Tag Archives: Jetta

After watching last night’s Eurovision, where the British entry was predictably poor and unpopular, and listening to an interesting interview with the BBC’s Guy Freeman, I’ve been thinking about how the UK can get back on track in Eurovision. Of course we’d do well if we drafted in someone like Adele or Sam Smith, but that’s clearly not going to happen, so we need a realistic plan. The BBC need to think long-term, and understand that it will take time to change the perception across Europe that we have a disrespectful attitude to Eurovision and the musical tastes of our neighbours. I’ve come up with a list of 10 acts I think would make great, and realistic, UK Eurovision entrants.

I chose these 10 acts because they are talented, credible and current, but I don’t believe they are too cool or too big for Eurovision (though some of them may disagree!). Their stage set-up would suit the confines of the contest, and their sound would appeal to audiences across Europe. They’re strong songwriters, so even if they weren’t willing to put forward their best hope for a future hit, they’d still come up with something the UK could be proud of. If the BBC could commit to giving them the appropriate support, and they had good intentions to do their best in promoting and performing the song, they would have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

These acts are all British or UK-based, but we could draft in an artist from anywhere, so my hope is just to inspire some imagination from the BBC. Instead of approaching the obvious choices, getting a no and moving on to desperate no-hopers like Electro Velvet, they need to think outside the box to achieve a better result. 2014’s entry Children of the Universe was a step in the right direction, and the BBC shouldn’t have changed their tactics simply because it didn’t work. They should have had confidence in their instincts and persisted, gradually improving the reputation of Eurovision in the UK and therefore the quality of future entrants, and the chance of future success.

1. The Shires

Already a Radio 2 mainstay, UK country duo The Shires would be perfect for Eurovision. They write quality, authentic country-pop songs, and their live shows get great reviews. As they don’t usually bother the singles chart, they have no cool/commercial fanbase to lose, and a huge European country fanbase to gain.

2. Ward Thomas

If the BBC can’t secure The Shires, they could go for fellow country-poppers Ward Thomas. Also a Radio 2 favourite with album chart success, they have a strong concept as a young twin sister duo, write their own songs and have lots of live experience. Their simple, pure talent would be a refreshing change for the UK in Eurovision.

3. Hurts

One of the few acts often suggested for Eurovision that I actually agree would be a good, and realistic, choice is Hurts. They’ve had success across Europe and have a distinctive dark, artistic but poppy sound that would stand out in the competition, plus strong songwriting and experience playing to big crowds.

4. Jetta

Jetta was a victim of her own success when Start A Riot went viral online before she was signed. Even with the Pharrell-produced single Crescendo, she couldn’t match it. However, she wrote two strong power ballads for Neon Jungle and I reckon she has more up her sleeve. Another Start a Riot could be a winner.

5. Noisettes

They’ve been quiet for a while, but the Noisettes would be ideal for Eurovision. Lead singer Shingai has a strong look and voice, and they have a history of writing quality classic-sounding pop songs. They’re an accomplished live act with many big performances behind them, so they’d have the confidence to take on Eurovision.

6. Many Things

Novelty acts still work in Eurovision, but just like in the charts, they need to be cool too. Many Things is a London-based band with a quirky, charismatic Australian singer and catchy songs, which combine to make them memorable and fun. It’s a type of Eurovision act the UK has never put forward, but it would suit us well.

7. Ivy & Gold

It would be a risk for an act on the rise like past TMBP Live performers Ivy & Gold to do Eurovision, but they would go down very well with European music fans. Their sound is reflective of the European charts and would appeal to older viewers too, thanks to lead singer Rachel’s classically-trained vocals.

8. Frankmusik

As an independent artist, Eurovision would be a great opportunity for Vincent Frank, aka Frankmusik. He has recently developed a sound with more strength and substance than his early releases, and it deserves more recognition. He writes and produces his own music, which would add some much-needed credibility.

