Future Stars: Lewis Capaldi (Virgin EMI)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Spotify has a great track record of breaking rappers and DJs, but it’s yet to prove it can champion a singer-songwriter to stardom. Perhaps that’s why, back in April, their US music team decided to give the top spot on New Music Friday to Scottish 20-year-old Lewis Capaldi, who at the time was only signed in Germany (albeit to Universal). His song Bruises gained over a million plays in the following week, and it’s now at almost 30 million. Naturally, he quickly found label homes in the US (with Vertigo/Capitol) and UK (Virgin EMI), and has since toured Europe with Rag’n’Bone Man and released his debut EP. He’ll play a sold out show at Oslo in Hackney this Wednesday. After giving Bruises the “snippet and skip it” treatment when it first came out, it took me another eight months, and the discovery that one of his songs was co-written by David Sneddon, to find the will to listen to more. Lewis is a capable and powerful vocalist, but sometimes off-puttingly overwrought. He’s the type of singer the judges would rave about on The Voice UK, and he’ll certainly be mistaken for James Arthur by plenty of Spotify shufflers. If he gets big in 2018, no doubt he’ll be the bane of every pop fan’s life, but at least we can always tune him out with the good old ‘Cheesy Hits!’ playlist. Ignorance is bliss.

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