10 Dec 2018

Instrumental's Tips for 2019

Check out the 10 artists we are expecting to take it to the next level in 2019

It’s that time of year again! The short gap in the calendar prior to mulled wine and mince pie mayhem, where we look ahead to the new year. Our Tips for 2019 features the artists we are expecting to fly from January 1st and beyond.

Unlike most ‘ones to watch’ lists, we’ve made use of data to select the artists we’re excited about going into 2019. Our A&R scouting platform tracks over 460,000 artists and 5 million tracks on Spotify, highlighting artist momentum through dynamic audience reach data.

1. Des Rocs

NYC based Des Rocs (real name Danny Rocco) has had a very exciting end to 2018, dropping his eagerly anticipated debut EP ‘Let The Vultures In’. Double trouble on the live stage, Danny is an exceptional guitarist and vocalist; living proof that rock’n’roll is still alive and kicking.

Des Rocs has grown by over 7,000 direct artist followers in the past 9 months. His successful single releases have encouraged significant Spotify playlist support. Currently sat on over 18 influential playlists, he has over 8.3 million playlist followers and 1.1 million monthly listeners (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

2. slowthai

Slowthai’s November drop, produced by Mura Masa, offers proof that he has what it takes to be as innovative as he is subversive. The punk-influenced rap newcomer speaks for the unsettled and disillusioned youth, with cutting rawness and honesty. Replacing grime beats for gritty riffs, “Doorman” challenges the concept of modern rap and bolsters his already impressive back catalogue.

Currently featured on 18 influential Spotify playlists including Pitchfork’s Best New Music, slowthai has picked up over 1.8 million playlist followers this week. Continuing to convert new listeners into fans, his artist following has grown by 3.29% this week (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

3. Still Woozy

Sven Gamsky, the man behind the moniker, is a one-man machine, writing, recording and self-producing his groovy indie-electro sounds. Hailing from Oakland, California, Still Woozy has dropped two tracks this year, “Habit” and “Lucy”, the latter featuring Bay Area rapper ODIE. Possessing the innate ability to express feelings, situations and moments in a refreshingly encapsulating way, we’re very excited for his currently untitled debut EP.

Dropping new single “Habit”, Still Woozy is featured on 14 influential Spotify playlists, garnering 3,031,425 playlist followers this week, after an increase of over 100,000. In the space of a year, his direct artist following has more than quadrupled to 49,597 (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

4. Yonaka

Yonaka have left a huge mark on alternative rock in 2018. The Brighton four-piece dropped debut EP ‘Creature’ in November and have gone on to support Bring Me The Horizon on their huge UK tour. With heavy riffs, melodic hooks and a ferocious punk edge delivered by frontwoman Theresa Jarvis, the four-piece have quickly garnered a reputation for their intense live shows. Having teased an album in the works last year, we expect a strong debut LP from Yonaka in 2019.

Yonaka have enjoyed significant playlist support with every release in 2018. Currently featured on 30 influential playlists including Digging Now, the band have over 3.2 million playlist followers. Starting the year with under 5,000 direct artist followers, they now have 15,55,  after a solid year of growth (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

5. Jade Bird

Jade Bird is showing potential to become one of the most exciting voices in British music. After a string of well-received singles this year, the London based songstress looks set to release her debut album in 2019.

“Lottery”, her two and a half minute play on numbers was a marker of great things to come early this year, with her sharp lyrical play and brash indie-rock style picking up a number of plaudits. The singles that followed have proven that Jade Bird completely owns her sound and delivery, with “Ferocious”, “Uh Huh” and “Love Has All Been Done Before” taking on tales of divorce, disillusionment and heartbreak.

Jade Bird has had an emphatic year when it comes to Spotify success. Currently sat on an incredible 70 influential playlists, she has over 23 million playlist followers, a figure which has continued to grow throughout the year. Her direct artist following has also grown from 5,000 to over 37,000 since January, illustrating that she is building a solid fanbase (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

6. Ama Lou

Co-signed by Drake and Jorja Smith, North London native Ama Lou is one the most exciting names in contemporary R&B. At the age of 19, the classically trained vocalist has already written and produced four singles and her debut EP ‘DDD’. Ama accompanied the release with a stunning film, which she wrote and directed with her sister Mahalia. The 13-minute film follows a young girl in a Los Angeles crime ring (played by Ama) and their journey over the course of a single day. If Ama does anything close to her endeavours this year, she is going to have a huge year.

Despite only appearing on 6 influential playlists this week, with 275,000 playlist followers, Ama Lou has continued to build a loyal direct following. As of July, this figure had only grown to 5,000, but following a strong Autumn, this now stands at over 21,500 (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

7. Cavetown

One of the fastest growing names on our tips list, bedroom artist Cavetown looks set to capitalise on an incredible year and follow up the release of his fourth album “LEMON BOY”.

Better known by his moniker, Robin Skinner uses his project as an outlet for things that he finds hard to say. This genuineness shines through his work, with acoustic layers and electronic bites fusing to soundtrack his stories. Curating an existential paradise, Cavetown is as thought-provoking, as he is easy to listen to.

Back in January 2018, Cavetown barely had any playlist or artist followers. Fast forward a year and he is featured on 8 influential playlists and has over 750,000 playlist followers. Rapidly growing throughout the past 12 months, his direct artist following has grown from less than 7,000 at the start of the year, to over 217,000, with 7,377 added in the past week alone (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

8. Tamino

Tamino is a half-Egyptian, half-Belgian artist who lives in Antwerp and Amsterdam. He has released the most breathtaking record of the year.

The 21-year-old’s debut “Amir” illustrated his incredible vocal range and exceptional ability to weave in and out of moods and sonic textures. With delicate piano elements, traditional guitar licks and striking soundscapes, the album is introspective and electrifying.

Appearing on just one influential playlist at the end of February, Tamino has grown his playlist following significantly, with features on 28 influential playlists giving him over 2.8 million playlist followers. From 7,500 to 30,000, a 400% increase in his direct artist following also illustrates a huge growth in his engagement (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

9. Barney Artist

Emerging from East London’s burgeoning Jazz Hip-Hop scene, it is hard not to like Barney Artist. His latest album ‘Home Is Where the Art Is’ is packed with hard-hitting storytelling and animated beats.

Engulfed in upbeat jazz tones and soulful production, Barney explores critical socio-political issues, including the treatment of women and race relations. The colourful record boasts a long list of exciting features, including Loyle Carner and Tom Misch, the latter whom he recently supported at Brixton Academy. Off the back of this release, 2019 will be a huge year for Barney Artist.

Doubling his direct following in the past 12 months, from just over 6,000 to 12,590, Barney Artist has picked up significant Spotify editorial backing. This week, he is featured on 16 influential playlists, with a combined following of over 1.3 million, closing the year on a high! (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

10. Flohio

After emerging with features and collaborations in 2017, Flohio has spent 2018 building a strong presence with her solo efforts. Born in Lagos and based in Bermondsey, Funmi Ohiosumah is a powerful new voice in rap.

Her genre-bending sound combines infectious bass-heavy influences, with Berlin techno beats and obvious notes from the UK grime and hip-hop scene. With an unruly energy and ferocious staccato flow, Flohio has impressed on the live circuit, whilst picking up significant streaming support.

It has been a strong end to the year for Flohio, growing from 250,000 playlist followers to over 1.6 million in less than a month. Similarly, with less than 300 direct followers in January, she is now closing in on 4,000, following a 10.64% rise in the past seven days alone (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

2019 is going to be a very exciting year for new music.

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