Not3s

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If you weren’t taking notes of this Hackney-based artist’s chart-takeover this year then you’ve done yourself a great disservice. It only took two singles for Not3s to evolve from urban newcomer to one of the most hotly tipped singers out of the UK. ‘Addison Lee’ and ‘Aladdin’ were undeniable mega-smashes that earned him various festival slots all over Europe this summer, with his fanbase growing as swiftly as his stock.

But an EP and tens of millions of YouTube views is only the beginning for the up-and-comer securing his name as a stand-out of the UK's ever-elevating afroswing scene. In 2018, Not3s is going global.

IAMDDB

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A persona is so easy to construct and maintain nowadays. It's almost easier to play catch-up with current trends or tap into the right algorithm for cool than it is to spend that time figuring out who we are apart from the herd and the barrage of content it navigates through. It's why a lot of music is disposable. And why every so often, when we do come across something wholly authentic, we're immediately drawn in by it.

That explains Manchester artist IAMDDB's ardent emergence and why over the summer, she's gone from enigmatic newcomer to one of the most hotly tipped artists out of the UK. Everything she says and does is unscripted - with razor-sharp vocals and an unapologetic smirk. And her growing fanbase has taken notice.

"Bad bitch, no underwear" are the first words the urban jazz singer unleashes on her breakout single 'Shade,' which soon became a summer anthem for late-night antics and festival season action. IAMDDB, born Diana Debrito, followed up the hype hymn leading into September with the release of her Hoodrich EP - dense in raw sonic fusions paired with implacable lyrics that solidified her as the substantial alternative to an industry plant-based diet. And now she's eating too.

Mahalia

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Mahalia went viral this year off the strength of a Colors video. Rocking a red puffer packet in front of a blue backdrop, the 18-year-old opened her mouth and garnered two and a half million views off the strength of her voice. That tone that set the precedent for what we can only anticipate to be a skyrocketing career.

The British songstress first emerged on a consistent level earlier this year with her debut single ‘Sober’, but it was a long time coming. While the R&B singer wrote her first song at 8 and signed a deal at 13, she first needed to complete her GCSE’s and attend college before she could go full throttle on her music. But the time has now come and with stunning inflections and honest lyricism like no other, her fervent rise this year has been an authentic one. We're sure the rest of the world is about to take notice.

Billie Eilish

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Billie Eilish is the youngest threat in the game. At just 15-years-old, the LA-based singer has earned her slot as one of the most anticipated young superstars-to-be with the release of her Don’t Smile At Me EP, which was released earlier this summer and her mammoth single ‘Ocean Eyes.’ Since then, she’s gone onto feature on the soundtrack for breakout Netflix series 13 Reasons Why before selling out her London headline show in under 10 minutes.

We’re sure Billie is set to solidify her slot as a radio staple next year, with award shows in her near future. It’s a matter of time and at just 15, Billie has lots of it.

Rina Sawayama

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London-based pop futurist Rina Sawayama lives in 3017. And so do her relationships.

By the time we set our eyes and ears on London-based rising artist Rina Sawayama, she was so far into the future, it was hard for her pop contemporaries to keep up. The pop futurist is in a lane all her own, pumping out digital anthems about life online like no other songwriter out at the moment. ‘Cyber Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Tunnel Vision’ cemented the creative as the voice of the social media influenced and how emotions have evolved to transcend url to irl.

Hak Baker

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An acoustic guitar and pangs of nostalgia are all Hak Baker needs for a street anthem. Not the kind he once made, though. Something new. The East London poet has traded in his title of grime emcee and accompanying 140 BPM production for the raw vocals and soulful folk-laden melodies that assist in telling his stories of the ends and the memories made alongside his band of anti-protagonist misfits.

His hymns of an outcast vividly recall blurry beer-drenched benders and police chases though Hak's authentic blend of English folk. But while distinctly steeped in the sonics of East London rebel culture, his unwavering wayward voice has grasped the ears of fans across borders. Without anticipating the climb, Hak has been tapped as one of the most promising rising songwriters and his latest Misfits EP has only furthered that.

Ms Banks

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We know the boxes women in rap are still placed in. And they're looking quite dusty. They're the same old tropes. There's the "pink wig, thick ass, give em whiplash" rapper; the queen in the tight body suit who thinks big, gets cash and makes em blink fast while shredding her monumental verse on a collaborative single alongside an assembly of male peers. There's the "queen bitch, supreme bitch", who delivers a hailstorm of unapologetically aggressive bars without breaking a sweat over thunderous bass. The boisterous party-starter - the kind to put her thing down, flip it and reverse it. And of course, the beautifully conscious role-model, warning other young girls on the come-up to watch out for "that thing."

But while all iconic in their own right, London emcee Ms Banks isn't interested in existing in spaces already occupied - particularly if they come with boundaries. There's room for all and there's room to be it all, especially in a time where the UK rap scene has claimed international interest. And with upcoming performance slots, a cosign from Nicki Minaj, the release of new music and more in the works, the voracious young artist is ready to tell her own story in her own multifaceted way.

Cherrie

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Music transcends everything – language included. Which is why we’ve been enamored by Swedish-based Somali singer Cherrie since we first heard her in 2015 via stunning track ‘Tabanja’. Last year, Stormzy made sure to cosign the Stockholm singer by jumping on her single ‘Aldrig igen (må sådär)’ and this year, she earned global notoriety for her viral video for ‘163 För Evigt.’

Next year, we're anticipating that retweet numbers and video views will translate to streaming numbers and record sales. And we could not be more excited for Cherrie and her Swedish R&B blueprint.