Entertainment and Travel Journalist

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Busted reunited

British pop punk band Busted announced a reunion tour on Tuesday, nearly 11 years after Charlie Simpson left the group and forced it to break up.

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Mercury Prize 2014

Little-known Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers beat the bookies to take home the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for best album with their debut release “Dead”.

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Charli xcx

At only 22 years old, one could be forgiven for thinking that British pop star and songwriter Charli xcx had found fame young. However, for the Hertfordshire girl, otherwise known as Charlotte Aitchison, success in the industry has been a long time coming.

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Pharrell in element in Britain, where “Happy” is top download. Interviewed for Reuters.

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In February, a Brooklyn band named Mother (now known as MOTHXR) uploaded a song called Easy to SoundCloud.

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Angel Haze

She’s been hailed as the original and irrepressible new voice in the world of female rap (and beyond).

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To a casual observer, it might seem like SOHN has rocketed from nowhere to become both a go-to producer for some of the biggest rising stars in music and a hotly tipped artist in his own right.

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Although they have both been heavily involved in New Zealand’s music scene since childhood, it was only last year that Caleb Nott, 21, and sister and Georgia, 19, decided to form the synth-pop duo now known as Broods.

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Kyla La Grange

Now 27, the Cambridge philosophy grad has gone through a total artistic rebirth. Gone is her gothy attire and dirty blonde hair in favour of a fresh, vibrant, 90s style. And she has collaborated with coveted producer and DJ Jakwob on her new material, taking her folk rock roots and spinning them over achingly cool electro beats.

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Little Simz

Jay Z’s fave Islington girl goes in on a J Dilla beat with a buoyant, easy flow – meet her here

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A couple of years ago, SZA was completing a degree in marine biology, with no aspiration of becoming a singer because she “didn’t fit the stereotype.

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John Newman

If the name John Newman doesn’t instantly ring a bell, his voice—that soul-laden voice—almost certainly will.

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Whinnie Williams

Career reinventions are a risky business. Some pay off dividends – like Katy Perry, originally marketed as Katy Hudson, the blonde Christian Rock singer. Or Lana Del Rey, who made her musical debut as the virtually unrecognisable and much less saucy Lizzy Grant. Others simply confuse – see Snoop Dogg coming back as… Snoop Lion.

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Joel Compass

20-year-old Joel Compass has been turning heads since his debut track ‘Back To Me’ surfaced earlier this year, receiving over 30,000 SoundCloud plays and 150,000 YouTube views in just one week. His single “Astronaut” was released last week on Black Butter records along with an EP of the same title.

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London Grammar

In a world saturated with new music on a daily basis, it’s a bold move to sit back and let the music do the talking—which is exactly what British trio London Grammar chose to do.

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There’s something undoubtedly terrifying about being tipped as the buzz act for a year of music.

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Rejjie Snow

With the release of his EP, Dublin rapper Rejjie Snow is causing an uproar on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Neon Jungle

“I don’t look for trouble but trouble look for me”, sing the ladies of new girl band Neon Jungle.

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Today we are here to talk about grime music. Don’t turn over, readers. London grime, having grown out of Bow, East London, in the early 2000s, is probably the most intriguing music scene I’ve ever encountered. From one tiny borough of London emerged a sound and means of achieving success dissimilar to anything else in the music industry.

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Jacob Banks

Jacob Banks is not your average soul singer. In fact, the Birmingham native tells me that his voice used to be pretty ordinary. Then, one day, his tonsils spontaneously dislodged from his throat.

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Little Boots

After topping the BBC’s Sound of 2009 poll ahead of Lady Gaga, La Roux and Florence and the Machine, Victoria Hesketh – aka Little Boots – found herself dumped by her record company, despite also having a top 5 debut album. After a long wait, she has returned with “Nocturnes”, a record that is set to become a soundtrack to summer.

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Iggy Azalea

It’s been nearly 18 months since a white, female, Australian rapper named Iggy Azalea stormed onto the US hip hop scene, dropping her mixtape “Ignorant Art”, which quickly became a cult classic. Two more mixtapes, and millions of YouTube hits later, Iggy is finally set to release her first UK single, “Work”.

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The Neighbourhood

There’s a mystery and allure that has surrounded The Neighbourhood since a faceless band with no back-story emerged online. They soon charged up the hype blogs, with a single track entitled ‘Female Robbery’. After a few months, it emerged that the group were a California 5-piece led by heavily tattooed front man Jesse Rutherford, 21.

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Laura Mvula

Her name came from what seemed out of nowhere, to become one of the most touted new musical talents for 2013. Birmingham-born Laura Mvula (pronounced “mmm-voola”) had arrived, pioneering a genre-defying, incomparable new sound for the music industry to digest and ultimately embrace – all out of a tiny studio in Acton, West London.

