This year has definitely been the year of the break through artist here in the UK, we’ve seen both upcoming and established artists from Skepta, Stormzy and Craig David (whose made an amazing comeback) to Ms Banks, Avelino and SNE take the lead in their genres. Last week I shared my sit down interview with the very talented screen play writer, director and producer, R.M Moses and this week I’ll be sharing 4 UK artists whose dedication and achievements will hopefully inspire you to chase your dreams.
1. Wretch 32
The 31 year old lyricist has blessed the UK music scene over the years with a myriad of tracks from emotional numbers like ‘Don’t Go’ (and more recently ‘6 Words’) to more risque anthems such as ‘Traktor’ and the infamous ‘Hulk Hogan’. Wretch is an inspiring artist as his story is so relatable to a lot of youths in the black community; he opens up about real life struggles he faced growing up from poverty, to police brutality but it is very clear that those very struggles have made him the driven man he is today. Whether he touches upon childhood anecdotes, makes use of clever caribbean lingo or captivates us with his hypnotic flow, it is clear that Wretch is an artist who remains true to himself. (something we should all aim to maintain) Wretch has also racked up a significant number of musical achievements including MOBO and BET awards- Truly inspiring!
2. Nadia Rose
You may have heard the charismatic south London rapper Nadia Rose’s distinctive voice on the most recent Lucozade advert but that’s just one of many achievements under this young lady’s belt. Rose, in her twenties, is a rapper whose unique style and confidence have taken her from height to height, signing deals with Sony and earlier this year landing a performance on the main stage at the Wireless Festival (where an estimated 15-20,000 attendees showed up, per day). She’s definitely held her own as a young female in the UK grime/rap scene with savvy punchlines, lyrical ambiguity and bags of flare, making herself one to watch out for. Breaking through as an established artist almost instantly, Rose is a real representation of girl power and guts, demanding respect, thus making her a great role model for young females who may also be aiming to ‘breaking out’ in industries predominantly influenced by men.
The Wstrn trio made up of Akelle Charles, Haile and Louis Rei are an inspirational bunch, properly emerging on the scene last year. Also performing on the main stage at the 2016 Wireless Festival, they dominated the charts this summer and have rapidly grown their fanbase in the UK and in the States! Their debut single ‘In2’ reached number 4 in the UK charts (I’m sure we all know the lyrics by heart) launching the group as serious contenders in the music industry. The group are bringing back cheerful, charming R’N’B vibes with Louis Rei adding in his signature rap verses for that extra personality. I think Wstrn are collectively a great role model(s), as they’re bringing something different right now, slowly paving the way for a more up-beat UK R&B sound. All in all, the group promote good vibes and great energy in their music which is always a win!
Now, just when the Afrobeats scene really grew to popularity two or three years ago, Lola-Rae found the perfect opportunity to literally catapult her music career to a whole new level. Some of you may recognise her from Britain’s got Talent 6 years ago but since then, her undeniable raw talent, persistent hard work and perseverance with her music has helped her gain the recognition she deserves. Fast forward to 2016 and Lola-Rae is now considered one of the UK AND Nigeria’s most acknowledged Afrobeats artists with the likes of Tiwa Savage and others. Since releasing her debut single ‘Watch My Ting Go’ in 2012, the sweet voiced singer has kept the momentum going with a number of singles and performances, showing the world she is a force to be reckoned with. As Lola-Rae has continued to kill the scene, her hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed with her racking up nominations for ‘most gifted newcomer’, ‘most promising female act to watch’ and ‘Diaspora artist of the year’.
Each of these artists have something in similar: they demonstrate confidence, passion and drive, but most importantly allow who they are and what they’ve experienced motivate them and give back to the world through music. This month, I challenge you to think about what makes you feel confident, passionate or simply motivates you, and how it can be used to contribute positively to someone else’s life.