Future Stars: Louisa Johnson (Syco)

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

In the wake of the success of Jess Glynne as more than just a featured artist, the British major labels have been hunting for their own equivalent to Atlantic’s surprise star. As the role requires the artist to have no distinct personality or musical direction, it seems they’ve judged that the quickest route to test out whether Jess was an anomaly or a trend, is to give the job to whichever pop girl they need to find something to do with. For Syco, X Factor winner Louisa Johnson is the perfect candidate – a talented, pretty, 18-year-old girl with a profile, but in a precarious position, after her winner’s single only edged into the top 10 at no.9. When that happens, in the world of major labels, you lose your right to have a say over what your music sounds like. Louisa may secretly want to be a death metal singer – we’ll probably never know. Securing her a feature on Clean Bandit’s summer comeback Tears was an unexpected yet very smart move from Syco, though it took the idea of following in Jess’s footsteps almost too literally. According to all sources (any excuse to quote Geri…) her solo material is in the same vein. It’s a competitive market, as the songs will need to be just as strong as any dance hits with which they’ll compete for radio airtime. But if last year’s triumphs from Little Mix and Fleur are anything to go by, we can count on Syco for at least one track that’ll pass the test.

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