Tag Archives: Sam Smith

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.


  • Lil Uzi Vert – The Way Life Goes
  • Charlie Puth – How Long
  • Maroon 5 ft. Julia Michaels – Help Me Out
  • Lauv – Easy Love
  • Sam Smith – Pray

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.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.


  • Zayn ft. Sia – Dusk Till Dawn
  • Sam Smith – Too Good at Goodbyes
  • Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft
  • Stefflon Don ft. French Montana – Hurtin’ Me
  • Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso ft. Florida Georgia Line & Watt – Let Me Go

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.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles.


  • Aurora – Half The World Away
  • Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime
  • Jess Glynne – Take Me Home
  • Sigma & Rita Ora – Coming Home
  • Sam Smith – Drowning Shadows

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my new Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.

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

This week's playlist features five collaborations between male artists, which I think are set to be big hits.


  • Waze & Odyssey & R Kelly – Bump & Grind 2014
  • Olly Murs ft. Travie McCoy – Wrapped Up
  • Wilkinson ft. Talay Riley – Dirty Love
  • Avicii ft. Robbie Williams – The Days
  • Freddy Verano ft. Sam Smith – Moments

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

This week's Future Hits playlist features five new singles by British male artists that I think could be big hits.


  • Sigma – Nobody To Love
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • Tourist ft. Will Heard – I Can’t Keep Up
  • Sam Smith – Stay With Me
  • Joel Compass – Forgive Me

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

This week's Future Hits playlist features five new releases which I think could finally give the artists their breakthrough hit.


  • Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
  • Foxes – Let Go for Tonight
  • Sam Smith – Money on My Mind
  • Chloe Howl – Rumour
  • Raleigh Ritchie – Bloodsport

Happy new year everyone! Now we’ve finished celebrating the best music of 2013, it’s time to move on and look forward to what 2014 might bring. I think it could turn out to be a surprising year, as choosing my top 10 ones to watch was very difficult. I feel most of these artists could go either way, and unlike previous years where I’ve run this feature, there aren’t any artists (except Ella Eyre, who I can’t include because she was in last year’s list) whose success I feel is totally guaranteed.

Last year my predictions were pretty accurate, as I correctly guessed that AlunaGeorge, Haim, Macklemore, Tom Odell, Chvrches and Imagine Dragons would be big. I also highlighted Bastille and Ariana Grande as acts I’d predicted for success in 2012 who would finally hit the charts in 2013.

Read on to find out which Future Pop featured acts I think will be big in 2014…

1. Sam Smith

Sam is to 2014 what Emeli Sandé was to 2012. It might seem pointless to include him in this list because he’s already successful, with a no.1 and another big hit under his belt. However, he has a lot to prove as an artist, with the challenge of matching the quality of Latch and La La La in his solo material. The positive response to his new song Money on My Mind is a good start. Read more.

2. Chloe Howl

A quirky pop artist like Chloe Howl is hard to launch these days – there’s no need for “pop it’s OK to like” when pop isn’t considered particularly uncool in the first place. As such, Chloe seemed to be (undeservedly) faltering before she was a surprise inclusion in the Sound Of 2014 and Brits Critics’ Choice shortlists. Her catchy, witty tunes will hopefully find a fanbase once they reach a wider audience. Read more.

3. Saint Raymond

Looking through the photos on this page you’ll see that 2014 isn’t set to be a year full of new pop heartthrobs, but hopefully these boys will make up for it with their talent. Saint Raymond is a young male solo artist, but his sound is more similar to the Radio 1 indie bands of the mid-’00s. Sure enough, he’s already had strong support from Radio 1 and I think he’s a safe bet for 2014 success. Read more.

4. Banks

Her rise to fame has been more gradual, but I think Banks could follow a similar career path to Lana Del Rey and Lorde. Her music is cool but it’s not too pretentious. There is good songwriting at the heart of her singles Waiting Game and This Is What It Feels Like, and a captivating vulnerability. I’m still not convinced of her star quality, but I think her album will be one of 2014’s big sellers. Read more.

5. DJ Cassidy

DJ Cassidy dragged out the premiere of his single Calling All Hearts for so long that someone recently got fed up and leaked it, but officially this is all you’re supposed to have heard. If you’re wondering why there’s so much interest in a debut single, it’s because it features Robin Thicke and Jessie J. DJ Cassidy himself is also quite a big name: He’s DJed for Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and even Barack Obama! Read more.

6. A Great Big World

A Great Big World went from being nobodies to topping the US iTunes chart literally overnight when they performed their single Say Something as a duet with Christina Aguilera on The Voice. The song received further TV exposure on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and was performed by X Factor winners Alex and Sierra. It’s now the no.1 most Shazamed track in the world, and UK success seems inevitable. Read more.

7. Mapei

Swedish-American singer Mapei made a last minute dash to become one of the most blogged-about new artists of 2013, featured everywhere from Popjustice to Pitchfork. Even Buzzfeed broke out of their list format to feature her. The attention is deserved as her single Don’t Wait is innovative without dismissing the tenets of a good pop song, probably thanks to co-writer Magnus Lidehäll (Britney, Kylie etc.). Read more.

