I can’t help but think British artists are really at the top of the helm in the music field today. From the successes of Adele to James Blake to the beautiful boys of 1D, the last few years have seen a resurgence in worldwide appreciation and recognition for the quality of British music.
Sam Smith has recently won BBC’s Sound of 2014. Which you’ve gotta say is probably fair enough. He was brilliant last year. I was pleased to see some of my favourites Sampha and Banks place in the rankings too. However, Blvckill being Blvckill has to throw his two cents in on any matter. (No matter how stupid or irrelevant). With that being said, in this post I lay out my exclusively British Sounds of 2014. I’ve decided to omit the bait ones (Sampha,Sam Smith and Twigs), as for me they’re pretty established and thats not what this list is about. Instead I hope to highlight the slightly less recognised/well known artists. Keeping the descriptions brief Blvckill will let their voices do the talking. Or singing rather. (Eh Eh, that was so shitty- I’m sorry).
Also before anyone starts gassing saying I copied some of these from BBC’s Sounds 2014/Other blog top lists. Check the date I put together the soundcloud playlist and hold my Johnson….Cheers.
The Brighton-based falsetto king is back with even more tats from a 18 month hiatus, with sensational track ‘Wasted Dreams‘ released late in 2013 with friend and producer Benbrick. Luke comes from what I’d describe as a more ‘indie’ (whatever the fxck that means) kinda background and his sound has evolved over the last 5 years that to something quiet brilliant. Formerly making dark acoustic tracks (which are great), he has clearly begun to let his love for R&B influence his own music. His falsetto is frighteningly good and he’s a very good guitarist (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg_DdlbZ68c) . I’m wishing him all the best and can’t wait for his album due for release this year, been too long waiting.
Another beautifully soulful voice hailing from the UK. Similar to the likes of Sampha and Kwes with his nappy-style hair, Kwabs offers something really special and almost indescribable. The buzz and hype around this guy is electric with pretty much every hipster blog (again, whatever the fxck they are) singing his praises for the ‘Spirit Fade’ and ‘Last Stand‘ shared via his soundcloud. The latter is nothing short of a masterpiece with talented Swiss SOHN on production (who is his own right a great musician and producing recently with BANKS) and Kwabs deep and gospel-like vocals absolutely kill the track. Again I stress, it’s difficult to articulate how good he actually is…
For some ridiculous reason largely unsung praise for this beautiful 19 year old. Her EP Black Book dropped last autumn and after hearing her fantastic vocals on Amane‘s ‘Sunday‘, it was a must download for me. I haven’t regretted it since because it’s bloody brilliant. Her sound fuses together what good is left of modern-day R&B with the vibes of Ashanti from the early 00’s. Lyrically I just don’t know how she does it begins soo young, but she’s conveys soo much emotion! Don’t sleep on this girl, I’m telling you! If you need confirmation just check… She worked with Disclosure in the past! Download the Blackbook EP ASAP!
Soo much more than just ‘Bonobo’s vocalist’, Szerjdene is not just a talent singer but also a really nice person. (Blvckill had the pleasure of meeting her). You’ll have heard her perfect voice on ‘Transits‘ and ‘Towers‘ from Bonobo‘s brilliant Northern Borders LP last year. And if you haven’t heard that album you are a lawwst. She’s also being doing her own music on the side and I’m really excited to see where she’ll go with her solo projects, now she has platform of working on/touring on one of the best albums of 2013 . Seeing her and Mar Variation on Instagram straight jammin, was mouth water prospect and hopefully we’ll get to her what they’ve been producing soon. I’ll leave you with ‘Arrow(s)‘ a 9 minute treat.
After seeing the actor-singer perform late last year, I’m pretty sure he’s got all the tools needed to make serious breakthrough this year. From starring in KiDulthood and in Game of Thrones as the leader of ‘The Unsuilled’, Ritchie (real name Jacob Anderson for the wiki searchers) seems to be one of those fortunate blokes who’s just sick at everything he turns his hand to. The pretty and light-skinned playa will dry the throats of even the most hydrated bitches…Hmm Thirsty. Check this track ‘Overdose‘ which will be on his forthcoming album due for release next in 2014. Produced by Sounwaves, same guy who was the mastermind behind King Kendrick Lamar’s ‘B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe‘, this track is BIG!
Also got the chance to see her in London. Affiliated with with ridiculous cool collective Last Night In Paris, Rainy Milo is the UK’s hottest next female R&B prospect. Her performance style really oozes diva and her sound echoes is a sorta cross between Faith Evans and Sade. She’s a really exciting talent and is getting a lot of recognition in the states. Comparisons to Rita Ora are inevitable because of her long blonde locks, but I’m telling you don’t get it confused! Rainy is the real deal and not a commercial shitpiece that ruins Biggie tracks!
He was actually on the long list for BBC’s Sound of 2014, which is soo dope! I first heard MNEK when he featured on a Rudimental track a couple of years ago and have since kept a close eye on him. Writer, Producer and Singer the 19 year old wonderkid is truly blessed! He is a just pure raw talent. Voices like his can’t be taught. He sounds like he has 2 souls. You’ll probably recognise the name from his feature on Duke Dumont’s worldwide banger ‘ Need U 100%‘ and more recently vocals on Gorgon City’s ‘Ready for your love‘. I’m hoping that MNEK can get even more of the recognition that he deserves and will continue to put his stamp on alot of British music. Check out his flawless cover of Disclosure‘s ‘White Noise’ below
Can’t help but think Jordan may have slipped under a few radar’s with his EP Love Waves. James simply couldn’t be ignored after hearing with his flawless cover of Craig David’s ‘Fill Me In’. Better than my previous favourite cover version of the track by Gang Colours in 2012. He’s taken Craig’s 1999 classic anthem and given it that 2014 Alternative R&B flavour. I think his next EP will really show us what he’s made of, but if his first EP is anything to go off… It can surely only be good.
Blvkill come a long way since preaching that Colby O’donis will be the next Usher. These are all good artists. Give em a listen. I’ve compiled a playlist on soundcloud if you wanna hear em as one….