The UK has long been a fruitful breeding ground for genre-bending artists and musical groups, many of whom have crossed the Atlantic to win the hearts of American fans and record labels. The U.K. is flourishing with talent that continues to push boundaries – grime, electronic, UK garage, rap, indie bands, conscious hip-hop, producers, female ensembles and the list goes on. There’s no shortage of up-and-coming acts from the United Kingdom, but a few artists have made a distinct impression in music in 2014/2015. Here’s a list of 5 talented musical exports from the UK to watch out for (in no particular order).
Ambassadeurs (electronic). Ambassadeurs is Mark Dobsen, a DJ/producer hailing from Brighton. His music draws on ambient, electronic, EDM, and hip hop forms to create a unique and adventurous sound. Ambassadeurs first blew our expectations away during a solo performance at the Great Escape festival in his hometown of Brighton last May. His lonely one-man acts takes your breath away and introduces a new breed of electronic music in an oversaturated market.
Danny Seth (grime/rap). Danny Seth is the self-proclaimed “skinny white kid that you’re gonna be talking ’bout” with a dirty mouth and even grimier style. His rap is unapologetic, sometimes offensive, but with producers such as BOSSTONE and Treekeeper, you can’t help but admire his slick delivery and persona. Somehow it just works. Seth asks on breakthrough £££, “Will I be the first Brit kid to break U.S?”. We think yes.
Mausi (band, female lead, electronic). If you’re searching for a dose of pure summer-time sunshine, look no further than indie-pop group Mausi. Composed of front-woman/lead-vocalist Daisy, Ben (lead guitarist), and Benji (lead drummer), the group fuses infectious rhythms with Daisy’s effortless vocals to create the perfect soundtrack for summer.
Darq E. Freaker (grime producer). This “professor of Urban Electronica” is most familiar to Americans for his collaboration on the infamous ‘Blueberry’ with Danny Brown. Now the reigning pharaoh of the newly-invented ‘technicolor grime’ genre, Freaker produces beats and remixes for the likes of Tempa T, Kelis, up-and-coming rapper Cakes de Killa, and of course, Danny Brown. Mr. Freaker is one to watch, especially considering recent collabs with Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA), Boiler Room London, and an unparalleled ability to delivery deranged beats.
Jaws (band, indie-rock). Jaws was formed in Birmingham, UK, between singer Connor Schofield, guitarist Alex Hudson, bassist Jake Cooper, and drummer Eddy Geach. The sound is hard to describe- the vocals are lazy and laid back, but catchy choruses in songs like ‘Friend Like You’ and ‘Gold’ mix to create upbeat, almost nostalgic garage rock. Occasionally, distorted guitar solos remind one of surf-rock, and could be music fitted just for driving to the beach on a hazy day. Jaws pulls you in with easygoing guitar riffs and indie-rock hooks that mark them as a band to watch in 2016.