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4. Laura Mvula

Impeccably arranged and beatifully sung, Mvula's storytelling impresses.

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Neither the domestic nor international music scenes are desperately crying out for more female solo artists; it's a tremendously crowded market. But in Laura Mvula there's talent to suggest that the adage of room for one more may ring true.

I'm the geeky kid of RnB

As a priority act for her label, RCA, in 2013, Birmingham singer Mvula is being groomed for greatness - and her She EP of November 2012 made waves sizeable enough for many a critic to not only take notice, but instantly mark her as a tip for the next 12 months.

"Like hearing Billie Holiday with The Beach Boys," is how Guardian and BBC Music writer Paul Lester summarised her sound. Strong praise - but Mvula's not letting it go to her head. "I'm the geeky kid of RnB," she told The Observer, feet grounded. Yet in her songs are whispers of Winehouse-style magic. She just might put a spell on you…

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