Ella Mai and Mahalia are among those named on the longlist for the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2019 prize.
The BBC’s list of artists tipped for success next year (19) has been chosen by a panel of more than 150 industry experts including U.K. grime star Stormzy, Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis, and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander.
Ella, 24, who has achieved chart success in the U.S., including two 2019 Grammy Awards nominations, but is less well known in her native Britain, meaning she’s eligible for the award.
As well as Mahalia, the other nominees are Irish singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy, female rapper Flohio, U.S. multi-instrumentalist King Princess, indie rockers Sea Girls, British soul star Grace Carter, Spanish singer Rosalia, as well as U.K. rappers Octavian and SlowThai.
The 2018 award was claimed by Norwegian singer Sigrid, beating an impressive group of up-and-coming artists including singer Khalid, Sam Fender, and Jade Bird.
In a press release the 22-year-old said that being named the Sound of 2018 winner had really helped her career.
“BBC Music’s Sound Of 2018 helped me so much with reaching a new audience and giving my music some extra exposure on the radio,” she explained. “I’m still very thankful for being chosen as this year’s Sound Of, and I am so excited to see who this year’s winner will be!”
Other past winners include 50 Cent, Adele, Jessie J, and Ellie Goulding. The latest winner will be announced by BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac on 11 January (18).