This superlative and tradition began in 2011 when a little British artist made a lasting impact on us, that artist James Blake, has gone on to release a handful of superb EP's, two more strong LPs, won the Mercury Prize and was nominated for a Grammy. Needless to say, we feel like we were correct in picking him and starting this award with him.
Other winners in following years included artists that were picked:
2011 - James Blake
2012 - The Heartbreaks
2013 - The 1975
2014 - Royal Blood
2015 - Kamasi Washington
2016 - The Lemon Twigs
This superlative is awarded to an artist who released a stellar debut within the last 12 months and this year's winner is certainly someone special and one to treasure.
SZA, who released her brilliant debut, ctrl, earlier this year, was someone who came on our radar in 2014 and we named her a Rising Artist in March of that year. Since then, we have kept an eye on the TDE artist and after three years of waiting, ctrl arrived and it was worth the wait. Arriving with one of the best debuts in recent memory, the rapper blends R&B, soul, funk, into her autobiographical LP. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Isaiah Rashad, among others, she pulls her influences from Tupac to the Fugees to Odd Future to give the new school a taste of the old in an artistic manner. If this is her first step towards stardom, we are strapped in for the ride forever.