8. 5 Seconds of Summer

Thanks to a support slot on One Direction’s last arena tour, 5 Seconds of Summer are an established act among teenage girls, even though they’ve never even released a single. Since I last wrote about them they’ve signed a deal with Modest! and Capitol Records, and played two sold out nights at Koko in London. I went to see them and it was the screamiest gig I’ve been to in years (definitely a good sign). Read more.

9. Gorgon City

I predict Gorgon City will have one of the first big hits of 2014 with their new single Ready For Your Love, which features MNEK. The track fits with the house-pop trend of 2013, but with more soulful vocals and more complex songwriting (though the chorus is typically repetitive). If there is a vacancy for “the new Disclosure,” Gorgon City have got to be in prime position. Read more.

10. Joel Compass

Although I’m not that keen on Joel Compass’ latest single Run, I decided to include him here after hearing recently from the ever-reliable Popjustice that he has some proper pop songs up his sleeve. It’s about time for the UK to embrace a black male solo artist who’s a bit cooler than Craig David and Lemar. The interviews he’s done so far show he’s cute and likeable, but needs to work on his confidence. Read more.

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The 20th Most Poptastic Single of 2013

The Saturdays ft. Sean Paul – What About Us

Get those girls some iPods, it’s 2013!

Released: 15th March (UK)
Writers: Camille Purcell, Ollie Jacobs, Philip Jacobs, Sean Paul
Trivia: It’s interesting to see how the perception of a song’s quality can change once it becomes a hit. When What About Us first premiered the response (including mine) was quite negative, but since it went to no.1 it’s become a firm favourite at the pop clubs and I didn’t realise until I compiled this chart quite how much it had grown on me.
Best bits: 1. Whatever the weather, we gon’ be better together, so what’s up baby? What about us?
2. Oh why are we a-waiting? So long, I’m suffocating
3. What ya doin’ to my head? (Na, na, na, na, na)

The 19th Most Poptastic Single of 2013

Demi Lovato – Made In The USA

Demi before she was attacked with blue hair dye

Released: 16th July (USA)
Writers: Jonas Jeberg, Jason Evigan, Corey Chorus, Blair Perkins, Demi Lovato
Trivia: Demi Lovato led the self-titled album trend of 2013, releasing Demi in May, well before Britney Jean, Avril Lavigne and Beyoncé.
Best bits: 1. No matter how far we go, I want the whole world to know
2. Our love was made, made in the USA, made in the USA, yeah-e-ey-yeah
3. We touch down on the east coast, dinner in the sky rise, winter is the best time for walking in the city lights, you and I

The 18th Most Poptastic Single of 2013

Duke Dumont ft. A*M*E – Need U (100%)

Free comb not included

Released: 31st March (UK)
Writers: Adam Dyment, Tommy Forrest, Aminata Kabba, Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike
Trivia: Despite their brilliance, none of A*M*E’s solo singles have made the top 40. I think she should take a cue from the success of Need U (100%) and follow a cooler, more mature direction for her next attempt, or to make it easy for herself she could just release the excellent 2012 promotional single Find A Boy, produced by Naughty Boy and co-written with Emeli Sandé. What more selling points do you need?
Best bits: 1. Need you 100, need you 100 percent
2. I wanna be the one you call, every day and night (ooh-oh-uh)
3. You gotta give me everything, baby ain’t no doubt

The 17th Most Poptastic Single of 2013

Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith – La La La

Not featuring the Australian politician born in 1857

Released: 18th May (UK)
Writers: Shahid Khan, Al-Hakam El-Kaubaisy, Frobisher Mbabazi, Sam Smith, James Napier, James Murray, Mustafa Omer, Jonny Coffer
Trivia: Blazin’ Squad fans may recognise a couple of familiar names in the lengthy list of writers above. James Murray (Flava) and Mus Omer (Strider) co-wrote and co-produced this song as Mojam.
Best bits: 1. I’m covering my ears like a kid, when your words mean nothing I go la la la
2. ‘Cos if my heart can’t stop it, I find a way to block it, I go na-na la-la la-la na-na la-la la-la
3. I can’t find your silver lining, I don’t mean to judge, but when you read your speech it’s tiring, enough is enough

The 16th Most Poptastic Single of 2013

Leon Else – Protocol

Cheer up, you’ve written the 16th best song of the year!

Released: 20th November (UK)
Writers: Leon Else, Cass Lowe, Edvard Erfjord, Henrik Michelsen
Trivia: Leon is signed to Turn First Artists, the management company that looks after Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding and Iggy Azalea.
Best bits: 1. Rules are there for a reason, if you can’t fight what you’re feeling, please shut the door as you’re leaving
2. When you show me your soul but I don’t wanna know
3. Where’d you go when I can’t get through?

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

This week’s Future Hits playlist is all about the British male solo singers.


  • Robbie Williams – Go Gentle
  • Gary Barlow – Let Me Go
  • Jake Bugg – Slumville Sunrise
  • Sam Smith – Nirvana
  • Classified ft. Olly Murs – Inner Ninja

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.