2018 has been another memorable year in music and we’ve followed the incredible journeys of artists both old and new.
The year has arguably belonged to Drake and Ariana Grande, who were named Spotify’s most streamed male and female just a few days ago. Both artists have enjoyed phenomenal success with the likes of ‘God’s Plan’ and ‘thank u, next’ respectively.
Post Malone, Dua Lipa, Cardi B and Camila Cabello have also enjoyed huge streaming success, whilst also racking up a number of award wins throughout the year. Taylor Swift completed her most successful, record-breaking tour to date, Little Mix continued to empower women across the world with anthems including ‘Woman Like Me’ and ‘Strip’, whilst BTS took their stunning world domination to stratospheric heights.
Whilst Fifth Harmony confirmed their hiatus (with Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Normani, and Dinah Jane all launching promising solo careers), both the Spice Girls and Westlife announced that they would be making a comeback by touring the UK next year. 2018 has also been the year of movie soundtracks, with The Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! and A Star Is Born soundtracks dominating charts across the globe.
However, we’ve also seen the rise of some brilliant artists who we are tipping to reach gargantuan new levels of success next year. We’ve rounded up 20 artists who we think are ones to watch in music for 2019.
British singer-songwriter Alice Chater has all the ingredients to be pop’s newest star. Armed with an addictive and striking sound, the songstress has already made waves on the scene with tracks including ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and ‘Hourglass’. She also supported Jessie J on her R.O.S.E tour and sold out her own debut headline show at London’s Thousand Island. There’s no doubt that Alice is going to continue thriving in 2019 until she makes her way to the top.
“Oh, she’s sweet but a psycho” – chances are, you’ve already heard this infectious hook courtesy of Ava Max all over your radio. ‘Sweet but Psycho’ is one of 2018’s biggest breakthrough hits, with Ava climbing into the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. Additionally, Ava has collaborated with David Guetta, Jason Derulo, and Vice. With more new music in the pipeline, we can’t wait to hear more from her next year.
You may recognise his voice from the huge Rudimental x Jess Glynne x Macklemore hit, ‘These Days’, but Dan Caplen has already proven to be so much more than this one song. 2018 has been a great year for him, following the release of a string of singles including ‘Trouble’ featuring Ms Banks, ‘4am’ with Caitlyn Scarlett, ‘Hosanna’ with Dave B, and ‘Closer To You’ featuring Sinead Harnett. We couldn’t be more excited to hear even more new releases from Dan in 2019.
New Zealand quartet Drax Project have been busy gaining momentum in their hometown and further afield with their unique blend of pop, jazz and RnB. The band have had a busy 2018, supporting Camila Cabello on her Never Be The Same tour in addition to releasing their NOON EP. However, having recently signed to SYCO in the UK and 300 Entertainment in the US, 2019 is looking like it’s going to be an even more successful year for Drax Project.
Singer-songwriter Drew Thomas released his debut single ‘Left Behind’ earlier this year and we simply fell in love with his emotive offering. Having supported Jack Maynard during the London date of his Headlines tour, it’s safe to say that Drew has had an exciting start to his new chapter and we can’t wait to hear what he releases next.
Four of Diamonds
We first came to know Caroline, Yasmin, Sophia and Lauren, aka Four of Diamonds, when they took part in series 13 of The X Factor in 2016. Since then, the girls have been busy honing their sound and this year saw them release original material including ‘Name On It’ featuring Burna Boy, ‘Stupid Things’ featuring Saweetie, and ‘Blind’. If these releases are anything to go by, then their debut album is going to be something special indeed.
Hollow County are a UK country trio, made up of Adam Brucass, Eva Tobin, and Dean Bonning. Earlier this year, they released their debut single ‘Southern Ground’, followed up by ‘Heaven Bound’, both of which proving that they are an exciting addition to the country scene. We can’t wait to continue following their journey in 2019.
Former The Scheme member Kris James made his exciting solo debut this year with the release of his hopeful single ‘Eyes Open’. This was followed up by the infectious ‘Anymore’, which went to number one on the Electronic singles chart on iTunes. Both releases have showcased the artist’s versatility which makes for a promising future.
Lennon Stella made her name on ABC drama Nashville however, since then she has carved out a very exciting music career for herself. Following the release of singles including ‘Like Everybody Else’ and ‘Fortress’, the artist unveiled her debut EP Love, Me in November. She also featured on Jonas Blue’s latest hit ‘Polaroid’ with Liam Payne, bringing her incredible voice to a mainstream audience which is bound to pay off in 2019.
Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has a golden voice and a banterous personality to match, making him one of the most captivating artists of the year. 2018 has been sensational for Lewis, following the runaway success of his single ‘Grace’ and the release of his Breach EP. The artist has been on tour with Sam Smith, whilst also headlining his own shows across the UK and Europe. Most recently, he was shortlisted for the 2019 BRITs Critics’ Choice, a sure sign that he is destined for even greater success in the coming year.
British singer-songwriter Liv Dawson has grown from strength to strength during 2018. From releasing singles including ‘Talk’, hearing her music being played on Love Island, and touring with Khalid across UK and Europe, the artist has certainly had a year to remember. Liv has rounded up the year with her incredible Bedroom EP, which includes the single ‘Good Intentions’. We can’t wait to hear these songs live when Liv performs her headline show at Scala, London, in March.
RnB songstress Mahalia has been making huge waves in the industry this year. The Leicester born songstress has been wowing music lovers with her original material including ‘I Wish I Missed My Ex’, ‘One Night Only’, and her Seasons EP. She has also been supporting Anne-Marie on the UK leg of her tour whilst completing her very own UK, European, US and Canadian tours. As a BRITs Critics’ Choice runner up, the future is looking very bright for Mahalia.
Following the success of her Strange Darling EP, which features a spot on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Californian artist Miya Folick has continued to shine this year with the release of her debut album Premonitions. The songstress has also been touring relentlessly, supporting the likes of Pale Waves and Sunflower Bean whilst also performing her own headline shows. Having garnered the support of music lovers and tastemakers worldwide, 2019 is looking to be another incredible year for Miya.
RnB star Ray BLK has constantly been on the rise since 2015 when she teamed up with Stormzy to release ‘My Hood’. However, 2018 has been her most musically impressive year to date, capped off by the release of her Empress EP. The uplifting and inspiring body of work is a true triumph and paves the way for even more powerful offerings from the songstress in the future.
New Zealand artist Robinson is fast becoming a queen of melancholic pop. After impressing with tracks such as ‘Nothing To Regret’ and ‘Medicine’, and supporting Hayley Kiyoko on her UK and European tour, Robinson has been named as one of Vevo’s dscvr artists for 2019. She’s also made her way onto YouTube’s Ones To Watch longlist, and now she’s joining ours too. We’re truly excited for what she has in store for the future.
Newcastle singer-songwriter Sam Fender has captured the attention of fans and tastemakers with his candid and impactful offerings, including his Dead Boys EP. The artist has also been touring relentlessly across the UK and Europe, building a loyal fanbase along the way. Following in the footsteps of Adele, Sam Smith and Florence + The Machine, Sam has just been named as the BRITs Critics’ Choice winner for 2019, therefore he is without doubt a rising star to keep an eye on next year.
Soul artist Samm Henshaw has made a name for himself by working and touring with a number of respected UK and US artists including Wretch 32, Chance The Rapper, and Pharrell. Following a string of releases this year, including the amazing ‘Doubt’ with Wretch 32, Samm has honed his own unique sound, which is set to grow even further when he releases new music in January.
Following the release of his album I last year, Nashville artist Spazz Cardigan kicked off 2018 with the incredible ‘Episode’ before releasing singles including ‘Medicine’, ‘Nerves’, and ‘DOIDOIT’. This year has allowed Spazz to further develop his craft, pushing his boundaries as an artist even further than before. With his music providing us with an insight into his world, we’re looking forward to more alt-pop gems from him next year.
Dublin born Tara Lee may have been on our TV screens as Jessica in Eastenders earlier this year, however, she’s also made a name for herself on the music scene with her electro-noir single ‘Boyz’ and its follow up, the sinister pop banger ‘Drive’. Her dark take on pop music is captivating and makes her stand out within the current scene. It’ll be interesting to see where her sound will take her during 2019.
LA based pop-rock duo VOILÀ made their stunning debut earlier this year with their double release: ‘Hundredth Second Chance’ and ‘Lately’. Made up of Luke Eisner and Gus Ross, the duo followed up with captivating tracks including the newly released ‘Don’t’, which showcases their passion and emotion perfectly. If these tracks are anything to go by, then their forthcoming debut album, due for release next year, is going to be something quite spectacular.
Take a listen to our Ones to Watch in Music for 2019 playlist below.