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The Influencers

Can You Hear The Future?

INFLUENCER: Now that the new year of music is in full swing, Pitch & Sync’s Head of Music Joe Rice gives us his crystal-gazing vision for 2018’s music trends

Can You Hear The Future?

A part of what makes music fascinating is the unpredictable nature of it. It makes forecasts, predictions and promises a bit futile. Then, on the other hand, it is, kind of, our job, or a part of it, to keep our channels open to the future.
What is going to be moving us in 2018? Well, the revival of Angolan kuduro is getting stronger, with artists like MINA, JOWAA and Poté incorporating it in their sound. Add to this the growing swell of South African House. Africa continues to be the source. Plus the growing UK afrobeats and afro-swing scene can not go unnoticed either. A flight away - Portuguese House, the refusal of reggaeton to leave the party.

MINA (left) and Poté (right)
It’s impossible to ignore the New Jazz scene. Call it street jazz, floor jazz – whatever, it keeps getting better. An awful lot of it is cooking up in London. In particular the entire 22a Records roster, Moses Boyd and Gondwana Records are looking strong for 2018.

A lot of you may not want to hear it but we’re going to tell you anyway. Gabba is threatening to gatecrash your radio again. Maybe it is a side effect of the continued fashion obsession with northern estate culture. Gosha Rubchinskiy and Alasdair McLellan fetishise working class kids in oversized shell suits and bad sneakers – obviously, Gabba was going to be attached. We’ll see.

Hard drum is a niche genre we've been following for a while, incorporating jersey club, grime and Latin influences to create a driving, energetic and infectious rhythm which has a sound routed in UK music. Labels such as Her Records have been pushing this genre since 2012 and we expect to hear lots more of it in 2018.
Grime is another one that looked like it was in the rear view mirror then, all of a sudden, it got back on its feet. Stormzy and Skepta, Drake and a whole crew of urban royalty in the US are giving it the respect it never really got in its first invasion. Its eminent figures are now mainstream figures and it still gets referenced a lot for talent searches. Like it or loathe it, it is going to be a big part of what you hear again this year.

Moses Boyd (left) and JOWAA (right)

Like we said at the start though, it moves in jerky, unpredictable and erratic ways. You need to keep your ear to the ground and your hand on the dial constantly. That’s our job we guess. 

Who doesn’t love a Madonna rumour? She is currently living in Portugal and, apparently, absorbing Portuguese house and Afro funk – there is life, we reckon, in her yet and the chance of a killer record. Stranger things have happened.
Don’t say we didn’t give you the tip!

Big love, P&S.

To save you the task of being on the pulse yourself, Pitch & Sync share their top 5 tracks of the week every Monday, highlighting the latest and greatest in new music. Head to their Spotify page to keep up.

Joe Rice is Head of Music at Pitch & Sync