I'm optimistic 2012 will bring about great transformation for the music business. With all this talk of SOPA, PIPA, Facebook teaming up with Spotify & Rdio to the 4 majors becoming 3 - there's bound to be some serious change.
To head in the right direction will require GREAT music. If it's singer songwriter, dub-step, guitar rock, hip hop or even a combination of genres - it will need to be fantastic and real. The music business is so transparent to its consumer and I believe that in order for things to become great the REAL musicians will need to see the spotlight.
Here's a few acts that I think will shine this coming calendar year. Give them all a listen I think you will agree that they are the real McCoy.
Here's a play list of the music I'm speaking about below. Give it a spin while you read the rest.
Newcomer Emelia Sande is making waves in the UK with chart topping singles. The Scottish native has the power (IMHO) to crack the coveted US airwaves. She's got the look, the style and one of the most powerful voices in the business. If her single 'Heaven' doesn't start popping in North America - then there's something wrong with the Music Directors and PDs at radio. Just give this a listen - I'm sure you'll agree.
Total Official YouTube Hits = over 4,000,000
Twitter followers = 90,000
This band had their highest debut in Canada last week and currently sit at #31 on the iTunes album charts. They sold out their forthcoming show at Massey Hall in Toronto as well as a Terminal 5 show in NYC. It's Snow Patrol's year to shine on this side of the pond. I predict another Grey's Anatomy music sync that will garner these Irish lads the credit they deserve allowing them to become a household name in America.
Total Official YouTube Hits = too many to count
Twitter followers = 70,000
Already a monster in the UK, 2012 will see Ed cross the Atlantic and become a star. His first single The A Team and second Lego House will become the new 'Beautiful' by James Blunt. Coincidentally Ed will be opening for Snow Patrol across North America in the spring:)
Total Official YouTube Hits = over 37,000,000
Twitter followers - over 1,200,000
This one is a no brainer as he's already got millions of hits and wide spread attention from the original as well as this cover on YouTube. It's simply going to be one of those tracks that continues to spread and tip to everyone. It's just a matter of time. Your cousin in rural Alberta will post it on your Facebook wall some time around mid March.
We're all going to get very sick of it (I'm already very sick of it) - but at least we can sleep knowing it's a truly great song.
Total Official YouTube Hits = over 49,000,000
Twitter followers = 36,500
Already hip hop royalty with platinum selling albums the world over - Drake has yet to scratch the surface. His latest album 'Take Care' has so many monster hits and collaborations on it. Check out the title track with Rihanna here it's a glimpse to how talented this guy and his team are.
Drake really is the whole package and deserves more credit than he's received thus far. He's raised the bar for R&B, Hip Hop and Pop music alike - so watch out for Toronto's own to take his rightful place on the throne.
Total Official YouTube Hits = way too many to count