Future Pop

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Click here to read the latest Future Pop posts on This Must Be Pop.

And if you want proof that Future Pop is always ahead of the charts, check out this list of the previously featured acts and songs which went on to hit no.1, including quotes from my original articles. So far I’ve correctly predicted 72 no.1 artists and 101 no.1 singles.


Dua Lipa – “Rita Ora may soon have to make room for Dua on the Google results page for “singer from Kosovo.””

Bryson Tiller – “If you want to be a superstar in the hip-hop world, it’s not enough just to sing, rap, write or produce. You need to do it all.”

The Vamps – “The 2010s answer to Busted and McFly.”

London Grammar – “Pleasant but irrelevant.”

Chance the Rapper – “Even without the help of a label, he’s become the new rap collaborator of choice.”

Zara Larsson – “A Swedish teen star who could be the next Britney, or at least the next Robyn.”

Harry Styles – “Harry’s solo stardom has always been so certain that I would have featured him here the week I first saw his X Factor audition if Future Pop had existed at the time.”

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – “doesn’t look like a pop star”

Anne-Marie – “Essex girl Anne-Marie Nicholson may not yet have a record deal, but that shouldn’t last long.”

James Arthur – “Despite his confusing face and unlistenable vocals, James Arthur does seem to be getting a fair chance at success.”

Ward Thomas – “Sony have turned their potential into a real success story.”

The Chainsmokers – “one hit wonder”

– “The fact that the Spice Girls inspired her to get into music gives me hope she has some good pop tunes up her sleeve.”

Catfish and the Bottlemen – “Radio 1 seem determined to keep throwing rock bands at their audience until one sticks. Maybe it will be Catfish and the Bottlemen?”

Lukas Graham – “The internet enables a special song like 7 Years to cross over whether the label plans it or not.”

Zayn – “He won’t be eligible for the BBC Sound of 2016, but no other new act is more certain to top the charts next year.”

Shawn Mendes – “Could Canadian 15-year-old Shawn Mendes be the first worldwide music star from Vine?”

Jamie Lawson – “A week ago Jamie Lawson was known only by Ed Sheeran superfans and a few people in the music industry. Now he’s on course to achieve his first no.1 hit.”

Sigala – “It’s part of a trend I’m calling “Kygoing” i.e. remixing a song in the style of Kygo. Kygoing makes anything sound like a summer beach party, and Easy Love is an undeniable hit.”

Rachel Platten – “Most Adult Contemporary artists only have one or two big hits, but can live off them for decades. Rachel is about to have her first with Fight Song.”

Charlie Puth – “Marvin Gaye is a schmaltzy 60s-inspired love song with cringey lyrics (and let’s not even acknowledge the eyebrows), but that may not hold it back.”

James Bay – “Although I was impressed with his excellent voice and distinctive look, none of his songs stood out.”

Kendrick Lamar – “To hip-hop fans, Kendrick Lamar is already well established, but he’s just beginning to get wider acclaim.”

Years & Years – “Olly’s acting talents make him a captivating frontman and the band a unique, exciting prospect. He also has an Erik Hassle vibe, with the vocals and the hair!”

Imagine Dragons – “It’s the kind of radio-friendly, vaguely hummable but overall forgettable rock music that will get teenagers interested in rock again.”

George Ezra – “The songs are dull and directionless, but his voice is very engaging and characterful. If he can put it to good use on a catchy melody, he could be quite successful.”

Meghan Trainor – “Not many established artists get nearly 3 million Youtube views in a week, let alone unknown acts posting their first music video.”

Robin Schulz – “Mr Probz may be the name most associated with the hit song Waves, but I think only remixer Robin Schulz has a chance of becoming a chart fixture.”

Royal Blood – “I’m not sure it’s fitting to feature Royal Blood under the title Future Pop, but they can certainly be labelled “Future Popular.””

Nico & Vinz – “Nico & Vinz seem really fun and smiley in interviews, and it’s always great to see a Scandinavian act breaking out, so I wish them success.”

Magic! – “Not only has Rude charted in their home of Canada, but also in Australia and New Zealand, and I could imagine it as a UK and US hit too.”

Rixton (known as Relics at the time) – “I’m excited to see what happens with these guys as they have huge potential.”

