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A Safe and Sound 2016?

The BBC Sound of 2016 longlist has been announced, including Blossoms, Izzy Bizu and Jack Garratt (pictured), who was also recently named BRITs Critics’ Choice.

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

In addition to the aforementioned, the longlist includes Alessia Cara, Billie Marten , Dua Lipa, Frances, J Hus, Loyle Carner, Mabel, Mura Masa, NAO, Rat Boy, Section Boyz and WSTRN. The Gen can confirm that Mabel and Mura Masa are in fact separate artists and not some kind of American wrestling tag team.

Head of music at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra George Ergatoudis commented, also recapping on the commercial successes of the past: “This year’s list features another fascinating and diverse array of talented artists, many of whom will become part of the British public’s soundtrack over the coming year, just as previous winners Sam Smith, Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J did before them”.

So, who decides all of this and who watches the BBC watchmen? Reportedly, 140 influential music industry ‘experts’, including DJs, critics, broadcasters and bloggers were asked to name their top three favourite new acts from any musical genre to make up the list.

Music Business Worldwide raises the question of how much the poll actually matters, with some interesting analysis revealing that out of the 90 artists chosen for the longlist over the past six years, 10% have achieved a platinum selling record in the UK. Of course, there are all of the attendant benefits that being backed by the Beeb brings across the year but it isn’t a great strike rate. MBW also highlights the acts not shortlisted that have gone on to hit great commercial heights, including Ed Sheeran, Bastille and Jake Bugg.

Find out more about the 15 artists on the BBC Sound of 2016 longlist.

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