The Ones To Watch In 2012

The press has been full of its usual 'end-of-year' lists for best album, best film etc, but perhaps the list most widely sought after in the music world, is the One's To Watch, for the coming year. There have been hundreds of these 'hot lists' compiled, many featuring the same stars aspiring to hit the big time in 2012, but with the doors of the new year widely flung open, it's up to us whether we walk bravely and confidently into it's throws of spontaneity and unpredictability, or cower in it's shadows, lingering with ripe cynicism.

It's understandable that you may be scared of music's future comings, particularly when 2011 has seen the rise of what some journalists coined as "beige pop" (your Adele's, your Ed Sheeran's etc) and the saturation of Brit School graduates (Jessie J, Katy B) in the market, leaving litte space for any real, meaningful music to sieve through.

This year, I predict that music will fall gracefully back to its organic roots, taking back all sense of authenticity, musicianship and, ultimately, the classic hippy values on its way. Folk music, for example, is already a prime contender in the market, as well as there becoming a need to revive and re-energise proper guitar-driven rock music. Back to basics, and down to earth. But come and talk to me in 9 months time, and we'll review that...

But until then, I've decided to pick my favourite selection of artists and tracks from some of the lists. See what you think.

Niki And The Dove: Scandinavian pop duo with ethereal vocal and electro-pop beats.

Spector: East London's answer to The Strokes and Kaiser Chiefs with a New Romantic, Roxy Music / Pulp feel.

Lianne La Havas: A soulful 22 year old influenced by the likes of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill with a charm and wit of Corinne Bailey Ray.

Jamie N Commons: With a nicotine-soaked growl and a southern twang, this Bristolian man is quite something. Obvious Johnny Cash and Nick Cave elements, with Elvis Costello already a self-proclaimed fan.

Azealia Banks: And now to end on a more poppy/urban note, this New York rapper takes inspiration from hip hop greats like Missy Eliot and the more recent, Niki Minaj, and invents her own style switching between playful, agressive, and smutty.