Iggy Azalea – “Who knew that 2012 would be the year of rappers named after a flowering shrub?”

Ariana Grande – “Her name may so far only be known to kids and Nickelodeon employees, but the signs are already in place that Ariana Grande could be the next big teen star.”

Becky Hill – “We haven’t seen any real success stories from The Voice UK so far, but that might be about to change, in a rather unexpected way.”

Ella Henderson – “It’s a bit Delta Goodrem, a bit Birdy – exactly the direction I would have sent her in.”

Mr Probz – “He is currently enjoying success across Europe and starting to create a buzz in the UK with Waves.”

Kiesza – “I can’t take her seriously as a potential pop star after seeing her cringey old videos, which have now been removed.”

Sigma – “I’m not a Kanye fan, but this is something I could get into – Sigma manage to lift the song and make it fun and anthemic.”

5 Seconds of Summer – “5 Seconds of Summer is a very cute unsigned Australian boyband who are currently in the U.K. recording their debut album and will support One Direction on their 2013 arena tour.”

Route 94 – “Although he’s been present on the dance music scene for a few years, it took a bit of luck to get 20-year-old Route 94 to the top. His new single My Love happens to feature the same vocalist as the biggest hit of 2014 so far.”

Jess Glynne – “Although I was disappointed to discover that the cute Asian girl in the Rather Be video isn’t actually Jess, I still think she’s one to watch.”

Clean Bandit – “Clean Bandit are an instrumental four-piece group from London who make innovative “electronic chamber” music that sounds current but also completely unique.”

Martin Garrix – “Martin isn’t famous for being a child prodigy, but for his debut single Animals which has already gone top 10 in six European countries’ official charts.”

Storm Queen – “In dance music, a song is never a flop, because there’s always a chance it could pick up steam and become a hit months or even years after its initial release.”

Lorde – “The music world is full of “quirky” girls, but Lorde’s songs are a cut above the rest.”

Haim – “Indie boys will buy their album as they are clearly great musicians, they’re pretty girls and they’re funny and entertaining on stage.”

The 1975 – “Exactly the kind of music to suit the older teens who want people to think they’re too cool for boybands.”

John Newman – “John is a fantastic vocalist, well beyond his 20 years.”

Icona Pop – “Icona Pop’s exuberant new single I Love It is rapidly winning over fans in the pop and indie worlds.”

Tom Odell – “Adele has shown how well simple, depressing ballads can sell, so I wouldn’t bet against Tom fulfilling MTV, the BBC and the Brits’ expectations.”

Disclosure – “Disclosure are a big talking point in dance music right now, especially as the band is made up of two brothers who are only 17 and 20 years old.”

Sam Smith – “He’s one of the most hotly tipped new artists of 2013, showing how one great song can change your life.”

Naughty Boy – “Like an urban equivalent of Richard X Presents His X-Factor, Hotel Cabana will feature many current music stars on guest vocals.”

Ella Eyre – “She’s been working with Scandi producers on her new music so she’s definitely one to watch.”

A*M*E – “Her list of influences, such as Janelle Monae, Rihanna and Madonna, suggest she’s on track to be one of my big faves.”

Duke Dumont – “Google Images tells me Duke Dumont won’t be a star any time soon, but if he keeps working with artists like A*M*E he should have many hits to come.”

Nicky Romero – “The Netherlands has become the home of EDM, with a new superstar DJ emerging every week, and intense 24-year-old Nicky Romero is the latest.”

Bingo Players – “Although no-one would recognise them in the street, they are currently no. 1 in the charts.”

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “I can see their hit single Thrift Shop doing very well in the UK, with its retro backing music, catchy chorus, silly video and clever lyrics.”

PSY – “Wondering who will be the first Korean pop act to have a worldwide hit has been a hot topic of conversation among K-pop fans, but few would have guessed it would be PSY.”

Little Mix – “Wings is a brilliant pop track which I am certain will be one of the biggest songs of the summer.”

Sam and the Womp – “If you’re looking for 2012’s big summer novelty hit, Sam and the Womp’s new single Bom Bom could be a good bet.”

Rudimental – “Looking likely to achieve a huge summer smash with new single Feel The Love… I could even see it going to no.1.”

Gabrielle Aplin – “If there’s anyone who could become the female Ed Sheeran, it’s Gabrielle.”

