Since emerging from the Nashville country scene aged just 16, Taylor Swift’s career has been nothing short of monumental – she is one of the most decorated musicians of all time, and yet as an artist she remains humble and honest in both her work and herself.
She pours her deepest musings into the most poignantly poetic refrains, and all while breezing effortlessly between genres with an unwavering perception on emotional multiplicity and an uncanny use of earnest lyricism which encapsulate just what it is like to simply (or not so simply) feel.
Like most ardent fans of Swift, I truly would not have navigated life thus far without her music. She is one of the first artists I remember falling in love with, and while the soundtrack to my days has grown and changed as I have, she has remained a constant source of musical comfort. I could go on forever about why Taylor Swift deserves to be hailed as one of the industry’s greats, but to put it plainly: there is nobody quite like her. She truly embodies everything it is to be an artist, and there is nothing Dr Taylor Alison Swift can’t accomplish.
~ Rowan Christina Driver
It would be an outright lie to pretend that I have to think about who my favourite artist of all time is. There is only one musician who can fill this slot: Miss Phoebe Bridgers. Whilst her songs are delicate, heart wrenching, and emotional, Phoebe Bridgers’ music for me is so aggressively loud. By that I mean her voice is so gentle, yet the words she sings are well and truly heartbreaking. Whilst it may be a small concern that I can listen to Phoebe any time, any day, or any location, I feel her songs observe the small things in life that humans do that create meaning. 99% of Miss Bridgers’ songs are slow and soft, but if you crave something a bit - well - happier, then ‘Kyoto’ is the one for you. ‘Motion Sickness’ is my go to hangover track, and has got me through some of the worst hangxiety of my life. If you haven’t already, you need to sit in a dark room and get Phoebe Bridgers on.
~ Lucy Bower
Walking into the Henry Daysh the other day, I was met with a cover of Joni Mitchell's iconic track 'Big Yellow Taxi' playing over the cafe radio. Though the cover wasn't the ... best interpretation of the song, it is one of many examples of the inspiration Mitchell's work has provided to many musicians, and to the widespread appeal of her music.
Her status within the music world is indisputable, and this is the result of her extraordinary lyricism and musicianship. I am one of millions who feel a deep and profound connection to her work; she gives her soul to her listeners, and wins their hearts in return.
~ Martha Lilli Probert
Shawls, long skirts, spinning in circles. Hands down, always, Stevie Nicks has been my top artist since being a child really. I never really matched the name/face to the voice but since being young and listening to Rumours in my mum’s car, I knew this woman was the epitome of my music experience. Only recently as I’ve left my teenage years, found love, fallen out of love, and become an adult have I really encapsulated her lyrics into my life. She sings about heartbreak, hatred, and forgiveness: and this can all stem from one chorus alone. Her music flows through the body of life experiences that I’ve just simply struggled to find in any other artist. Admittedly, I was named after her song, "Sara" (where if you were to research the actual meaning for the song, you’d think is a little heart breaking) but having that ability to hear her say “Sara, you are the poet in my heart” has been something I’ve been grateful for my entire life when listening to her music.
~ Sarah Tunstall
Looking at the chaos that is my Spotify playlist I realise that other than knowing the whole Little Mix discography (still a sore subject for me), Becky Hill has come top.
After appearing on The Voice UK back in 2012, Hill quickly began to prove that her voice is nothing to mess with. Providing immense vocals for producers all over the world (including David Guetta, Sigala and Martin Garrix), it is no wonder she has 2 consecutive Brit award wins for best dance act. Now writing, creating and singing her own music, Hill isn’t just your average Brummy lass anymore: she is the upbeat soundtrack to your day! And we should never forget how iconic she is for writing the banger “Better Off Without You” about her break up with the man she is soon to marry! The chaos will always be lead by Miss Becky Hill…
~ Imogen Smillie
I don’t think I could ever choose a favourite artist because I’ve always been someone who picked particular songs from people. But if you put a gun to my head, Faouzia is definitely a name that comes to mind.
The Moroccan-Canadian musician is only 22, but has already collaborated with names like John Legend, David Guetta and Kelly Clarkson. Beyond those famous artists, she herself is a multiple-award winning singer-songwriter, with her songs having a pop and R&B influence.
One of the reasons I’m wholly addicted to her music is her incredible voice and range. Her voice is rich all the way from her bottom notes to her high belts, and her musical agility in only her early twenties is something that I’m sure will take her far. She’s steadily grown from her YouTube videos years ago, and I’d highly recommend her Stripped live series if you want to give her stuff a listen!
~ Castor Chan