Wet Leg, PinkPantheress, Priya Ragu, Central Cee and Tems are among the 10 artists on the BBC’s female-dominated Sound of 2022 longlist.
The 10 emerging acts, whose music spans rap, rock, indie, pop, R&B and neo-soul, were picked by a panel of over 130 industry experts and fellow musicians, including Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Jade Thirlwall and Elton John.
Nigerian singer Tems makes the list after a triumphant year that saw her receive praise from stars including Drake, with whom she collaborated on his track “Fountains”, and Rihanna. Last week, she supported Wizkid during his record-breaking sold-out shows at the O2 Arena in London. Their song together, “Essence”, has received more than 70 million streams on Spotify alone, while Tems’ solo singles include “Damages” and “Free Mind”, both from her debut EP, For Broken Ears.
With singles such as “Chicken Lemon Rice”, Swiss-born Sri Lankan artist Priya Ragu explores identity and heritage with a vibrant fusion of sounds, including R&B, electronic-pop and South Asian-influenced folk.
Isle of Wight-formed duo Wet Leg (Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers) caused a stir with their raucous live performances at festivals this summer, along with early singles “Chaise Longue” and “Wet Dream”. They recently announced that their self-titled debut will be released on 8 April 2022, via Domino.
Chris Price, Head of Music for Radio 1, says: “This year’s Sound Of list will go down as one of the greats; a rich and diverse representation of genres, a great year for British and female artists, and I’m delighted to report that all ten acts have had significant support from Radio 1, many of them as alumni of our own Brit List.”
See the full longlist below:
The 2021 BBC Sound Of title was claimed by 24-year-old rapper Pa Salieu, who beat strong competition from acts such as Griff and Holly Humberstone. Other BBC Sound alumni include Sam Smith, Adele, Foals, Lady Gaga, Stormzy and Lewis Capaldi.
The countdown to the Top 5 shortlist begins on Sunday 2 January on Radio 1 – the winner will be announced on Thursday 6 January on Radio 1 and BBC News.