Over the past few years I have written about many acts in my Next Big Thing features, and some have gone on to be megastars already – Pixie Lott, Lady GaGa and Florence and the Machine are just a few examples. However, others remain almost unknown, still preparing for their first release even after being on my radar for a year or two. I thought this warranted a little catch-up session, so here’s a round-up of what some of pop’s biggest hopes for the future are doing to make sure they don’t fade into obscurity.
It’s taken Fabio so long to arrive on the scene and claim his rightful place as the more poptastic cousin of Frankmusik and Calvin Harris that Example, a far inferior version of Fabio, has actually managed to have a few hits. If Fabio was well known, no-one would care about Example. Luckily Fabio’s songs still sound great, but he needs to hurry up and release them before they do start sounding a bit dated.
I first heard of Rachel when she supported Pixie Lott at a gig, and about a year later she’s still doing so (at the iTunes festival). She has youth on her side at age 17, a lovely and interesting voice, and the USP of playing the keyboard (can’t think of many female popstars who do this), but I can’t say I remember any of her songs. With better music she could have a hit, but with her current repertoire she’ll never be played anywhere other than Radio 2. A valid audience of course but she could achieve much more as she is very talented.
When Neon’s songs come on my iPod, I always have to remind myself that it’s not Robyn. She really sounds just like our beloved Swede, and her songs are actually good enough to be Robyn songs as well. Piece of Shit, Black & Blue and Rain on Me are all fantastic. Neon (yes, it’s her real first name) has so far been best known for her appearance on the Miike Snow album but is now signed in the US and playing a few festivals this summer, so hopefully she’ll get a proper launch soon.
Here’s a name that you might have actually heard on TV or radio by now – Ed featured on the recent Professor Green single I Need You Tonight, and his publishing deal is paying dividends as he has a credit on The Wanted’s excellent new single All Time Low. It’s been about a year since I first posted about him, so surely a solo single must be approaching soon. Then again, he still has demos up on his MySpace and the ‘about me’ is one he wrote in March 2009. New song Champagne Lemonade is ace, though! His sound has become more dancey compared to previous demos which were very Erik Hassle-esque.
Jessica Cornish, aka Jessie J, has to be one of the most talented female vocalists around at the moment, and she’s also clearly got a talent for songwriting as she had a hand in Miley Cyrus’ huge hit Party in the USA. Hopefully she’s also saved some great songs for herself. She hasn’t updated the songs on her MySpace for ages so I’m hoping she’s waiting for her proper launch to let us hear what she’s really made of. Stand Up is great, though – listen to her perform it here sitting on the floor in some very cool pyjamas! I love the message of the song and how she explains it at the start of this video as well.