The BBC Sound of 2019 longlist has been revealed, and it’s a list that leans strongly on solo artist as the stars of the next year. This year’s top five will be revealed in January, on Radio 1 and BBC News, with one artist announced each day from Monday the 7th of January. The winner will then be revealed on Friday the 11th of January.
Now in its 17th year, the list showcases the hottest rising stars, that we should keep our eye on in 2019. Mahalia and Slowthai, flamenco singer Rosalía, R&B star Ella Mai, and pop artist King Princess are all among the rising stars, who have made it onto the BBC’s Sound of 2019 longlist.
The prestigious accolade celebrates acts that have been tipped for success in the forthcoming year, with previous winners including the like of 2018 victor Sigrid, Years & Years & Sam Smith, and Adele. Topping the list “helped me so much with reaching a new audience and giving my music some extra exposure on the radio,” says, last years winner, Sigrid.
All 10 artists on the longlist were selected by a panel of 136 influential figures inside the music industry, broadcasters and DJs, including Glastonbury boss Emily Eavis, former nominees Ellie Goulding and Stormzy, and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander. To qualify for the accolade, nominees can’t be “widely known by the UK general public”, and will not qualify if they have been the main artist on a single or record that has charted in the UK top 10 prior to the 22nd of October 2018.
The BBC Sound of 2019 longlist was voted for by 136 critics, broadcasters and DJs, including former nominees Ellie Goulding and Stormzy.This year’s selection focuses more on solo acts, with only one band in the top 10, and for the first time, the list includes an artist who performs in Spanish.
Catalan-born singer Rosalía has hit a gold mine, by fusing flamenco rhythms with the aesthetics of trap and hip-hop, with the star recently winning two Latin Grammys for her breakout hit ‘Malamente’. Rosalía, signed to Sony, is being promoted as a mainstream act in the UK, rather than being relegated to the ghetto of “world music” – a sure sign of Latin pop’s increasing significance.
James Stirling, the head of BBC Music and BBC Music Introducing, said: “For 17 years the BBC Music Sound Of list has been celebrating exciting up-and-coming talent and this year we are proud to recognise the work of such an eclectic mix of musicians. There’s a wealth of talent coming through and I look forward to seeing the artists build their reputations in 2019”.
As 2019 rolls round, the BBC reckons that it could be the year that the likes of Mahalia, Grace Carter, King Princess and Slowthai could achieve huge success. The full list of nominees includes Dermot Kennedy – ‘Power Over Me’, Ella Mai – ‘Boo’d Up’, Flohio – ‘Wild Yout’, Grace Carter – ‘Silence’, King Princes – ‘1950’, Mahalia – ‘Wish I Missed My Ex’, Octavian – ‘Party Here’, Rosalía – ‘Malamente’, Sea Girls – ‘Too Much Fun’, and Slowthai – ‘Ladies’.
Speaking about the list, BBC Radio 1 DJ, Annie Mac said: “The list is filled with incredibly talented people and is a real reflection of where music is heading in 2019. So many of the artists are truly innovating in their fields. It’s exciting to champion new music across the BBC and share these artists with the audience.”