Music 2013: Ones to Watch | The Student Pocket Guide
by Siobhan Maguire

As another year passes, a new one just begins and with it comes a wealth of new musical talent. When researching up and coming artists a number of names came into the mix, The Weeknd, Savages and Kodaline to name but a few, many of whom are being celebrated by both the Brits and BBC Radio One. The publicity for such acts is effervescing continually as more and more people hear and recognise the melodies. So, with such a rich set of bands to choose from, where do we begin?

One of the groups tipped for success in 2013 is Aluna George. Composed of Aluna Francis and George Reid, the duo have been cast to fame after being shortlisted for both the Brits Critics’ Choice award and the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll. Their electro pop sound slips between genres as the pair have distinctly dissimilar influences. Reid has stated that it is the early noughties sounds of artists like Timbaland and The Neptune’s who have fed his musical passion with their more daring attitudes, whereas Francis prefers to dabble in listening to the less famed melodies of groups like The Knife and PJ Harvey who have prompted her distinct vocals. It is the Aluna George’s single “Your drums, your love” with its memorable tune and somewhat adventurous melody that has got them noticed and inevitably gained the duo a strong fan base. Their almost futuristic take on R&B negates them from the mainstream artists in the industry and their creativity reaches its pinnacle so far when their debut album is released later on this year.

Another hugely celebrated artist of 2013 is that of Angel Haze. It is unlikely that any music fan would not have heard of her as she has climbed the ranks of fame in the past few months. The 21 year old rapper born Raykeed Wilson is based in New York, though it was her mix-tapes which provoked her expansion to the UK. Her most renowned mix-tape, “Reservation and Classick” resounds much of Angels work as she delves into her past and denotes emotion through rap. Such ensured she made her mark on the industry and got record labels interested before she recently signed a deal with Island Records. Her single “New York” has undeniable staying power as it sticks with its listener whilst adapting to every mood and situation by not being too urban or too ‘poppy’. With her upcoming collaboration with the massively successful Rudimental in the song “Hell could freeze”, Angel Haze’s fame is sure to rise throughout 2013 and with any luck we will see her release her debut album.

A further big name for 2013 comes in the form of Tom Oddell. The Chichester born 22 year old is no stranger to the industry having been song writing from the tender age of just 13, and this has gained him a large fan base. His soft yet distinct vocals liken him to the likes of Jeff Buckley and Coldplay’s Chris Martin as his piano accompanies him on stage. Oddell was signed after just four gigs and made his television debut last year on Later Live with Jools Holland, something which has undoubtedly helped his nomination for the Brits Critics Choice award of 2013. Being only at the start of his musical journey it seems Oddell is set for continued success not only throughout 2013 but for many of the coming years.

To add to the eclectic mix of new artists emerging in 2013 is Laura Mvula. A somewhat astounding talent Laura is like nothing that the industry has heard for a long time, something which has been recognised in her election for both the Brits Critics’ Choice Award and the BBCs Sound of 2013 poll. The Birmingham raised 26 year old has stunned with her smooth soulful vocals resounding the likes of Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse and it is easy to see why she is so well liked. After studying composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire and working as a receptionist, a job which she abandoned just a year ago, Laura has concentrated fully on a career that fulfils her musical passion. Not only has she succeeded in creating a range of beautiful, rather ornate songs which match up to her rich tones but she has created her own genre of music, gospeldelia. With gospel music forever on the up it seems as though Laura could not be more fitting for the current music market and with the pinnacle of her work in the form of her album, due for release in March, she could not be set for a better year ahead.

Lastly, it’s the band HAIM who are taking the final spotlight for up and coming artists of 2013. The all-girl group consisting of sisters Danielle, Alana and Este differs from any other girl band around at the moment. With their influences ranging from TLC and Destiny’s Child to The Strokes, when listening to them it is clear to see where their sound originates. Though they were previously part of a band with their parents, the now separate siblings have created a wealth of songs and their single “Don’t Save Me” presents their own ‘type’ of rock to complement their strong vocals and impressive guitar playing. Named the BBC’s Sound of 2013 and having toured with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Florence and the Machine, HAIM are not short of well-established pals and are set for further triumph when their debut album is released in the UK in the coming months.