Category Archives: Future Pop

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:

  • Camila Cabello – Never Be the Same
  • Ramz – Barking
  • Migos & Marshmello – Danger
  • G-Eazy ft. Charlie Puth – Sober
  • Martin Garrix & David Guetta ft. Jamie Scott & Romy Dya – So Far Away

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly (when I remember) with the next big thing.


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

In the past month I’ve featured five UK urban artists as Future Stars, more than the rest of 2017 put together: British rap and R&B are definitely having a moment. The commercial success of Stormzy has played a big part – although the British rap scene retained a loyal fanbase over the past five years, he was its first household name since the days of Tinie Tempah and N-Dubz. Since his album hit no.1 in March, acts including J HusYungen and Stefflon Don have broken the top 10, and a rap group won The X Factor. Already featured in several 2018 tip lists, with a top 40 hit under his belt, Not3s is next in line to make his name. Similar to Dave and Yxng Bane, he’s a charismatic London teenager who sing-raps about everyday life. His most famous track is Addison Lee, a repetitive (and therefore memorable) viral hit about splashing out on an expensive taxi to collect a “peng ting” (attractive lady) called Maddison because his account is blocked on Uber. There are no gangs and drugs in these songs – just #relatable content, like a musical equivalent of The Lad Bible. As such, it makes total sense for 2017. Addison Lee became a hit this summer with the support of Radio 1 and Capital Xtra. Signed to Sony imprint Relentless, and published by Tinie Tempah, he has released several singles and an EP, and recently collaborated with Tinie and fellow breakout star Mabel. His super-specific lyrics and love of outerwear also make me wonder if he may have been an inspiration for Big Shaq’s Man’s Not Hot – and what could be more zeitgeist than inspiring a novelty hit?


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

This year’s X Factor felt like a turning point, and for the first time in years, it seems totally reasonable that it should continue to exist. Perhaps ITV commissioning The Voice gave Syco and Thames the kick up the bum that they needed. By keeping the panel the same they avoided overly focusing on judge drama, and encouraging contestants to sing their own songs (but, importantly, only the good ones) made it fresh and relevant. There were no joke acts in the live shows, and contestants were treated with an unusual amount of respect and support, taking a leaf out of Strictly and The Voice’s books. This new approach would only succeed if they had the talent, and luckily they had Grace Davies and eventual winners, Rak-Su. I’ve been vocal on Twitter about my suspicions that Rak-Su have been in development with Syco – their songs are unrealistically good and their performance too polished, especially as their manager has no track record in music. Something shady may be afoot, but if Syco have misled the public, they did it for our own good. Rak-Su are fun, talented and cool, with a very current, poptastic sound. Their winner’s single puts those of the last two years to shame, and fittingly it’s a hit. Dimelo reached no.2 on the UK singles chart, despite having no studio version (the single is literally their X Factor performance). They’ve already said they plan to release their first “project” early 2018, so it sounds like an EP of their X Factor songs is on its way.


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:

  • Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé – Perfect Duet
  • James Arthur – Naked
  • Pink – Beautiful Trauma
  • Louis Tomlinson – Miss You
  • Rak-Su ft. Naughty Boy & Wyclef Jean – Dimelo

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly (when I remember) with the next big thing.


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

Spotify has a great track record of breaking rappers and DJs, but it’s yet to prove it can champion a singer-songwriter to stardom. Perhaps that’s why, back in April, their US music team decided to give the top spot on New Music Friday to Scottish 20-year-old Lewis Capaldi, who at the time was only signed in Germany (albeit to Universal). His song Bruises gained over a million plays in the following week, and it’s now at almost 30 million. Naturally, he quickly found label homes in the US (with Vertigo/Capitol) and UK (Virgin EMI), and has since toured Europe with Rag’n’Bone Man and released his debut EP. He’ll play a sold out show at Oslo in Hackney this Wednesday. After giving Bruises the “snippet and skip it” treatment when it first came out, it took me another eight months, and the discovery that one of his songs was co-written by David Sneddon, to find the will to listen to more. Lewis is a capable and powerful vocalist, but sometimes off-puttingly overwrought. He’s the type of singer the judges would rave about on The Voice UK, and he’ll certainly be mistaken for James Arthur by plenty of Spotify shufflers. If he gets big in 2018, no doubt he’ll be the bane of every pop fan’s life, but at least we can always tune him out with the good old ‘Cheesy Hits!’ playlist. Ignorance is bliss.


