Film10th January 2019
Artists to Watch 20192018 has been an extraordinary year for music and we are proud that Abbey Road has played a small part in making it happen. As a new year begins, we take a look at some of the burgeoning artists we feel you should be paying attention to in 2019. Each artist has a special connection with Abbey Road, having either recorded, performed or mastered here.
From smooth and soulful R&B to modern pop gems, get to know the up-and-coming artists below.
Franc MoodyFrom: London, UK
Heralding from London, disco-funk outfit Franc Moody conjure up intergalactic funk doused in electronic inspiration. Franc Moody see themselves as a collective, which include various musicians, guest vocalists, producers and animators that all play a fundamental part. But at the core of the band are the two songwriters, Ned and Jon. The duo has recently been working in Abbey Road’s Front Room studio with our Chief Creative Advisor, Nile Rodgers. Nile even asked them to be one of the support acts on his UK December tour, performing at venues from the Manchester Arena to London’s 02 Arena.
For fans of: CHIC, Jamiroquai, George Clinton and Daft Punk
Key tracks: Dopamine / Night Moves
Emily BurnsFrom: Midlands, UK
We are exceptionally proud of the year our very own Emily Burns has had. From beginning 2018 as Abbey Road Studios’ receptionist, to going on to releasing her debut EP Seven Scenes from the Same Summer, amassing over ten million streams. Having a clear talent for writing instantly relatable modern pop gems, we expect 2019 to be an even bigger year for Emily.
For fans of: Sigrid, Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande
Key tracks: Friends Don’t Kiss Friends / Girlfriend At The Time
TirzahFrom: Essex, UK
Tirzah has been at the centre of the vital post-grime and UK garage sound of London for almost five years, but it’s only now that her work has come to full fruition. Devotion, her debut album released in August 2018, has gained critical acclaim and has made her one of the standout artists emerging from the UK R&B scene.
“Tirzah's debut album Devotion is a compelling vision of what imperfect pop music can be — joyful in both sound and feeling precisely because both seem so out-of-step and asymmetrical." Kevin Lozano - Pitchfork. The album's eleven "straight-up love songs" were mastered at Abbey Road by senior mastering engineer Christian Wright and featured as one of BBC Radio 6 Music's Albums of The Day.
For fans of: FKA Twigs, The xx and Solange
Key track: Devotion
No RomeFrom: Manila, Philippines
Rome Gomez, better known by his alias of No Rome, is a Manila-based singer and producer whose silky, hyper-modern production and melodies have already caught the attention of The 1975, with frontman Matt Healy even referring to him as his “muse”.
Matt Healy and George Daniel of The 1975 also co-produced his debut EP RIP Indo Hisashi, released in late 2018 and recorded entirely in Abbey Road’s Gatehouse studio. Like The 1975, No Rome’s music is idiosyncratic and difficult to pin down to just one genre, so it makes sense that the two would be drawn to collaborating with each other. Further collaboration is expected this year, with No Rome expected to release his debut album in 2019.
For fans of: The 1975, Chvrches and HAIM
Key tracks: Narcissist (feat. The 1975) / Do It Again
Goat GirlFrom: South London, UK
Goat Girl are a four-piece from South London who have since emerged as one of the brightest hopes in the UK's current guitar scene. Their self-titled debut album mastered at Abbey Road by Christian Wright has gone onto achieve major acclaim with music press and fans alike.
"It’s ambitious and uncompromising, in both structure and content; rather than spoonfeeding, Goat Girl demand more from their listeners and provide more in tandem. As an opening statement, this is as gutsy and self-assured as they come" - DIY Magazine.
Picking up the Q Award for Best Breakthrough Act 2018, we expect to see the four-piece achieve even greater things this year.
