Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
I’ve known of Freya Ridings for a couple of years, but I realised I had to feature her here when I heard her being played on Smooth Radio – a station which only usually plays artists under 30 if their names are Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith. The 24-year-old British singer-songwriter has been building up a following through live performances, but had a breakthrough moment this summer when her piano ballad Lost Without You was played during an emotional breakup scene on Love Island. The couple were back together a few days later but the audience were clearly moved enough to check out the track after the show. It ended up charting at no.52, which might not sound that impressive, but it’s pretty good off the back of one lucky sync. It also became a Track of the Week on Radio 1 and entered the top 10 of the iTunes chart. At a time when the best indicator of success is being able to fit into a Spotify playlist of the latest hits, it’s hard to launch an artist with a more sombre sound. It’s interesting therefore, that more traditional media (TV and radio) have been key to the success Freya has achieved so far. What’s still to be seen is whether those channels can launch a big name act in this age.