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What Happened to the Sound of 2011?

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JESSIE J CHRISTMAS CRACKER
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It's that time again. That time being when the best of next year's greatest hopes for pop stardom are lined up in the BBC Sound Of list, this year looking forward to 2012. So
I thought I'd take a little look at last year's list and see how they'd all faired in the past year.

Last night I jumped online to have a look at which artists we were being told to get excited about 12 months ago. From last year's list, it has undoubtedly been Jessie J's year. I remember being stood next to her A&R guy and president of Island Records at this year's Brit Awards nominations launch and he turned to me with a very smug look on his face that said "this is gonna be huge". Jessie J is a great popstar, they got the image right, the songs are great, she's the real deal. For this year at least.

Next down the list is James Blake...well, he had a mini-moment this year, a Mercury Prize nomination, ruffled a few feathers, got a few people excited and then crawled back into his post-dubstep hole-come-bedroom.

Then there's The Vaccines. Great sounding band, they should be big. They should be more than just cool and cool-sounding (name-wise at least), but, they've got no songs. Jamie Woon is big in Kazakhstan apparently. Claire Maguire? Anna Calvi, also had a moment, picked up a Mercury nomination and went back into the same hole/bedroom as the aformentioned Blake. Daley? Esben & The Witch (only listed because it sounds like Noah & The Whale). Jai Paul... errrr... Mona, now that was a waste of £1m quid.

But Nero, now we're talking...Nero's Dubstep Symphony recorded live with the BBC Philharmonic for Radio 1, was one of the highlights and most excitingly cutting edge musical experiences I've ever witnessed. Warpaint however - on posters, but not on stereos. Wretch 32, an undeniable hit and close runner in my book for true second place retrospectively. Yuck=Yuck.

So the Sound of 2012, what to make of it? Well firstly, where are all the indie acts? What does this say about the state of the music industry in a year where indie label backed Adele has been a run away global success, where are the slew of indie acts being given a bigger chance to shine? This kind of very public major label elitism just makes it harder for all the young bands and artists on little labels trying to make it.

Sure it's never been easier to get your music out there, but its harder than ever to get heard. Secondly, supposedly this list is drawn up by journalists, media, producers and tastemakers in the industry. Okay, I consider myself to be pretty in touch and most definitely have my finger on the pulse of whats going on in the music industry.

So how come half of these names have only just appeared on the list, despite hardly any profile for the whole year? I'm sure I would have spotted Frank Ocean or Lianne La Havas on gig listings, doing support slots at the hundreds of gigs and music showcases and events I go to every year? It just feels like they've run out of ideas when it got to places 13, 14 and 15 on the longlist and picked up Time Out and picked the first three bands they see. And where is Lana Del Rey!!!!

Stand outs that definitely deserve to be there are Dot Rotten, Dry the River, the incredible Azealia Banks and Michael Kiwanuka all of which have songs and edge.

The rest... I'm pretty sure will be next year's forgotten ones.

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