Norwegian pop singer Sigrid has been named 2018’s winner of the coveted BBC Music Sound Of, as chosen by a panel of more than 170 influential music experts including former winners and ‘longlist nominees’.
The 21 year-old, born in Ålesund, Norway, only started making music four years ago when her brother, who’s also a musician, told her he needed a new song for a gig just two weeks later. Since then she has had a rapid rise to acclaim.
Her debut single Don’t Kill My Vibe premiered on Radio 1 in February 2017, when it was named Hottest Record In The World, and she performed her single, Strangers, live on BBC One’s Sounds Like Friday Night in December.
Her nervy, cutting-edge pop music is infused with natural humour and charisma and looks set to rule the charts in 2018.
All of the artists on the 16-strong longlist for Sound Of 2018 were championed by BBC Radio, with plays across Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music.
Sigrid said: “It’s a lot to take in to have won something as prestigious as BBC Music Sound Of. I feel honoured as there are so many other artists I look up to who have won this before me, and honestly, I’m just really happy and proud of what my team and I have achieved together.
“I’m very excited about the year ahead and sharing new music with everyone. I want to thank the panel for voting and the team involved in BBC Music Sound Of 2018.”
The BBC Sound Of 2018 longlist boasted one of the youngest ever line-ups when the top 16 was published last year.
The top five, a mix of international, British, unsigned and signed acts was revealed each morning by Annie Mac on Clara Amfo’s Radio 1 show.
Two of the top acts came from Manchester with urban jazz artist IAMDDB and indie quartet Pale Waves coming third and fifth respectively. American R&B star Khalid came fourth, whilst singer-songwriter Rex Orange County was 2018’s runner up.
Annie Mac, Radio 1 DJ, said: “Sigrid is one of those really special artists making quality, exciting and feisty – yet fragile – pop songs that are an absolute pleasure to play on the radio.
“Sigrid is an incredibly talented performer and songwriter and so very deserving of the Sound Of 2018 crown. I’m really looking forward to watching her rise.”
Chris Price, Head of Music for BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Sigrid has been crowned BBC Music Sound Of 2018 winner, showing that tastemakers in the UK and internationally share the excitement that has lit up Radio 1 since Don’t Kill My Vibe was made Hottest Record In The World last February.
“Following Tunes of the Week from Annie Mac, MistaJam, Scott Mills and Greg James – not to mention a Piano Session for Huw Stephens last summer – Sigrid’s new single Strangers sits on the Radio 1 A list, her third playlist here.
“Sigrid is a captivating performer and I can’t wait to introduce BBC audiences to her incredible live show, starting today in the home of live music – the Radio 1 Live Lounge.”
James Stirling, Head of Content Commissioning at BBC Music, said: “Many congratulations to Sigrid and to all the artists on the BBC Music Sound Of 2018 list this year.
“The range of artists clearly demonstrates both the quality and breadth of music currently coming through. Half the artists on the long list of 16 have been supported by BBC Music Introducing – and helping these artists reach a wider audience is a key part of BBC Music’s mission.”
The list, compiled annually by BBC News, started in 2003 and crowned 50 Cent as its inaugural winner. Last year, R&B singer Ray BLK became the first unsigned artist to top the list. Previous winners have included synth-pop trio Years & Years, global superstars Adele and Sam Smith, LA pop band HAIM and Ellie Goulding.
Profiles of all 16 artists are available on the Sound Of 2018 website.
The full top five:
- Rex Orange County
- Pale Waves
Also on the longlist (in alphabetical order):
- Billie Eilish
- Jade Bird
- Lewis Capaldi
- Nilüfer Yanya
- Sam Fender
- Tom Walker
- Yxng Bane
You can follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #SoundOf2018