John Burke covers this year’s BBC Sound to find the music industry’s next big global superstar
The BBC Music Sound of 2018 has garnered a worldwide attention due to the class of musicians and performers being showcased. The show took place in the BBC studio on Wednesday January 31 hosted by Annie Mac. Annie Mac was quoted last week saying “Sound 2018 Live is one of the first opportunities to see and hear some of the most exciting new artists in 2018. There is a performer for everyone and I’m really looking forward to having them all perform at Maida Vale live on the show”.
The list is chosen by over 170 influential music experts including former winners and longlist nominees Stormzy, Ellie Goulding, Olly Alexander from Years and Years and many more. Previous shortlist winners include 50 Cent (2003), Adele (2008), Sam Smith (2012) and Dua Lipa (2016). Over the last number of years, men have dominated the Longlist with very few women making the list at all let alone being the favourites and winning. The 2018 list includes musicians who have already achieved success, such as up and coming US R&B star Khalid whose debut album reached No 4 on the US charts this year, as well as more obscure acts, such as 22-year-old Londoner Nilüfer Yanya, whose music takes in jazz, soul and indie.
This year has seen Sigrid take number one position on the BBC Sound list with two of her more popular songs in “Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Strangers”. The young Norwegian talent has taken the charts by storm and promises to be extremely successful over the next number of years. Sigrid will be a key role model for young women who are trying to prove themselves as artists as she has already proved herself with the success she has already had as a young woman.
Sigrid was only one of eight female artists to make the shortlist for this year which is the highest number ever. The last time there were numbers near this level was in 2007 when there were six female artists. This is very encouraging for young female artists that they have these world renowned superstars such as Dua Lipa and Adele as inspiration for their own goals and careers.
Sigrid has mentioned in interviews that Dua Lipa was a huge influence on her career and has looked to her for advice on how to be successful in the industry. Sigrid was also heavily influenced by Adele. “She’s such a good songwriter. Her songs work on piano as well as in full production and that’s what triggers my emotions.”
Dua Lipa was the first female artist to win the BBC Sound award since Adele in 2008. One of the other hot contenders for this year was Alma, a Finnish songwriter who has become rise to fame with her two new big hits “All Stars” feat Michael Solveig and French Montana which reached number one in the Finnish charts.
Another female artist gracing the Longlist is Billie Eilish the youngest contender ever in the longlist at fifteen years old but her youthful maturity shines through in her debut song “Don’t Smile at Me” which was released last year.
The BBC Sound has been a huge cornerstone for the artists who have won the title over the years which has seen them all go on to achieve huge success in the industry. For example, Dua Lipa’s U.K number one single “New Rules” made her the first female solo artist to achieve this chart success since Adele’s hit “Hello” back in 2015.