Norwegian pop singer Sigrid has been named the winner of the BBC Music Sound of 2018 poll, voted for by some 170 industry experts, DJs, festival bookers, critics and former winners.
The 21-year-old singer beat Rex Orange County, aka British singer-songwriter Alex O’Connor, and Manchester-based R&B singer IAMDDB to the coveted title, which has previously been awarded to Adele, Sam Smith, Haim, Ellie Goulding and 50 Cent.
“It’s quite crazy to get this recognition,” said Sigrid, who is signed to Island/Universal and released her debut single “Don’t Kill My Vibe” in February last year. “I feel honored as there are so many other artists I look up to who have won this before me, and honestly, I’m just really happy and proud of what my team and I have achieved together,” she added.
Born in Ålesund, Norway, Sigrid only started making music four years ago when her musician brother, Tellef Raabe, encouraged her to write her own music so she could perform at a gig with him.
Since then, her rise has been meteoric and last year made her network TV debut on The Late Late Show With James Corden as part of the Apple Music Up Next series. Sigrid’s latest single, “Strangers” — a catchy slice of pulsating synth-pop — is currently on the Radio 1 A-list.
“Sigrid is one of those really special artists making quality, exciting and feisty — yet fragile — pop songs that are an absolute pleasure to play on the radio,” praised BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac in a statement.
The singer is currently working on her debut album and will embark on a short U.K. tour in March that includes a show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
This year’s BBC Sound Of 2018 16-strong longlist featured one of the youngest ever line-ups since the annual poll began in 2003 when 50 Cent was the inaugural winner. All of the artists featured receive strong support from BBC Radio, with plays across Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music. Criteria for selection precludes any act who has been the lead artist on a U.K. top 10 single or album released before Oct. 26, 2017 — or someone who is already widely known by the British public, such as a member of an established band or TV talent show winner.
“Helping these artists reach a wider audience is a key part of BBC Music’s mission,” stated James Stirling, BBC Music’s head of content commissioning. He said the diverse range of acts “clearly demonstrates both the quality and breadth of music currently coming through.”
The top five winners are:
2. Rex Orange County
5. Pale Waves