Ones To Watch In 2019: The Longlist


SCAN’s Music section and their friends at campus radio station, Bailrigg FM, have come together to identify the hottest new talents in music right now and shine a spotlight on those expected to do big things in the new year. After being pretty spot on with last year’s choices, you’d best make sure keep your ears tuned in to the following artists for the next twelve months and your eyes peeled for the reveal of the Top 6 in SCAN’s first issue of term!




Photo by Matt Horne, via

The Brits ‘Critic’s Choice’ Winner has been a poisoned chalice over the last few years: Jack Garratt and Rag and Bone Man have slipped into relative obscurity following their wins. Can indie-rocker Sam change this fate over the next year?



Image by Patrick Gunning, via Girls

Having first been brought to the attention of the public through BBC Introducing last year, the four-piece from Leicester have gone from strength to strength – releasing their debut EP ‘Adored’ which proved to be a real crowd pleaser at gigs and festivals alike.





“Manchester’s next arena act” – according to Manchester Evening News, and fresh from their headline tour of the UK, I’d expect some new material to be released early in the new year. If their recent singles are anything to go by, their warm and inviting indie-bops will draw plenty more fans in the near future.




Jade’s soft and wistful vocals over a floating acoustic melody of her 2017 EP ‘Something American’ has recently been replaced by a driving and gravelled tone that has drawn attention from some of the industry’s most revered individuals. Annie Mac named ‘Uh-Huh’ as ‘Hottest Record in the World’ upon its release late in the year.



Photo taken from Music

Mahalia’s 2018 worked along much the same lines as Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande, in that it was defined by a cult hit echoing the description of many-a maligned relationship: ‘I Wish I Missed My Ex’. The songstress is becoming renowned in the industry for layering open-hearted lyricism over a fuse of old-school beats and modern synths – she is really on trend right now!



Most people probably only know No Rome as “that band supporting The 1975 on tour next year”, but Rome Gomez is much more than that: having released only four songs, a monthly listenership of over 1.3 million shows the state of hype around this guy. The support slot on The 1975’s tour in January can only build the electro-popper’s reputation in the UK, just look what happened to Pale Waves following their slot in 2016!



After hovering around the indie and alternative scene for a few years now, Lewis now seems to be making real waves in the mainstream. His biggest track of last year, ‘Grace’, was frequently played on BBC Radio 1 and even featured in the Live Lounge, alongside this cover of ‘Shallow’ from the hit film ‘A Star is Born’.



This Liverpool-based outfit have been on the fringes of the indie scene for a couple of years now, working their way up the roster as a support band for countless acts. These stages seem to be increasing in size, early 2019 sees the band on tour with Circa Waves and The Wombats, could this be the step up that The Night Café have been crying out for?



Off the back of being nominated upon the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2019’ longlist, Grace released the much awaited EP ‘Why Her Not Me?’, featuring the popular track of the same name. Much like another famous Carter, her dulcet, earthy vocals wrap seductively around both ballads and R&B beats: definitely one for fans of one of last year’s picks, Jorja Smith!



After being released by Parlophone Records last year, Sarah is working independently, but this doesn’t show through the high quality of production and execution in both her music and videos – likely aided by her large following from YouTube. The pop singer has vowed that 2019 will be her busiest year yet, with plenty of hotly anticipated releases in the pipeline.



Dermot has already sold out four – yes, FOUR – consecutive nights at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, and slowly but surely the rest of the UK seems to be taking notice. His most recent single ‘Power Over Me’ has been the subject of much critical acclaim, but perhaps a better measure of his success, however, would be that the track has been streamed on Spotify almost 11 million times.



Album Artwork for Ella Mai – Ella Mai (2018)

Another R&B songstress making the list, originally from London, is making real waves across the pond having collaborated with Chris Brown and even John Legend on her debut, self-titled album. You might know her from one of the most popular songs of the year ‘Boo’d Up’, but this was actually first released in 2017 – showing some pretty strong staying power for Ella.





He is one of the hottest talents in British rap at the moment – his fusion of hip-hop, grime and punk create a really exciting sound, which really showed throughout his ‘Runt’ EP and a host of stand-alone singles. We can’t wait for next year’s inevitable debut album!



Few bands have been as immersive as HMLTD recent years: their electrifying mix of glam, punk and pop engages all the senses of their listeners through striking outfits and bizarre videos. They’ve even been known to set fires at their shows to create smells to match their sound. Having released their debut EP in 2018, next year could expect to see an album.



Image by Paige Sarah Wilson, via Folick

LA-based Miya released debut album ‘Prenomitions’, one of our on-air favourites due to her clever lyrics backed up by an amazing voice. 2019 could be a big step up for Miya in her own right after performing on tour with Pale Waves and Sunflower Bean this autumn.



Although a living meme – repping a bowl-cut, all-in-one tracksuit and riding a scooter – Oliver makes the music to match. Confident and bombastic, he experiments with a pop-diva character to live as a joke on his mission to redefine cool; yet he performs with just enough heart to be taken seriously by the industry.



At only 19, this singer and guitarist is fast becoming the darling of the indie community following the release of debut album, ‘Lush’. Her heartfelt lyrics and 90s throwback style of playing made the Maryland native a favourite among many of the presenters around the station.



This London six-piece make enticing and catchy pop-music that blends in elements of jazz, disco, R&B and funk. There have been only two tracks released by the band – ‘Monster’ and ‘Meateater’ – but both are so good that you can’t help but be excited for what is to come next.



Image via Tonnes

Much like his older brother George Ezra, Ethan Barnett (better known as Ten Tonnes) writes heart-warming songs with catchy, sing-along choruses. He’s hitting the festival scene hard this year: Boardmasters and Reading and Leeds have both announced that he will be lighting up their stages with his 70s rock and roll soul.



Goat Girl’s self titled debut album helped the ‘post-punk punk band’ leave their mark on 2018. Characterised by disinterested delivery of pessimistic lyrics, they manage to maintain a much higher energy level than you might expect.



These guys are a unique fusion of off-the-wall, electronic sounds that culminated in their captivating debut album, ‘Nightbath’. Abrasive and varied – this album is really worth a listen! Moreover, their music works as a platform for underground artists, this means you’re bound to hear something new in their tracks.



Its hard to pin this singer/songwriter to one genre – he fuses R&B, pop, rock and hip-hop fluidly into a single, mellow style. Yuno is multi-talented as well; he creates the cover art for his singles, including recent EP ‘Moodie’, as well as directing his own music videos.


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