Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
The winner of the BBC Sound of 2016 poll will be announced this week, but as the idea of Future Pop is to be ahead of the times, here’s a tip for 2017. I think Isaac Gracie has a strong chance of appearing in the BBC list for next year. He’s a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from London, who has been compared to such prestigious (i.e. loved by 30-year-old white guys) names as Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, but looks more like Kurt Cobain. After his song Last Words got him noticed a few months ago, labels have been vying for his signature. A record deal hasn’t been announced yet, but Isaac has signed to Roc Nation for publishing, which suggests that despite his introverted acoustic sound with smatterings of bad language, he has his sights set on a mainstream audience. With the help of Quest Management (Arcade Fire, Lykke Li etc), he could achieve the rare feat of balancing perceived credibility with commercial success. Isaac’s Soundcloud stats look unimpressive compared to the electronic acts that dominate the site, but the hype around his recent gigs suggests he could become a popular live act, and his style certainly lends to selling albums – when done well, it’s playable on Radio 1 and 2, and appeals to blogs and broadsheets. Last Words is the only song on his Soundcloud so far, but you can hear more from live performances and old uploads on YouTube.