Artists including Mahalia, Kojey Radical and Grace Carter feature on the list which predicts 2019’s breakthrough UK music acts

YouTube Music today announces its first-ever UK ‘Ones to Watch’ artist spotlight, highlighting ten emerging artists set to follow in the footsteps of global superstars like Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa who first found fame on the world’s biggest music platform.

This inspiring new list of talent has been compiled by YouTube Music based on a variety of factors, including YouTube views, engagement from global music fans and YouTubeMusic analytics. Top of the list is R&B songstress Mahalia, who has already racked up over 100,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and just yesterday launched her incredible new track, One Night Only, featuring another one of YouTube Music’s picks, Kojey Radical.

The full UK ‘Ones to Watch’ 2019 list from YouTube Music shown below. To note, Mahalia comes in at #1 with the rest in no particular order:

  1. #1 UK One to Watch: Mahalia

 Demonstrating the true diversity within the British music scene right now, the list is dominated by an eclectic mix of individual singer songwriters and individual artists.  From the R&B soul of Mahalia to Slowthai’s unforgettable unique rap, the list is defined by musicians who are pushing boundaries and, in some instances, creating new genres. The list is also notable for not featuring any groups, comprising ten solo artists reflective by trends, views and insights on YouTube.

 Azi Eftekhari, Head of Music Partnerships at YouTube, UK commented: “This is a year of UK artists doing their own thing. With the freedom musicians now have to express themselves not just sonically, but visually, it’s perhaps unsurprising that this list only features solo artists, many of whom are genuinely pushing artistic and visual boundaries. For example, Kojey, Octavian and Slowthai are arguably redefining UK rap as a genre, and acts like Mahalia, L Devine and Grace Carter – while they undeniably have huge commercial appeal – don’t conform to the conventional expectations of a pop act. One thing is certain – YouTube continues to be an unmatched launch pad for emerging artists, and 2019 is set to be a huge year for homegrown UK talent.”

 YouTube Music’s number one ‘One to Watch’, Mahalia said: “What an honour. To be at the top of YouTube Music’s One to Watch list for 2019 is such a special moment for me. There are so many wonderful, talented artists on this list – many who I keep super close to my heart. As a late 90s baby, I grew up watching YouTube – constantly finding videos of artists who inspired me. I basically learnt how to play so much of what I know on the guitar from watching people on YouTube. The platform has helped me grow and build a real, personal fan base in the UK and around the world while never compromising my creativity. This recognition means so much to me, my close ones and my team. I can’t wait to share my debut album in 2019.”

 Singer-songwriter Grace Carter said: “This is crazy! 2018 has been incredible and this has just topped it off. Being able to share my music and story with people over the past year has been out of this world, I’ve toured with some amazing artists such as Dua Lipa and Haim and have learnt so much about myself and the artist I want to be. Being picked by YouTube Music as one of their ones to watch is an honour, YouTube has allowed me to build a community of people all around the world who relate to me and mymusic in places I would’ve never imagined. I feel like the music I’m putting out now is the perfect example of what I’m about and who I am. My songs are the letters I never sent and I’m so happy I get to share this moment with you. Here’s to 2019.”

 East London rapper, Kojey Radical said: It feels great to be recognised by YouTube Music for my work. My music is very personal and special to me, and expresses how I feel on a number of different issues. I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds not only for me, but for my community here in London. It’s an important time to lift up our voices and be heard across the UK and everywhere.”

 Singer-songwriter Sam Fender mentioned: “Thanks to YouTube Music and all the fans who have been supporting us and  my music. I started recording music in a garden shed not so long ago. so it’s incredible to now be recognised and heard at a global scale through YouTube. Super excited for next year, there’s so much more to come!”

 Rapper, Slowthai said: “It’s a blessing to be shortlisted by YouTube Music for Ones to Watch in 2019. Love to YouTube and everyone else supporting me.”

Singer-songwriter L-Devine commented: I’ve been discovering new artists and watching music videos on YouTube for as long as I can remember so I’m absolutely thrilled to be included in the Ones To Watch list for 2019 from YouTube Music. I have some very exciting plans for the coming year – loads more music, music videos, live shows and content for the fans – and I’m so happy that I now get to share it all with the support of YouTube!”

 Irish musician Dermot Kennedy said: “This feels like such a good way to end an amazing year. Thank you so much to YouTube Music for the inclusion on this list. YouTube has been so helpful for me to go from an Irish busker and musician to reaching a global stage and having so many people hear my music and see my videos. I’m currently working on my debut album, so I really look forward to sharing that with everyone next year.”

Singer songwriter Samm Henshaw commented: “It’s been an exciting year for me, and this recognition from YouTube Music has topped it off. I’ve been touring my new musicand working with some amazing artists, I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 holds. Can’t wait to share my new single with everyone in January!” 

Guitarist, singer and songwriter, Jade Bird said: “I’m really blown away to be included on YouTube Music’s Ones to Watch list! YouTube has been such an amazing place for me to evolve my music and gain new fans. I’ve just released my latest single Love Has All Been Done Before, and I’m currently finishing my album in America and I cannot wait to share it and much more in 2019!!!”

 To explore more about YouTube Music’s Ones to Watch 2019 artist spotlight, please head to the YouTube Music App. There, you’ll be able to enjoy a brand new YouTube Musicplaylist featuring the Top 10 artists and our longlist, as well as an in-app spotlight, featuring additional playlist and video content.