BBC Music’s selections for the Audio of 2018 include a 15-year-old girl and three acts out of Manchester.
Compiled by audio specialists including former winners and nominees Stormzy and Ellie Goulding, this season’s record includes 16 emerging talents who have been tipped for victory in the coming months.
The competition includes US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, the youngest ever nominee at 15, and 3 hopefuls out of Manchester — urban legends performer IAMDDB, indie pop group Pale Waves and singer songwriter Tom Walker.
The other functions on the long-list include ALMA, Jade Bird, Khalid, Lewis Capaldi, Nilufer Yanya, Not3s, Rex Orange County, Sam Fender, Sigrid, Superorganism, Yaeji and Yxng Bane.
Now in its 16th season, the competition has been previously won from the likes of Adele (2008) and Sam Smith (2014).
The daily countdown of the top five will begin on BBC Radio 1 on January 8. The winner will be announced live on air by Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac in Clara Amfo’s show from 10am on January 12.
Mac explained: “I’m quite excited to see a lot of young and innovative rising stars from all over the world on this year’s Audio of 2018 long-list.
“Some acts will soon be new to UK viewers and most have already begun to create an impact with us at Radio 1 and 1Xtra and out performing live. Countless numbers of talented artists have showcased on past Sound Of lists and I’m thrilled by the amount of talent exhibited again this season.
“I can not wait to be a portion of the travel and see exactly what the year ahead is in store for all.”
BBC Music editor James Stirling stated that he was thrilled to be “shining a light on, and celebrating, such amazing burgeoning ability that make up the BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist”.