9. Bebe Black

Bebe failed to rise above the onslaught of female solo artists on the cooler side of pop, but her songs deserved much more attention. They are dark, powerful and dramatic, but her eclectic abilities mean she could write a modern ballad that would suit Radio 2 as well as Radio 1, and radio stations around Europe too.

10. Aiden Grimshaw

Aiden was rumoured for 2014’s UK entry, and would have been a smart choice if it had been true. His singles have been a bit underwhelming and his vocal is quite affected, but he impressed the public during The X Factor and has a memorable, distinctive look, sound and performance style that would suit European tastes.


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

Rae Morris is an artist I’ve had on my list to potentially feature here since the early days of Future Pop, but I’ve never felt she’s been ready for her crossover moment. She has an interesting, distinct look and sound, but I couldn’t get into any of her songs… until now. She has collaborated with Fryars (who worked on Lily Allen’s new album and made the great, Patrick Wolf-ish tune The Ides back in 2007) on new single Cold, which is a sweet and stylish electro number. It’s much poppier than her previous work, and although it doesn’t sound like a chart hit, it’s charming and unique. The new direction suits her well, so I hope she will find an audience for this sound and pursue it further. And it proves more pop stars need to work with Fryars.


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

I still remember the day I received Jetta’s Start A Riot in my inbox, back in September 2012. I was so confused by what I heard. This song didn’t sound like it came from an unknown, unsigned artist, given away for free with little fanfare. Instead, it would have been an impressive new release for Emeli Sandé, Leona Lewis, or even Adele. It took several months, but eventually the song caught on with the tastemaker blogs and Jetta duly signed record deals in the UK and US. She then disappeared for about a year, and now that she’s finally releasing her proper debut single… I’m confused, but in a good way, yet again!

Crescendo is not a rousing power ballad, and neither does it have the rock sound that I heard at her showcase in October 2012. Instead, it’s a light, summery Pharrell production. It couldn’t be much further from what I was expecting, but nonetheless it’s very good. I hope that Pharrell’s current Midas Touch (I Was Gonna Cancel excluded, of course!) will make Crescendo a massive hit for Jetta.


Last October, I ran one of the most popular features ever on This Must Be Pop (mainly thanks to A&R scouts frantically refreshing the page), Unsigned Month. Every weekday I posted a new unsigned UK pop act that I felt needed more recognition, and it ended with a vote, which was won by indie-poppers Bluebell. In the year since then, I’ve been very pleased to see many of the acts I featured go on to sign huge record deals and become famous all around the world. And as some of the acts are just now finally breaking through, who knows which of them will end up achieving the most in the end?

Here’s an update on the ten most successful acts from Unsigned Month… so far!

The Vamps

The Vamps didn’t even have any original music online when I featured them in Unsigned Month, but I knew the combination of Prestige Management and that cute lead singer would be a safe bet for success. Their debut single Can We Dance narrowly missed out on no.1 earlier this month but the growth rate of their fanbase suggests they might go one better next time.

Chvrches

Chvrches signed to Virgin Records soon after Unsigned Month and were an unsurprising presence in the BBC Sound of 2013 list. They only recently broke into the singles chart for the first time with The Mother We Share, but they’ve proven to be more of an albums band. Their very enjoyable debut album The Bones of What You Believe was released last month and charted at no.9 in the UK and no.12 in America.

Luminites

Luminites went down so well when they performed at This Must Be Pop Live that I invited them back a few months later. Unfortunately they didn’t get a record deal in the months that followed, so they took the Britain’s Got Talent route, and after soaring through to the final in May this year were signed to Epic. They are set to release their debut single Do Something next month.

Rixton (then known as Relics)

Rixton have had a pretty exciting year since they were featured in Unsigned Month. They performed at This Must Be Pop Live and soon after caught the attention of Scooter Braun. They were whisked away to America to work with the brilliant Benny Blanco, and finally confirmed this week that they are signed to Universal/Interscope. They released their first music video for Make Out, and the official single is set to follow soon.

