Latin Music Week

2012's Brightest New Stars (So Far): Page 3

2012's Brightest New Stars (So Far): Page 3


Emeli Sande

Emeli Sande is still a new face to many American listeners, but the Scottish songstress will soon be making a splash on this side of the pond. After some guest appearances and a hit single in the U.K. in 2011, Sande's debut album "Our Version of Events" was released on February 13 and spent a considerable amount of time on the U.K. album charts, peaking at No. 1. The album reached No. 28 on the Billboard 200, but it's still gaining traction, thanks in part to her latest single "Next To Me." Fans will get to know Sande better as she supports Coldplay on an upcoming leg of their Mylo Xyloto tour in July and August. -- Carolyn Menyes
Jana Kramer

It's been a while since Country Music has had a definite break-out female star, but Jana Kramer is likely to change that. The former "One Tree Hill" cast member has been dazzling radio with her "Why You Wanna" single since winter, and her self-titled Warner Music release is packed with follow-up after follow up, such as "What I Love About Your Love," and the traditional-based "Good As You Were Bad." There's a show business cliché about having "it," and trust us, Jana Kramer has "it." -- Chuck Dauphin
French Montana

French Montana isn't a stranger to the rap game, but he definitely turned more than a few heads in 2012. The Moroccan-born-Bronx-bomber set the bar for mixtape rappers with the success of his Harry Fraud-produced single "Shot Caller" late last year. Acting as Bad Boy's token boy, the fashion risktaker has also made countless featuring appearances alongside Maybach Music Group President Rick Ross and hip-hop romeo Drake. Wrapping up his stint on Drizzy's Club Paradise tour this past month, French Montana decided to push back his debut album, "Excuse My French," and is now prepping it for a fall release while his new Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Drake assisted single "Pop That" continues to heat up the streets. -- Tyler K. McDermott

One percussionist, one guitarist and some baritone vocals on top, this Brooklyn-based duo -- whose tunes are a cocktail of pop, electro, indie and dance -- creates music that is bigger than the sum of its parts. Though Tanlines first joined forces in 2008 to work on various remixes and compilations, it was their debut studio album, "Mixed Emotions," released on March 20 of this year, which gave the word "tanline" meaning beyond the bikini. "Mixed Emotions" serves up 11 solid tracks that resulted in a No. 8 spot on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Album chart, and an impressive No. 2 spot on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart. -- Perri Tomkiewicz
Michael Kiwanuka

It may be 2012, but with the release of Michael Kiwanuka's debut studio album, "Home Again" on March 12, this industry newcomer's raw and honest vocals took us back to the days of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Otis Redding. Hailing from North London, Kiwanuka caught the attention of record labels in 2011 and landed a supporting spot on the Adele Live tour, where he got to introduce his brand of retro rock and soul to legions of new fans. -- Perri Tomkiewicz

The stage name of Vancouver songstress Claire Boucher, Grimes, has been creating airy lo-fi electronic music for more than two years. Boucher broke through with her third studio album "Visions," in no small part because of the massive resurgence of electronica in 2012. "Visions" and lead single "Oblivion" have seen mostly positive reviews since release, and with her unique, female-centric sound, Grimes is set to be more than just a blip on the scene. EDM lovers will get to know Grimes better soon -- she'll be supporting dubstep king Skrillex on his July Canadian tour. After that, she'll be hitting international festivals and starting her own global tour. -- Carolyn Menyes
Rebecca & Fiona

If the riot grrls, shoegazers and ravers got together, their spawn might resemble Rebecca & Fiona. The Swedish duo's first album, "I Love You, Man," is a gauzy, pretty and slightly strange collection of left field electro-pop -- more muted than their friend and countrywoman Robyn's work, but no less appealing. But in the DJ booth, the pair leaves the atmospherics at home, opting instead for hard-hitting beats that go for the jugular. Add that to kindercore-meets-candy-raver outfits, a fierce independence in the studio (they write and produce all their own work), and a self-determined career strategy -- and you've got one of the first girl-positive pop artists since the '90s. -- Kerri Mason

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