Saturday, 7 January 2012

BBC Sound of 2012

in an exercise of self-fulfilling prophecies, BBC's sound of 2012 has just announced London soul singer Michael Kiwanuku as being at the pinacle of acts that they are tipping for the top this year

UK based 'tastemakers' are polled for their favourite acts that look ready to break though in the upcoming 12 months, yet it hardly seems surprising that most years have seen these people plump for those that are already riding on a considerable amount of hype

the voting system that it is founded on is basically a glorified popularity contest, with those topping the pile being the acts that are increasingly harder to avoid come November as record label's PR's must have become increasingly savvy to the elevated profile that the poll has garnered in recent years, and the timing of their client's game-plan will no doubt be scheduled with this in mind.

perhaps it is cynicism or the fact that the record industry is becoming more transparent with it's business activities, but in many cases it only serves to heap more hype on an already hyped act and sealing their fate of chart supremacy with that little extra nod.

with that said, perhaps we are looking at the most leftfield choices yet that seem to skirt some of the more obvious radio fodder

with genres bouncing around from the cool electro-pop of Swedish trio, Nikki and The Dove to the smack-in-the-face screeching dubstep of Skrillex landing at fifth and fourth place respectively, and the lurid rhymes of the already much-hyped Azealia Banks in third, we seem to have quite a mixed melting pot ready to be served to us this year.

 stream: Avicci - Levels (Skrillex remix)

second placed Frank Ocean is personally my favourite of the listed acts announced, the best thing about Odd Future, who were themselves heaped with unfathomable hype last summer, Ocean has been operating under the rader writing for Beyonce and John Legend, and made a transitional shift with his productions on Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne following on from his own unique nostalgia,ULTA mixtape that i have not been able to get enough of and have had on repeat in the months when the sun still shone, after delving deep and finding it languishing unheard on my generic mp3 player.

which brings us to the 'winner', Michael Kiwanuku, who i must admit to being rather ignorant of until december just past, and although he may not be as abrassive as Azealia Banks and Skrillex, nor as innovative as Frank Ocean, i can't help but like him.

perhaps i am mellowing as time passes ever faster, but Kiwanuku's music that i have heard so far is soothing and evocative, and a welcome change of pace from dance-hip-hop hybrids that clog the airwaves and a real 180 degrees about face from last years winner, Jessie J's upbeat urban-pop

musically, Michael Kiwanuku sits somewhere between Jack Johnson and Damian Rice in terms of style and may signal a revitalised male singer-songwriter presence in the mainstream, following on from the success of Ed Sheeran and wrestling attention away from the dominating female forces of previous winners Adele and Elle Goulding and 2009 runner-up Florence and the Machine.

releasing his music via the Communion label that was set up by Mumford and Sons' Ben Lovett (who were inescapable in 2010) and having supported Adele on tour in 2011, Kiwanuku will surely be on the right track for replicating the track records of both of these acts in 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment