What better way to kick off our People’s Playlist for 2021 than with an insider’s recommendation on the artists to watch out for in 2021? This playlist has been curated exclusively for us by Nicholas Douglas, from Glasgow, Scotland. Nicholas is the Managing Director of Notion Magazine & Studio Notion – a leading UK-based independent music and culture-focussed platform, magazine and production company with a global audience of tastemakers and opinion-formers.
Here’s Nicholas’ selection of the best multi-genre artists to look out for in 2021.
Lost Girl – Lazy Love ft. Ivorian Doll
Since going viral on Instagram in 2017 with a cover of Yxng Bane’s ‘Rihanna’, Tinie Tempah has become a fan of Lost Girl, so much so that he signed her to his publishing company. With a soulful R&B sound not dissimilar to the likes of Mabel and Jorja Smith, expect the same level of stardom from this Reading-born 20-year-old.
Dan D’Lion – Apple Juice
Dan D’Lion’s latest EP, ‘When One Thing Leads to Another’, forces everyone to dance around the room while reflecting on how far we’ve come in 2020. Dan D’Lion is the soul and sound to watch in 2021.
Hope Tala – Cherries
Having recently revealed her Girl Eats Sun EP to rave reviews from BBC Radio 1 and millions of streams, Hope is looking set for a huge 2021.
Master Peace – Love Bites
Master Peace emerged in 2018 with a sound more embedded in grime, making his name free styling over a-ha’s ‘Take On Me’. His successful 2019 single ‘Night Time’ won plaudits – including from grime artists Skepta and JME – and marked a transition into much more of a romanticist pop poet. His recent EP ‘Love Bites’ establishes the rising star as a fully-fledged indie-pop frontman.
Baby Queen – Online Dating
The anti-pop star is one of the most exciting breakthrough acts of 2020 and her EP is accomplished with the release of ‘Online Dating’. The South African-raised, London-living star has received high acclaim for the captivating run of singles leading to Medicine, her debut EP, with Annie Mac saying her music “really stands out for its unfailing honesty”.
Scribz Riley – East Side
Hailing from East London, but residing between London and LA, Scribz has worked with artists such as Khalid, H.E.R, J Hus and Cardi B over the last few years, establishing himself as an acclaimed, award-winning producer and songwriter, notably achieving two Grammy awards along the way. He has been tipped by many industry heavyweights and is a VEVO DSCVR 2021 artist to watch.
Bklava – Hot Shot
25-year-old singer, songwriter, producer, DJ and all-round creative genius Lara Sweeney (aka Bklava) is a quadruple threat. Half Lebanese-half Irish, the BRIT school graduate served a freshly sourced, future-meets-past sound to the UK garage scene. With big things to come in 2021, she’s already left her stamp on the UK garage genre this year.
Thomas Headon – Clean Me Up
This 20-year-old Melbourne-raised producer and singer-songwriter may only be a year into his musical journey, but he has already proven that he is an artist to watch. He possesses undeniable charisma and is makes exciting experimental, DIY music that’s been streamed by millions already.
GRACEY – 99%
2020 has seen GRACEY confidently emerge as one of the most talked about and successful new British artists. She recently released her outstanding mini-album The Art of Closure - a triumphant celebration of everything GRACEY has achieved in 2020 (including her first Top 10 single) and a bold look forward into what 2021 has in store.
Joesef – Does It Make You Feel Good?
Joesef’s emotive soul-pop has garnered him support from the likes of Mark Ronson, Sam Smith and Loyle Carner, who he has a track with. He spent much of his early career selling out venues across the continent, including headline shows at London’s Oslo. Joesef will continue to spellbind fans with his unique voice in 2021.
girl in red – two queens in a king size bed
Norway’s brightest new light, girl in red, couldn’t have had a better 2020. She’s been shortlisted as NME’s Best New Act In The World and wrote and performed on the soundtrack for Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Turning’, all whilst making most of her music completely by herself from her bedroom. The DIY approach has seen her has seen her go on to garner support and a wild hoard of tastemaker praise across the globe for her high energy live performances and music online that speaks on a highly personal level to her fans. Expect to hear lots more very soon!
Berwyn – FAREWELL
Rapper and singer BERWYN moved to London at the age of nine. Self-taught on the piano, guitar, drums and violin, he wrote his acclaimed debut mixtape Vega in just two weeks from a mattress on the floor of a rented apartment. He’s already collaborated with the likes of Headie One and Fred Again, and is poised to be a breakthrough star of 2021.
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