The BRIT Awards 2023 with Mastercard have today announced the shortlist of three acts for the prestigious 2023 BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1 as Cat Burns, FLO and Nia Archives.
Since launching in 2008, the award, originally known as Critics’ Choice, has successfully identified the future stars of UK music, with an extraordinary alumni of previous winners including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Ellie Goulding, Sam Fender, Celeste, Griff and last year’s winner Holly Humberstone, with total global track streams for all previous winners reaching over 50 billion.
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 2022, 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 2023 Rising Star award winner will be announced on Thursday 8th December.
Introducing the 2023 BRITs Rising Star shortlist....
“A BRITs Rising Star nomination was a major thing on my bucket list for me this year, so to have achieved that honestly means the world to me. I’m super grateful for the year I’ve had and am so honoured to have been chosen!”
Cat Burns is a 22-year-old platinum-selling singer/songwriter from Streatham, South London. In 2014, she walked in the footsteps of era-defining artists Adele, Amy Winehouse and FKA twigs as a scholar at The BRIT School, and she later released her debut EP, Adolescent, in 2016. Building a fanbase from the ground up, Adolescent climbed to #11 on the singer/songwriter charts in just 24 hours - putting Cat firmly on the map as an emerging artist to watch. She released her debut single ‘Sober’ in 2018, and in 2020, Cat came out, reconciling herself to her sexuality.
2020 also marked the release of ‘go’, a song which later transformed Cat’s music career as she knew it. It went viral on TikTok towards the end of 2021, peaked at #2 in the Official Singles Chart this year and became Cat’s first platinum-selling hit. Amidst the success of ‘go’, she released her 6-track EP emotionally unavailable in May and supported Ed Sheeran on the European leg of his Mathematics Tour this summer. Named Spotify’s Global RADAR artist, Cat is the recipient of the Music Award at the Attitude Awards and was recently named the Rising Star in Music at the Gay Times Honours 2022. She will support Sam Smith on their UK & Ireland headline tour, Gloria, next Spring.
“It’s a dream come true to receive a BRIT nomination less than a year after dropping our first single. We all grew up watching the BRITs with our mums, and have been inspired by the girl groups and powerful female artists who have performed on that stage. We’re grateful to everyone who has believed in our vision so far and can’t wait to share more music with the world. Girl groups are back and we want to pave the way for more artists to achieve their dreams. We hope that this is the first of many BRIT nominations for FLO.”
Seven months ago, the British R&B girl group FLO - 20 year olds Renée, Jorja and Stella - released their debut single ‘Cardboard Box’, which catapulted them into the collective consciousness and won them fans such as Brandy, JoJo, SZA, Victoria Monét, Missy Elliott, and girl group royalty Kelly Rowland and Sugababes. ‘Cardboard Box’ has set the world alight, with a debut sound and video that sparked a cultural conversion about the future of British girl groups. FLO have gone on to perform ‘Cardboard Box’ on late night US TV show Jimmy Kimmel, the UK’s Later…with Jools Holland, The Glamour Women of the Year Awards, The BET Soul Train Awards, as well as being announced as Best Newcomer nominees at the MOBOs. The recent Happi remix of ‘Cardboard Box’ quickly became the #1 sound on TikTok UK after a Polynesian-creator’s dance routine went viral on the platform, leading to over 400k creations a day at its peak and now over 1M+ versions of the dance exist, with fellow artists creating their own, including Troye Sivan.
FLO released their debut EP ‘The Lead’ at the height of summer 2022 to critical acclaim, which has now amassed over 70million global streams, and represented the personal and professional growth of three young women taking the reins, who have created a sound that hasn’t been heard in the UK music scene for decades. Reinvigorating the British R&B scene, FLO have already been tipped by the likes of The Guardian, i-D, Dazed, NME, Complex and Pitchfork. From girl group royalty to hundreds of thousands of fans on their growing Instagram (180k) and TikTok (300k) channels, FLO have taken The Lead in 2022, and this is just the beginning.
“Words won’t describe how I’m feeling about being nominated for the BRITs Rising Star. Growing up and watching it on TV, I really never thought it could happen to someone like me. I'm just so overwhelmed and happy right now.”
Nia Archives is making soft-hearted lo-fi jungle for introverted extroverts. Her first memories of music are deeply rooted in her Jamaican heritage; reggae and lovers rock were always on around her childhood home in Leeds, and she attended Pentecostal church regularly as a child where she was exposed to gospel music. After moving out at 16, she relocated to Manchester, where her way of getting to know people was through raves and house parties. Forming a close community of like-minded ravers, she felt emboldened to take the mic at house parties to sing and freestyle. After working with other producers for a while, she decided to take the reins and download a cracked version of Logic aged 16, teaching herself production. Having progressed from Youtube tutorials, she’s now at Uni in London to learn music business and production. Her music channels influences like Roots Manuva, Burial, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, Erykah Badu, Kelis, Lemon D, Jennifer Lara and her jungle hero Roni Size. Her first EP Headz Gone West was made mainly in the early hours of the morning in her cramped bedroom studio last August, and, in the move from Manchester to London, Nia has expanded her base of collaborators, working with IZCO, Jakwob, Wu-Lu, V Recordings and more.
Past BRITs Critics’ Choice / Rising Star winners and nominees:
2008 Adele (Duffy, Foals)
2009 Florence + The Machine (Little Boots, White Lies)
2010 Ellie Goulding (Delphic, Marina and the Diamonds)
2011 Jessie J (James Blake, The Vaccines)
2012 Emeli Sandé (Michael Kiwanuka, Maverick Sabre)
2013 Tom Odell (AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula)
2014 Sam Smith (Ella Eyre, Chloe Howl)
2015 James Bay (George The Poet, Years & Years)
2016 Jack Garratt (Izzy Bizu, Frances)
2017 Rag ’n’ Bone Man (Anne Marie, Dua Lipa)
2018 Jorja Smith (Stefflon Don, Mabel)
2019 Sam Fender (Lewis Capaldi, Mahalia)
2020 Celeste (Beabadoobee, Joy Crookes)
2021 Griff (Pa Salieu, Rina Sawayama)
2022 Holly Humberstone (Bree Runway, Lola Young)
The BRIT Awards 2023 with Mastercard will take place on Saturday 11th February - the first time the show will be held on a Saturday in its history - and will broadcast live on ITV and ITVX - from The O2 arena.