We wait for a big new star to come along, then two come along at once! Check them both out here.
For those who don't yet know, George Ezra Barnett is an English singer-songwriter based in Bristol. The buzz started soon after he released two EPs, Did You Hear the Rain? in October 2013 and Cassy O' in March 2014. With the release of his hit single "Budapest" in November 2013, still charting now, the breakthrough was on. June 2014 saw the release of "Wanted on Voyage," the debut studio album.
Then came rave reviews, most agreeing on the charms of the distinctive deep, dark voice, the occasional surprise of the falsettos and the structurally simple songs delivered with enormous brio. His fluid vocals drift around the registers adding a contemporary feel to a musical mix that has its roots in Bob Dylan and the folkrock havens of Greenwich village.
Ezra is now playing a string of live dates, visiting Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and London. Next on the agenda is a new video in which Sir Ian McKellen will star alongside the singer.
Wanted On Voyage has now spent 16 weeks in the top 10, including a spell number one after several months.
George Ezra, Budapest
Making an earlier entry to the mainstream music scene was English singer Sam Smith. The 22-year old first grabbed our attention with his soulful arrival on electronic duo Disclosure’s “Latch” in late 2012. His huge hit, Stay with me" confirmed the arrival of a mega-star with a powerful soul voice and a hauntingly passionate upper register.
The later release of his debut album prompted some discusssion of his sexuality. He subsequently revealed that many of the songs on 'In The Lonely Hour' were written about his unrequited love for a man he fell in love with.
"In The Lonely Hour' is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn't love me back," Sam explained. "I think I'm over it now, but I was in a very dark place. I kept feeling lonely in the fact that I hadn't felt love before. I've felt the bad things, and what's a more powerful emotion, pain or happiness? [The album] is about a guy and that's what I wanted people to know, I want to be clear that that's what it's about," Sam declared. "I've been treated as normal as anyone in my life, I've had no issues.
Sam admitted that he was initially nervous to open up about his sexuality fearing that the public might not accept his music. His fears proved groundles as four months after releasing In The Lonely Hour it has already shifted over a million copies worldwide and landed straight at number one in the UK and number two in the US.
"I’ve been very open from a very young age about it. The thought of people not being able to hear the music I make scared me, because that’s my dream,” he explained to the Daily Star. “That’s been my dream from a very young age. So it was a risk but I was proved completely wrong."
Sam’s praises have been sung in many places, not least by the goddess that is Beyonce Knowles. Sam seemed pretty cool about the whole thing. “You recognise them more for their talent than fame. I met Beyoncé. She told me my voice was like butter," he says. Can you imagine?
Sam Smith, "Stay with me."
Lustralboy says: "Once you've heard those tracks, there's nothing more we need to say."
Hot news Update 09.02.2015
Sam Smith won four Grammy Awards in the US, including the prestigious prizes for record and song of the year and best new artist. Sam was rewarded for being the only solo artist to sell more than a million albums in both the UK and US in 2014.
Lustralboy says: "Great Sam. Completely deserved. We're looking forward to the next album.
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