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.
As I wrote in last week’s Future Pop, Fifth Harmony have had a strange trajectory as a band, and their future, as well as the individual members’, is truly hanging in the balance as we reach the end of 2016. They reached new heights with Work From Home, which should have been the beginning of a huge album campaign, but tensions in the band have been the prevailing story in the press and among fans ever since. It’s uncertain whether the group will continue on to release a third album, but one thing is clear – Camila Cabello will be making a play for solo stardom, as a member of the band or otherwise.
Although Fifth Harmony doesn’t officially have a lead singer, Camila was a favourite in the band from the X Factor days, thanks to her cute personality/style and relatable One Direction fandom. She had a wobble when some very unpleasant pre-fame social media posts were unearthed, but as the group hit their stride with singles like BO$$ and Worth It, she strode ahead of the rest (a million Twitter followers ahead, to be precise). She dated teen star Austin Mahone and befriended Shawn Mendes, which resulted in a collaboration, released even before the band had finished promoting their first album. Since then, she’s recorded with Diplo, befriended Taylor Swift and her squad, hired her own high-powered manager, and is featured prominently on the new single by rapper Machine Gun Kelly, which recently hit no.1 on the US iTunes chart.
As a solo artist, Camila will no doubt struggle with a reputation that she’s not a team player, but I do admire her drive and ambition – it’s a shame that these qualities aren’t appreciated in female celebrities. I’m sure her career has many more ups and downs to come, and I can’t deny I’m excited for the 5H drama to kick off once they complete the obligations of their current tour, but I hope it won’t overshadow her potential as a young female pop star with a name, connections and the determination to make it.
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.
Fifth Harmony may be new to most Brits, but they actually formed only a year after Little Mix (LM had four albums in the time 5H had two). This puts the members in a weird position where they’re ready to move on at a time when their career has only just got going. Their current era is their most successful yet, with Work From Home the defining hit of their career, but even casual fans are aware the chances of them making another album are small. They’ve given up hiding their unhappiness in the band, openly recording solo music and fulfilling promo duties alone or in pairs. Camila Cabello led the charge before the band had even reached album two, duetting with Shawn Mendes on the hit I Know What You Did Last Summer. She has her own manager (a co-founder of successful independent(ish) label 300), and has recently released a second collaboration, with rapper Machine Gun Kelly. At this point, she’s basically a featured artist in Fifth Harmony, and her solo launch is not an “if,” but a “when.” Camila has a big fan following, an irritating but certainly distinctive vocal, and counts Diplo and Taylor Swift among her friends. The question is whether that will be enough to continue the momentum Fifth Harmony had gained on her own.