Here’s Who Made The BBC Sound Of 2019 Longlist

Posted: Monday 10 December 2018

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we were looking at who made The BBC Sound Of 2018 and with the likes of Sigrid and Pale Waves going onto dominate the months that followed, we’re excited to see what 2019 will bring. Before they whittle down the list and crown the winner, let’s take a look at this year’s nominees and the ones who’ll be hitting our venues soon.


Irish singer-songwriter, Dermot Kennedy has already had an overwhelming 12 months. Barely taking time away from the road, he’s notched up two headline UK tours, numerous US live dates and countless festival performances since January, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. Likened to artists such as Damien Rice and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, his music stems from traditional folk roots, but he’s taken elements of ambient house music and hip hop to create a completely fresh and enticing sound. With plenty of new material in the works and ever larger live dates in the diary for 2019, Dermot has become a global artist before he’s even dropped an album. Impressive, right?

O2 Academy Bristol: Monday 6 May - SOLD OUT

O2 Institute Birmingham: Tuesday 7 May - SOLD OUT

O2 Academy Brixton: Wednesday 8 May - SOLD OUT


Rising R&B star, Ella Mai dropped her self-titled debut album in October after an eager wait from fans across the globe. Featuring guest appearances from John Legend and Chris Brown, no less, Ella has already established herself amongst the giants of her scene – all by the age of 23. Conquering the urban charts in the US with her breakout single, ‘Boo’d Up’ and going gold with its follow-up, ‘Trip’, she’s on a streak that it seems nobody can break. 2019 sees her head out in support of the album, ticking off countries as she goes and marking her path to global domination.

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Thursday 10 January - SOLD OUT

O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Friday 11 January - SOLD OUT


French-born, London-raised rapper, Octavian is the 21-year-old who is shaping the template for rap to come. Launching himself into the spotlight with the Drake-approved track, ‘Party Here’ at the end of 2017, his distinctive flow and personality made him an instant favourite in the UK scene. Taking elements of R&B, dancehall, grime and house to create a truly unmatchable sound, Octavian is changing what it means to be a rapper in the modern day and 2019 will see him carve his own path to the top.

O2 Forum Kentish Town: Thursday 28 February - SOLD OUT

O2 Academy Birmingham: Saturday 2 March - SOLD OUT


Hyped by Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and pretty much every UK festival going, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve already spotted Sea Girls shaking things up in the fields this summer. The indie quartet racked up a whopping 22 festival performances in 2018 and are already booked in for more next year, but then with big, euphoric anthems like the recent, ‘All I Want To Hear You Say’, it’s easy to see why they’re so in demand. Working relentlessly to get their debut album polished and perfected, 2019 will see them unleash it onto the world and worming their way into your record collection.

O2 Academy Oxford: Monday 25 February Buy Tickets


If there’s one rapper to keep your eye on in 2019, make it slowthai. His cutting, honest lyrics have seen him speaking out, angered for a generation who are growing up in a damaged world and he’ll have you gripped with every word. Side-stepping between grime, rap and garage, his edgy beats and unwavering confidence have seen his career accelerate at an alarming speed. His live shows are frantic, sweaty affairs with a punk attitude, so if you have some steam to let off, or if you just want to witness one of the gamechangers in the UK scene, make sure you see slowthai next year.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 27 March Buy Tickets

O2 Ritz Manchester: Thursday 28 March Buy Tickets


Soul-pop singer, Grace Carter has a voice that’ll warm you up and make you cry at the same time. Her songwriting abilities are wise beyond her years, pouring emotion into each and every song, as deep piano melodies emphasise the vulnerability in her words. Using her music as a form of expression, she sings of heartache, rejection and the hurdles young women face as they grow, and it’s refreshing to see such a relatable artist breaking through the walls of the industry. The Why Her Not Me EP is a glowing example of how far she’s come already and by the looks of things, 2019 holds a lot of promise for the star.

O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 27 March Buy Tickets

The full BBC Sound Of 2019 longlist is as follows:

Grace Carter
Dermot Kennedy
King Princess
Ella Mai
Sea Girls

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