Following the announcement of the BBC‘s Sound of 2016 shortlist and the thousands of keyboard critics emerging to give their ‘expert’ opinion, at PMB we decided to put together a shortlist of some of the musicians we think are due to have a big year in 2016.
Over the past year, we have kept a close eye on a number of UK Rap, Grime, R&B, Soul and even poetic prodigies and below is the list (in no particular order) of the artists who have made it to our PMB Sound of 2016 shortlist.
Novelist: This was a tricky one because of the success he has already had in 2015 but considering the fact that he’s been on a rise all year and with a steady stream of releases like the Gravity, Endz and even the collaborative EP he released with Mumdance at the start of the year, 2016 can only get better and with news that his debut will only feature production from himself and Grandmixxer, I think we’re going to see Nov climb further.
Nadia Rose: Is there a mic or instrumental that she hasn’t burnt up this year? (I’ll wait). Rose has become one of the scene’s more notable MC’s with a barrage of quick fire freestyles and dope music to accompany it. Considering the viral buzz she’s got from a couple playful freestyles, 2016 is definitely due to be a big year this South London artist.
Che Lingo: You can’t knock his hustle and Che Lingo has been putting in the work, from shows, EPs and clothing collaborations. The rapper has been building a solid fanbase, putting out quality music and perfecting his live performance. And it’s only going to get stronger next year, so expect nothing but dopeness from him from this point forward.
Kojey Radical: Kojey is an artist who epitomises the creative and conscientious hub of artists in London. His spoken word and vocal performances and collaborations have already enchanted a large proportion of the UK but in 2016, I can see his influence growing even further.
Cadet: Cadet is another artist who has generated masses of support through the viral success of his freestyles. His Slut freestyle and following that, his Behind Barz freestyle fully introduced the South London artist as an honest storyteller and this has already lead to a support slot on Krept and Konan‘s tour and a place on the 2015 FITB cypher. Next year is surely due to bring more.
Bonkaz: This was another debatable addition to the list. Bonkaz already had a great year this year with We Run The Block and You Don’t Know helping him to fully establish his position as a new generation pioneer but, because of the momentum he has already gained, I feel as if his next project is due to be the body of work that encompasses all his eclectic influences and therefore introduce him to the commercial market.
Samm Hennshaw: PMB followers will now be pretty familiar with Samm’s music due to the fact that we’ve been big fans of his from early and after the release of his debut EP The Sound Experiment and a number of incredible live performances including his support slot on James Bay‘s tour, I think we can agree that the singer-songwriter has started strong and will undeniably be one of the big names of 2016.
TE Dness: For me, Ness is one of the most underrated rappers in the UK and his collaboration with Big 6ix and Stormzy brought one of my favourite tracks of 2015. His April Showers 2 EP was also full of UK Rap anthems and I am expecting more of the same next year.
Renz: Renz is another New Gen ambassador who has gone unnoticed by some people but I get the impression that he is an artist who works hard in quiet and I feel 2016 will be the year that we get a body of work from him that will eclipse a lot of other artists that are getting attention.
J Hus: J Hus has emerged with something pretty unique. Tracks like Lean & Bop have a clear afro beats influence which has made Hus commercially appealing (hence him also being featured on the BBC Sound of 2016 shortlist) but at the same time, his Fire In The Booth proves he’s actually a sick rapper. This combination meant that we had to also feature him in the PMB shortlist.
Avelino: Often referred to as Wretch 32’s protege, Avelino is another artist (not just a rapper/MC), that has displayed his unique tenacity for the music. As well as becoming well known for his intricate lyrical ability from his wordplay to punchlines, AV released his new age anthem M.O.E. and teamed up with Bonkaz on Shine. Here at PMB we believe that Avelino is up next and 2016 will show that.
Wolfie: After a year of international radio support, including her track Faces being played on Pharrell Williams‘ Beats1 show on Apple Music, Wolfie has already started to generate momentum and by the looks of things, is due to take off in 2016.
WSTRN: Also featured on the BBC‘s Sound of 2016 shortlist, this West London trio are one of the strong favourites. Their debut single In2 (written in their first collaborative session) which you are bound to be familiar with, has had unprecedented success and if this track is anything to go by, next year could see WSTRN as regular chart contenders.
Section Boyz: Another act that has also been featured on the BBC‘s shortlist is the MOBO Award winning Section Boyz. 2015 has seen the South London group release anthem after anthem and has also seen the success of their debut project, Don’t Panic. Their previous commercial success and intercontinental co-signs from artists such as Drake suggest that a lot more is due in the near future.
Shakka: Another artist who has already began their road to success is Shakka. It seems every track he releases, or features on, could make it to the top ten and after his performance at the MOBO Awards that, for me, over shadowed the likes of Rita Ora, it seems he has already become comfortable in the limelight and isn’t planning on vacating it in 2016.
You can also listen to our PMB Sound of 2016 playlist on our Soundcloud page.