September was a great month for Swedish singer Nea: not only did she overtake the pole position in the Music Moves Europe Artist chart, but she was also nominated for the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards.
CHART ANALYSIS: Swedish Pop Princess Nea Leads the Nominations for the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards
Ever since the end of May, Nea scores the most chart points in streaming and airplay with her song Some Say (Sony), which was also remixed by German producer Felix Jaehn. The track, which samples the melody line of the nineties Italian dance smash Blue by Eiffel 65, was definitely the breakthrough for Linnéa Södahl. Although she was for many years active behind the scenes as a co-writer for Axwell, Anne-Marie, Tinie Tempah, Icona Pop, and most notably for Zara Larsson, with whom she wrote the global hit Lush Life (Sony). Some Say is a pan-European hit, except for Italy, Albania and Bosnia And Herzegovina.
Nea leads the pack of sixteen nominations for the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards 2021. Of the other fifteen nominations, there are five acts you might be familiar with, if you follow the Music Moves Europe Artist Chart. Irish indie rock band Inhaler, currently at #6, has had success in most territories already with songs like Ice Cream Sundae and My Honest Face (both Universal). And also nominated is the current #14: Belgian electronic R’n’B chanteuse Lous And The Yazuka, who scored an airplay hit in most of Western Europe with Dilemma (Sony). You might also be familiar with German rapper from Turkish descent Mero at #44, who is very popular in the German-speaking countries with tracks like Wolke 10 (Groove Attack Traxx). Italian indie singer-songwriter Julia Bardo at #51 moved from Italy to Manchester to get signed to British indie label Wichita and now finds her song I Wanna Feel Love get played in faraway places like Poland and Sweden, and on top of that an award nomination. And last month’s #22, British indie rock band Squid is also nominated. Their awesome live reputation brought them airplay in most specialist music shows across Europe with The Cleaner (Speedy Wundergound/PIAS).
Then there is a legion of six nominated acts, who had some airplay or streaming success to enter the weekly charts, but accumulated not enough chart points yet to find themselves entering the Music Moves Europe Artist Chart. Among them is Danish singer-songwriter Calby, Parisian R’n’B singer Crystal Murray and Dutch R’n’B singer Rimon. Also, Austrian indie supergroup My Ugly Clementine, Norwegian techno-pop producer Sassy 009, and all-female garage rock Melenas form that league.
And then there are four wildcards nominated by the jury for sheer musical greatness. Their music is not likely to enter the charts soon because of the uncommon genres, but deliver a great live experience or will help develop pop music. If you were lucky enough to catch former Ukrainian teacher Alyona Alyona live, you will be not surprised to find her among the nominees. Portuguese act Lina_ Raül Refree offers an updated version of traditional Fado music, while Czech brothers Bratři bring a special electronic mix and Finnish act Vildá combine modern pop and Finnish folk joik singing. In January we will find out at the ESNS Festival which nominees will be the winners.
As always, we finish this column with a run through the newcomers this month in the Music Moves Europe Artist Chart. The highest new entry is at #75 from Goldkimono, a Dutch pop act with hip hop vibes, whose To Tomorrow (Sony) enjoys much airplay in Belgium. Spanish producer HVME at #82 has a streaming hit in most parts Northern Europe with the gloomy dance track Goosebumps (Lithuania HQ/B1). French smooth R’n’B pop singer Tayc is in at #95 thanks to N’Y Pense Plus (Play Two), which also crosses over to the UK, Germany and Denmark – which is remarkable for a song sung in French. At #97 Oliver Malcolm enters. He is a Swedish indie-pop artist with a broad range in styles. His song Kevin (Universal) gets picked up in Greece and Poland. Finally, French R’n’B chanteuse Imen Es enters at #100, while her 1ère Fois (Bendo) conquers other French-speaking countries.
Music journalist and radio professional from The Netherlands