Backbeat: Singer Sinead Harnett Lights Up London Gig for Full House of A&Rs

Singer Sinead Harnett performs at Wired in East London.

(Photo: M. Nardi)

LONDON -- Sinead Harnett is hardly an unfamiliar name to UK A&Rs. Over the past couple of years, she’s been featured on major tracks from Rudimental ("Hide," "Baby") and Disclosure (“Boiling”), among others, while building her own repertoire and a growing interest from labels. Monday’s concert at Wired in East London felt like a watershed night, with representatives from virtually every label checking out her first live solo set in approximately a year.

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Harnett’s rich, soulful voice and range has drawn comparisons to Adele, but her recordings are more experimental and contemporary -- a brand of jazz-tinged, melodic electronic pop a bit reminiscent of Jessie Ware or Jhené Aiko. The highlights of her set were openers "Enough" and closer "Hard Wire," collaborations with Balistiq and Raf Riley, respectively, that are not dissimilar to her work with Disclosure. Over the past few months she’s been recording with Rudimental, Chris Loco (Emeli Sandé, Rita Ora, Leona Lewis), and Adam Midgley & Tom Baxter (Cee-Lo Green, Talib Kweli, Olly Murs).
 
The short, moody set was part of the invite-only monthly event Wired. This series, organised by co-founders Kate Bond and Michael Duke, has a stellar track record, having showcased now-established acts such as Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, and Pixie Lott as well as rising, as-yet unsigned talent like Purple Ferdinand (who recently signed to Sony/ATV Publishing), Roses Gabor (a main collaborator of SBTRKT's), and Grace Lamarr, a graduate of the BRIT School (which, of course, includes Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jessie J, Katy B and many other luminaries among its alums), who is currently being pursued by several labels.

Wired co-founder Kate Bond told Billboard.biz, "Every month we try to make it count, and I hope April's Wired reflected that. Sinead Harnett took us through a wickedly seductive set -- a real honest performance. We strive to select artists based on pure talent.”

In the house on Monday night were Briony Turner and Joe Barbe from Atlantic, Nick Burgess and Glyn Aikins from Virgin, Alastair Webber from Island, Joe Iddison from RCA, and Olly Wood from Black Butter/Polydor.

Sinead will perform on the European festival circuit this summer, and it would not be surprising if a deal will be finalized by then.