Victoria Nwosu-Hope is more than your average reporter and presenter. We met the Capital FM DJ backstage at one of the #musicmatters events at Selfridges, where she was introducing new talent including Frank Gamble and Croox. So we said, hey - why not tell us who else you like? And guess what? She only went and did.
Photography: Nic Ford
Mura Masa's self-titled debut album is hands-down my most-played record of the year... and it's only been out since July! It's perfection lies in its eclecticism, yet the absolute mastery of every facet of his musicianship: as a songwriter, as an electronic producer and DJ, as a multi-instrumentalist; and the features on it are sick. It was an honour to spin his tracks on Capital Xtra, and having moved over to Capital, I'm sincerely hoping the mainstream welcomes him soon too.
This lady is everything! Her bars are razor-sharp, her debut album Highly Flammable deserving of the buzz, and the Croydon rapper puts on an electric show (I thought she was wicked at Sonar this year in Barcelona, getting the audience hyped within minutes despite so few having any idea who she was). Her unapologetic confidence is key to her act, and she manages to instil a feeling of confidence and power listening to her too, which is rare and incredible: she makes you feel like an absolute boss.
I think this might be the most impressed I've been with an artist on-stage since the first time I saw Beyoncé; though Flamingods are nothing like Beyoncé. In fact, they're nothing like anyone else. The focus is on exploration and experimentation, and throughout the show they keep pulling out endless instruments you've never heard of before from around the world as far as Nepal, Thailand, Turkey and Tanzania. The disparate cultural influences are so interesting (info-tainment, if you will) and sonically they are amazing.
I started listening to Tom's music at the beginning of 2017, and the momentum, airplay and accolades have been building at an insane – but very much deserved – rate. His voice is exquisite, it's gruff, it's soulful, and when he sings you honestly just don't want it to end.
Incredibly talented and an artist in the truest sense, Ray was the first unsigned act to top BBC's Sound Of poll, and 2017 is absolutely her year. My Hood, Patience and Doing Me are the tracks that have really gotten her noticed, and performed live they are next-level, so definitely check out her shows if you can.
These guys are electrifying, so unique: we're talking gorgeous, nostalgic trip hop and 90s garage vibes, but with amazingly intricate electronic composition, laced with the most engaging vocals from their beautifully talented singer Clem. I saw the quartet live recently and was so captivated I couldn't stop thinking about the gig all week.
Irish hip-hop is here, and sweet baby Jesus it is good. Dublin trio Hare Squead are comprised of rappers Tony Konstone and E-Knock and singer Jessy Rose, bringing us Outkast vibes blended with soul and pop for a sound so smooth you didn't realise it's exactly what you needed. They supported Dua Lipa on tour, the platform is set, I think this could be their time...
Chi Ching Ching
It's been a bit of a strange introduction to Jamaican dancehall star, dancer-turned-singjay Chi Ching Ching who, in his bid to take the international stage, basically just goes everywhere with his mate Sean Paul. So every time we interview Sean, he's always there too or shouting in the background on the phone. I listen to his ridiculously catchy Roast Or Fry (Breadfruit) every morning – complete with choreography – as the ultimate motivation for the day. And you should too.
These guys are making waves, and what they're doing is really special: multi-instrumentalist Jamie is supremely deft, while Marcus delivers the most haunting vocals. They played a tiny, intimate show recently and had us all hanging on to their heartfelt, atmospheric broken beats, though I can completely see their sound translating well to much bigger stages, so watch this space...
The gigs are starting to sell out fast, they've shed the dark cloaks they used to wear on stage, and 2017 is turning out to be the Brighton three-piece's time to step out into the light and shine. They're genre-defying, mixing up a delicious, ephemeral brand of minimal electronic rnb and pop, served up with the charisma that I promise will give them valuable longevity.
Other acts I'd tell you about if there was more space and time:
Dave / Santan Dave