BBC Music Reveals “Sound of 2018” Longlist


Sachyn Mital

Dua Lipa was one of the artists placed on this program’s longlist, via Sachyn Mital (Wikimedia Commons).

The music awards scene has many awards shows for established artists, including the AMAs, the Grammys, and the VMAs; however, there is very little coverage of rising artists. BBC seeks to change this with their “Sound of…” program, which exists to shed light on artists who a panel of judges deem to have very promising futures in the music industry. This awards program has existed since 2003, and to choose its winner, it first publishes a list of semifinalists, called the longlist, in late November or early December; then, the winner is announced along with a ranked shortlist in January.

The “Sound of …” music awards are very accurate predictors of future music success. Previous winners of this award include Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, and Adele, and artists placed on this program’s longlist include Chance the Rapper, Dua Lipa, and Frank Ocean. Even if they do not know what this music awards program is, many people are very familiar with some of its alumni and their success stories.

Junior Bianca Simons said, “I was very surprised to see that a lot of the artists I listen to, like Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean, were featured on the ‘Sound of …’ awards. It’s really cool that there are music awards for up-and-coming artists.” These music awards are a great resource for people who want to find new artists to listen to.

This year, the Sound of 2018 longlist, comprised of 16 artists, was released on November 27th. The artists on the list span a large range of music genres, from rap, to pop, and even jazz. One nominee is Khalid, who is described as a “rising R&B star,” and has already reached the US Top 10 with his debut album American Teen. This album features two of his songs that have gained much attention in the US: “Young Dumb & Broke” and “Location.” Another nominee is Billie Eilish. Her music is described as “devilishly dark pop,” and is known for one of her songs, “Bellyache,” that is written from the perspective of a serial killer, along with the rest of her EP Don’t Smile At Me. The other 14 nominees are Alma, IAMDDB, Jade Bird, Lewis Capaldi, Nilüfer Yanya, Not3s, Pale Waves, Rex Orange County, Sam Fender, Sigrid, Superorganism, Tom Walker, Yaeji, and Yxng Bane.

From now until January 8th, all of the nominees and the rest of the world will have to patiently await the reveal of the Top 5, and then the winner. The Top 5 will be announced daily starting January 8th on BBC Radio 1.

Sources: BBC Music

Photo Source: Sachyn Mital