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.
1. Ms Banks
“Face beat, hair neat, fresh teeth.” Pals with Stefflon Don, deserves to be south London’s next rapper to break. Her Fire In The Booth over “30 Hours” is unforgettable.
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."
8. Abra Cadabra
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.
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
15. Kojey Radical