17-year old Lewisham-born MC Novelist and Croydon’s Stormzy are amongst the 15-strong long-list for the BBC Music Sound of 2015.
The BBC has compiled the list, this year with input from 139 “UK-based tastemakers”, since 2003. Previous artists to have topped the list include Adele, 50 Cent and last year’s winner Sam Smith.
Novelist, real name Kojo Kankam, has enjoyed a burgeoning profile throughout 2014, with a collaboration alongside renowned producer and XL label-mate Jamie xx set to feature on the latter’s debut album next year.
Looking back on his successes this year Novelist, the leader of south London grime crew The Square, said: “2014 has been a great introduction to the journey that us musicians are taking the original UK sounds on for many years to come.”
One of the first artists to grow up in the shadow of early grime linchpins such as Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, Novelist has been described as “a product of Grime” by DJ Logan Sama.
Celebrating his nomination, Novelist announced the release of an EP in collaboration with DJ Mumdance, releasing the track “Shook”.
Grime rapper Stormzy, who is currently unsigned, described himself as “honoured” to be on the list. The 21-year-old has been performing since the age of 11, winning rap battles at Sydenham’s Rap Academy.
Stormzy has also had a hugely successful 2014, defeating the likes of Novelist, Skepta and Lethal Bizzle to collect the MOBO for Best Grime Act. In October he became the first unsigned rapper to appear on “Later…with Jools Holland”, performing his acclaimed track “Not That Deep”.
Discussing his career Stormzy said: “I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than music. Some people love money, some people love girls, but I love progressing, elevating and getting closer to your dreams.”
Last month both Novelist and Stormzy hit the headlines after the former challenging Northampton-based MC Izzie Gibbs to a rap battle outside Lewisham McDonald’s. A video of both Novelist and Stormzy performing Novelist’s “Lewisham McDeez” drew over 16,000 views on Facebook.
Reacting to yesterday’s announcement Stormzy tweeted that he would be going out to eat with Novelist to “take in the moment”. It was not confirmed whether they would be eating at Lewisham McDonalds.
Gonna go grab a food with my bro @Novelist tomorrow and just take in the moment lol ❤️