Three artists have been shortlisted for this year's Brit Critics' Choice award, won last year by singer Tom Odell.
Chloe Howl, Ella Eyre and Sam Smith are in the running with the winner to be announced on Thursday 12 December.
Howl has been compared with Lily Allen, while former Brit school student Eyre scored a number one as the vocalist on Rudimental's Waiting All Night.
La, La, La, Smith's collaboration with producer Naughty Boy, also reached number one in the UK singles chart.
The soulful singer, who also featured on Disclosure's hit single Latch, said: "I have watched the Brits religiously for many years growing up. The people who have won before are, to this day, some of my favourite artists and biggest inspirations.
"So to even be up for this award is completely overwhelming for me. I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am."
Eyre, who has also collaborated with indie-pop act Bastille, said it was "overwhelming" to be nominated for a Brit, adding: "Two years ago I was at The Brit Awards on a school trip, and to be considered now is crazy!"
Howl's debut album of perky, punky pop has been produced by Grammy-winning songwriter Eg White, known for his work with the likes of Adele and Florence and the Machine.
The 18-year-old said: "To be on the shortlist is incredible, and to be alongside two amazing artists is an honour. It's so exciting!"
The Critics' Choice award, which recognises new and upcoming talent, has previously been won by Adele and Florence & The Machine.
This year's nominees all feature on the BBC's Sound of 2014 longlist, which was revealed on Monday.
The Brits will announce their winner on Thursday, 12 December. The victor receives their trophy, designed by Philip Treacy, at the main awards ceremony next year.
Voting for the 2014 Brit Awards opened for members of the music industry on Wednesday.
Their shortlists for categories including best male, best female and best album will be announced in January, with the award ceremony taking place at London's O2 Arena on 19 February.
This year's nominees are likely to include Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie and Mercury Prize-winner James Blake.