Another year and another batch of emerging talent to get dizzy about. Last years picks included the likes of Yazmin Lacey, Ishmael Ensemble, Elsa Hewitt, and Jon Bap who all went on to deliver outstanding releases in 2018. So we’re a month into 2019 and we’ve picked 10 rising stars who may not be household names just yet, but these artists are bubbling quite nicely just under the radar. Get to know these gifted artists and remember where you heard their names!
Lealani is a 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who created her debut album between the ages of 12 and 18, blending electronic, synth-pop, beats, vintage toy-like instruments and indie rock. Throughout debut, she has a way of putting your ears quizzically on edge as she deftly shifts the boundaries of pop music. Weird and wonderful just the way we like our pop stars!
London-based trombonist and producer Rosie Turton recently released her dazzling debut EP on Jazz re:freshed. Turton is also a member of septet Nérija who will release a new EP on Domino this year. Look out for her live shows over the coming year.
They’ll be no escaping the Chicago future jazz outfit in 2019 as they have a whopping 12 albums slotted in this year. Drawing on multiple styles of music – hip-hop to post-rock, the electric sounds of Düsseldorf and the Sufi music of India and Pakistan. Unique and innovative this is the future sound of jazz.
If safe to say that we were pretty excited about the release of Vula Viel’s new album. Having been fans of the trio since their first album, Good is Good, and their sophomore album, ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ continues their unique musical journey centred around the Gyil (Ghanaian xylophone). Led by Bex Burch the talented trio have created another epic body of work. Most definitely ones to watch.
He already has a stellar reputation as a leading force of the London jazz scene thanks to his award-winning work with Sons Of Kemet and his collaborations with Moses Boyd, Jon Batiste, and Emeli Sande. This year will see tuba player Theon Cross stepping into the solo spotlight with his upcoming new EP on legendary Impulse! Records. Make sure you catch him live if you get the chance – not to be missed.
North London artist caught my ear when his No White God track shuffled on after on the Brownswood Bubblers compilation. Since then I’ve been binging on his SoundCloud page for more of his sharp, thought-provoking rap with a hard political edge. Not a household yet but trust us it won’t be too long before you’ll be hearing his tunes everywhere.
North London-based rapper Lex Amor has released much music but what we’ve heard has us craving each day for more. Seriously if your ears haven’t been blessed by her laidback tones and hazy vibes you’ve been missing out big time. Head to her SoundCloud and get obsessed.
Ego Ella May
Newly signed to Tru Thoughts the Brighton-based label know they’re on to a good thing with Ego Ella May. Having dropped on our radar back in 2013 it feels like the young London based, soulful singer/songwriter has been around forever and tracks like Come Close (Rework) and Underwater still get spun on the regular at Twistedsoul HQ. We’re hoping that a new EP or album is in the pipeline. If you’re not sure where to take your loved one on Valentines Day next month try Ghost Notes.
From a brilliant guest feature on Chance the Rappers 2013 Acid Rap album onto brilliant mixtape and album lowkey poet-turned-rapper Noname star is in the ascendant. Her 2016 debut mixtape Telofne is a bit of a cult-classic and last years Room 25 LP cemented her reputation as a master wordsmith with an ear for exquisite production. We’re expecting her to make even bigger waves this year.
While the artist from Sarah Tandy hasn’t released any music yet the rising composer and bandleader is one of the U.K’s leading young jazz pianists, and her virtuoso talents have seen her play alongside the likes of Gary Crosby, Clark Tracey, Gilad Atzmon as well as supporting Robert Glasper and Roy Hargrove (R.I.P). With her debut album ‘Infection in the Sentence’ just around the corner, Tandy is sure to get more attention in 2019.