Predicting ‘the next big thing’ every December/January is, I am assured by my more seasoned colleagues, one of the chores of being a music journalist.
While the record labels slumber through the early part of the year, content to stop releasing new records until the awards show circus has breezed through town, all that’s left for the press to do is glance nostalgically behind or project wildly into the future.
Personally, I quite enjoyed writing this year’s AOL Music ones to watch list, not for the new pop lambs like Jessie J and Clare Maguire who are already being herded into a make-or-break 6 months, but because of DELS, star of the video above.
DELS – aka Kieren Dickins – is a rapper from Ipswich with a wonderful, languid flow who has already teamed up with Joe Goddard of Hot Chip – the result being the freshest and most interesting British hip-hop to have mainstream appeal since Dizzee laid down the grime-to-pop road map almost ten years ago.
It helps that he’s just as invigorating lyrically, the words to ‘Shapeshift’ evoking the joys of childhood games and the melancholy of losing those same powers of imagination in adulthood. Compared to stunted post-Modern prattle of Tinchy, Example and the others he’ll hope to face down in the charts next year, DELS is practically the next word in English Romanticism.
My personal, pointless ‘hot tip’ for 2011? DELS claiming the space Mike Skinner is officially vacating as the people’s urban poet of choice.
FOLLOW SAM PARKER ON TWITTER