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Hailing from Hackney, London, Rudimental consists of Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor, and DJ (Leon) Locksmith. The quartet took over the charts this summer with the worldwide smash “Feel The Love”.

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Last year, JLS were named the hardest working band in pop music. This year, no doubt they’ll live up to that title, with Aston currently judging on Got To Dance, and Marvin expecting his first child.

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Willy Moon

2012 was the year that Wiliam Sinclair aka Willy Moon’s life suddenly changed. After years of grafting, the captivating retro throwback hit the jackpot when his track “Yeah, Yeah” was chosen by Apple to soundtrack their new iPod ad.

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2013 looks set to be a non-stop year for R&B singer and songwriter, Miguel. As well as continuing his tour of the world, bringing hits like “Adorn” and “All I Want Is You” to legions of adoring fans, he has recently released his first fashion collaboration with Deer Dana…

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It’s hard to believe its been 10 years since Lemar Obika took to the Fame Academy stage, and wowed viewers with his soulful voice and song writing skills. Since then he has had seven top ten singles, sold over two million albums, won several Brit and MOBO awards, and had two children – Nyiema, 4, and Uriah, 2.

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I caught up with Suggs from the legendary ska-pop institution that is Madness about their new album, some of the biggest perfomances of their lives, and what the future holds.

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Wretch 32

After the success of Wretch 32′s debut, Black & White, and the appearance of a very very good mixtape in the form of Wretchercise, the London MC is coming back with a new single ‘Pop’ and a highly anticipated second album.

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Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson is no ordinary X Factor alumni. In fact, her time on the show (and the sometime stigma attached to it) was all but forgotten following the release of her debut album “Heaven”. Rebecca co-wrote “Heaven” with a who’s who of the most credible songwriters in the industry, including Eg White, Fraser T Smith, and Brian Higgins.

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Following a sold out headline show at Heaven and a stunning performance at this year’s Lovebox Festival, multi-platinum pop-star Mika has returned with the first single from his forthcoming album “The Origin Of Love”. Here he takes me through what went into making this record, from stalking unsigned musicians, to his sister’s tragic accident.

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Mikky Ekko

US singer-songwriter Mikky Ekko was holed up in a studio recording a duet with Rihanna only a few months ago. The result was ‘Stay’, which has gone on to dominate charts across the globe, as well as giving the Louisiana native the chance to break into the mainstream with his own solo career. Here we have 5 minutes with the man in question.

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South Londoner Obaro Ejimive aka Ghostpoet, is a musician who is hard to define. A talented producer, singer and master of the spoken word, he solidified his position as one of the most exciting up and coming artists with a Mercury prize nomination for his debut album “Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam”, and through high profile supporters such as The Streets’ Mike Skinner.

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Scissor Sisters

It’s hard to believe that Scissor Sisters – our favourite glam-disco-electro-pop band, ever – formed back in 2001, and received their first Grammy nomination 8 years ago (for disco classic, Comfortably Numb).

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Ellie Goulding

Back in 2009, a music industry friend of mine played me the rough demos of a new signing of his. An ethereal wispy voice floated over hook driven riffs, a sound soon to be dubbed “folktronica”. Even at this raw stage, the tracks seemed to somehow sparkle. These songs went on to make up Ellie Goulding’s debut album “Lights” which, a year later, entered the chart at number 1, and earned her a BRIT award.

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Trey Songz

Since making his recording debut in 2005, Trey Songz has undeniably become one of music‘s hottest R&B artists today thanks to an infinite streak of hit singles including ‘Can‘t Help But Wait’, ‘Successful (feat. Drake)’, ‘I Invented Sex’ ‘Neighbours Know My Name’ and ‘Say Aah’.

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Jessie Ware

As one of the most popular new artists for 2012 – The Guardian tips her as “most likely to win a Brit award” – it is hard to believe that Jessie Ware very nearly didn’t go into music at all.

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The last 12 months couldn’t have gone better for him, featuring on a number one track which he also penned and produced; performing to huge crowds at Glastonbury, Wireless and Global Gathering; and being whisked under the wing of Simon Cowell.

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Jessie J

The only thing that worries me is that I’ve never said that I’ll never drink, so I’m scared that if I have a glass of wine and got snapped, it will say “Jessie J said she’d never drink”.

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Icona Pop

Aino Jawo, 25, and Caroline Hjelt, 24, are Icona Pop. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the electro-pop twosome are taking over the hipster nightlife scenes of New York, London and Paris with their fiendishly catchy pop numbers, and DJ skills.

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Marina and the Diamonds

Marina and the Diamonds’ new album ‘Electra Heart’ is a huge leap forward and promises to be one of the most exciting pop releases of 2012, underlining that she is amongst the most talented young British artists around.

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“Somebody I Used to Know” is one of the best-selling singles of 2012 so far. He has rocketed to international success, even having a song featured on Glee. I interviewed Gotye just before he hit the big time about how he makes music, his major influences and what makes him tick.