Over the past two weeks I’ve featured 10 artists I believe could be the breakthrough pop stars of 2017. I don’t think pop acts get enough attention in the ones to watch lists from the BBC, Brits, MTV etc, especially considering that they have a tendency to become the biggest selling artists. To redress the balance, it’s time we pop fans had our say about who we think and hope will be the next big thing. There are no restrictions on what the artists in this poll have done before. If they’re a new act by any definition, they are eligible. The only rule is that they must be pop. Click here to read about the nominees and sample their music so far.
Cast your votes below, and look out for the results in the first Future Pop of the new year on 2nd January.
When I first featured Anne-Marie in Future Pop in 2013, she was unsigned and unknown, with no music online, but she had one thing on her side – she was represented by Elton John’s management company, Rocket Music. Since then she’s had a few false starts, and at one point it looked like she’d never be known as more than Rudimental’s live vocalist, but in the last few months her career has finally started to move in the right direction.
Rudimental took her under their wing, featuring her on several album tracks, and signing her to their Major Tom’s imprint of Atlantic Records. While their latest album failed to produce any big hits, this gave Anne-Marie chance to emerge out of their shadow. She takes the lead on Clean Bandit’s current no.1, Rockabye, and had a slow burning hit with Alarm, which she describes as her first proper single (using the now common rule whereby if a song wasn’t a hit, it wasn’t really a single). Although the track peaked at no.16 in the UK, it’s been in the charts for 28 weeks and counting, and has become a global streaming success with over 150 million plays on Spotify. She even performed it at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Anne-Marie is in an unusual position at the moment. In a sense she hasn’t had a hit at all (her no.1 is only a feature, and her own single hasn’t broken the top 10) but you could equally say she’s one of the biggest artists of the moment. In fact, she’s the 11th top artist on Spotify today. Her challenge in 2017 is to join up the dots and make sure everyone knows she’s the star behind those songs they know and love. She’s come this far, she can’t give up without a top 10 hit of her own now. And after reading her plans for world domination in The Guardian (“I’m just not going to put out a shit song”), I’m feeling pretty optimistic.
Click here to find out more about This Must Be Pop’s Stars of 2017 and come back on 19th Dec to vote for the artists you think, and hope, will be the biggest pop breakthrough of 2017. The results will be announced in the Future Pop mailer on 2nd Jan.
Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Essex girl Anne-Marie Nicholson may not yet have a record deal, but that shouldn't last long as she's already managed by Elton John's company Rocket Music (he even sent her a Christmas card!) and has a publishing deal with EMI. She's working with top producers like Benga, MNEK and Astma and Rocwell, and recently joined Magnetic Man on the Annie Mac Presents UK tour. There are only a few samples of her sound online so far, such as the acoustic video for Oxygen and her vocals on Spirit World by Raized By Wolves but she describes her music as electro, R&B and pop, so I think we could be in for a treat.