I’ve just sent out my second ever Future Pop mailer! If you sign up every Monday you will receive an email from me featuring the hottest new pop songs and artists that you need to know about. I’ve posted this week’s here so you can get a taster of what to expect. So read on, listen up and make sure you tweet me @poptastic to let me know what you think of my picks!
You may be forgiven for not knowing that Gary Barlow has his own record label imprint as none of the acts so far have achieved much success (Aggro Santos is the closest), but his new status as X Factor judge may bring more interest to his 2012 launches. One of them is a tiny, pretty 16 year old singer called Amy, going by the artist name A*M*E – yep, she's bringing back the asterisk! There are no songs online yet but the fact that she's working with some very poptastic names, including Quiz & Larossi, Tim Powell and MNEK, is enough to make me very interested. Her list of influences, such as Janelle Monae, Rihanna and Madonna, also suggest she's on track to be one of my big faves of 2012. Let's just hope it doesn't turn out too VV Brown.
Canadian singer/rapper Kay has to be the most fun new popstar I've discovered recently. She exudes charisma and attitude in her music, interviews and performances, and her blog shows she has a clear vision for where she sits in the pop world, a halfway point between Cher Lloyd and Robyn. Although Kay has only released one single, the brilliant My Name Is Kay, so far she has supported Ke$ha on tour and featured on a Tiesto track. She is working with dance producer Steve Aoki and M.I.A collaborator Blaqstarr on her debut album, as well as big pop names like Ryan Tedder and Evan Bogart. So come on Kay, when can we hear it??
The Bieber effect continues with more and more teen singers being signed by major labels, one example being Zernell Fontaine. This 14 year old is already a seasoned streetdancer so dance will certainly be a big part of his performances. He's cute and charismatic, and reminds me of US singer Jacob Latimore, but there are no live singing videos online yet so we'll have to see if he can carry off singing and dancing at the same time. It seems like Polydor are expecting big things from Zernell as they've even had him over in LA working with Bieber collaborators Stereotypes and August Rigo. If his first single is strong and he builds up a big fanbase in the months up to release, I could see him doing quite well, especially if he can keep the balance between his urban connections and teen appeal.
This week my top tips have a theme: International songs that could, and should, be hits in the UK. I've compiled them in a YouTube playlist for your enjoyment.