The Next Big Thing: an A-Z of 2011 – Part 4

Mr Little Jeans
The new… Sally Shapiro
Apart from the fact that she’s signed to Neon Gold and has a name that suggests a bit of gender confusion, Mr Little Jeans is pretty much your typical Scandinavian twee-pop singer. Her sound is a bit electro-poppy, but so is everyone’s these days. However, there’s something about her music that grabbed my attention and clearly I’m not the only one, as she’s creating quite a buzz on ‘the blogs’ (i.e. the blogs that populate Hype Machine) at the moment. Comparisons to Kylie are a bit insulting (to Kylie, not Mr Little Jeans – there are no no.1s here) but she has some very catchy songs and I’d definitely recommend her to fans of acts such as Feist and fellow Norwegian Annie. I recommend her even more if you loved unjust pop flop Alexis Strum. She should also do very well out of TV advert placements. Let’s place our bets now, what will Rescue Song be used to advertise?
Poptasticness: 83% Hit potential: 60%

One Direction
The new… The Wanted (they wish!)
There’s one sure sign that a trend has established itself, and that’s when Simon Cowell jumps on the bandwagon. In 2010 boybands were back, in 2011 they will dominate. It’s been long enough since the last wave of boybands that kids are now growing up without the prejudice against them that someone five years older would have had. One Direction certainly attracted a massive following on X Factor, but as we see every year once the contestants leave the show, that in no way means they’ll have a secure fanbase when they get around to releasing music. An important part of a boyband is the individual personalities, and I don’t think (apart from cheeky Harry, the clear star of the band) they have had much chance to be showcased yet. However, with very careful management and clever A&R these boys could bring the bubbling boyband hysteria to boiling point.
Poptasticness: 70% Hit potential: 84%

The new… Sugababes
With Girls Aloud still on hiatus and Sugababes expected to arrive in the dumper at any moment, all the labels are looking for the next big girlband. While Atlantic have gone for the more commercial pop angle with Parade, Mercury seem to be eyeing the All Saints/Sugababes position for their teen trio, Soundgirl. The girls recorded some tracks with major US producers, but it seems like someone with poptastic tastes is making their musical decisions as they’ve picked a Xenomania track for the first single! I think I’m The Fool is a great song and it makes me very keen to hear more, plus the video is perfect for them, but I don’t see it as a massive hit. It’s quite a lowkey song, which would make a great album track, but for their introduction to Planet Pop they will need something bigger that demands the listener’s attention, because otherwise they just won’t get it.
Poptasticness: 89% Hit potential: 69%

Sunday Girl
The new… Ellie Goulding
I really like what I’ve heard so far from Sunday Girl and I love the way she presents herself online, but I’m not sure how she can fit into the music scene in 2011. With Florence, Marina and Ellie all doing very well, I’m not sure how Sunday Girl is going to assert herself as something new and different. The main difference I see is that she looks like a model, which is great once an artist gets popular but can make breaking through quite difficult as it intimidates a lot of people. It’s especially an issue with these ‘quirky girls’ whose fanbases tend to be mainly girls who can imagine being friends with them, because they’re identifiable in comparison to the more glamorous girls of the pure pop world. Glamorous isn’t quite the word for Sunday Girl, but she has a natural fashion graduate coolness which doesn’t exactly make her the girl next door.
Poptasticness: 74% Hit potential: 46%

Tanya Lacey
The new… Estelle
You wouldn’t guess it from the complete lack of buzz about her, but Tanya could be a good bet for surprise success in 2011 as she’s already worked with Tinchy Stryder (on a song called Spotlight), Travie McCoy, Fraser T Smith AND Lucas Secon. What a line-up! So who IS she? Well, according to Twitter she’s signed to Sony RCA and is currently in New York recording music, so it looks like she may be set for an international launch. So far there’s not even a picture of her to be found online, so it looks like it’s gonna be a while (maybe even 2012) until we’ll find out entirely what she has to offer. However, with names like Travie, Fraser and Lucas on board (plus Labrinth, if their mutual Twitter following is anything to go by), she’s worth taking note of so you can say you heard of her first when she’s getting everyone excited in a few months’ time.
Poptasticness: ??% Hit potential: ??% – but I’m expecting both to be high!

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