The New British Invasion

In the long and storied history of these United States, there have been a select few occasions where our friends (or enemies) from across the pond have decided it was time to conquer America. From the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812 to Beatlemania, we Americans are no strangers to British invasions. However, it seemed that in the waning decades of the 20th Century, our fellow English speakers were content to stay on their side of the Atlantic. But now, just when we were least expecting it, the Brits have decided to storm our shores once again with their sights set of dominating our vast nation. Musically, that is.

I believe it all started with Amy Winehouse. Her voice was one for the ages. She sang like she was from another era, yet her music was painfully current. Unfortunately, Amy’s immense success was her downfall and she tragically passed away last year. However, Amy’s legacy still lives on. It is my firm conviction that without Amy blazing the trail, America would have never embraced the megastar known as Adele. The multi-Grammy winning songstress is probably the most well-known member of this new generation of British artists seeing how every person on the planet owns a copy of her sophomore album 21. But, in my opinion, Adele is just one piece of this ever-expanding puzzle.

When I was a tweenager, a little-known band from the UK had a moderate hit with a song called “Clocks“. A couple of years later, they made it big with massive songs such as “Speed of Sound” and “Fix You“. Obviously I’m talking about Coldplay. With their album X&Y, they became international sensations. For the past five years or so, they’ve been universally recognized as one of the biggest bands in the world.

These previous artists are already validated on a global scale. But what I really want to discuss is upcoming British / Irish acts that I believe will make it big over here in the States.

You’ve already heard me talk at length about what I deemed “The Return of the Boyband” (It now seems that the mainstream media is just starting to catch up with me :) ) HERE are the links if you want a refresher. Lets just say that since I’ve last updated you, both One Direction and The Wanted have experience even bigger success and both bands seem headed for superstardom here in America. One Direction has made history as the first UK musical act to ever have a debut album reach #1 on the American charts (not even The Beatles did that). They also performed on The Today Show before a record breaking crowd and in the coming weeks will sing at both The Kids Choice Awards and on Saturday Night Live. The Wanted aren’t doing too shabby either. Their hit single “Glad You Came” is now #3 on the Billboard Charts (and still climbing), they just finished their sold out arena tour in the UK, they performed on The Jay Leno Show as well as MTV’s Spring Break in Las Vegas, and have nabbed perhaps the most coveted of all performance platforms with an upcoming appearance on American Idol. Wow!! It seems my prediction may be coming true 😉

Another British artist that I see having a great career is Jessie J. She started out as a songwriter and penned the mega-hit “Party in the USA” for America’s Sweetheart Miley Cyrus. But in the last couple of years she has really come into her own as a solo artist. Her debut American single was “Price Tag” featuring B.o.B and it was a summer smash. Her next hit has come rather recently and happens to be one of my favorite songs. It’s called “Domino” and is absolute pop perfection. Her vocals are always clean and her style, though crazy, is all her own. I think that she is primed to be the next Katy Perry, but, you know, with actual talent.

So now the artists start becoming a bit more obscure, but trust me, they’ll be huge (hey, I was right about the boybands, wasn’t I?) First up is Ed Sheeran. He is already MASSIVE in the UK (this year he took home two Brit Awards) but he is just starting to release his stuff in the States. Ed’s story is amazing, starting with his departure at home he left home when was only 15 to pursue his music career. He started off just gigging wherever he could and selling homemade CD’s out of his backpack. Because of his relentless pace, he started to gain a small following, which grew and grew and grew ’til he was a bonafide phenomenon. While in L.A. he even caught the attention of one Jamie Foxx. Back in the UK, this ginger kid was fast becoming the coolest guy in music. I would compare his style to a mix of John Mayer and Kanye West… yes, I’m serious. His shows usually include just him, his small guitar, and a loop pedal. He is a master lyricist with a voice as smooth as butter. He also happens to be a kinda insane rapper. His music is eclectic, emotional, and always deeply personal. He’s clever with his words and his melodies and if I don’t stop praising him now this could become an essay. Let’s just say that his debut album + was  a UK #1 and the debut single off that album called “The A-Team” was the biggest single in the UK last year. His other singles also happen to be amazing {You Need Me, I Don’t Need You ~ Drunk ~ Lego House}. Currently Ed is the opening act for Snow Patrol on their US tour, so he should gain more fans over here by the day. I expect big things from this ridiculously talented kid so stay tuned.

Next on the list is a couple of former X-Factor contestants with already established success in the UK. Both of them are looking to break America in 2012 and, in my opinion, both of them have the potential to do so. The first one is runner-up of season 7 Olly Murs. Although he didn’t win, so far he’s been the most successful find of his season. His voice won’t knock you down with its brilliance, but it’s very memorable (think of a more pop Michael Bublé) and his performances are always energetic. His music also happens to be insanely catchy. My favorite songs are “Dance With Me Tonight” and “Heart Skips a Beat” featuring Rizzle Kicks. Olly nabbed the opening spot on the upcoming One Direction North American Tour, so look for his fanbase to expand rapidly. The next X-Factor alum I think has potential is Cher Lloyd. She was a favorite on her season from her very first audition. Cher is unique as well because she has a wicked strong voice but can also rap. She is young and so, so cool (it doesn’t hurt that she’s adorable). Her music is an infectious mixture of pop and hip-hop that seems to follow all the current trends in today’s top 40. Cher has been touted as the next big thing by such big names as Will.i.am and LA Reid. Although she didn’t win The X-Factor, her devoted following helped catapult her debut single, “Swagger Jagger“, to #1 in the UK. Simon Cowell also seems to have a lot of faith in Lloyd and he has big plans for her in the US come fall. There have been rumors of a performance on the American version of X-Factor as well as big collaborations for her US album release. My favorite songs by her are “With Ur Love” featuring Mike Posner and “Want U Back” featuring Astro.

And finally, a true unknown to American soil who I believe will soon be everywhere. Conor Maynard‘s story is not unheard of, like a lot of artists these days, he was first discovered on YouTube. Conor amassed a pretty impressive following with his covers on the video sharing website. After watching any of his videos, it’s immediately evident that this kid has mad vocal ability. His area of expertise has got to be R&B and his voice is eerily reminiscent of Justin Timberlake and even Michael Jackson. As his popularity over the interwebs grew, some pretty big names started contacting him, starting with music star Ne-Yo. This interest led to Conor being signed by a British label and working on his debut album. Not soon after, Conor won MTV’s Brand New contest, beating out names such as Lana Del Ray (among others). Maynard will release his first single on April 16th but the music video is already online. The song is called “Can’t Say No” and its mixes together a sick bass line with cheeky lyrics. I would suggest that you also take a look at some of his most famous covers starting with “Marvin’s Room“, “Use Somebody“, and “Next To You“. People in the UK are saying that his single could debut at #1, which would of course be huge. Recently, Conor was in the States working with some HUGE names for his album, including mega-producer Pharell, rapper Lil Wayne, and Ne-Yo. I think Conor has the talent to go far, and it doesn’t hurt that he looks like Justin Bieber (plus an accent) and has legions of adoring fans (dubbed the “Mayniacs”). I think there are bright things ahead for this young artist.

One thought on “The New British Invasion

  1. I love how almost all the polepe commenting think there music critics or judges from that gay ass show american idol when I guarantee half if them don’t have any musical talent in there entire bodyYea they do need to turn up the vocals a bit but god damn give them a break they recorded there first album in a damn closetAnd it’s on iTunes and its there very first music video there experimenting with different stuff so yea some of their stuff isn’t gonna be as good as some other bands like ad

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