BBC drop their Sound of 2016 Longlist

A panel made up of 144 djs, critics and writers have finalised BBC’s Sound of 2016 Longlist. Having run since 2003, the Sound of … list tasks music industry taste-makers with the job of predicting the next big thing in music for the coming year. After putting together a list of 15 artists, a winner is eventually plucked out and generally speaking, their career gains unforeseen momentum. Among the longlist for Sound of 2016 are Alessia Cara, Jack Garrett and Rat Boy.

With major-label artist launch strategies shifting to fit in with the poll’s timelines, there are of course, rules in place in an attempt to keep things fair: acts must not have independently hit the Top 20 in the UK, they can’t have been shortlisted in previous years and recent TV talent show winners are out-and-out banned. Previous winners have included Sam Smith, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and Adele, who has recently broken the record for most units sold in one week. Last year’s list included Wolf Alice, Raury, James Bay and Stormzy, though the ultimate winners were electronica outfit Years & Years.

The winner for the Sound of 2016 will be announced on January 8th. For now, the artists longlist can probably start preparing for bigger shows, as previous nominees, including Sunset Sons, have spoken about the huge impact simply being nominated has on their careers: “A lot of people started showing up to the shows straight after [the shortlist announcement], especially in Europe. A lot of the comments when we met fans after the shows were, ‘we saw you on the Sound Of list – that’s why we’re here’. It’s a massive thing; people use it as a real benchmark.”

Sound of 2016 Longlist:

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