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Posted in association with Get To The Front.

When choosing which festival tickets to buy, most people look at the headliners, but I’m usually more interested in the up-and-coming acts I can see on the smaller stages before they get big. Each of the major UK festivals has many Future Pop featured acts on the line-up this year, so here’s my guide to the superstars-in-waiting you can catch at whichever summer shows you’re attending.

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BST Hyde Park, London, 30th June-9th July

BST is more like a series of outdoor gigs than a festival as such, but it has been a great addition to London’s summer event calendar in the last few years with poptastic headliners such as Taylor Swift and Kylie. This year’s pop day gives top billing to Justin Bieber, but I’ll be heading along to check out Tove Lo and other international acts such as Icelandic teen star Glowie (above) and Australian group Sheppard.

Ones to watch: Anne-Marie, Dagny, Glowie, Mabel, Sheppard, Ward Thomas

Latitude, Suffolk, 13th-16th July

Latitude was the first proper music festival I went to as a teenager, and although I left certain I’d never camp again, I had a great time seeing mid-’00s faves like Arcade Fire, Bat For Lashes and CSS. It’s a pretty chilled, grown-up festival but they do still have some quality pop acts on offer. If I was going this year, I’d be most excited to see Leon Bridges and Sigrid. The comedy and literary line-up is also always strong.

Ones to watch: Jorja Smith, Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers, Sigrid, Skott, Ward Thomas, Youngr

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V Festival, Chelmsford/Staffordshire, 19th-20th August

V Festival is the most mainstream of the major festivals, and you can always see the acts behind the biggest radio hits of the year, alongside plenty of throwback faves. There will be many major label pop hopefuls performing this year, including Anne-Marie, Imani and Raye, who will all undoubtedly be playing the hit singles they were featured on. And if you’re looking for something more rowdy, Nadia Rose (above) is the one.

Ones to watch: Anne-Marie, Imani Williams, Mabel, Nadia Rose, Raye

Reading & Leeds, 25th-27th August

Although I grew up in the area, I always said I’d never go to Reading as I saw it as a rock festival full of smelly losers, but actually if someone offered me a ticket this year I’d definitely accept. The line-up has loads of great pop acts with a really diverse mix of sounds. I’ve already seen Muna, Sigrid (below) and Off Bloom’s festival sets, and definitely recommend checking them out if you’re going to Reading or Leeds this year.

Ones to watch: Fickle Friends, Jax Jones, K.I.D, Lany, Muna, Off Bloom, Pvris, Ray BLK, Sigrid

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Bestival, Dorset, 7th-10th September

This year the final festival of the summer season moves to a new home in Dorset, after 13 years on the Isle of Wight. Bestival is known for its lively atmosphere and tradition of encouraging fancy dress. Despite this I have always wanted to go, because it usually has one of the best line-ups of all the UK festivals. This year’s headliners include the Pet Shop Boys, supported by a range of up-and-coming pop, dance and urban acts.

Ones to watch: Alma, Nadia Rose, Ray BLK, Stefflon Don


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The story of how young singer Honor was discovered sounds more like a fairytale than real life. The unbelievable and inspiring tale involves a lost USB stick, an influential YouTube star, and an Italian music company. What started out as very bad luck resulted in Honor’s dreams coming true.

Aspiring musician Honor was travelling by train when she lost a USB stick containing the demos she’d been working tirelessly on for over a year. She thought they were lost forever, but in fact, the loss was someone else’s gain. The USB was found by Luke Cutforth, a YouTube star known as LukeIsNotSexy. He listened to the songs and was so impressed that he decided he needed to track down the performer. It was time to make use of his fanbase of 500,000 subscribers.

Inspired by the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory, Luke uploaded a video to his channel asking viewers to help him track down the mystery singer. The theory suggests that everyone is connected by a chain of six people or less, and with Luke himself being connected to so many people, surely it would be possible to find this talented unknown girl? Word spread of the search via social media, and #NameTheGirl soon trended on Twitter.

Luke’s social experiment paid off for everyone involved, as not only did he find out the identity of his new favourite artist, but Honor herself picked up a legion of new fans. Among those who were impressed by her talent were Italian music company Spaceship Management, who have previously worked with acts such as Benny Benassi and Alex Gaudino. They are now working with Honor on the launch of her first track, Never Off, a dreamy electro-pop tune which is available now as a free download.

Check out some of the recordings that inspired this amazing story on Honor’s Soundcloud page, and get to know her better on Facebook.


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Mikki Radio is a 19-year-old artist based in New York, who is passionate about making a name for himself on the music scene. He has had creative ambitions and a love of music from a young age, and wrote his first song when he was just 13. He went on to take part in the Tisch NYU Spring Future Music Moguls program in 2013. The free program for aspiring young songwriters and musicians takes place at the The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, one of the most prestigious music schools in New York, and teaches students about what goes on behind the scenes in the music industry.

Following his participation in the Future Music Moguls program, Mikki Radio got to work on recording his debut EP. The four-song EP, entitled Youth, was premiered on Soundcloud at the end of 2014. Mikki’s musical influences include electronic artists, bands and singer-songwriters such as The Killers, Robyn, Charli XCX, Lorde and Leonard Cohen, but he believes his music can’t be categorised into one particular genre.

