15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year

The bubbling-under musicians you need to hear now.

This year, the big U.K. ones to watch lists have been fairly solid. BBC Music's Sound of 2017 list is packed with FADER faves like Stefflon Don, RAY BLK, and Dave, while VEVO’s list checks off AJ Tracey, Jorja Smith, and Nadia Rose. The BRITs Critics' Choice shortlist, meanwhile, focuses on artists who already have big hits: Rag'n'Bone Man, Dua Lipa, and Anne-Marie. We’re proud to see a bunch of our favorite artists getting wide recognition, but here we wanted to show love to British artists across genres who deserve it too.

2. GAIKA
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Rose Marie Cromwell for The FADER

GAIKA’s “ghettofuturism” envisions a bashment-inflected utopia, but with its gritty, deconstructed frequencies, it can often sound apocalyptic. Start with his debut Warp EP SPAGHETTO.

3. Goat Girl
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Holly Whitaker

Grungey world-weariness that captures the mood of a generation being dragged down by the mistakes and prejudices of their elders. “I’m disgusted, I’m ashamed of this so-called human race,” singer Lottie snarls on “Country Sleaze.”

4. Cosima
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Courtesy Cosima

Upfront guitar-pop with smouldering vocals. The south London singer has the kind of wide-eyed poeticism that can generate lyrics like: "Every day is a Monday, there’s no hope of Friday while you’re gone."

5. S4U

SWV meets Salem. This mysterious London act only have a couple of swagged-out and impeccably styled videos out there, but they deserve way more views.

6. Obongjayar
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Alec McLeish

A mixture of gravelly soul and spoken word, this Nigerian-British artist's music grapples with belonging, identity, and place over sinister, sparse basslines and nostalgic samples. Listen to his Home EP here.

7. Beatrice Dillon
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Courtesy Beatrice Dillon

Londoner Beatrice Dillon makes beautiful use of space in both her music and her NTS Radio shows. Her warm productions deftly incorporate unusual textures, whether it’s a drizzle of saxophone or an alien synth melody. Her latest, “Can I Change My Mind?”, is a 13-minute-long gem.

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The reason London dancefloors in 2016 were yelling, “man don’t talk, man rob.” The Tottenham rapper was joined by Krept and Konan for “Robbery,” which snatched this year’s MOBO for Best Song.

9. Compton White
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   SWEETBOY Recordings

The producer’s self-titled EP came out in summer ‘16 and is a grab-bag of influences. Trap-influenced bass and glistening chopped beats rub up alongside the sound of a radio DJ giving him a shout out.

10. Patience
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Night School Records

Irresistible DIY synthpop, paired with VHS videos. Lingering vocals with a dark undercurrent. For fans of Italo rarities and Italians Do It Better alike.

11. 67

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Murky road rap laced with south London stories, with nods to Chicago drill as well as U.K. MCs. “Let’s Lurk,” featuring the crew's spiritual godfather Giggs, is their biggest tune to date.

12. Aystar

He got a leg-up on Giggs’s Landlord track “The Best,” but his originals stand on their own. He's doing it for north west England, and stays true to his distinct Liverpool accent in his rhymes.

13. Belly Squad

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You haven’t heard “Pick Up The Phone” until you’ve heard Belly Squad’s take on it. But the London crew’s own material stands up just as strongly. Try “Rambo” and “Banana” to get a taste of their mix of grime, afrobeats, and dancehall.

14. Dream Wife
15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year   Lucky Number Music

“Hey Heartbreaker” sounds like The Cramps fronted by Debbie Harry. The trio, Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go, and Bella Podpadec, met at art school and there’s an undeniable spark in both them and their catchy, punky, pop songs.

More poet than rapper, Kojey Radical’s performances have a breathtaking, near-terrifying conviction, whether he’s howling a guttural hook or breaking down raw truths in his verses.

15 U.K. Artists Worth Listening To Next Year