Danish pop group Alphabeat’s debut single “Fascination” has streamlined their retro 80s pop sound to the top of the charts. The group refused an offer to open for the Spice Girl’s world tour in 2008, feeling uneasy about the large, unfamiliar audience. Instead, the group opted to open for Katy Perry during select shows on her 2008 world tour. Since then, the band has pumped out hit after hit, like singles “Boyfriend,” “10,000 Nights of Thunder,” and “Go-Go.” Alphabeat recently announced it was dropped by UK label Charisma Records, despite their success. Rumor has it, the band made the decision not to renew the contract, but no announcement of clarification has since been made.
New Zealand musician Gin Wigmore won the International Songwriting Competition in 2004, beating 11,000 songwriters from 77 countries to become the youngest and only unsigned winner in the history of the competition for her song “Hallelujah,” at 16. Now, almost 5 years later, Gin has released her first EP, “Extended Play,” through Island Records, a partner company with Universal Music Group, Australia. The songstress has had success down under; with “Extended Play” reaching a top ten position on the charts and singles “Under My Skin” and “These Roses” each have over 50,000 plays on MySpace. In December 2008, Gin toured New Zealand with John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow. Look for her cross over in 2009.
8. Lady GaGa
At 22, Stefani Joanna Germanotta has been compared to Madonna far too many times to count. Speculation of big name, mainstream females acts, such as Christina Aguilera, copying her style both musically and fashion-wise, have set the blogosphere ablaze, and her smash-hit single “Just Dance” has been on radio rotation worldwide, non-stop, since the summer. When Germanotta was just 17 she was one of 20 people in the world to be admitted to the Clive Davis program at the Tisch School of Arts at New York University. Before she could graduate, Germanotta was writing, recording and producing provocative underground pop and performing under the stage name Lady GaGa– inspired by Queen’s “Radio Ga-Ga,” an ode to theatrical and dramatic Freddie Mercury who she says inspired her. Originally signed, and dropped, by Def Jam, Lady GaGa spent most of 2007 working with Interscope, writing songs for other artists. Discovered by Akon after laying down reference vocals for him in the studio, she was signed to Kon Live and quickly began working with Lower East Side DJ and go-go dancer Lady Starlight who helped create her onstage costumes, dance moves, and eventually, her image. Fast-forward to today, Lady GaGa has topped the charts with “Just Dance” and recently released single “Poker Face” is sure to follow in its footsteps. Her debut album “The Fame” has enjoyed success in the States, and is soon to be released overseas. In 2008 she toured with New Kids on The Block and The Pussy Cat Dolls. GaGa has been nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2009, been called the “future of pop” by the New York Post, and Billboard praised “The Fame” as “an album full of hits.”
9. April Smith
April Smith is a tiny girl who belts out her songs like someone twice her stature would. She tours solo, and with her band in tow: April Smith and the Great Picture Show. Her retro pop sound and is quirky, upbeat and fun. “Colors,” a song revered as “the kind of tune you’d hear on an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” or in the next iPod commercial” by the great Queen of All Media, Perez Hilton, is sure to be a hit. The single has also been featured on MTV reality shows, such as the Hills, and is sure to hit the airwaves in the coming months and the songstress continues to tour the country.
10. Little Boots
Victoria Hesketh is the 24-year-old British electronica musician known was Little Boots who has taken the blogosphere by storm. Hesketh was a contestant on the television show “Pop Idol” and eliminated in the third round before she formed the dance-pop band Dead Disco. Since then, she has produced hit-after-hit YouTube videos, made the longlist for the BBC’s Sound of 2009, and graduated from University of Leeds with a first-class honours degree in Cultural Studies. Her hit “Meddle” has over 250,000 plays on MySpace.