The business of new music is a peculiar economy of buzz, marketing, and – on happy occasions – decent tunes. So when an institution with the stature and reach of the Beeb declares its most-anticipated new artists of the coming months, one tends to lend an ear.
Last week it awarded soft-spoken Londoner Michael Kiwanuka the Sound of 2012 award, a folksy, cardiganny singer/songwriter who in recent months has drawn regular comparison to Bill Withers, given a consummate performance on an episode of Later With Jools Holland that featured Bjork and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and toured with Sound of 2008 winner Adele. Even our blog-crush Aquarium Drunkard had some sweet words for him.
Quite a CV! His debut album, “Home Again” drops like a comfy pair of slippers on a balmy Sunday evening in March, around the same time as last year’s winner Jessie J released her own debut, “Who You Are” which went on to sell over 800,000 copies, far outstripping any other British debut. To help make up your own mind about young Michael, pull up a chair and tune in to Kiwanuka’s smooth tones on that Later episode…
The Sound of… Awards provide an appropriate backdrop to Radio 1′s own New Music Month, which kicks off on Thursday 26th with a four-day special broadcast from the bustling metropolis of Hull, featuring Nick Grimshaw, Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Trevor Nelson’s picks of the best music yet to hit the mainstream.
Supplementing the line-up of chaps you’re about to never hear the end of are Knife Party, Joker, Julio Bashmore, Sub Focus, DJ Fresh, Jakwob, and Hudson Mohawke. If you reckon Gaga is so 2011, it’s time to find the guys who this time next year will have been so 2012. Fearne Cotton is in a furry robot.
Who are your choice for a big push this year? Jot em down in the comments.