Holly Humberstone, Gracie Abrams and other artists to watch out for next year

THERE’S a host of new music coming your way in 2022 and today Jacqui Swift picks 22 acts to make it big next year . . . starting with SFTW’s top ten tips.


AN SFTW favourite from last year, the 22-year-old former violinist from Grantham, Lincs, picked up the Brit Awards’ Rising Star prize and said: “I’m kind of freaking out, but I’m on top of the world.”

She was spotted after performing on her local BBC Introducing radio show and can now count Sam Fender and Lewis Capaldi as huge fans.

Capaldi invited her on tour while Fender asked her to record an acoustic version of his song Seventeen Going Under.

Her storytelling songs have created a huge buzz and she has been compared to Lorde and Phoebe Bridgers.

November’s EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin followed acclaimed debut Falling Asleep At The Wheel.


DAUGHTER of Star Wars director JJ Abrams, her recent show at London’s Omeara sold out in seconds.

The 22-year-old has a knack for writing poetic and emotive songs about relationships.

She’s been working with The National’s Aaron Dessner (Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten), Joel Little (Lorde, Marina), and her regular collaborator Blake Slatkin (The Kid LAROI, Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber) and cites Joni Mitchell, Olivia Rodrigo and Kate Bush as inspiration.


WE’VE not been this excited about a band from the Isle of Wight since Mark King was slapping the bass for Level 42 in the 1980s.

Hampshire’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who met at school, have seen first single Chaise Longue all over the radio.

And together with follow-up Wet Dream, a song about an ex sending unwanted texts, they have built up more than 8.5million streams and three million views on YouTube.

Expect more witty lyrics when their debut album is released in April.

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WHAT a year it’s been already for the singer-songwriter from Canterbury, Kent.

Mimi is the first female UK artist since Dua Lipa in 2017 to have two singles in the top 15 before their debut album release, with Good Without and Dumb Love.

She said: “I try to write very emotional and real songs.

I hope you feel like I’m singing my story to you.” Her debut EP Seven Shades Of Heartbreak was a Top Ten hit, while her recent UK tour sold out in four hours.

Influenced by Amy Winehouse, Adele, Sam Smith and Emeli Sande.


LONDON four-piece comprising of frontman Zac Skinner, Joe Fisher (guitar), Perry Meadowcroft (bass) and Alfie Clayton (drums).

They were chosen to support Kasabian and The Streets in 2021 and you might have seen them at Neighbourhood Weekender and Isle of Wight Festival.

They’ve built a huge following for new British guitar music with recent releases, EP Culture Non-Stop and single Put Me Down As A Maybe.


THE South Londoner soundtracked the 2021 John Lewis Christmas advert with her cover of the 1984 classic, Together In Electric Dreams.

Stardom is guaranteed for the BRIT school graduate, who was shortlisted for the 2022 Brit Rising Star award.

Managed by Nick Shymansky, who managed Amy Winehouse, and Nick Huggett, who signed Adele to XL, she started writing songs aged 11 and won a national open mic competition at 13.

She’s been in the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Epworth.


MUSIC runs in the family for London-born, L.A-based Aiyana-Lee.

Her grandad was Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin and The Temptations’ David Ruffin is her great uncle.

Raised by her mum, (multi-platinum songwriter Nicole Daciana Anderson) she collaborated with KSI on the song Killa Killa.

She’s also worked with The Weeknd, Nicky Minaj, Rhianna and Beyonce.

Listen to songs Gangster Of Love and Rich Kids to hear what a talented singer she is.

Her album Wednesday’s Child is out later this year.


BRIGHTON MC is all about enjoying things and seeing the fun side of life.

Influenced by Eminem and Lil Wayne, ArrDee (real name Riley Davies) started writing at school and his witty and humorous wordplay has earned him many fans and two Top Ten singles.

An unlikely star, his singles Oliver Twist and 6AM In Brighton have earned him 6.8million YouTube views and made him a name to watch out for.

He also featured on Tion Wayne and Russ Millions chart-topper Body. Expect a debut mixtape in the new year.


THIS Leeds post-punk band have been championed by actors Maxine Peake and Cillian Murphy and Sir Elton John.

Known for their dark and witty lyrics in songs like Payday and their Dark Days EP.

This four-piece — James Smith (vocals), Ryan Needham (bass), Sam Shipstone (guitar) and Jay Russell (drums) have been likened to Arctic Monkeys and Sleaford Mods.

They release their debut album The Overload on January 21.

Catch them live across the UK this year.


THE folk singer-songwriter from Nashville releases her album Lighten Up in February.

It’s been produced by Father John Misty collaborator Jonathan Wilson and features recent singles Candy & Curry and Modern Woman — a song about what it means to be a woman today and addresses the evolution of gender norms and expectations.

She’s friends with Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard and has been compared to Joni Mitchell. Catch her live in the UK next month.


11. JOEY MAXWELL – South London DIY artist and YouTuber who mixes northern soul, hip-hop, guitar and synths.

12. SAM TOMPKINS – Justin Bieber’s “favourite new artist” with other famous fans including Bastille, Elton John, Bebe Rexha, Krept and Konan and MNEK. Look out for the Brighton singer-songwriter’s new EP Who Do You Pray To? in March.

13. JOE UNKNOWN – Camberley punk poet who has been compared to Slowthai and inspired by everyone from drum ’n’ bass to The Damned.

14. BEAUX – Storytelling popstar signed to Dirty Hit (home of The 1975) with three EPs released already.

15. RATS – Supported DMA’s on tour and are the first release on This Feeling’s new record label. Inspired by The Clash and Blur.

16. RICHARD FAIRLIE – Birmingham-born singer-songwriter who makes “emotionally-aware hip-pop”. You might have heard his debut EP, Maybe I’m Just A Little Bit Broken, or have seen him support Becky Hill.

17. AARON SMITH – Nocturnal, the single from this Scottish singer-songwriter, was one of 2021’s heartfelt new releases. Expect more breath-taking music from him in the new year.

18. PRIYA RAGU – Tamil-Swiss singer-songwriter whose boundary-pushing R&B and electro-pop sound earned her a spot on music show Later… With Jools Holland. We will be seeing a lot more of her in 2022.

19. BREE RUNWAY – Shortlisted for BBC Sound of 2021, this exuberant pop phenomenon from Hackney has worked with Missy Elliot and is on the radar of Michelle Obama.

20. ALISSIC – Brazilian-born Alissic is the wife of BMTH’s Oli Sykes who co-wrote and produced her first single Like. You can expect more quirky pop from her soon to brighten up 2022.

21. EYK – i.e. Everyone You Know are brothers, singer Rhys Kirkby-Cox and producer Harvey Kirby and mix hip-hop, garage, dance and punk. Their single There For You was given a lot of airplay when chosen as a Radio 1 Tune of the Week.

22. TAI VERDES – US singer who funded his career by winning a dating show and whose track Stuck In The Middle was a breakout song of 2021.

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