FKA Twigs (then known as Twigs)

I met FKA Twigs a few years ago when she was performing pop-punk music in the style of Bow Wow Wow and known only as Twigs. She’s since taken her quirky image much further with highly stylised (and disturbing!) videos, arty photoshoots and weird songs. Personally I find the new music rather dull but I’m glad that FKA Twigs is finally gaining exposure. It would be such a waste if her star quality was never seen by a wider audience.

Tich

Tich is another artist who signed a major record deal after performing at TMBP Live. She finally released her debut single, after years of touring and recording. Dumb just missed the top 20, but her fanbase continues to grow, and she recently announced her second headline tour for February 2014. She’s also just about to reach an impressive 100,000 followers on Twitter.

Jacob Banks

Since Unsigned Month, Jacob Banks has become the go-to male featured vocalist for UK rap and dance acts, having worked with Plan B and Wretch 32, as well as Chase and Status and Bondax. After his independently-released single Worthy received plays from Radio 1, 1Xtra and more, he signed a record deal with Atlantic in August, so expect his first major label single to follow soon.

Jetta

Jetta caused a huge buzz with her song Start a Riot, which spread like wildfire through the blogosphere and was no.1 on Amazing Radio for weeks. I saw her perform live, surrounded by an audience of A&R bigwigs, and she told me a secret: She was about to leave for New York to sign a huge international record deal. She wasn’t making it up – a few weeks later she confirmed she had signed to Universal Republic (US) and Polydor (UK).

Rainy Milo

Like Jetta, Rainy Milo caused an A&R frenzy when her track Bout You became a blog favourite. I remember going into A&R meetings at the time and being told all sorts of amazing things about who she was working with. Since then, I’ve seen her live, and the set was entirely devoid of big hits. However, I have faith that (like Rita Ora, who took years to release) she’ll re-emerge eventually as a fully formed pop sensation.

Cinnamon Girl

Camilla Roholm aka Cinnamon Girl signed a deal with Sony RCA (UK) and Columbia (US) after releasing a series of super-cool videos showing her great style and talent. She’s everything Sunday Girl was supposed to be. Since then she has been hiding away in the studio recording her debut album, but I hear that she’s now preparing for launch and I’m looking forward to hearing what she’s come up with.


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

One of the most popular acts from my Unsigned Month last October has found her major label home at Polydor. Jetta let the news slip on Twitter earlier this month, and it was no surprise as her showcase last year was packed with bigwig A&Rs. The pretty young Liverpudlian singer was first seen featuring on Jakwob's single Electrify, but it was her own track Start A Riot that really caught the music industry's attention, sounding like the song Emeli Sandé or Leona could only dream of releasing. I've heard she'll be heading in a rockier direction for her debut album, so I look forward to seeing what she comes up with.


Receiving the honour of being the first artist featured in This Must Be Pop’s Unsigned Month is Jetta. The 23-year-old Liverpudlian singer has previously worked as a backing singer for Paloma Faith and Cee-Lo Green, and got a taste of the limelight when she featured on Jakwob’s single Electrify earlier this year. Her cool, quirky look has got her on the books of prestigious agency Models 1, and her songwriting talent has earned her a deal with Sony ATV.

Now she’s preparing to launch her solo career, with a showcase coming up later this month and her first solo video for Start A Riot recently premiered online. The song has already received acclaim from many top blogs and even the NME, who compared her to Florence and the Machine. However, with its big, emotional vocals I’d say Start A Riot will appeal more to fans of Leona Lewis or Emeli Sandé. Jetta is clearly a huge talent as a singer and songwriter, so I can’t wait to see her perform live and hear more of her music. Early contender for Sound of 2013 perhaps?

If you love Jetta, come back in the last week of October to vote for her as the best UK unsigned pop act. You can also sign up to my Future Pop mailing list to receive all the Unsigned Month featured artists by email!