For fans of: Wolf Alice, Blossoms and Sundara Karma
Key track: Cracker Drool
Yussef DayesFrom: London, UK
Yussef Dayes, percussionist and one half of celebrated jazz-funk duo Yussef Kamaal, made his live solo debut last year with a session in Abbey Road’s Studio Three. Love Is The Message was the first of two releases from Dayes, both of which are collaborations with producer and composer Alfa Mist. Dayes masterminded 2017’s Yussef Kamaal album, Black Focus, with keyboardist Kamaal Williams. Having broken boundaries with their debut album, Dayes is braced for a new, more profound challenge. The 24-year-old is poised to release more music and collaborations in early 2019 which we are waiting for with bated breath.
For fans of: Sun Ra, Fela Kuti and Bill Evans
Key track: Love Is The Message
MahaliaFrom: Leicester, UK
Rising British star Mahalia has enjoyed an incredible 2018, becoming one of the UK’s most exciting female artists to hit the scene. Mahalia came to Abbey Road at the end of 2018 to perform in Studio Three as part of her BRITS Critics’ Choice nomination. Watch the performance below.
For fans of: Erykah Badu, Jorja Smith and Tom Misch
Key track: Sober
LonaFrom: London, UK
We were first introduced to alt-rock upstarts Lona, in their previous incarnation as Judas in January 2018 as they came to Abbey Road’s Gatehouse studio to record some tracks. Expressing an undeniable talent for creating infectious and anthemic melodies, the band went on to pick up over one million Spotify streams and made an impact with live shows at Reading / Leeds and the IOW festivals.
The band are set to re-emerge in 2019 with a new sound under the new moniker, Lona. With new music expected imminently, we are excited to see what this year has in store for them.
For fans of: Mallory Knox, The 1975, You Me At Six and Don Bronco.
Sam FenderFrom: North Shields, UK
Sam Fender has already had a remarkably impressive start to 2019. Voted the BRITS Critics’ Choice winner, the prize is seen as a predictor of future success, with other previous winners including Florence + the Machine and Emeli Sandé. Fender has now built a sizeable fanbase through releasing a string of nine singles in 2017 and 2018, along with a heavy touring schedule. Fender came to Abbey Road’s Studio Three to perform as part of his BRITS Critics’ Choice nomination. Watch below.
For fans of: The Vaccines, Catfish and The Bottlemen and The 1975
Key track: Dead Boys
JD. ReidFrom: London, UK
JD. Reid is a producer redefining expectations, blending together a plethora of styles and genres to create his own unique sound. We first met JD. Reid in early 2017 when he recorded his Calibrate EP with guests Novelist, Kojey Radical and slowthai in our Gatehouse studio, returning to master his phenomenal mix tape Tree. The record is an intoxicating marriage of hip hop and jazz with glimpses of tradition Japanese instrumentation, which clearly portrays his vast production stylings and ability.
For fans of: J Dilla, Kaytranda and Flying Lotus
Key track: Just Know
Lewis CapaldiFrom: Glasgow, UK
Lewis Capaldi first gained attention after his debut track Bruises stormed streaming services last year, amassing millions of streams on Spotify. Lewis has since gone on to open for Sam Smith and One Direction’s Niall Horan, along with his own sell-out show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush. Lewis paid us a visit at the end of last year to perform in Studio Three as part of his BRITS Critics’ Choice Nomination. Watch below.
For fans of: Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and Bastille
Key track: Grace
Ezra CollectiveFrom: London, UK
The London quintet Ezra Collective is one of the jewels of the new English jazz scene. The musicians integrate hip-hop along with afrobeat rhythms, possessing the technical virtuosity of jazz musicians. Their sophomore album, Juan Pablo: The Philosopher, won the Giles Peterson Best Jazz Album of the Year award and was recorded right here in Studio Three at Abbey Road. Ending 2018 with a collaboration with rising star Jorja Smith on Reason In Disguise and announcing a US tour, we expect an even bigger year for Ezra Collective.
For fans of: Fela Kuti, Madlib and Robert Glasper
Key track: Reason In Disguise