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Next March, the NME Awards will return to London’s O2 Academy Brixton for the wildest night of the year. Announced today (November 23), first performances from some of the biggest and brightest acts around have been confirmed for the return of the awards.
Fresh from a Number One album and nationwide arena tour, Sam Fender will bring ‘Seventeen Going Under’ to Brixton Academy, joined by pop superstar-in-waiting Griff and genre-smashing behemoth Rina Sawayama. Elsewhere, Halsey – fresh from releasing their cutting-edge album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’, produced by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – will receive the richly deserved Innovator Award.
As well as crowning the biggest artists in the world, the NME Awards is also dedicated to championing the freshest new talent, a key ethos shared by the event’s lead partner BandLab, the cloud platform where artists create music and collaborate together across the globe.
Ahead of next year’s awards, we’ve rounded up the 10 best artists on BandLab right now. Check them out below.
Who: Classically trained indie-pop songwriter, producer and composere from Los Angeles.
For fans of: Billie Eilish, Jon Hopkins
Look out for: Her genreless approach to music creation, where covers of huge songs (Adele’s ‘Easy On Me’, Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’) meet traditional arrangements and beat-heavy production work.
Key track: ‘Lights Out’
Who: A rapper and songwriter from Memphis making enticingly dark delights/
For fans of: SZA, Charli XCX
Look out for: The comments section in her tracks on BandLab, where she lays out her creative process so you can dive into the middle of these songs.
Key track: ‘To The Moon’
Who: Dextrous rapper from Atlanta with an excellent range of styles.
For fans of: PinkPantheress, Kevin Abstract
Look out for: Her 2021 mixtape ‘POSTER CHILD’, which travels from emo-leaning, softer verses to full-on chaos.
Key track: ‘SONG CRY’
Who: Producer-turned-singer-songwriter from New York, making glistening wonderlands out of soul songs with layered vocals.
For fans of: Frank Ocean, The Internet
Look out for: On her new ‘Situationships’ EP, Nefertiti Gold makes music that drifts in and out of consciousness, reflecting a fractured mind with brilliant precision.
Key track: ‘Victim’
Who: Singer-songwriter from Seattle, and a one-man hit machine.
For fans of: Glass Animals, Steve Lacy
Look out for: His covers and themed songs (#CreepItReal Halloween contest entry ‘Spooky’ in particular) show an artist and producer able to carve brilliance out of whatever ingredients you give him.
Key track: ‘I Don’t Mind’
Who: Grammy-winning producer from Westwood, Kansas with an ear for unusual, eye-catching beats.
For fans of: Flying Lotus, Flume
Look out for: The 19-year-old’s productions use flickers of vocal samples and chants to make the music feel vibrant and brilliantly alive.
Key track: ‘MOVIN’
Who: A YouTube content creator on BandLab to educate as much as entertain.
For fans of: Eminem, Tyler, the Creator
Look out for: He’s currently posting a new song in each day of November – a lovely advent calendar to unbox before the chocolatey ones arrive.
Key track: ‘Creators’
Who: Guitar prodigy stretching the instrument to sun-drenched, blissful places.
For fans of: Thundercat, Anderson .Paak
Look out for: Being the catalyst for collaboration is the key to his work on BandLab, with vocals and instrumentalists hopping onto a beat to make something brilliant from his ‘Jump On The Jam’ series.
Key track: ‘Can’t Stop The Groove’
Who: Hard-hitting New York rapper with an old-school style and wonderfully gravelly voice.
For fans of: Run The Jewels, Notorious B.I.G.
Look out for: One of the most prolific artists working on BandLab, he’s already amassing a catalogue that proves unstoppable creativity.
Key track: ‘Speak My Truth’
Who: Bedroom producer from Toronto with a style that traverses pop, hip-hop and electronica.
For fans of: Bonobo, J Dilla
Look out for: While the musical output is varied, melodic guitars and razor-sharp snares run throughout, taking him towards a signature style.
Key track: ‘SORROWS’