Tulisa – “After years of pop fans urging Tulisa to go solo, it’s finally happening in 2012 and as she’s now a big name UK celebrity thanks to X Factor, she stands a good chance.”

Amelia Lily – “I’m sure Brian [Higgins] will work his magic but I can’t see her doing that well… If he had to sign anyone from X Factor 2011, surely Misha would have been a better choice?”

fun. – “They’re nowhere near as fun as their name suggests and even further from the best that indie-pop has to offer… a Pumped Up Kicks-style indie one hit wonder.”

Carly Rae Jepsen – “It’s very catchy and radio friendly, and with the Beliebers on board could easily become a worldwide hit.”

Conor Maynard – “He could have that massive hit in 2012, even though he’s not that cute or a good singer. We all know the public can be pretty dim.

Rita Ora – “If you’re looking for the new Rihanna then there can be no better bet than Rita Ora.”

Jake Bugg – “All he needs now is a couple of songs good enough to get on the Radio 1 playlist and he’ll have a no.1 album within a year.”


Sam Smith – Too Good at Goodbyes
Dua Lipa – New Rules
Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – Feels
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie & Sean Paul – Rockabye
Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex
James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go
The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Closer
Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ – Cold Water
Mike Posner – I Took a Pill in Ibiza
Lukas Graham – 7 Years
Zayn – Pillowtalk
Shawn Mendes – Stitches
Justin Bieber – Sorry
KDA ft. Tinie Tempah & Katy B – Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)
Sigala – Easy Love
Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean
Rachel Platten – Fight Song
Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor – Marvin Gaye
Little Mix – Black Magic
David Zowie – House Every Weekend
Lost Frequencies – Are You With Me
Tinie Tempah ft. Jess Glynne – Not Letting Go
Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
OMI – Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)
Years & Years – King
Ellie Goulding – Love Me Like You Do
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Take That – These Days
Cheryl – I Don’t Care
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang
Sigma ft. Paloma Faith – Changing
Calvin Harris ft. John Newman – Blame
Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz – Prayer in C
David Guetta ft. Sam Martin – Lovers On The Sun
Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong
Magic! – Rude
Cheryl Cole ft. Tinie Tempah – Crazy Stupid Love
Rixton – Me and My Broken Heart
will.i.am & Cody Wise – Birthday
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – Problem
Oliver Heldens ft. Becky Hill – Gecko (Overdrive)
Ella Henderson – Ghost
Ed Sheeran – Sing
SecondCity – I Wanna Feel
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
Calvin Harris – Summer
Mr Probz – Waves
Kiesza – Hideaway
Sigma – Nobody To Love
Aloe Blacc – The Man
5 Seconds of Summer – She Looks So Perfect
Duke Dumont ft. Jax Jones – I Got U
DVBBS & Borgeous – Tsunami
Sam Smith – Money on My Mind
Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
Pitbull ft. Ke$ha – Timber
Calvin Harris and Alesso ft. Hurts – Under Control
Martin Garrix – Animals
Storm Queen – Look Right Through
Lorde – Royals
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up
John Newman – Love Me Again
Icona Pop – I Love It
Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith – La La La
Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre – Waiting All Night
Duke Dumont ft. A*M*E – Need U (100%)
The Saturdays ft. Sean Paul – What About Us
One Direction – One Way Or Another
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop
Bingo Players ft. Far East Movement – Get Up (Rattle)
James Arthur – Impossible
The Justice Collective – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Will.i.am feat Britney Spears – Scream & Shout
Gabrielle Aplin – The Power Of Love
Olly Murs ft. Flo Rida – Troublemaker
One Direction – Little Things
Robbie Williams – Candy
PSY – Gangnam Style
The Script ft. will.i.am – Hall Of Fame
Little Mix – Wings
Sam and the Womp – Bom Bom
Wiley ft. Ms D – Heatwave
Rita Ora – How We Do (Party)
Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa – Payphone
Cheryl – Call My Name
Tulisa – Young
fun. ft. Janelle Monae – We Are Young
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
Rita Ora ft. Tinie Tempah – R.I.P.
Chris Brown – Turn Up The Music
DJ Fresh ft. Rita Ora – Hot Right Now
Gotye ft. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
Cover Drive – Twilight
Flo Rida – Good Feeling


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