Which artists are most likely to break through into the mainstream and be talked about as the best new artists of the year in December 2011? The crystal ball is always a bit hazy, but these are ten who stand out. Check out the new faces and video of performances by the most promising new artists of 2011.
1. Jessie J
Best known previously for co-writing the massive Miley Cyrus hit "Party In the USA," 22 year old UK singer-songwriter Jessie J has tremendous buzz following her in the music industry. She is a recent winner of the annual BBC Sounds of 2011 poll as the most promising new artist of the year. Her single "Do It Like a Dude" has just surged into the top 5 in the UK and is available as a digital download in the US. The debut album Who You Are is expected to hit stores in the spring.
2. Sky Ferreira
18 year old Sky Ferreira has made her first foray onto the UK pop singles chart with the electropop of "One." Here in the US "Obsession" has landed on the dance chart. A debut album this year looks set to make her a household name.
3. Ian Axel
Singer-songwriter Ian Axel created a bit of an Internet buzz with his seasonally appropriate song "This Is the New Year." It will be the title song for a debut album out in February. He has been writing songs since the age of three, and at the urging of friends has become a solo artist ready to take center stage.Watch Video
4. James Blake
UK electronic artist James Blake has emerged from doing bedroom recordings to become one of the hottest buzz artists in the world right now. His cover of Feist's "Limit To Your Love" has edged into the UK top 40 and was lauded by a wide range of critics in year end lists. The self-titled debut album hits stores in February 2011.
Their music definitely falls into the sound category of indie pop, but the songs are catchy enough that a wide range of pop fans are likely to quickly take the couple Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, who perform as Cults, to their hearts. The pair will be performing this year at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas with Columbia Records releasing their debut album in May 2011.
6. Chiddy Bang
American alt hip hop pop duo Chiddy Bang caused a sensation early in 2010 in the UK with the release of "Opposite of Adults," a track that utilized sampling from MGMT's hit "Kids." A series of festival dates on both sides of the Atlantic through the summer of 2010 kept the buzz growing. An EP titled The Preview landed in the upper half of the Billboard 200 album chart last fall. The scene is set for a strong welcome of the debut album The Swelly Life expected in early 2011.
7. Middle Brother
The trio Middle Brother are something of a songwriting supergroup. Their label Partisan Records invites you to think of a grittier take on Crosby, Stills and Nash or Big Star. A debut album will hit stores March 1, 2011.
8. Oh Land
Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Oland Fabricius, aka Oh Land, says about her songs, "I want my music to feel like 2050 meets something really classic, like meeting a stranger that feels as familiar as an old friend." With background in ballet, the visual elements of a live performance by Oh Land are vitally important to the overall experience of her music. Look for a full-length album to spread the acclaim for Oh Land's pop songs this year.
9. Tino Coury
The sweet sound of Tino Coury's voice helped land him a dance hit last year with the single "Diary," but his good looks won't hurt either as he heads to the front of the pack of new pop artists in 2011. Fans of solo male pop singers from Jason Derulo to Mike Posner will warm up to the sweetly intelligent songs of Tino Coury. A new single "Up Against the Wall" and debut album will be looking for more fans in 2011.
The all-female experimental group Warpaint edged their way into the Billboard album chart this past fall with their debut The Fool. Their dreamy yet edgy sound may be a bit difficult to warm up to at first, but it doesn't take long before the Warpaint soundscape pleasingly envelops you.