Ones To Watch: 10 Aussie acts ready to break airplay charts in 2020
Here are TMN’s 10 emerging Aussie artists to keep an eye on in 2020.
These are the solo artists or groups that we think are most likely to break through at commercial radio this year and, as a result, crack the TMN Hot 100 Airplay Chart.
They hail from both big and small music labels, and some are represented by independent distributors.
2019 saw a stack of Aussies including Fergus James, Stella Donnelly, Northeast Party House, Lime Cordiale, Ruby Fields and Ocean Alley debut on the Hot 100 for the first time in their careers.
Incredibly, 2019 was the first time we saw Tones And I land on Australia’s airplay charts, and she subsequently went on to make history with the biggest breakout year of any artist in recent memory.
With that in mind, here are TMN’s tips for radio’s breakout stars of 2020:
Stellie certainly made an impression in 2019, showcasing at the UNIFIED showcase at BIGSOUND and playing support on tour for G Flip, Dirdirri and more. The Adelaide native released her debut single ‘Love Me First’, an understated track carried by her sweet, resonant vocals. Repped by UNIFIED Music Group, 2020 could be the year that Stellie steps to new heights.
Universal-signed singer-songwriter Melanie Dyer is based in Sydney, and has been creating her own brand of country-pop for the past few years. Despite debuting her first album in 2017, her first #1 single on the TMN Country Hot 50 came just weeks ago with new single ‘Memphis T-Shirt’. She enters 2020 poised to break through further onto mainstream radio, with spins on Nova Brisbane, Coles Radio and Hit Network’s Brisbane and Perth stations under her belt already.
Just announced Sony signing Sam Fischer has kicked off 2020 in style, with his single ‘The City’ ready to cross over to become an Aussie radio hit. Fischer has been writing his own music since he was 12, and the Aussie born LA-based artist has racked up 28 million streams on the track. Fischer’s vocals undeniably bare similarities to an artist with whom he shares a name; Sam Smith. With that in mind, it’s easy to see him cracking the local market this year.
Having worked with the likes of Tones And I, and Tash Sultana, the folks at Lemon Tree Music have a track record for picking the next big thing. Georgia Mae fits the mould perfectly, and after uploading several tunes to triple j Unearthed between 2016 and 2018, she joined the joined LTM/Sony label last year. Following her signing, Mae released a new single chock full of strikingly pure pop sensibility and pristine vocals called ‘Dirt Road’. Watch this space.
Warner Music is tipping big things from Jack Gray, and we agree that this young-gun is ready to break out in 2020 after receiving triple j spins for tracks on his 2019 EP Nights Like This. Lead single ‘Fools’ is powerfully catchy, bringing pop-rock instrumentation and to Gray’s pure vocals. He even completed his first run of Aussie dates opening for Dean Lewis last year, and looks set to follow his countryman’s upward trajectory in 2020.
2019 was undoubtedly a breakout year for independent sibling trio The Buckleys. They signed to Petrol Records in June, and went on to top The TMN Country Airplay Chart with their single ‘Daydream’ having a massive year at Aussie country radio. The trio’s country-pop sensibilities could see them break new ground in 2020 following the likes of Morgan Evans to bridge the gap between country and CHR radio.
Last year Spacey Jane went from relative unknowns getting spins on triple j Unearthed to selling out their own headline shows around Australia. The foursome each hail from different parts of Western Australia and was one of triple j’s biggest acts in 2019. The indie pop-rockers have shades of the likes of Angus Stone about them, and recently inked a global deal with AWAL. They look set to follow a well-trodden track from alternative success to commercial radio play.
There’s definitely something in the water over in Perth at the moment, and Blake Rose is another immense talent to grow from the West. Now based in Los Angeles, Rose produces his own music and has partnered up with Billie Eilish’ managers Brandon Goodman and Danny Rukasin. Streaming services have been good to Rose over the past couple of years, and his 2019 single ‘Lost’ was premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1, It only seems like a matter of time before his first radio hit down under.
Eliott is prepared to jump to new heights in 2020, after a year that saw her play national support tours with the likes of Dean Lewis and Matt Corby. Her debut EP Bold Enough came out at the end of 2018, spawning a number of singles, but her late 2019 track ‘Find A Way’ really helped define her captivating and ethereal sound. With the backing of Island Records, all it will take is a few commercial stations to gamble on her talent this year.
Sydney teenager Mia Rodriguez is part of a growing number of artists breaking onto the scene via social media app TikTok. She has over 2 million followers on the platform, and recently released her raw and powerful debut single ‘Emotion’, and has been recognised by Billboard for her talents. City Pop, which sits within Chugg Music, saw potential in her last year and signed Rodriguez, and we’re tipping that she could become a contemporary hit radio favourite during the coming year.