Five Tracks: BBC Sound of 2016

‘TIS the season to be tipping music’s biggest stars of tomorrow (well, next year at any rate) and, as has become the norm in recent years, the BBC got the ball rolling this week with the unveiling of the longlist for its Sound Of 2016 poll.

Last year’s victors, synth-pop trio Years And Years, have enjoyed a phenomenal year. Their debut album, Communion, went straight to the No.1 spot when it was released in July.

Previous winners who have gone on to very big things include Sam Smith, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and some singer from East London going by the name of Adele (you might have heard of her).

This year’s list includes Jack Garratt, winner of the recent Brits Critics Choice award, Mabel, who is the daughter of singer-rapper-DJ Neneh Cherry, and Nao, a former backing singer for indie icons Pulp.

The list, compiled by a panel of 144 DJs, critics and writers, aims to highlight 15 rising acts for the coming year.

To qualify for selection, acts must not have independently hit the Top 20 in the UK, and they cannot have been shortlisted in years gone by. Oh, and recent TV talent show winners are banned.

BBC Radio 1 DJs Huw Stephens and Annie Mac will announce the top five acts, counting down to the winner, live on the Radio 1 Breakfast show each morning from January 4, with the overall winner announced on Friday, January 8.

Today, in a variation of our weekly Five Tracks You Must Hear feature, AAA uses its Nostradamus-like powers to predict the final final five.

If we get it right, we’ll say we told you so.  If not… well, you’ll never hear mention of it again on these pages.

Check out the BBC’s longlist below, and then listen to our predictions for the final five.

Sound of 2016 longlist

  • Alessia Cara
  • Izzy Bizu
  • Blossoms
  • Loyle Carner
  • Frances
  • Jack Garratt
  • J Hus
  • Dua Lipa
  • Mabel
  • Billie Marten
  • Mura Masa
  • Nao
  • Rat Boy
  • Section Boyz