George the Poet comes fifth in BBC Sound of 2015 poll

The countdown to Number One started today

Spoken word artist George the Poet has been placed fifth in the BBC Sound of 2015 list.

The annual poll, which looks at up and coming artists for the year ahead, is judged by 139 DJs, critics and industry experts, and concludes with a countdown to the Number One spot this week.

George the Poet, a Cambridge politics graduate who has described his poetry as a reaction against the materialism of modern rap, said that being in the top five was “such a big pat on the back. It’s like I’m on track.”

“It’s all about talking to people in the most creative way possible,” he told the BBC. “My EP, ‘The Chicken and the Egg’, is about premature parenthood. Discussing that helps. I learnt… that making the words rhyme isn’t necessarily the same as making the words matter.”

George the Poet, real name George Mpanga, was born and raised in Harlesden, north-west London. He rose to prominence with My City, a poem contrasting the massive investment in the 2012 Olympics with the real London around him – “estates with the least funding – look at the state of east London, that’s a paradox/ Economy booming for the have-a-lots.”

MTV’s head of music Anna Karatziva, who voted for Mpanga in the Sound of 2015, called him “engaging and mesmerising”. “No matter what he is talking about, you find yourself clinging to his every word and the venue always erupts when he breaks into song,” she said.

A longlist of 15 acts for the BBC Sound of 2015 poll was revealed last month, including James Bay, Wolf Alice, and Slaves. DJ Huw Stephens will reveal the rest of the Top 5 in his Radio 1 breakfast show this week.