BBC Sound of 2014 list announced

I can't wait to introduce everybody to the Sound of 2014. Get excited to hear some brand new music on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show.”Nick Grimshaw, Radio 1
Date: 02.12.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.10
Category: Radio 1; News
Fifteen of the hottest new music acts have been voted onto the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list, annually compiled by BBC News, to highlight the best and brightest rising stars for the year ahead.

One hundred and seventy music industry tastemakers including DJs, critics, broadcasters and bloggers were asked to name their three favourite new acts. The top 15, which this year includes 10 UK acts, are announced today.

The top five will be revealed in January, counting down one each day from Monday 6 January with the BBC Sound of 2014 winner announced on Friday 10 January.

The list was started in 2003 and has a history of predicting the acts that will make it big. Last year’s winners were LA pop band HAIM, who went on to have a No.1 in October with their debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’. Previous winners have included Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J.

The acts on this year’s list are once again a diverse bunch, ranging from Chicago-based hip-hop act, Chance the Rapper to sassy pop from Chlöe Howl, 18, from Maidenhead and rock two-piece Royal Blood from Brighton.

Many of the acts on the list have seen their star rise through collaborations with other artists. Twenty-one-year-old Sam Smith first came to attention as vocalist on Disclosure’s top 20 single ‘Latch’ in 2012 and hit the No.1 spot as vocalist on Naughty Boy’s single ‘La La La’ in May this year.

Uzoechi Osisioma Emenik, otherwise known as MNEK, is a 19-year-old singer/songwriter/producer and remixer from Lewisham, whose writing and production credits have included Rudimental, Duke Dumont, Little Mix, The Saturdays and Sub Focus.

Vocalist and electronic producer Sampha from South London has worked with Drake, Jessie Ware and SBTRKT. He’s joined by R&B singer Ella Eyre, 19, who hit No.1 as guest vocalist on Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’ this year and has also worked with Bastille and Wiz Khalifa.

They’re joined on the Sound of 2014 list by LA-based songstress BANKS, 25, known for combining haunting lullabies with brooding trip-hop and has just supported The Weeknd (a Sound of 2013 act) at the O2 Arena. FKA Twigs, 25, hailing from Gloucestershire will also compete for a place in the Top 5. She’s been described as a cross between Portishead, The XX and Janet Jackson. Kelela, 30, is from Maryland but now based in LA. Her mixtape, ‘Cut 4 Me’ released earlier this year was praised for its experimental, synthetic R&B.

Bristol’s George Ezra, 19, performed to a packed crowd on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury this year and has been described as ‘grizzly folk-pop’. Luke Sital-Singh, 25, from South-West London was another familiar face on the festival circuit this summer and has been compared to a British Bon Iver.

Singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey is also in the top 15. Formerly part of the Mercury-nominated jazz band, Portico Quartet, he released his second solo EP in July this year and has toured with Laura Marling. Swedish-Australian twin sisters Elektra and Miranda Kilbey form Say Lou Lou. Their brand of dreamy pop has seen them compared to Goldfrapp and Bat for Lashes.

Best friend duo Jungle from West London complete the list. They gained attention earlier in the year for their single ‘Platoon’, whose video featured 6-year-old ‘best B-girl in the world’ Terra break-dancing. They’ve been described as ‘groove-laden, electronic soul.’

The Sound of 2014 long list in alphabetical order:

Chance The Rapper

löe Howl       
Ella Eyre              
FKA Twigs          
George Ezra      
Luke Sital-Singh              
Nick Mulvey     
Royal Blood       
Sam Smith         
Say Lou Lou

George Ergatoudis, Head of Music, BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, said: “Unless you happen to have a handy TARDIS, there’s no better way to get a glimpse into the future of music than the BBC’s Sound Of 2014. The annual longlist compiled by BBC News remains the definitive survey of the UK’s key musical taste-makers and in the highly competitive world of popular music a place on the list is highly prized. This year’s list features a fascinating and diverse range of talented artists, the majority from the UK, and all are definitely worth a listen.”

Hattie Collins, Music Editor at i-D Magazine, said: “One of the strengths of the 'Sound of' list is the democratic, diverse range of people that are invited to vote, with people from all musical mediums from the established rock critic to the upcoming urban blogger. This diversity is reflected in the 2014 longlist, which has a broad spectrum of emerging artists from a variety of scenes. While there might be two or three dead certs fighting it out for the top spot, the top 5 is definitely wide open for the likes of Sampha, Chance The Rapper, Chloe Howl and MNEK all looking likely to place high.”                

Nick Grimshaw will announce the top five acts, counting down to the winner, live on BBC Radio 1 each morning from Monday 6 January. The top five acts will be announced simultaneously on the BBC News website and Sound of 2014 website.

He said: “I can't wait to introduce everybody to the Sound of 2014. Get excited to hear some brand new music on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show.”

This year, BBC Sound of 2014 has teamed up with BBC Playlister to create a playlist with full length tracks featuring all the artists in the Sound of 2014 longlist. The playlist is available in the BBC Playlister app on Spotify:

A range of music, video, interviews and biographies from each of the Top 15 acts can also be seen on the BBC Sound of 2014 website at

Twitter users can tweet about the list using the hashtag #soundof2014

Notes to Editors

Any use of the information in this release must credit “BBC Sound of 2014”

Profiles of all 15 artists are available at the Sound of 2014 website.

Last year HAIM were joined in the Sound of 2013 top five by AlunaGeorge, Angel Haze, Laura Mvula and CHVRCHES.

The previous winners are: Michael Kiwanuka (2012), Jessie J (2011), Ellie Goulding (2010), Little Boots (2009), Adele (2008), Mika (2007), Corinne Bailey Rae (2006), The Bravery (2005), Keane (2004) and 50 Cent (2003).

Other artists in the top five in previous years include Frank Ocean and Azealia Banks (2012), James Blake and The Vaccines (2011), Hurts (2010), Florence and the Machine and La Roux (Sound of 2009), Duffy (Sound of 2008), Klaxons (Sound of 2007), Plan B (Sound of 2006), Bloc Party (Sound of 2005), Franz Ferdinand (Sound of 2004), Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Dizzee Rascal (Sound of 2003).

The list was compiled using recommendations from 170 influential UK taste-makers, who were asked to name their favourite new acts.

The taste-makers included radio DJs and producers, TV presenters and producers, newspaper critics, magazine and website editors and respected bloggers.

All participants were asked to name their favourite three new acts, who could be performers from any country and any musical genre.

They must not have been the lead artist on a UK top 20 single or album by 4 November 2013. Featured guest vocalists are eligible.

They must not already be famous: i.e. generally known by the UK public, (e.g. member of a hit band going solo, or soap star). They must not have got through to the quarter, semi or final rounds of UK reality shows such as X Factor or The Voice in the last three years (i.e. 2011 onwards).   

Further details of the taste-makers and how the list was compiled are available on the BBC Sound of 2014 website.

BBC Playlister is the new music service from the BBC that allows users to remember tracks that they hear from across the BBC and export them for full playlback on our external partners, YouTube, Spotify, or Deezer. Find out more here: