The BBC annually releases a list of musical artists they think could become stars. This year for the top five, they chose Nadia Rose, Jorja Smith, Raye, Rag n Bone Man, and the winner of the poll, Ray BLK. After waking up from a nightmare at 3 a.m. in the morning, I used all of my extra time to listen to each artist's most recent project (Nadia Rose’s first - to my knowledge and Google - project Highly Flammable had not dropped at that time).
Nadia Rose - The potential
Nadia Rose is a rapper with an immense amount of potential. While some of that potential was realized on Highly Flammable, mostly on her one verse on “Intro,” she is going to need some more time to develop. I would love to see her delve into the introspective aspects of “Intro” and make some great music out of that.
Song to check out - “Intro”
Awesome if you like energetic, Caribbean-tinted rap
Jorja Smith - Silky, low-key R&B
Jorja Smith makes gorgeous R&B. Project 11 is the pme out of all of these artist that I found myself coming back to. It is fantastic, with each song complementing the others and creating a cohesive whole. Her other singles from 2016 like “Where Did I Go?” and “Blue Lights” are great.
Song to check out - “Something In The Way”
Awesome if you like moody R&B jams.
Raye - Pop star to be
Raye’s Second is a solid project, “I,U,Us” and “Shhh” being the standouts. The other songs are good. “Ambition” is a great closer. It has a strong sense of atmosphere and tone that benefits it greatly. I can’t wait to hear a full-length project from her.
Song to check out - “I,U.Us”
Awesome if you like contemporary pop
Rag’n’Bone Man - Versatile Singer
Rag’n’Bone Man is a versatile singer with a nice range. His song “Human” is fantastic while the album of the same name is not. At 19 songs it's too long, especially for how forgettable the majority of the tracklist is. The production is too slick, rubbing away almost all of the human elements and dirt or grittiness that you would think an album from an artist named Rag’n’Bone man would have.
Song to check out - “Human”
Awesome if you like folk/rock music with high-end production
Ray BLK - Trying really hard to be the next Lauryn Hill
Ray BLK is awesome. While Durt (a mini-album) has some weak spots,”Baby Girlz” and “Hunny,” the great parts outweigh the bad. “5050” was a song that the first time I heard it, I knew it was destined to become one of my favorites. “Durt” is a song that I find myself being drawn back to. The rest of the songs are also great. The problem I found with ”Baby Girlz” and “Hunny” is that they sound exactly like Lauryn Hill songs. “Honey” is a worse version of “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, while “Baby Girlz” is similar in its sanctimonious tone. The whole song is seemingly about a welfare queen, while also dipping into how the conservative party of Britain wants to keep poor people impoverished. I’m excited for a full length from her. I hope she doesn’t fall into the making Lauryn Hill songs for this decade, overshadowing her own unique abilities.
Song to check out - “5050”
Awesome if you like upbeat R&B with Hip-Hop influences.
by Addison Garry