via press release:
MTV REVEALS 2015 “ARTIST TO WATCH” LIST AND ANNOUNCES ANNUAL KICKOFF SHOW FEATURING SYDNEY SIEROTA OF ECHOSMITH, HOODIE ALLEN, JACQUIE LEE, MISTERWIVES, RYN WEAVER AND SHAWN MENDES ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5th, 2015 AT THE
HOUSE OF BLUES SUNSET STRIP IN LOS ANGELES
Class of 2015 Joins an Accomplished Roster of Artists to Watch Alumni Sam Smith, Charli XCX, 5 Seconds of Summer, Echosmith, Fifth Harmony And More
New York, NY, January 21, 2015 – MTV today revealed the eleven artists chosen as its 2015 “Artist to Watch,” the network’s annual year-long spotlight for artists on the edge of superstardom. The 2015 class features artists representing a diverse variety of musical styles and genres, including singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, rapper Hoodie Allen, indie pop group MisterWives, electronic R&B artist FKA twigs, alternative folk/rap/soul musician Raury Jacquie Lee Sam Smith, Charli XCX, 5 Seconds of Summer, Echosmith, Fifth Harmony and Rixton.
“MTV has a longstanding and unmatched track record in elevating new artists to find a mass audience,” said Amy Doyle, EVP of Music. “Through Artist to Watch, we’re first identifying the artists that our audience needs to hear and then catapulting them to stardom across our channels, shows and award events.”
“I’m so excited to be one of MTV’s 2015 Artist To Watch. Really is such an honor and I can’t thank MTV & my fans enough!” – Shawn Mendes
MTV’s “Artist to Watch” campaign connects fans and artists across every screen. Every two weeks, MTV will feature a new “Artist to Watch” across television on MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams; digital on MTV.com, MTV Artists, MTV News and the MTV App; and social media channels including @MTV, MTV on Facebook, MTV on Instagram, MTV on Tumblr. MTV will offer fans exclusive content across its various channels including live performances, interviews, videos, song placements in shows and more. Last year, several of MTV’s Artists to Watch performed at “MTV Video Music Awards,” “mtvU Woodie Awards,” as well as appearing in MTV hits shows like “Awkward” and “Faking It.” As a result, the 2014 class experienced significant growth in album/single sales, airplay, and touring with Sam Smith seeing a 90% increase in single sales for his hit “Stay With Me” immediately following his “2014 Video Music Awards” debut performance.
“Being an MTV Artist to Watch in 2014 was one of the most amazing things that has happened to us. Not only did it help elevate our profile and provide us with some amazing opportunities, but we formed a lasting partnership with MTV on so many levels and we know it will continue far beyond 2014.” – Sydney Sierota of Echosmith
To kick off this year’s campaign and celebrate the new artists, MTV is hosting its annual “Artist to Watch” showcase at LA’s famed House of Blues Sunset Strip on Thursday, February 5th hosted by Sydney Sierota of Echosmith with performances from Hoodie Allen, Jacquie Lee, MisterWives, Ryn Weaver, and Shawn Mendes. Fans can also live stream the musical showcase on ArtistToWatch.mtv.com. Beginning on Saturday, February 7 and throughout the weekend, the network will air exclusive interviews with Sydney Sierota and the featured showcase artists. MTV will host additional “Artist to Watch” events throughout the year.
The “Artist to Watch” class of 2014 included Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Jake Miller, Echosmith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Fifth Harmony, Martin Garrix, and more. Previous MTV Artist to Watch have included Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, Disclosure and more.
MTV’s “Artist to Watch” 2015 Class (in alphabetical order):
Bea Miller – Bea Miller’s 2014 debut EP Young Blood (debuted #2 on the iTunes pop chart) is full of sharp-edged pop songs and showcases both her songwriting prowess as well as her gravelly-beyond-her-years and powerful vocals. The moody intensity and fiery rebel spirit behind her track “Young Blood” grabbed the attention of fans, Top 40 radio and Demi Lovato with whom she toured this past October. Bea also opened for One Direction at the famed Rose Bowl and performed at KIIS-LA’s Jingle Ball in December. With her full-length debut due this Spring, 2015 is shaping up to be a breakout year.
