From the drug-fueled sounds of Tove Lo and the alternative drum-heavy Bastille to the always “Fancy” Iggy Azalea, 2014 saw quite a few artists finally hit the big time. Many of these acts had been expected to do well, and it appears their time had finally come. Music is all about looking forward though, so now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to predict who will have a good 2015, and who we’ll hopefully still be talking about years from now.
YEARS & YEARS
Alternative pop is having a moment, and it may peak when Years & Years finally make it big. Their productions often incorporate little-used sounds and effects, all of which give them an incredibly unique and odd style. What makes the group so magical is that no matter how many times they put an avant garde spin on pop music, it always comes out sounding like something that’s ready for radio.
Ella is one of the easiest choices for a list like this, as she is already a big star elsewhere in the world. After losing The X Factor, the Brit was signed to a major label, and work on her debut began immediately. The appropriately-titled Chapter One is already out in the UK, and is expected in the US later this month. She may still be relatively unknown here in the US, but her song “Ghost” is powerful enough to make a star out of anyone, so expect her to blow up in the next few months.
The world needs more female rappers, and it looks like Dej Loaf might just fill that void (and she’ll do it on her own terms). Instead of flaunting her assets as her contemporaries often do, she instead chooses to focus on creating some seriously interesting hip-hop, the kind that has a chance of making it big and changing how people view women in the genre.
The soulful guitar strumming of the 17 year old Atlanta native might actually be secondary to his incredible songwriting. Though his music is youthful, his talents far exceed his age or his life experience. While putting the final touches on his debut album, Raury is also focused on something else: finishing high school. Once both are done, he’s sure to explode.
Already the recipient of the prestigious and sought after Critic’s Choice trophy at the upcoming BRIT Awards, England’s James Bay is already well on his way to becoming a globally-known figure. He is one of several new rootsy guitar players (see: Hozier) that are on track to put rock back on top.
21 year old Ryn Weaver has only released one EP, but it was enough to get her name buzzing on every blog. Her single “OctaHate” was co-written by it girl Charli XCX, which is enough in itself to make plenty of people perk up and listen. The rest of her Promises EP is not only exceptionally well done, it is in line with the new sound of pop, which ditches the electro dance of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry for an instrumental, more natural feeling.
Though only a teenager, Francesco Yates has some friends in high places. His work has earned the praises of some of the biggest people in the industry, including Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Pharrell. His song “Call” is just a taste of the kind of catchy pop he’s prepared to unleash onto the world.