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Tastemaker tips for 2018

Some of the UK’s leading tastemakers let us in on the acts they’re tipping for big things over the coming months. Tune in here for tips from Vice, BBC Radio, GRM Daily and more...

Paul Nichols headshot
  • By Paul Nichols
  • 22 Dec 2017
  • min read
Some of the UK’s leading tastemakers let us in on the artists, songwriters and composers they’re tipping for big things over the coming months. Tune in below...

Harriet Hall, Vice
Biig Piig (pictured above)
Merging nostalgic neo-soul soundscapes with easy-going songwriting and lazy electronic beats, Biig Piig is my tip for 2018. Tracks like 24k and Vice City perfectly capture her individual impressions of day-to-day life; effortlessly reflecting her competence to experiment and move fluidly between genre and style. @BiigPiigMusic

Garth Cartwright, BBC Radio
Pica Pica

PicaPica sound as delicious as freshly squeezed orange juice tastes. The harmonies Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates conjure up are emotionally engaged yet ethereal, and the songs sound like they were written around campfires yet built to last. A new band going places. @PicaPicaMusic

Steffan Dafydd, Clwb Ifor Bach

Katie, Liam and Zac were born to be on stage and it’s magical that they found each other. From selling out Clwb a handful of times and making an appearance at Reading Festival in 2017, they’re more than ready to take on larger audiences in 2018 and we can’t wait! @CHROMAbanduk

Alex Griffin, GRM Daily

The next superstar from UK rap has to be Fredo. He’s continued to build with every song, and he’s got the streets of London in the palm of his hand - and he’s Stormzy’s favourite rapper, which can’t hurt his reach next year! @fredo

Naomi Belshaw, PRS Foundation
Dani Howard

Dani graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2015, and already she’s won prestigious awards, including the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composition Prize. We first came across her via our Classical:NEXT Fellowship scheme and quickly learned she’s an exciting young composer with great energy. @DaniHoward6

Jamz Supernova, BBC Radio 1 Xtra
Poppy Ajudha

I’m going to say Poppy Ajudha. She’s got a great voice, great style and she’s repping a really cool new-wave jazz scene coming out of South East London. It’ll be really exciting to see what happens next with her. @PoppyAjudha

Roger Spence, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
Mark Hendry and Fergus McCreadie

These two remarkable 20-year-olds certainly stand out from the crowd. I mention them both because Mark’s outstanding compositions for Octet (new album in February) would lose some shine without the extraordinary pianism of Fergus, whose astonishing Trio also release their debut album in the same month. @Fergus McCreadie - Pianist

Howard Monk, The End Festival
Sean Christopher

I think Sean Christopher has a great chance. He's got a great team which has been responsible for bringing Charlie Cunningham and Jose Gonzales and is in that ball park but is super-lovely sounding and will go down well I'm sure. @seanchristophermu

DJ Ace, tastemaker and DJ

As a singer, songwriter, DJ and producer, there’s not a lot Emmavie can’t do. I have been following her journey and music via Youtube for two years and she’s finally starting to break through via the live music scene. Expect big things in 2018. @EmmavieSXF

Renae Brown, Association of Independent Festivals

Amery is a 21-year-old urban pop artist who has only released two tracks on Spotify in the past 12 months but they’re approaching nearly one million streams between them. So Good was one of my most played songs of this summer, so fingers crossed he’ll be on a few festival line-ups next summer! @OfficialAMERY

Chris Horkan, promoter, Hey! Manchester
Elle Mary & The Bad Men

A familiar name to those active on the Manchester music scene, Elle Mary and her band of Bad Men finally release their debut album in spring 2018. Possessing brooding vocals reminiscent of Patsy Cline and a haunting musical tone, this will be a record to sit up and take note of. @ellemarymusic