Music

Jamz Supernova picks her top acts to watch for 2019

Music aficionado Jamz Supernova updates our playlist with the best new artists for the New Year.

Scott Xylo

Scott Xylo! is signed to one of my favourite labels Black Acre, so I already knew when they sent him over to me that it would be of a high quality. Hailing from Leicester he’s a true creative with a wild imagination that’s apparent in his music, the fusion of sounds, artwork and visuals. I love to hear people push the boundaries and realms of their music and upon hearing Scott that’s what excited me the most. And on top of that, meeting him in real life did not disappoint, what a force with so much energy and a genuine nature you can’t help but fall even more in love! I’m not even sure 2019 is even ready for him…

Describe your sound.

So you know how in the 60s and 70s you would get exploitation films, crazy creative sub-genres of sci-fi, action and horror? I make the music equivalent to that; the unconventional genres /sub-genres people don’t explore, but with a heavily psychedelic, David Bowie and Madlib feel.

Plans for 2019?

I’m going to be releasing my next Black Acre album, but I’m splitting it into three parts, it’s going to be known as the ‘Space Wizard Saga’. I’m also in the process of finishing the first issue of the “Find Us When U Get There” comic book adaptation, from the album I released this year.

Ultimate tour support?

Thundercat, Earl Sweatshirt or King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, I would not get tired of watching them after my sets.

April + Vista

I love a duo especially when they gel as well as Washington two-piece April + Vista. I found them one of my late night cruises on the internet. The richness of April’s vocals are reminiscent of Erykah Badu sitting so beautifully on Vista’s left field productions – it’s such a soothing listen! Already gaining co-signs from the likes of Goldlink and Little Dragon there well on their way to greatness in 2019.

Describe your sound.

It’s a mix between Thom Yorke and the background music for “Who’s That Pokemon”.

Plans for 2019?

We plan on traveling more. We really want to take more trips to Europe and make it to Australia and South Africa. We’re working on new music for 2019, including more collaborations.

Ultimate support tour?

Torn between the Gorillaz and Bjork. Maybe even a Gnarls Barkley reunion tour, that would be sick!

Zilo

I was privileged to get an early in on Zilo. Her booking agent sent me a sneak peek of the video for “Keep Up Wimmi” and the song was a banger but her vibe in the video was so much fun that I was instantly drawn to her. Another all-round creative, she also paints and creates her own artwork too. She knows what she’s doing and what she wants and is happy to go at her own pace.

Describe your sound?

I mix genres a lot so it’s difficult to pin point it to one particular sound. It’s a mixture of all the music that I love to listen to and I’ve got quite an eclectic taste in music. Currently I’d say my sound is predominantly RnB, Hip Hop, Funk and Soul as those are my main influences but to be honest who knows, I get bored easily and love trying new things so as time goes on, I’ll probably chuck some other genres in there as well.

Plans for 2019?

My main plans are to keep having fun and  keep making people aware of ‘The Nature Of The Beast’. It’s still only been out a little while and new people are discovering it every day which is really awesome. The rest is a surprise but I’m most definitely not in any rush. Any new content will be worth the wait, trust me.

Ultimate support tour?

I have a few actually: Frank Ocean, Pharrell, Miguel, Anderson .Paak or Thundercat would be super cool. Pretty much anyone who’s show I would want to stay and watch afterwards over and over again.

Denzel Himself

Denzel came out the gate in 2018 with a Colors Berlin and Great Escape booking showcasing him as one to watch from the get go. With an impressive artistic vision and a fresh approach to MC’ing, I also love his collaborative nature, which itself is part of an equally fascinating movement of other alternative artists such as Keyah Blu. Don’t just look out for his output musically but prepare to be wowed by his visuals and live shows.

Describe your sound?

I wouldn’t choose to describe my sound, that’s entirely relative and subjective.

Plans for 2019?

My plan for 2019 is to continue to spread my art. A new project is in the works but that’s our secret.

Ultimate support tour?

Kilo Kish and Trash Talk.

Greentea Peng

When picking music and artists to get behind, 2018 for me was all about individuality, and from the first visual I saw of Greentea Peng, even the name made me sit up and listen. And it’s not all style over substance, the music is fantastic with legends like Goldie are holding her in high esteem. She brings spirituality to her music without it feeling contrived or at the expense of those less woke. Here’s to more ears hearing her work.

Describe your sound?

