Meet our 2022 Rising Stars
The BRIT Awards 2022 with Mastercard have today announced the shortlist of three artists for the prestigious 2022 BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1 as Bree Runway, Holly Humberstone and Lola Young.
Since launching in 2008, the award, originally known as Critics’ Choice, has successfully identified the future stars of UK music, with a roll-call of previous winners including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Ellie Goulding, Sam Fender and 2021’s winner, Griff, all of whom have gone on to enjoy tremendous chart success not only in the UK but internationally too, with global album sales for all previous winners currently reaching over 136 million.
The BRITs Rising Star award shortlist is selected by an invited panel of music editors and critics from the national press, online music editors, heads of music at major radio and music TV stations plus songwriters, producers and live bookers - those working with new rising talent on a regular basis. The award is open to British artists who, as of 31st October 2021, have not yet achieved an Official Album Charts Top 20 placing or achieved more than one Top 20 chart placing in the Official Singles Chart.
The 2021 Rising Star award winner will be announced on Friday 10th December.
Introducing the 2022 BRITs Rising Star shortlist....
“I feel so honoured to be recognised by the BRITs in this way, it’s all so exciting especially as previous nominees have gone on to do such amazing things, I hope I’m struck by that same luck. Attending the BRITs alone has been something I’ve wanted to do for years, but attending as a Rising Star nominee is a DREAM.”
Pop phenomenon Bree Runway started to make music whilst still at school, and at 14 performed for Michelle Obama who told her to keep going. After leaving school, she studied music at university in London. Whilst working a part-time job to help fund her studies, Bree used her very first pay cheque to buy a small home studio and soon after, her first EP, RNWY 01, emerged. The multi-faceted artist started to post videos - her ‘Mirror covers’ on social media with many going viral: one of her first ever posts received over 50 million views in a matter of days and received likes from Rihanna, Missy Elliott and 6lack. Bree’s first EP received early acclaim and ultimately gave her the confidence to tackle more personal issues on follow-up, Be Runway. The themes chimed with many and earned Bree a legion of likes from famous fans including Kehlani, Aminé, Diplo and Jorja Smith. Forging her own path and unapologetic in her approach, Bree still retains the DIY ethos of her earliest days creating meticulous collages of ideas to capture her own very assured vision. Making it her mission to change the narrative, singles from her 2000AND4EVA mixtape masterpiece, ATM, Gucci and follow on viral hit HOT HOT garnered global acclaim and defined her own genre-bending strand of ‘destructive pop’. The East London singer kicked off the year shortlisted for the BBC Sound Of and received a BET Award for Best New International Act 2021 (viewer’s choice), followed by further co-signs from the likes of Doja Cat, Chloe Bailey - whom she cameoed for on the video for Have Mercy, Khalid and Cardi B. Most recently Bree featured on Lady Gaga’s Dawn Of Chromatica Remix album and has received two MOBO nominations for Best Female and Video of the Year for HOT HOT.
“Music has always been my entire life, and being nominated for such a prestigious award really means everything to me. Recognition from the BRITs is something I am struggling to comprehend at the moment! it’s truly an honour to be nominated for the BRITs Rising Star Award alongside two other incredibly inspiring female artists.”
Holly Humberstone’s childhood home is your quintessential spooky, strange house, and is a big part of the 21-year-old’s identity. Hers is a sound that belongs to the night, moonlight flashes and twilight tinges occupying her genre-blurring songs, which take influence from the likes of Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Frank Ocean, Lorde and Phoebe Bridgers, but stand alone in their own distinctive world. Her debut EP Falling Asleep At The Wheel was written at her home and imitated the sounds of the house – packed with distant buzzes, ethereal echoes and wonky, warped glitches. Falling Asleep At The Wheel marked the first chapter in the story of a new global talent who has garnered over 200M global streams to-date. Over the past year, the rising alt-pop star has achieved everything from being nominated for the Ivor Novello Rising Star Award with Apple Music, coming runner up in the BBC Sound of 2021, chosen as YouTube’s next Artist On The Rise, and Deezer’s Focus artist, amongst intimate and groundbreaking performances on Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, and Later... With Jools Holland. Having just released her critically acclaimed second EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin, about being lost and questioning where you belong, whilst captivating thousands of fans across the UK and USA (including Lorde) on her debut headline tour, the Grantham-born artist has become the UK’s next great songwriting talent. It is the honest storytelling at the heart of Holly’s craft that has captured the hearts and minds of fans globally, with “tattoo lyrics” that are specific to her life, from her sisters' struggles with mental health to growing apart from her friends, but are universal experiences.
“I can’t believe I’ve been nominated for this award. It feels surreal and completely unexpected. I actually have to pinch myself looking at the other artists that have been nominated previously. It is such a big step for me and I feel very excited to have been nominated!”.
Growing up in south London, 21-year-old Lola Young started writing songs aged 11, and by the time she reached 13 she had already competed in (and won) a national open mic competition. Once she graduated from the prestigious BRIT school, she began gigging non-stop around London and focusing on fine tuning her abilities as a live performer. Her work to date includes the potent & empowering single ‘Woman’, her debut collection of tracks ‘Intro’, second release the ‘Renaissance’ EP and the heart wrenching ‘After Midnight’ EP, which all received significant critical acclaim; garnering radio support from the likes of Annie Mac, Clara Amfo, Benji B, Gilles Peterson, Jo Wiley, MistaJam and DJ Target as well as support from press across the board. Throughout 2021 Lola has been in the studio writing with award-winning producer Paul Epworth, working on a new collection of tracks, including latest single ‘FAKE’ which debuted with a live performance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, with James himself asking Lola personally to be on the show after hearing the track. Lola also recently appeared on the legendary ‘Later… With Jools Holland’ show with an incredible stripped back version of ‘FAKE’. In addition to these performances Lola has just released a spell-binding track for this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, a new version of the 1984 classic ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ by Philip Oakley and Giorgio Moroder.
Past BRITs Critics’ Choice / Rising Star winners:
2009 Florence + The Machine
2010 Ellie Goulding
2011 Jessie J
2012 Emeli Sandé
2013 Tom Odell
2014 Sam Smith
2015 James Bay
2016 Jack Garratt
2017 Rag ’n’ Bone Man
2018 Jorja Smith
2019 Sam Fender
Mastercard return as headline partner for the 24th year having supported The BRITs for over two decades, bringing cardholders closer to music through a range of Priceless BRITs experiences. This year, Mastercard will continue to sponsor the much sought after Mastercard Album award, as well as Song of the Year with Mastercard for the second time and is proud to carry on connecting people to priceless possibilities.
YouTube Music is the Official Digital Music Partner and will bring fans closer to the BRITs than ever before. As the home of the official livestream on YouTube, audiences around the world will be able to watch the whole journey of the BRITs unfold, from the nominations, through the run-up, to the awards themselves and the performances on demand afterwards. In an exciting first, fans will also be able to watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage on the night on YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube, as well as listening to their favourite artists' playlists on YouTube Music. YouTube Music sponsors the 2022 Artist of the Year award.
The BRIT Awards 2022 with Mastercard takes place Tuesday 8th February at The O2 arena, exclusively broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub and hosted by Mo Gilligan.
Further campaign announcements will be unveiled in the coming months.