Sam Smith has been named the hottest new act to look out for in the year ahead as he takes poll position in the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list.
The 21-year-old singer beat fierce competition from the likes of Ella Eyre and BANKS to land a spot firmly at the top of the BBC’s list of favourite acts for 2014. The accolade finds Sam in great company with previous winners including Jessie J (2011), Ellie Goulding (2010) and Adele (2008).
Compiled from the recommendations of 170 influential UK ‘taste-makers’ including radio DJs, TV presenters and respected bloggers, Sam Smith has beaten a ‘longlist’ of 15 artists to be named the winner.
Finding his way to #1 amongst this competition, Sam has commented “I'm completely speechless. The shortlist is full of so many talented artists and it's a huge compliment to be recognised by the industry and the BBC in this way. I'm completely overwhelmed!”.
Sam’s first taste of being number one came about last May when the vocalist featured on Naughty Boy’s single, La La La. Previous to this he had featured on Disclosure’s Top-20 hit, Latch.
Sam released his first solo EP, Nirvana, in October 2013 and title track, also Nirvana, was named as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World. Following this, the hotly anticipated ‘Money on my Mind’ single and EP is expected to be released in February. This will be closely followed by an album, In The Lonely Hour, expected in the spring.
Rob Copsey, Music Editor at Digital Spy says: "There aren’t many male singers who can command the kind of pull Sam Smith can. He may have scored his big breakthrough on last year’s La La La with Naughty Boy, but his rich singing voice and a knack for tapping into real matters of the heart will undoubtedly see him come into his own in 2014."
The BBC ‘Sound of...’ list started in 2003 and has experienced a great history of predicting the acts that will go on to make it big. Last year’s winners were LA pop band HAIM, who went on to have a number one in October with their debut album Days Are Gone.
Head of Music for BBC Radio 1, George Ergatoudis, expects a similar path of success for Sam Smith as he says: “[He] is blessed with a distinctive mellifluous voice that imbues his lyrics with real emotion and soul. The public are looking for authentic artists with genuine talent and Sam more than fits the bill. He is going to enjoy huge success this year.”