With the UK steadily supplying some our most popular musical acts these days, it’s becoming essential to keep an eye on the other side of the pond as they turn out more and more talented musicians and singer-songwriters. Here is a list of British artists to start appreciating as they slowly infiltrate the American radios.
1. Emeli Sandé Scottish singer-songwriter, Emeli Sandé, is quickly rising to fame. Her songs have consistently made the top ten UK Singles Charts, and she was invited to preform at the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. While she still remains relatively unknown in the states, she has written songs for American artists, such as Alicia Keys and Rihanna. She began her first stateside tour this year and is slowly working her way into the American eye.
2. Tinie Tempah London rapper, Tinie Tempah, first debuted in 2005 with a mixtape. His first full-length album, Disc-Overy, debuted at number one in 2010 and he went on to win the Brit Award’s Best Breakthrough Artist in 2011. His plans to release his next album this year and his next single is said to feature American artist Wiz Khalifa.
3. Labrinth Simon Cowell has an eye for talent. He gave the music industry One Direction, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, and many others. One of his latest additions includes British artist, Labrinth. Labrinth made his debut in 2010 when he appeared on Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out“. He released his debut album in March 2012 and is climbing the UK Singles Charts.
4. Plan B Plan B is a man of many talents with success as an actor and film director. His musical skills are also critically acclaimed. His debut album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words, was critically acclaimed and his second, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, immediately went to the charts as number one. In 2012, he released a film entitled Ill Manors accompanied by his own accompanying soundtrack, which also charted number one.
5. Wiley Wiley has been in the Underground Music scene in the UK since 1997. He’s known as “The Godfather of Grime” and his work as an MC of Grime is his claim to fame. While he may never become a prominent figure in the US music industry, he’s been a strong influence on many British artists in the early stages of their careers.
6. JME JME is another English Grime artist that is a force to reckon with on his own. He’s particularly known for his rejection of the stereotypes that Grime artists are associated with – choosing not to embrace ideals centered around sex, drugs, and violence. He currently remains underground and refuses to go mainstream, yet he has retained an incredible fanbase and is venturing overseas to perform his biggest hits.
7. Devlin Devlin, another Englishman, has worked closely with artists such as Tinchy Styrder, Tinie Tempha, and Labrinth. His single “Runaway” debuted at number 15 and his video for “London City” garnered much attention. He has pushed back the release of his second studio album, but Devlin has been making plans for his return to the public eye.
The Klaxons are unique in that their music embodies psychadelic, sci-fi qualities intertwined with a basic pop background. The Klaxons began recording their third studio album in January 2012, but there is not yet a release date.
9. Dizzee Rascal Dizze Rascal does it all. He’s a rapper, MC, songwriter, and producer and his music is incorporates elements of hip hop, grime, electronic, rap and R&B. His third studio album Fresh garnered much commercial success and helped launch Grime Music into the worldwide spotlight.
10. The Kooks
The Kooks often experiment with different styles of Britpop, reggae, rock, and ska, even being compared to The Arctic Monkeys on some level. Their third album Junk of the Heart is their attempt at a solid, dynamic album that still remains a catchy pop album.
11. Corrine Bailey Rae Corrine Bailey Rae is already an award-winning artist. Her first album debuted at number one and she has one two Grammys. She channeled the emotions following the death of her husband and created beautiful and poignant soul music.
Omar Lye-Fook is often considered the father of British neo-soul. His most popular song “There’s Nothing Like This” and was his debut single. Though he’s not currently making music, he is one of the most significant and recognizable artists in the United Kingdom.
13. The Pigeon Detectives
The Pigeon Detectives are part of the garage rock revival in the UK. With a successful European tour already completed, it shouldn’t be too long before their music moves to the rest of the world.
14. Alice Russell
One of Britain’s best kept secret is Alice Russell. She’s performed alongside soulful and musical icons such as Amy Winehouse. Her music is deep and heartfelt and not usually for light listening. She plans to release her newest studio album, To Dust, sometime this month.
15. Ben Westbeech
Ben Westbeech is for those who enjoy soul music, but with a more electronic vibe. While he holds no critical claim or awards, his large amounts of collaborations set him apart from others. In his own words, his music is “house inspired, rather than straight up house music.”