Everyone rolls out a “top for…” list as the end of the year draws close. Instead of merely reeling off some artists on everyone’s “one-to-watch” lists, instead I’ll put on my psychic headwrap, rub my macbook’s mouse (the crystal ball of digital clairvoyants) and make some predictions about the British music scene in 2011. Check out my 11 music musings for 2011 after the cut.
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1. For the first time in a long time, British girls with music traditionally routed in R&B/soul/underground genres will chart. I predict Jessie J and Yasmin will be the girls to do it. [Look out for interviews with both ladies on Y&Y very soon]
2. British R&B boys will fare less well. (Sorry boys)
3. Conversely, the new leaders of British blue-eyed soul, a sub-genre previously dominated by girls (Duffy, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone) will be male, and we’ll see Daley, Jamie Woon and James Blake all creeping into the mainstream audiences’ consciousness.
4. Anyone who lists Tinie Tempah is ‘one to watch’ for 2011 should get their musical taste-making abilities rebuked. Sure, he’ll have a good year next year, but I doubt he’ll top his meteoric rise in 2010 that made him a UK pop superstar.
5. The XX band member and producer Jamie Smith (also known as Jamie XX) is going to gain more exposure in the hip hop and urban community, as remixes of Biggie and Gil Scott Heron, and work with Brooklyn creative/rapper Theophilus London has garnered him attention this year. The London producer, who’s indie band The XX deservedly scooped this year’s Mercury Prize award, will release a remix album of Gil Scott Heron’s 2010 release I’m New Here in February 2011 called We’re New Here.
6. Enigmatic new “action adventure” musical outfit The Bullitts, will intrigue and interest even more audiences. The group, put together by producer Jeymes Samuel, heavily fuses videography and music to create a dope sensory experience. To date, they’ve worked with Wretch 32, rapper Jay Electronica and actress Lucy Liu. Watch their audio-visual experiences below:
7. Our greatest musical exports in 2011 will be producers – Dready, Alex Da Kid, Magnetic Man (Skream, Artwork & Benga) and Labrinth will make sure of this.
8. Jay-Z will try to sign at least one UK artist in 2011. This artist will NOT be Lady Sovereign 2.0 (we hope).
9. Some of the hip hop or grime scene’s most talented lyricists will make a contrived attempt to break into the charts with some really bad commercial music. They won’t be very successful.
10. Ed Sheeran might possibly make some of the most dynamic music on my iPod in 2011.
11. This one is hardly a prediction (in fact, I should probably slap my headwrap off for being so lazy with this final prediction), but by precisely January 7th at 4:35pm, 98.9% of the 20 million people who watched X Factor this year will forget that the winner was umm…uh…that dude with the hat…*googles real quick* Matt Cardle. However, we will all remember Rihanna’s outfit from the finals, which has garnered X Factor producers an Ofcom investigation and given me a girl-crush.