Artists to Look Out For


Artists to Look Out For!

Sam Smith

Sam Smith was born on May 19, 1992 in London, England. While growing up, Smith was influenced by Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Whitney Houston, but surprisingly got his musical start in choral music. Smith was in the Youth Music Theatre UK program, where he starred in their 2007 production of Oh! Carol! Smith was also a member of the Bishops Stortford Musical Theatre Society as well as the Cantate Youth Choir. Under famous musician Joanna Eden, he studied jazz vocal, piano, singing and songwriting. “He’s like the guy version of Adele,” said senior Craig Rampersad.

Smith got his breakthrough in 2012 when he was featured on Disclosure’s song Latch, which reached Number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. In February 2013, Lay Me Down was released as Smith’s first single off his debut album. He was also featured on Naughty Boy‘s single, La La La, which reached number one the UK Singles Chart. Smith released his extended play (EP) Nirvana consisting of four songs last October “Smith’s song Not the Only One is so catchy and everyone likes a good emotional ballad,” said junior Abby England.

Smith has gotten recognition for his quick rise to fame through awards such as Best Newcomer at the Mobo Awards 2013, Best New Act at both the Q Awards and MTV Europe Music Awards, Breakout Music Artist at the Young Hollywood Awards, and Artist to Watch at the MTV Video Music Awards. Additionally, Smith’s album In the Lonely Hour has become 2014’s second best selling album, reaching number two on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the UK Albums Chart. “My gal pals and I love to cruise and belt his songs all the time,” said junior Grace Douthit.

Shawn Mendes

Some call him an overnight superstar because of the fast pace success he has received. Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake are Canada-born Shawn Raul Peter Mendes’ musical influences, and he aspires to become as successful as them some day.

Mendes was discovered through the new and popular app Vine, where he gained followers from posting six second covers of him singing, usually accompanied by a guitar. Mendes became a member of the MagCon Tour, a group of young artists and social media icons that travel to meet and greets across the country for a few months in late 2013 and early 2014. “He’s really talented and I saw him perform at MagCon,” said freshman Jasmine Weiss.

In January of 2014, his current manager Andrew Gertler discovered Mendes and signed him to Island Records. With the record label, Mendes released his new single Life of the Party in June of 2014. The rest of the Shawn Mendes EP was released about a month later. The album went to number one on the iTunes charts after less than 30 minutes of release. Additionally, Mendes is the youngest artist to be featured in the top 25 with a debut song on the Billboard Hot 100. In early November of this year, Mendes released his new single Something Big that reached Number seven on iTunes charts and over 500,000 views on Youtube in less than three days.

Mendes now has 3.2 million followers on Vine and the number continues to increase daily. At the Teen Choice Awards, Mendes was nominated for the Choice Viner Award and won the Choice Web Star: Music Award. Over the summer, Mendes went on tour with singer Austin Mahone and musical groups Fifth Harmony and The Vamps. “It was an amazing experience seeing him live because his voice is so much better live than in recordings,” said junior Emma Mobley. “I got goosebumps.”

Mendes is scheduled to go on tour with singer Taylor Swift in 2015 and is releasing a full album in the same year.  “I discover him about a year ago on Vine when he was involved with MagCon and I have been following him and his career since,” said sophomore Tulsi Jipp. “I’ve been supporting him and will continue to support him until the very end.”

Meghan Trainor

Meghan Elizabeth Trainor was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Trainor’s love for music was displayed at an early age when she joined a band with her family members including her father, aunt, uncle and little brother. The band wasn’t very serious, and performed at many small restaurants and bars. Trainor’s father was from Trinidad, so she was very inspired by Soca music, a genre of Caribbean music, while growing up.

Trainor began composing music at the young age of 13 and won the Tennessee Concerts Song Contest with her original song You’re Good With Me at the age of 17. She helped write a few songs for country music group Rascal Flatts, which helped  give her exposure and ultimately led to her signing with Big Yellow Dog Music in 2011 where she wrote and released albums I’ll Sing With You and Only 17.

    Trainor rose to fame with her single All About That Bass, which spread like wildfire due to it’s catchy beat and inspirational message about body image and self confidence. “I didn’t think it was that fantastic of a song, but part of the reason it was really popular was because of the message,” said sophomore Amanda Oh. All About That Bass has become Trainor’s first number one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has topped charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and more.  “That song All About that Bass is my jam,” said sophomore Apara Manuja. “I listen to it on repeat all the time.”

    Trainor won the Vevo Certified Award for her success of over 100,000,000 views on the Youtube music video All About That Bass and is nominated for the New Artist of the Year American Music Award as well as Favorite Breakout Artist for the People’s Choice Awards.

Many believe Trainor will become a one hit wonder, but she hopes to change these opinions by releasing her third album Title next year. “I think since Meghan Trainor is so young, she has a really long and bright future ahead of her,” said junior Kelsey O’Malia.

Jessie J

England-born Jessica Ellen Cornish, otherwise known as “Jessie J” got her start at the Colin’s Performing Arts School, and was cast in the production Whistle Down the Wind at the age of 11. She also appeared in the 2002 production The Late Sleepers with the National Youth Music Theatre. Cornish won Best Pop Singer on the television show Britain’s Brilliant Prodigies when she was 15. Cornish studied at the BRIT School from age 16 to 18 where she graduated in the class of 2006 with famous vocalists Leona Lewis and Adele. Additionally, Cornish was also in the girl group Soul Deep during her time in high school.

Cornish made her musical debut in 2011 when she released her first single Do It Like A Dude with her recording label Island Records, and reached number two on the UK Single Charts. However, her follow up single Price Tag is what gained Cornish the most recognition. The song topped the charts in 19 countries including France, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the song peaked at 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. Cornish released her debut album Who You Are that same year and the album reached number two on the UK Album Charts and number 11 in the United States. “I think Price Tag was Jessie’s first outbreak song, and it really put her on the map,” said junior Casey Spellman.

Cornish’s song Bang Bang recorded with artists Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande was released as the first single of her new album Sweet Talker. The album was released in October in the UK. Bang Bang reached number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart and is the second highest new entry of the year on the chart. In the UK, the song hit number one.

    Cornish has won over 30 Awards such as the 2011 BT Digital Music Awards Best Newcomer, Best Female Artist and Best Song  as well as the 2014 MOBO Awards Best Female Act. “Jessie is seriously one of the most talented singers in the business right now,” said senior Nora O’Leary.