February 03, 2011

Ones to Watch 2011

2010 was a great year for British music, and in fact, rounded out an interesting musical decade for this wee island, as highlighted in a recent Spotify playlist on Music Jobs. Moving forward, there are many exciting names that are buzzworthy and talented, and I thought I'd stick my neck out and share a few that are going to be taking big leaps forward in 2011.

James Blake
If you buy one album this year, make it this young (22!) Londoner's self-titled debut LP. James Blake, an 11-track album featuring the single Limit to Your Love, is released in the UK on 7th February, and I dare say that I expect it to fly out the stores as well as pick up some credible awards over the next 12 months.

Jai Paul
Apparently taking time out to record an album after XL singed him up off the back of BTUSU, Jai Paul is making waves with his own futuristic sounds mixed with sultry soulful vocals. And that just about all we know about this new kid on the block! Stay tuned.

Jamie Woon
Being championed by Giles Peterson is never a bad thing. This songwriter and performer creates an epic blend of electronic, soulful music, partly inspired by his musical background and partly influenced by his dabbling in technology and post-dubstep genre-bending.

Our recent video interview with the Bristol-based electronic boundary-pusher was a joy, and building on his successful labels and touring schedule will no doubt lead to some big remix projects and festival appearances in 2011.

Breaking though onto prominent global labels such as Wolf + Lamb and Airdrop is also seeing Jozif breakthrough on the global DJ scene. Recent gigs in Fabric and Rex Club (Paris) are just the start of bigger things in store for 2011.

jozif - Sunrise EP - Infine - Out January 2010 by jozif

Jamie XX
2010 has been a huge year for the XX, with their self-titled debut album winning the Barclaycard Mercury Prize, officially going platinum and being a staple of every hipster blog playlist possible. Jamie, the MPC-bashing beat creator of the group has started cutting his own remixes of the band, and now other labels have begun seeking his spaced out twisted touch for their own artists. Keep an eye on this chap.

The Boxettes
A beat-boxing all-female a capella group? We'll have some of that! Soulful, edgy and innovative, The Boxettes create vocal harmonies, dreamy soundscapes and all percussion and effects with their vocal chords. Having seen member Bellatrix perform live with Beardyman, and having seen how Beardyman has blown beat boxing into a whole new realm, with performing at Google meetings and Dolby Surround sound promotional videos, these ladies have a lot to offer.

The Boxettes - "Free" from Bright Black Film on Vimeo.

Making waves with a number of productions over the last year or so, Huxley is looking set to take on 2011. Already working with the major deep house labels across Europe, he has also collaborated with a number of other UK talents, and this year could hold exciting progress for this young producer.

Huxley & Jonny Cade - London To Leeds EP [Kolour Recordings] by Huxley_UK

They were almost called the new Nirvana over at the Guardian recently, and the likeness is a valid point, but this Camden group creates a more polished feel, without being squeaky clean.

Half-Swedish and half-British obviously still counts for our UK lists. A number of EPs over the last few years have caught my ears, as well as those of the deep house tastemakers, and so Leif established his trademark sound - that is, elements of "bleepy minimalism, delicate chord soundscapes and chicago-style shuffle".

BOE008 Leif - Remember [With Azuni Remix] by boerecordings

James Blake, Jai Paul, Jamie Woon, Jozif, Jamie XX... obviously if your name starts with a 'J' then 2011 is looking good for you....

by Lee Jarvis.

(Previously posted at UK Music Jobs' blog.)

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