On the hunt for the next big thing? Well look no further! As I Saw It First are running a massive competition to find the hottest new female talent in the UK.
Over the past few months they encouraged people to enter their First Look competition, and hundreds of people applied via Instagram, submitting videos of themselves performing. The entries were then whittled down to a list of 21 acts, who were chosen by a panel of expert judges made up of I Saw It First, Yinka Bokini, Shayna Marie, Zed Bias and Steel Bangelz.
And it’s now your turn to join in the judging, as the public are being invited to check out the acts, and then vote for whoever their favourite is to win. And what’s more your vote could change the winner’s life – as they’ll receive a £25k prize and the chance to work with a top music producer to create an official I Saw It First anthem.
Want a quick lowdown of all the finalists to help you make your mind up? Here’s our pick of six of the final 21.
What you need to know: Hailing from Haselmere. Kenya Grace started singing when she was super young and involved in musical theatre. Then as a teenager she started writing her own songs, and after hopping between genres, she settled on her woozy own brand of R&B-flecked pop.
The song you should listen to first: ‘Tell Me Why’
What you need to know: Hailing from Rochdale, singer-songwriter Clarissa is currently based in Salford where she’s studying. Her soulful music is beautiful, but she acknowledges it can be very emotional. “I just want people to relate to what I write,” she’s says of her music, adding: “everything that I write is very personal, my music is going to be a journey and I want people to be on that journey with me” – we’re happy to get onboard.
The song you should listen to first: ‘Surrender’
What you need to know: Super influenced by jazz, Manchester based singer-songwriter Olivia Brown cut her teeth in Barcelona singing in jazz bars – and you can hear this influence in her music. Still exploring music and different genres, Olivia’s enjoying the learning process and wants to continue pushing her career.
The song you should listen to first: ‘Yours’
For fans of? Amber Mark, Rina Sawayama
What you need to know: Moving from Belgium to London for music school, Lyne was won over by the capital and now lives here permanently. Since then she’s been gigging, as well as exploring different genres of music to help develop her style. She initially struggled with this because she was moving around different countries where tastes and styles differ; but since has learnt that she just has to be true to her own style and not try to please anyone else.
The song you should listen to first: ‘Tarzan’
For fans of? Maisie Peters, Kacey Musgraves
What you need to know: Massively inspired by country and soul music, Olivia Deane creates quietly powerful tunes that’ll break your heart. Planning to release her first EP in 2020, Olivia has been solely focussing on her music career for a number of years, and she even moved to Cheltenham and lived about a recording studio for six months so she could write and record music.
The song you should listen to first: ‘Beautiful You’
For fans of? Koffee, Popcaan
What you need to know: The London based singer-songwriter has always been hugely inspired by reggae music and is a massive Bob Marley fan. It’s only been in the past few years that Muva has been really focussing on her music career, but now is adamant to follow her dream and gets into the studio whenever she can.
The song you should listen to first: ‘London City’
Voting for First Look is now open, visit the website to find out more and vote for your favourite.