The most hotly tipped music stars of the year ahead have been announced with the release of the BBC’s tenth annual Sound of 2012 longlist.
Fifteen acts feature on the list, which was compiled through votes by 184 industry insiders. Critics, editors, broadcasters and bloggers were asked to name their three favourite upcoming acts from around the world.
Last year’s winner, Jessie J, went on to release the biggest-selling debut
album of 2011, while previous winners include Adele, Ellie Goulding,
Mika and Keane.
The up-and-coming artists on the list include UK bands Spector (pictured above) and Dry the River, New York rapper A$AP Rocky, and Swedish duo Niki & the Dove.
Azealia Banks, a 20-year-old rapper and singer from New York, topped music magazine NME’s annual Cool List chart last month and gets a further tip for the top with her place on the longlist.
British soul singers Lianne La Havas, Michael Kiwanuka and Ren Harvieu are tipped for success, as are dubstep producers Skrillex and Flux Pavilion. American rapper Frank Ocean and UK MC Dot Rotten get the nod from the critics, alongside bluesy singer-songwriter Jamie N Commons.
Indiepop band Friends and London-based female group Stooshe round up the longlist.
The top five artists will be revealed in a countdown from Monday 2 January. During the week a new position will be announced daily, with interviews and sessions with each act broadcast on BBC Radio 1.
George Ergatoudis, head of music at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, said: “The Sound of 2012 will be the tenth year of predictions compiled by BBC News – a project now established as the definitive annual list of exciting new artists to watch out for.
“The list will inspire debate for sure, but most importantly, it will lead to discovery of artists and musicians trying to stand out from the ever-expanding crowd, and that can only be a good thing.”