My sound – a hard question to answer really. I’d say like Underwater soul/ psychedelic RnB best describes it. Heavy wavy vibrations. Psychedelic soul from the streets of London.

Plans for 2019?

My plan is music – so much music – and more and more growth. More words more experiencing more love. And hopefully some festivals.

Ultimate Tour Support

You know I have no idea who I would like to support! Obviously a dream would be Erykah Badu or Lauryn Hill. Some one like Mos Def would also be a mad ting to be honest. I like the idea of supporting a male act. Create that balance.

Biig Piig

Sometimes singing, sometimes rapping, Biig Piig is part of the equally talented collective Nine8 Irish and has an effortless swag on her records. The way she writes is like an inner monologue – it’s simplistic and complex at the same time and she has power lines that remind you of an experience you’ve had and can relate to. It’s nice to have more females take up space in this alt hip hop scene.

Describe your sound?

Honest lyrics and neo soul-esque melodies mostly over lo-fi hip hop beats. Like having a chat after a night out.

Plans for 2019?

I’m headlining Village Underground in March next year, it’s going to be mad. I definitely want to travel some more too, playing different parts of the world is an insane feeling. Also want to quit smoking, a 2019 glow up.

Ultimate support tour?

D’Angelo or George Benson.

Swsh

I was put onto Swsh early in 2018 around the release of her EP “Soup” On first listen I was like damn this girl can sing and secondly her lyrics are insane! She’s a rare talent that excites you on the first listen. I’ve since signed her to my record label which is all about putting new artists on the map and being a launchpad for them to reach more ears…so watch this space.

Describe your sound? 

R&B with some jazzy undertones sprinkled a little bit of hiphop influence.

Plans for 2019?

Touring, music, and whatever else I might want to do.

Ultimate support tour? 

I don’t know maybe, Smino, Anderson .Paak, or Chance the Rapper? This is a hard question but I think those are my top answers.

Cuco

Cuco’s rise has been fast and rather amazing and he’s only getting started. With an album on the horizon in 2019 it’s exciting times for sure. His songs are incredibly catchy and remind me of the heady feelings of young love. I also love that he puts on for the Latinx community, he sings in a mixture of English and Spanish, his bandmates are also brown and he’s encouraging representation and diversity by just being himself. I saw a live show of his at Elephant Castle’s Corsica studios and saw what it meant to the UK Latin community in the crowd.

Describe your sound? 

I think my sound is just everything and anything I can come up with. I don’t limit myself to a single sound.

Plans for 2019?

I want to work on music and limit my touring and just focus on all of my individual projects as well aside from the Cuco project.

Ultimate support tour?

I don’t really know honestly, I’m not as ambitious as I was about touring so I feel like I have a weird haze about what I think about touring blocking my head.

Jerome Thomas

It’s really hard to not draw the D’angelo comparison here, but it really is a compliment and testament to Jerome Thomas’s ultimate smoothness and soul. The last 18 months have seen a consistent run of singles and live shows and he has the brilliant ability to fuse a maturer sound with a youthful audience.

Describe your sound?

FOE ~ my Freedom of Expression! A Fusion of Everything! In other words, music with no boundaries. Soul is definitely at the core of my sound, but I grew up listening to Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B, and Reggae. These genres also play a strong role in my music.

Plans for 2019?

I’m getting ready to go on my second UK tour in February. I will be headlining the Jazz Café too. My second EP is coming with a few collaborations  that I am gassed about and I will be announcing all this month. I want to see more of Europe and the US so I plan on playing some shows out there.

Ultimate support tour?

If I had my way, Marvin Gaye would still be alive, him and D’angelo would do a joint tour and I’d be the support.

http:// https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb89Z_kvw9M

Radiant Children 

I love this trio and I love the way they found each other: a cancelled LA session with a larger artist brought them together and beautiful music was created! I first came across them through the visuals for “Life’s a Bitch” and thought they either had a big label or loads of money behind them – turns out there just incredibly creative and resourceful! That DIY aspect always draws me to artists! Their EP “Tryin” is the perfect introduction to what’s in store.

Describe your sound?

We have a whole lot of nostalgia combined with some robotic, futuristic, George Jetson crazy shit.

Plans for 2019?

We are working on another body of work and are really eager to start playing some more shows!

Ultimate support tour?

It would be cool to support The Internet, Bruno Mars, Mint Condition, or anybody who connects with our music

4 January 2019