Lapsley’s minimal and self-reflective music is one of the sweetest mixes of classical and contemporary brilliance we have heard in some time. Here is another artist with a hugely successful 2014, which can be solely accredited to her sheer hard work and consistent output, and its no wonder XL records swooped her up and the end of last year. She has refined to her own unique signature sound, organic and emotionally intelligent with pitched vocals and heartfelt electronic melodies many its also no surprise why so many have named her new single entitled ‘Falling short’ as one of their first picks for 2015. She recently picked up the Blog Sound of 2015 poll, and has established closely connected ties with Adele’s management which further indicates how highly she’s regarded. With age and time very much on her side, there’s every chance she could emulate Adele’s (biggest selling album) success sometime in the near future. A bold statement, we know.
Although already considerably established due to his breakthrough mixtapes ‘1999’ (2012) & ‘Summer Knights’ (2013) the release of his debut studio album, ‘B4.DA.$$’ (pronounced ‘Before The Money’ – which is one of the most innovative album titles, with regards to presentation and design, I’ve ever seen) could easily be one of the albums of the year, propelling the Brooklyn, NY native to even greater success. Joey has matured as an artist remarkably since his 2012 debut and that maturity is expected to be expressed wholeheartedly on ‘B4.DA.$$’, elevating him to the next level by the time the year is out. There are still some people who don’t believe that Joey is the potentially one of the top emcees of this new generation, but I think that opinions will have to change this year.
What are your memories of 1997? The Spice Girls were the next best thing, Michael Jackson was finishing off his History tour and Puff Daddy was dropping number 1 hit singles left, right and centre. It was also the year of birth for Sam Gellaitry, a now-17 year old producer whose glitched-out, synth driven beats have triggered a rapid rise to fame reminiscent of a certain Kaytranada’s not too long ago.
Hailing from Stirling in Scotland, the young beat-maker has an infectiously distinct sound and has already mastered the art of the remix with a dozen dancefloor-ready, uniquely reflective reworks of Ciara, Jay Z, Danny Brown and The Prodigy to name a few as he blends Hip-Hop and RnB with elements of Trap, House and Disco to cement his status as one of the leading figures in the ‘Future Beats’ scene made popular over recent times by the aforementioned Kaytra as well as Sango, Esta and Mr Carmack.
Having been signed up by LA institution Soulection almost instantaneously off the back of label head Joe Kay finding his Soundcloud page its evident the scene’s leading label hold their protégé in the highest regard. With 40K followers and a debut EP (titled ‘Short Stories’) out in the next few months, the boy wonder is can do no wrong and fittingly personifies the labels status as the ‘sound of tomorrow’.
Laura Wolfie released her debut EP ‘7DS’ (based on the Seven Deadly Sins) last year to critical acclaim from those who heard it. The South East London based vocalist expresses her thoughts and feelings gorgeously over dark R’n’B production, making for a remarkably strong first outing. Since the release of the ‘7DS’ EP, Wolfie has mentioned how many “great opportunities” have come from it already, so I expect that to continue into 2015, with the soulful honesty of her song writing and vocals providing a mix of Katy B with Jhene Aiko. Though there hasn’t been word of any confirmed projects from Laura to be released in 2015, ‘7DS’ certainly offers listeners with enough to wait patiently for her next body of work.
Although not the first time Little Simz’s on ATB’s rising stars for 2015 list, it’s almost impossible for us not to shout her out one more time. After a very impressive 2014 – within which she increased her following considerably through mixtapes (‘Blank Canvas’) and EP’s (‘Age 101’ 3 Part Series), it’s difficult to imagine that the talented emcee from North London won’t continue her progress into this year. Whether it’s spitting braggadocios bars on up tempo trap beats, story telling on a laid back instrumental or something trippy in between, Simz has something to cater to everyone’s musical wants and needs. Add this to the fact that she’s pretty much out on her own in a niche market right now, being a young black British female who can (actually) rap, there is not much in her way from going wherever she wants to go.