans of artists such as Maren and the equally brilliant Kacey Musgraves. Prime is the lead track from Jillian’s recent self-titled EP, but it’s still her softer 2014 single Overdue which has the most Spotify plays so far. She’s slowly building a name for herself in a scene that respects hard work and paying your dues more than overnight stardom, so hopefully she’s on the right track to follow her contemporaries into a major label deal and chart success in the year ahead.

Future Hits: Here it comes with no warning

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Mike Perry ft. Shy Martin – The Ocean
  • FRENSHIP ft. Emily Warren – Capsize
  • Madden ft. 6AM – Golden Light
  • Tiësto ft. John Legend – Summer Nights
  • MK & Becky Hill – Piece of Me

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.

Future Stars: Kent Jones (Epic)

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23-year-old rapper/singer Kent Jones is enjoying one of the biggest hip hop hits of the moment with his breakthrough track Don’t Mind. Originally heard as part of his popular mixtape Tours, released in 2015 through DJ Khaled’s label We The Best Music, Don’t Mind is Kent’s official debut single. It has a very mainstream, poppy sound, with plenty of crossover potential, and international appeal thanks to its summery groove and lyrics in French, Spanish, Japanese and Haitian Creole. Don’t Mind is already on the edge of breaking into the US Billboard top 10, and has reached the top 5 in both the R&B and Hip Hop charts. In the UK, it’s no.6 on the Shazam new release chart, and quickly gaining momentum on Spotify and iTunes. Although he isn’t blessed with the pop star looks, what makes Kent one to watch is not only his commercial sound, but also his talent as a writer and producer. Impressively, he is the only person credited on Don’t Mind. He also has his own estate agents firm in Wrexham, North Wales – what can’t this guy do?

Future Stars: Carson Lueders (Unsigned)

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Every time I try to use Snapchat I feel ancient, but luckily there’s a new app the kids are loving which I totally get the appeal of. I won’t be posting any singing or dancing videos on Musical.ly myself any time soon, but I love watching the creative kids who are becoming huge stars there. If anyone could be the Justin Bieber or Shawn Mendes of Musical.ly, I’d put my money on American 14-year-old Carson Lueders. He dominates the #MuserVoice tag, where you’ll find the app’s most popular singers. Originally a YouTube star, Carson has over 2.5 million Musical.ly fans, and over 60 million views on YouTube. He’s managed by Johnny Wright, who’s worked with *N Sync, Britney, and now Justin Timberlake. Carson’s latest self-released single POP is a throwback to those acts’ heydays. It’s fun, but it’s not relevant to today’s teen audience and doesn’t represent his genuine talent. He grew his massive Musical.ly following by singing with a guitar or piano, and this intimate connection needs to be recreated in his singles and music videos in order for him to reach his full potential.

Song of the Week: TINI (Martina Stoessel) – Got Me Started

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TINI is the artist name of Martina Stoessel, the biggest Disney star you’ve probably never heard of. The 19-year-old actress and singer plays the lead role in the Disney Channel Latin America series Violetta. She also starred in her own film, titled Tini: The Movie, and last year signed a record deal with Hollywood Records, who have launched all the big pop stars who came from Disney shows. Her album, also titled Tini, was released in April and features a mix of songs in English and Spanish, with credits to many top pop writers and producers. The immediate standout for me was Got Me Started, co-written by brilliant pop star/songwriter Noonie Bao, along with Future Pop-featured Grades and Jason Evigan, the man behind Demi’s Heart Attack and Made in the USA. It’s a sweet, summery tune that would fit in on the new Fifth Harmony album.

Future Hits: I keep it as live as a Total Request

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Fifth Harmony ft. Fetty Wap – All In My Head (Flex)
  • Timeflies – Once in a While
  • Marc E. Bassy ft. G-Eazy – You and Me
  • Kent Jones – Don’t Mind
  • Sigma ft. Take That – Cry

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.