I think musically, 2019 will be our most exciting year to date, and this year’s Hot For list does a great job of reflecting that. We’re expecting some real breakthrough stories from these artists this year.DJ Target
Date: 09.01.2019 Last updated: 09.01.2019 at 18.00
BBC Radio 1Xtra has named fifteen exciting acts from the world of black music on the station’s Hot For 2019 list. The list, compiled annually by 1Xtra DJs and staff, predicts which artists are set for success over the next twelve months.
They are (in alphabetical order):
D Block Europe
1Xtra’s DJ Target will host a special 1Xtra Hot For 2019 party live from Maida Vale on 22 January, 7-9pm, featuring interviews and exclusive tracks from some of the Hot For 2019 artists, including Koffee, Alicai Harley, DigDat and Unknown T.
1Xtra is committed to championing new black music and breaking new UK artists. The Hot For 2018 list featured the likes of Fredo, Not3s, Kojo Funds and Mahalia.
DJ Target says: ”For me, this year’s list is a real cross section of artists, and we’ve opened it up to include international artists as well. I think musically, 2019 will be our most exciting year to date, and this year’s Hot For list does a great job of reflecting that. We’re expecting some real breakthrough stories from these artists this year.”
Further Hot For alumni include Jorja Smith (2017), Stefflon Don (2017) Bugzy Malone (2016), Mabel (2016), Stormzy (2015), Krept & Konan (2014) and The Weeknd (2013).
Eighteen year old Mancunian MC Aitch exploded onto the scene with a freestyle called Straight Rhymez, which has racked up millions of views on YouTube. He’s worked with the likes of Bugzy Malone and Ghetts and names Wiley, Chip and Dave among his heroes.
Aitch says: “Crazy… 1Xtra Hot For 2019! It’s definitely going to be a mad year! Big Up 1Xtra.”
Singer and rapper Alicai Harley released her debut EP in 2012 aged sixteen. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, before moving to London at five years old, she is behind the freestyle campaign #HotShotTuesday.
Alicai Harley says: “I feel beyond blessed to be named as one of 1Xtra's Hot For 2019 artists. This means the world and more to me. Thank you so much 1Xtra for all your love and support!"
New York based singer, songwriter and producer Amber Mark makes global R&B suffused with emotion. Her music is influenced by a childhood of travelling around the world, when she spent time in Miami, New York, India and Berlin.
Ambush hails from Camden in North London, and is quickly establishing himself as a rising star on the rap scene. He’s worked with General Gheezy and SP Montiz, and took to the stage at The O2 last year at 1Xtra Live.
Daniel Caesar’s breakout single Get You amassed millions of streams following its 2016 release. The Canadian singer songwriter released his debut album in 2017, and cites Frank Ocean and Beyonce among his influences.
Young Adz and Dirtbike LB lead the artist collective that is D-Block Europe. Both hailing from South London, the duo have worked with the likes of Not3s, Yxng Bane and Don Andre and released their debut LP in July 2018. They also performed at 1Xtra Live last year.
Drill artist DigDat hails from South London and first emerged as a guest feature on Headie One’s album The One Two. One of his 2018 singles, Airforce, is currently the highest charting drill track in UK history.
Nineteen year old Hamzaa is a singer, songwriter and producer from Hackney in East London. She began learning piano at four years old and started to write her own songs at age nine, influenced by the sounds of 80s and 90s R&B. She released her debut EP in November 2018.
Hamzaa says: “Thank you so much for making me one of 1Xtra’s Hot For 2019 artists. I’ve spent so long listening and finding new music through 1Xtra and so for this, I am so, so grateful. Thanks 1Xtra for the continuous support!”
Eighteen year old Koffee started writing lyrics in her bedroom aged twelve. Now, the Jamaican singer, rapper and guitarist is getting ready to release her debut EP Rapture. She credits St Louis rapper Smino and UK royalty Giggs among her musical influences.
Born in France and raised in London, Octavian won a scholarship to the Brit School but later dropped out. He spent several years homeless until a co-sign from Drake helped boost his profile. He released his first full length mixtape in 2018.
Roddy Ricch is a rapper and producer hailing from Compton, California. He began recording in his bedroom at the age of 16 and released his breakthrough single Die Young in the summer of 2018 before going on to work with Meek Mill and Marshmello.
23 year old Rygin King from Montego Bay, Jamaica, has been making music since he left high school. He has been gaining momentum in Jamaica and beyond with his trap-infused dancehall tracks, and puts his success down to his determination and persistence.
Northampton-born rapper slowthai started out in music freestyling with the older kids on his estate. Now he splits his time between Northampton and London when he isn’t touring, and is gaining a reputation for his high-energy sets and striking music videos.
East London born Tiana Major9 grew up in a British Jamaican household surrounded by music, fuelling her love of R&B, hip-hop and jazz. Her alternative sound and fresh lyrics have seen her supporting the likes of Ray BLK, Ella Eyre and Kelela.
Twenty year old Unknown T from Hackney, East London, burst onto the scene in 2018 with a series of striking Mad About Bars freestyles. His track Homerton B has attracted praise from the likes of Dizzee Rascal and the music video has amassed over 10 million views on YouTube.
Unknown T says: “Big up 1Xtra for putting me in their Hot For 2019 list. I appreciate all the support! Also big up my fans for making this possible.”