Mikki is currently working on new music with producers including David Moran, E-Vo and Grammy-nominated engineer Koby Hass. He recently premiered the first song from his recent sessions, Shivers. Shivers is a new song, not from the EP, which he sees as a “non-manufactured sound that will resonate with fans who relish unique, real music.” He describes it as “a brand new artist direction.”

Find out more about Mikki Radio on Facebook.


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Launching People is a new televised contest organised by Samsung, and broadcast by Sky1, which aims to discover new talent in music, film, food and technology. They’ve teamed up with big names in each area, who have committed their time to guide and support the most exciting candidates from those who apply. Aspiring musicians are competing for the chance to spend 2-3 weeks working closely with Paloma Faith, the music mentor. Paloma will choose four potential new music stars to work with, and their time together will be documented in a new Sky1 TV show. The public then get the chance to pick the artist they think could be the next big thing, who will win a prize including private tuition and Samsung technology worth up to £2,000.

Submissions for Launching People are open from now until 6th March, so you’ve got just over a week to get your entry in. It’s a great opportunity to learn from an artist who spent years working hard to get to the top, and as the prize involves exposure on a huge UK TV channel, this could be the chance to launch your career in music. In this industry, it’s all about who you know, and being in the right place at the right time. It might seem like obvious advice, but it has been the case for everyone I know who has become successful in music. Check out the video below to find out more about the contest and what Paloma is looking for.

Click here to apply to take part in Launching People.


Posted in association with 4Music.

This summer has brought us big pop singles from all over the world. Here are some of my favourite hits of the season, plus a few upcoming releases I’ve been enjoying when the sun has popped up (and even more when I’ve been shut away indoors).

Icona Pop – I Love It

I have a high tolerance for shouty girl singers, so I was always going to be a fan of I Love It, but the fact that it also has a great pop melody and highly quotable lyrics meant the rest of the world fell in love with it too. The former members of Shampoo and Bow Wow Wow looked on with pride as it finally topped the charts in the UK a year after its original Swedish release, and went on to rack up over 40 million YouTube views.

Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith – La La La

Naughty Boy launched his Hotel Cabana album campaign with one of the dullest songs of the year, Wonder, and his hit rate as a producer is pretty poor (how many of these are on your ipod?) but with La La La he finally earned a bit of respect. It’s incredibly infectious and I love the lyrical concept of singing “la la la” to block out words you don’t want to hear. Fun fact: This song was co-written with two members of Blazin’ Squad!

Katy Perry – Roar

I received shocked responses when I recently tweeted that Roar is only the fourth Katy Perry song I actively enjoy. Although I liked the Part of Me documentary, I have no particular connection or loyalty to her as a pop star. But she has been a vehicle for a few great songs and I think Roar is a strong comeback. It’s generic enough to feel familiar, and the quality of songwriting, especially the uplifting chorus, makes it an instant classic.

One Direction – Best Song Ever

I love an obnoxious song title and although I don’t think Best Song Ever is the actual best song ever, it is one of my favourites from One Direction. I love the metatextual concept of a song within a song, and the specific details such as “her name was Georgia Rose and her daddy was a dentist.” I’m still waiting for someone to write a song that goes “oh oh oh, yeah yeah yeah, ohhhh,” and claim it was the inspiration.

Neon Jungle – Trouble

I’m a little biased but it would be a lie to say I’ve listened to any song more this summer than Trouble by Neon Jungle. Amira, Asami, Jess and Shereen release their first single this weekend, and I think it’s the best girlband debut in years. I love that it’s less than three minutes long, like songs used to be in the ’60s. There isn’t a moment of filler: every second counts as the girls introduce themselves in a bright burst of energy.


Posted in association with StubHub.

Creamfields is one of the UK’s biggest dance music events, and this year the three day festival has another huge line-up. In fact, it reads like a who’s who of dance music, with the biggest names from the UK, Europe and worldwide all featured. Headliners include Avicii, The Prodigy and David Guetta. The producers of some of the best dance-pop hits of the year are also getting involved, including Future Pop acts Zedd and Madeon.

The festival was started by the team behind Liverpool’s famous nightclub Cream, and takes place in the nearby village of Daresbury, Cheshire. Since 1999, Creamfields has become known as the biggest dance party on the August Bank Holiday, and this year is the same as the event will be held on 23rd, 24th and 25th August. Most people choose to camp at the festival, but you can also buy a non-camping ticket if you live nearby or prefer to stay in a hotel.

If you want to party the bank holiday away, get your Creamfields tickets quick as they’re selling fast! Or if you’re looking for something a bit different, visit StubHub to find tickets for summer festivals such as Shakedown Festival and V Festival.


Posted in association with 4Music.

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Last Friday a fun new pop quiz show debuted on 4Music, the McFlurry Music Mix Up. The show was hosted by 4Music and Kiss FM presenters Rickie and Melvin, and featured two teams of pop stars, battling to prove that they had the most musical knowledge. Stooshe made up one team, while Josh and George from Union J were joined by Aluna from AlunaGeorge on the other side. Although the show was filmed in the grand surroundings of Alexandra Palace, the brightly coloured inflatable set made sure it never got too serious!

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The McFlurry Music Mix Up is not just a quiz show, but also features performances from its guests. AlunaGeorge and Stooshe both performed their new singles for the assembled crowd of excited pop fans. Now that T4 no longer exists, it’s down to 4Music to carry on their legacy of giving pop stars the chance to show their fun sides on TV. If you missed the show you can catch it again on Tuesday and Wednesday this week on 4Music, and you can get a glimpse of what went on behind the scenes in the video below.

You can catch the second McFlurry Music Mix Up on 4Music later this summer with another group of poptastic guests!


One Direction are currently on an epic 128-date world tour to support their latest album, Take Me Home. They have already made a comprehensive trip around Europe, including an impressive six sold out shows at The O2 Arena in London. The next stop is America, with the US leg of the tour kicking off in sunny Florida this Thursday, 13th June. The tour will continue, taking in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, until the end of October, just in time for the boys to begin the promo campaign for their forthcoming third album. Find tickets to live events including the Take Me Home tour.

For Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn and Liam, the past three years have been a whirlwind, and their schedule doesn’t allow for much of a break this year. However, they don’t have much room for complaint, as all five band members were included in the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List. According to the newspaper report, they are each worth £5 million, or in total £25 million. That puts them only £5 million behind Adele, who had by far the biggest selling album in the world last year! One Direction’s wealth was earned not just by music sales, but by merchandise, endorsement deals, and of course the exhaustive world tours.

You might be worrying what a group of boys all aged under 21 would choose to spend £25 million on, but in fact they won’t have much time to splash the cash. To make the most of their moment at the top, One Direction’s record label Syco are planning to release their third album in three years towards the end of 2013. According to Ed Sheeran, who penned 1D’s 2012 hit Little Things, album number three is already complete, presumably recorded in any spare moment during the recent European tour. Songwriter Wayne Hector, who has been writing for the band, says that the new music will have a more mature sound. However, Syco aren’t known for taking big risks, so it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything too dramatically different.

For now, they’re still performing the hits and fan favourites from Up All Night and Take Me Home. The Take Me Home tour setlist also makes room for a few covers, including the Comic Relief single One Way Or Another, and at a recent show, the Backstreet Boys classic I Want It That Way. One Direction concerts are known for fan hysteria, and if you’re not prepared to sing, dance and scream along, you’ll be missing out on the full boyband experience.


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lucozade Energy for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


AlunaGeorge are one of the biggest breakthrough bands this year, and their success is particularly impressive as they have such as unique sound. Their music combines electro production with girly vocals and retro R&B-pop melodies. Their biggest hit so far is their Disclosure collaboration White Noise, but they've earned the respect of pop fans and tastemakers with their solo singles such as You Know You Like It and Attracting Flies. They've also got a great live following and will be appearing at all the big festivals this summer, including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and Lovebox.

If you haven't caught AlunaGeorge's live show yet, now's your chance! They'll be performing a special show for Vevo Go in association with Lucozade Energy in London on 1st July. The only way to attend this exclusive event is to win tickets from the Lucozade Energy site or their Facebook page. Winners will get the chance to hear a selection of new tracks from AlunaGeorge, including music from their forthcoming debut album Body Music, and some fans will also be able to meet the cool pop duo.

This gig is part of the Vevo Go series, which creates unique, exclusive music events in unusual and often iconic locations. Some of the past featured artists include Labrinth, who performed at Bondi Beach in Australia, and The Wanted, who went busking at Chelsea Market in New York City. The secret location for the AlunaGeorge gig will only be revealed to those who win tickets, but you can be sure it will be a gig to remember. And to help bring back those memories, you'll be able to watch videos from the show on Vevo. You might even spot yourself in the audience!

In addition to the AlunaGeorge competition, Lucozade are also offering loads of cool opportunities to win prizes and hear the hottest new music first through their website The YES Project. Simply purchase a bottle of Lucozade and you'll find a code which will give you access to all the competitions and exclusives.

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Greece isn’t well known for its pop music, but it has a strong dance culture, especially on its tourist-friendly islands. Some of the most popular islands for clubbing holidays include Mykonos, Zante and Kos.

Mykonos has been called the new Ibiza, but it has a more chilled out atmosphere, so you can combine relaxing on its beautiful beaches with enjoying the nightlife. The island’s superclubs attract many of the world’s biggest DJs.

The Paradise Club, which has been called the best club in Greece, is located on the famous Paradise Beach in Mykonos. Some of the famous DJs who play there include Erick Morillo, Martin Solveig and even Boy George. Ministry of Sound also holds regular events at The Paradise Club.

Mykonos doesn’t have any major music festivals, but if you want to enjoy some live music during your visit you can combine it with experiencing the local culture. There are many bars, cafés and street parties where you can discover traditional Greek music, such as the popular Montparnasse Piano Bar and the local celebrity haunt Thalami.

To find out more about Mykonos and travelling to the Greek islands, check out Cosmos Holidays.