FKA twigs – FKA twigs, the 26 year-old Gloucestershire, England native, has established herself as an artist of uncompromising vision and startling originality. Her debut album, the critically acclaimed LP1, is a testament to her talents as a producer, songwriter and vocalist and has elevated FKA twigs from word-of-mouth secret to global obsession. It’s her defining artistic statement born out of her artistic philosophy of spontaneous creation and experimentation in the studio. Additionally, MTV exclusively premiered the global release of her new video, “Pendulum.”
Hoodie Allen – New York bred rapper, Hoodie Allen released his debut album “People Keep Talking” in October 2014, debuting at #2 on Billboard’s “Top Rap Albums” chart & in the top 10 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart, which was supported by a sold-out U.S. Fall headline tour. His current single, “All About It (feat. Ed Sheeran)” is rapidly climbing the charts. This Summer, Hoodie will head out on the road with Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa on the “The Boys Of Zummer Tour.”
Jacquie Lee – Singer-songwriter Jacquie Lee is a 17-year-old vocal phenom, who was first runner up on The Voice Season 5. Jacquie recently debuted her “Broken Ones” EP which immediately hit TOP 10 on the iTunes Pop chart and will release her new single “Tears Fall” co-written by Sia later this month. PopDust dubbed Jacquie’s “Broken Ones” EP as the #1 album of “8 Pop Albums That Changed My View of the World In 2014”. Her first single “Broken Ones” has reached over 9 million Streams on Spotify and counting.
MisterWives – One year since their debut EP featuring the explosively reactive title track “Reflections”, New York City’s own MisterWives flawlessly evolve their sound with a virtually seamless combination of indie rock, pop, soul, funk, dance, folk and live energy on their debut full length album “Our Own House” out February 24.
Priory – Portland duo Priory sold everything they had, built a studio in an old cement factory and crafted their own signature breed of alt-pop. Their anthemic song “Weekend” has been making waves on pop and alternative radio and will appear on their 2015 Warner Bros. Records debut. “Weekend” was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter throughout football season, and the band can be heard in the latest Taco Bell commercial. You can catch them at SXSW, Bonnaroo and Governor’s Ball this summer.
Rae Sremmurd – From Tupelo, Mississippi, Rae Sremmurd, the duo comprised of real life brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, took the music world by storm in 2014 with the platinum-selling singles “No Flex Zone” and “No Type,” their first two releases on Mike WiLL Made-It’s Ear Drummer Records/Interscope Records imprint. To start 2015, Rae Sremmurd released their highly anticipated first album, SremmLife, with a top 5 debut on the Billboard Top 200.
Raury – Ushering in a new generation of consciousness after the 2014 release of his debut EP, “Indigo Child” in Fall 2014. Eighteen-year old Atlanta alternative folk/rap/soul and musical youth activist, Raury steps into 2015 with many eyes & expectations set on him. The LoveRenaissance/Columbia Records recording artist will release his highly anticipated debut album this year.
Ryn Weaver – Ryn Weaver’s debut EP Promises, produced by Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit and multiplatinum producer Benny Blanco, is out now via Friends Keep Secrets/Interscope. Debut single “OctaHate” has rached 4 million playes n Spotify. Weaver is set to play her first festival dates at SXSW, Coachella and Bonnaroo later this year, with more announcements forthcoming.
Shawn Mendes – Singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has emerged from teen viral sensation to major best-selling status almost overnight. Shawn’s debut single “Life Of The Party” broke records, topping the iTunes Charts and selling over 150,000 copies in its first week, which made Shawn the youngest ever artist to break into the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 25 with a debut single. After a string of headline shows that sold out in minutes, Shawn will be releasing his debut album in 2015 & embarks on Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour this summer.
Ty Dolla $ign – Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/producer Ty Dolla $ign has made a splash after releasing the Gold-certified singles, “Paranoid (feat. B.o.B)” and “Or Nah (feat. Wiz Khalifa & The Weeknd).” His new single, the Diplo-produced “Stand For,” has become an instant online sensation. On top of all this, he’s responsible for co-writing Chris Brown’s #1 smash hit single, “Loyal.” Ty’s debut album “Free TC” will be released in late Spring 2015.
MTV is the world’s premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy®, Grammy® and Peabody® award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV’s sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is a leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.