Artists to Watch 20202019 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 decade begins, we take a look at some of the up and coming artists we feel you should be paying attention to in 2020. Each artist has a special connection with Abbey Road, having either recorded, performed or mastered here. Get to know the artists below.
CelesteFrom: Brighton, UK
First on our list is Brighton-raised, British-Jamaican singer Celeste. Celeste has experienced a meteoric rise from when she first appeared on BBC Introducing in 2014 with her track North Circular. Following the success of her breakout singles Both Sides Of The Moon, Lately and Father’s Son, the soul singer released her stand-out single Strange. In December last year, Celeste also won the inaugural BRITs Rising Star Award. As part of the nomination, Celeste delivered a mesmerising performance of Strange in Studio Three. Celeste is currently touring across Europe with Michael Kiwanuka ahead of her April 2020 tour.
For fans of: Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith and Michael Kiwanuka
Key tracks: Strange and Father's Son
Easy LifeFrom: Leicester, UK
Easy Life are a multi-instrumental five-piece hailing from Leicester. Signed to Island Records, the band effortlessly cross genres from the gospel-rap of Chance The Rapper, the heavy-hitting riffs of Arctic Monkeys and the hip-hop beats of J Dilla. Following a string of releases, including singles Nightmares and Sangria, the band are now releasing their latest mix tape on Friday (10 January) which has been mastered at Abbey Road by Christian Wright.
For fans of: Tom Misch, Chance The Rapper and Bombay Bicycle Club
Key tracks: Nightmares / Sangria
BeabadoobeeFrom: Manila, Phillipines
Bea Kristi is an independent artist and producer with a carefully-crafted folk-pop sound. Her most recent EPs have demonstrated a diverse palate of sounds, reminiscent of ‘90s grunge,with ethereal vocals and poignant songwriting. Influenced by the '90s and dedicated to her friend and band's bass player Eliana, watch her performance in Studio Three of breakout single She Plays Bass and her Spotify Singles’ cover of Simple Minds’ classic Don’t You (Forget About Me) live from Studio Two.
For fans of: Clairo, Pavement and Stephen Malkmus
Key tracks: She Plays Bass / If You Want To
ClovesFrom: Melbourne, Australia
Fans of intimate and poetic pop have been falling for Kaity Dunstan, more commonly known as Cloves, ever since she dropped her XIII EP in 2015. The Australian-born, London-based singer-songwriter released her debut album in 2018, One Big Nothing, demonstrating a musical assurance and maturity. Her song Don't Forget About Me was also featured on the soundtrack to the 2016 film Me Before You, earning it over 60 million streams to date. She has been working on her next project at Abbey Road, recording vocals in our Gatehouse studio.
For fans of: Lana Del Ray, LÉON and Fiona Apple
Key tracks: Better Now and Don't Forget About Me
Joy CrookesFrom: South East London, UK
The 21-year-old, who is of Bangladeshi-Irish descent, first came to attention when she posted a cover of Hit The Road Jack to YouTube as a teenager. Since then she's further developed her sound, garnering comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill. This has culminated in several EPs and one-off singles that have shown a nuanced and individual ear for melody. They’ve earned her fourth place on the BBC Sound of 2020 list and a nomination for the inaugural BRITs Rising Star Award. Watch her incredible performance of single Don’t Let Me Down in Studio Three.
For fans of: Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill
Key tracks: Easy / Don’t Let Me Down
The Goa ExpressFrom: Manchester, UK
A love for an array of alternative music from ‘60s garage bands to late ‘80s indie-dance hybrids has closely united The Goa Express. Together, James Douglas Clarke, Joe Clarke, Joey Stein, Naham Muzaffar and Sam Launder, each contribute to a wall of diverse sounds that become hard to pin down with their ever-changing, experimental sound. The band, who have been performing live with indie giants such as Cabbage and The Orielles have also been part of our BBC Introducing sessions, where they spent three days in December recording, mixing and mastering a track which will be ready for release later this year.
For fans of: The Orielles, Goat Girl and Cabbage
Key track: The Day
Olivia NelsonFrom: South-East London, UK
23-year-old artist Olivia Nelson has already gathered a swell of support across the UK and continues to shine with her formative soul and R&B influenced EP Back To You. We welcomed Olivia into our Gatehouse studio as the second of four BBC Music Introducing acts who were given the opportunity to record two tracks at the studios across three days, which will be released later this year.
For fans of: Jorja Smith and Lauryn Hill
Key tracks: Everything and Smother Me
YebbaFrom: Arkansas, US
Abbey Smith from Arkansas, whose stage name is her first name backwards, has already taken 2019 by storm. Appearing on Ed Sheeran's latest collaborative album and then making three features on Mark Ronson's Late Night Feelings, including the future classic Don’t Leave Me Lonely. With a gospel-rooted voice that’s supremely powerful, she’s instantly recognisable in her own right. Abbey came into Studio Three with Ed Sheeran to perform a live rendition of their track Best Part of Me.
For fans of: Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Adele
Key tracks: Don't Leave Me Lonely and Best Part of Me
GeorgiaFrom: London, UK
The 21-year-old singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist has already made her dent with two stand-out singles: 2018’s pulsing Started Out, and 2019’s house-inflected pop track About Work the Dancefloor. In her own words, the British musician makes post-punky hip-hop soul – but even that doesn’t quite do her justice. We recently welcomed Georgia into the Gatehouse studio for a project which will be announced soon.
For fans of: Christine and the Queens, Empress Of and Sam Fender
Key tracks: Started Out and About Work the Dancefloor
RayowaFrom: Essex, UK
Crafting a song that builds on from the bittersweet mood of true disco classics, Better Man is the debut single from Essex three-piece Rayowa. The track is reminiscent of everyone from Nile Rodgers to Jungle in its blazing dance floor energy. Better Man was mixed by Abbey Road’s Paul Pritchard in The Gatehouse and mastered by Christian Wright in Room Five. Fresh from selling out the Moth Club in London, expect a huge 2020 for the trio.
For fans of: Jungle, Nile Rodgers and CHIC
Key track: Better Man
The Big MoonFrom: London, UK
The Big Moon is a London four-piece band formed in 2014 by Juliette Jackson. Their debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, was released in April 2017 to critical acclaim, going on to be shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. On Friday (10 January) they will be releasing their sophomore album Walking Like We Do, which will follow a support slot with the Pixies on their 2019 UK and Ireland tour.
For fans of: Wolf Alice and Goat Girl
Key tracks: Cupid and Your Light