Ones to watch: Who will be 2015's biggest stars?

With a new year comes a new bunch of artists and bands trying to make the big time. Of course, not all will – but there are a few talented souls who very much deserve the recognition of chart success and industry awards. So, who should you be keeping an eye on this year? Here are our recommendations…

James Bay Sound: Folk & Blues

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At just 24, James Bay has just nabbed his first big industry gong, the Brits Critics' Choice Award, which he will be presented with at the big televised ceremony on 25 February. Winners before him include Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith, so we know this coveted prize bodes well. His laid back guitar sound and husky vocals are thoughtful, cool and mesmerising. Keep an eye on this dude, he's going to go far.

Wolf Alice Sound: Grunge pop

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Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds Festival, Hyde Park and a sold-out headline tour. This Camden-based band has already achieved a decent level of success in 2014, but we reckon this year will turn them into a household name. Their tunes like Fluffy and Mona Lisa Smile will take you back to the grunge tracks you listened to as a teenager, but for some reason they don’t feel childish or immature, instead they should be firmly on your playlist.

Kwabs Sound: Synth-soul

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London’s Kwabena Adjepong has already impressed big record company bosses with his deeply soulful baritone vocals – and it’s nabbed him a contract with the mighty Atlantic Records (Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z). If you think his silky smooth voice sounds familiar, it’s probably because his track, Walk, is featured as the soundtrack to FIFA 15, and he’s been all over the new music scene on YouTube for the last 18 months. Go, Kwabs!

All We Are Sound: Psychedelic pop

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Cool, calm, colourful, quirky and collected; All We Are – made up of singer-bass player Guro Gikling, singer-guitarist Luis Santos and singer-drummer Richard O’Flynn - hail from Norway, Brazil and Ireland, but they got together while studying at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (makes a change from the BRIT school). The trio have signed a contract with Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys, Hot Chip) and a debut album is due any day now. Oh and they’ve also supported the likes of Jungle and Warpaint on tour. See: very cool.

George The Poet Sound: Rap

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George Mpanga, 23, was the runner-up to James Bay for the Brits Critics’ Choice award and also featured on the BBC Sound of 2015 long list. Hailing from north London’s Stonebridge Park, George - rather impressively - completed a degree in politics at Cambridge University before pooling his own politicised theories and texts into poetry and rap. Paolo Nutini, Labrinth, Emeli Sande and Naughty Boy have all allowed him a guest spot at shows, he’s supported Nas on tour and Idris Elba is a self-proclaimed fan. One quick listen and you’ll see why…

 

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