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

Last week the BBC Sound of 2018 list was released (coincidentally on the same day two of the artists listed were featured here in Future Pop), and there was one act included who I’d never heard of: Yaeji. Once I’d gotten over the embarrassment, I quickly set about checking out this mystery artist, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she is actually a female producer – something we are desperately in need of in today’s music scene. Kathy Yaeji Lee is a Korean-American DJ, conceptual artist and singer who performs in English and Korean, and has a hipster-cute vibe (i.e. she’s my new style icon). Her music combines breathy, girly vocals with a heavy, reverberating bassline, reflecting the contrast of her youthful sweetness with the urban edge of Seoul, as shown in her video for Drink I’m Sippin’ On. My favourite of her tracks is the poppy spoken word single Feel It Out, which includes the refrain “shit is crazy, shit is Yaeji.” She’s signed to Godmode, the same label that brought us Shamir, and although they’re not musically similar, they do both have a very fresh and futuristic feel. They represent a new generation of artists that couldn’t have emerged outside of the current digital era. Yaeji will probably never make a big pop hit, but the fact she exists is exciting, and the fact that a music industry panel see a successful 2018 in her future is even better.


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:

  • Diplo ft. MØ – Get It Right
  • Luis Fonsi ft. Demi Lovato – Échame La Culpa
  • G-Eazy ft. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B – No Limit
  • Steve Aoki ft. Lauren Jauregui – All Night
  • Flo Rida ft. Maluma – Hola

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly (when I remember) with the next big thing.


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

It’s not even the end of November yet but the 2018 tip lists are already appearing. I suspect these will be more predictable than usual, since many artists have been promoted for the whole year already without breaking the top 10, as the charts have become tough territory for new acts. However, VEVO’s DSCVR did introduce me to some unfamiliar faces, including Mancunian female soloist IAMDDB (which stands for “I am Diana Debrito”). The 21-year-old singer has an edgy look, a fun and feisty personality, and a jazzy hip-hop style. She’s intimidatingly cool and confident, but extremely watchable. Her supporters include US singer Bryson Tiller, who she’s currently touring the UK with, plus BBC Introducing, Radio 1 and 1Xtra. It’s refreshing to see an artist breaking through from the north of England, and I believe the loyalty of the local scene has contributed to the millions of views on videos such as her debut single, Shade. When asked whether she’s signed, she gave a strange answer which I’m reading as: she has her own label, which goes through Sony.


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

Tinie Tempah has reached a comfortably established status in the British urban scene now, which means he’s in a position to bring through the next generation. Rapper/singer Yxng Bane is signed to his label, Disturbing London, and managed by another artist on the roster, G FrSH. He grew up in East London, and takes his name from Bane, the villain from the Batman films. He first attracted attention earlier this year with his dancehall-style remix of Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You, which got millions of views and eventually became an official release. More recently, the 19-year-old has featured on tracks by Yungen and Taya (the former reaching the UK top 10), and released his solo single, Rihanna. His style is categorised as afro-fusion, as it mixes westernised hip-hop sounds with afrobeats and dancehall, taking inspiration from throughout the African diaspora.


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:

  • Eminem ft. Beyoncé – Walk on Water
  • Fuse ODG ft. Ed Sheeran & Mugeez – Boa Me
  • Dave ft. MoStack – No Words
  • Lil Pump – Gucci Gang
  • Elbow – Golden Slumbers

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly (when I remember) with the next big thing.