They’re the unsung voices who’ve spent years making music’s biggest names sound good –and finally it’s their time to shine. Meet three hot new female artists who are done with playing back-up and are now setting out to do it for themselves...
The Broadway Breakout: LOLO, aka Lauren Pritchard, 26
Backed up: Lea Michele Brooklyn’s coolest new export started out in a chorus line, singing behind Lea Michelle’s lead in the Broadway show Spring Awakening.
Breaking out: The artist formerly known as Lauren reinvented herself as the totally badass, LA-grunge-loving LOLO (always in caps, of course), coming at us with a set of raw vocal tracks that couldn’t be any less Glee if they tried. After collaborating with Panic At The Disco last year and casually crashing at the Presley family’s Beverly Hills pad for a while, her single Gangsters is all over Radio One and she’s been hailed as one of Absolute Radio’s emerging icons for 2014.
The Mover And Shaker: FKA Twigs, aka Tahliah Barnett, 26
Backed up: Jessie J. At 17 Tahliah decided to abandon country life in her home county Gloucestershire and headed to the capital to try and make it as a dancer. The move paid off, and a few years later she was twerking up a storm in the background of Jessie J’s videos for Do It Like A Dude and Price Tag.
Breaking out: With a cool new pseudo (named after, erm, her clicky joints) FKA Twigs became a YouTube sensation. Her ethereal yet provocative styling, self-produced RnB tracks and trademark cracking beats have seen her nominated for prestigious BBC and Spotify prizes this year. We won’t forget that Ashish-esque nose ring in a hurry and, oh yeah, she’s apparently dating Robert Pattinson now too.
The Style Maverick: Max Marshall, 22
Backed up: Lady Gaga. Fashion grad Max started out as Gaga’s costume designer, working up some seriously kooky wigs and such masterpieces as a hairy piano, with designer Charlie Le Mindu.
Breaking out: Max’s vocal efforts on Matrix and Futurebound’s Control saw the single spend several weeks in the top 20 earlier this year. Her single Your Love Is Like is already on Annie Mac’s playlist – expect stylish sounds and, of course, plenty of fierce new outfits.