January 11 2012

10 Musicians to Watch in 2012

The Starman, Song of the Week editor, resident music maestro and pop star prognosticator, gazed into his disco ball and saw these ten names. Here they are - in no particular order – 2012's poised-to-breakthrough artists. (FYI the new monthly hotel playlists are available for streaming and download if you click your mouse here.

Michael Kiwanuka

This 24-year-old Londoner is oft compared to Otis Redding, was recently voted No.1 in "BBC Sound of 2012" series and, oh yeah, tours with that minor singing phenomenon, Adele.

Azealia Banks

How, oh how, to describe Azealia? Multi-talented 23-year-old Harlem rapper/singer with a smash hit "212" and voted by NME as the "coolest person in music 2011," is a start. She also secured Paul Epstein (white hot producer for the likes of Adele and Florence & The Machine) to produce her debut album so there's that too. But she put it best when she described her 2012 marketing strategy: "Boom, boom, boom, boom, bam, bam!"


Who hasn't fallen in Love with his 36 million plus YouTube hit "Somebody that I Used to Know?" This Belgian-Australian talent reminds one of Sting in his Police days, which probably explains his Sold-out World tour in 2012.

Niki & The Dove

You have to love the freaky byproducts of Scandinavian conformity. Case and point, the Swedish Electro-Pop duo, Niki & The Dove, the latest and greatest from the far side of the North Sea. They feel a bit Kate Bush meets The Knife.


Der neueste berliner hit! Berlin's latest discovery, who just released her debut Album "This Silence Kills Me," is following in Lykke-Li's footsteps. Touring Europe in 2012, one can only hope that she will soon jump the pond.

Frank Ocean

This talented member of the Hip Hop collective "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All" (OFWGKT) is going solo and releasing his debut album with the support of Pharrell Williams. The question is does he need Pharrells? Having landed two songs on Jay-Z/Kanye Wests "Watch the Throne" album speaks for itself.

Lianne La Havas

22 year-old Londoner Lianne has influences of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, toured with Bon Iver and made it into BBC's 2012 poll. Which Fashion house will snap her first as their muse? Definitely one to watch.


Canadian Electro-Pop artist Grimes has just signed to 4AD and will be releasing her highly anticipated Album in February 2012, followed by a North America tour. Cocteau Twins calling?

Lana Del Rey

The so-called "Gangsta Nancy Sinatra" might have made a big stir in 2011, but with her album dropping in February, Starman predicts that she is just getting started. Watch her perform poolside at our sister hotel, Chateau Marmont.

Selah Sue

Being Blonde, Belgian and Female are not usually typical characteristics that you would associate with Reggae/RnB. However with lyrics that are white and a voice that is black she proves us wrong. Nneka & Patrice produced her debut album. She has performed with Prince and is touring Europe this spring. Definitely curious to see where she goes.