We've been talking nothing but new music at Music Week HQ of late and, this week, Grace Carter and Freya Ridings star on the cover of our stars of 2019 issue.
Inside the magazine, we wax lyrical about 19 artists in all (see what we did there?), but it wouldn't be January if we didn't canvass the music business for their hot tips for the year ahead.
Melvin Benn, MD, Festival Republic
"Dave (pictured)... It will be a big year..."
Kim Bayley CEO, ERA
"Grace Carter - such powerful song writing with real depth."
Greg Lowe, agent, UTA
"I'm excited to see Hak Baker progress next year. He has a raw honesty to his music that his genre genuinely needs."
Paul Craig, CEO, Nostromo Management/chair, MMF
Toby Leighton-Pope, co-CEO, AEG Presents
"Lauren Daigle - amazing new act coming out of the US."
Steve Homer, co-CEO, AEG Presents
"Candi Carpenter – amazing talent with a special voice."
Kwame Kwaten, MD, Ferocious Management/vice-chair, MMF
"Kojey Radical - he pushes the envelope wiiiiidddeeee open. Unafraid to experiment and a natural performer-exciting and weaves poetry into songs flawlessly. Properrrrr!!!"
Adam Webb, campaign manager,
"Otha. Two tracks of pop perfection, from Oslo, discovered via an obscure underground publication [The Sunday Times]."
Robert Ashcroft, CEO, PRS For Music
"Dylan Cartlidge. He was the breakout star of the BBC’s uplifting documentary series ‘The Mighty Redcar’ and is a hugely talented songwriter and performer."
Jane Dyball, outgoing CEO, MPA
"I’m still in love with Calva Louise – exuberant prog pop rock. Hopefully 2019 will be a breakthrough for them."
Michael Dugher, CEO, UK Music
"Jerry Williams. The best female artist I’ve heard this year. A huge talent and one who deserves to every success."
Peter Leathem, CEO, PPL
"I saw so much great talent last year, in part due to our close relationship with PRS Foundation. I was very impressed by former BRIT School student Jade Bird at SXSW, when I saw her perform on three separate occasions. I was not surprised she had so much written about her after SXSW and I see that she has made it on to a range of 'ones to watch' lists for 2019. I am sure she will go on to great things under the guidance of her excellent management team at UROK Management and her record company Glassnote."
Mark Davyd, CEO, Music Venue Trust
"The one I haven't heard yet doing the music I haven't heard before. And if that's too vague, Lady Bird."
Crispin Hunt, songwriter/producer, chair, BASCA
"Ten Tonnes: The sharpest tongue, the sharpest tunes, & the sharpest tones this side of Tom Verlaine & Steven Malkmus: a mix bound to bleed happiness , its been a privilege to work on. Never have two brothers been less alike."
Mick Glossop, producer/executive director, The Music Producers Guild
"Cate Le Bon. I've been a fan for ages. She's a talented and original songwriter with a distinctive voice, and she deserves much greater recognition."
Frances Moore, CEO, IFPI
"I like the music of Sam Fender. I like the fact that his lyrics reflect some real social issues."
Horace Trubridge, general secretary, Musicians Union
"Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, I just love writing that! No, but seriously, more shouty bands please!"
Sybil Bell, founder, Independent Venue Week
"Talk Show and Scalping. Talk Show played Independent Venue Week launch mid-November – they are something special. I love they’ve kept themselves tucked away but are going to hit people’s radar this year in a very big way. Scalping headlined Council Records launch at The 100 Club and it was another truly epic performance. Whilst they’ve been on people’s radars longer, it’s great that they are finally releasing their first single."
Richard Hinkley, co-MD, UMC
“Grace Carter deserves to be heard by everyone.”
Isabel Garvey, MD, Abbey Road Studios
Simon Barnabas, MD, Universal Music On Demand
“I’m feeling a clutch of new world-class solo singer/songwriters primed to breakthrough; ranging from Sam Fender and Dermot Kennedy to Lewis Capaldi and Grace Carter.”
Nemat Abdela, marketing manager, Columbia Records
“I’m so excited for Normani to break next year, the girl’s a star and the music shows how multi-faceted she is.”
Mark Mitchell, co-president, Parlophone
“Yxng Bane. Disturbing London and Gfrsh have carved a brilliant launchpad for bigger things in 2019, suggesting that anything is possible. Genuinely exciting.”
Tim Fraser-Harding, president, global catalogue, Warner Music Group
“Sam Fender. An exciting and engaging live performer with a clutch of great songs.”
Dan Chalmers, president, Rhino, ADA & East West Records
“Billy Lockett – brilliant live performer with a unique voice and heartfelt emotional connection.”