It’s always an exciting time when BBC Radio 1xtra release their list of Hot new artists for the year ahead.

While there’s absolutely no shame in going back and listening to some classic songs of the past or being the biggest fan of the biggest artist out there, it’s always wise to keep an eye out for up-and-coming new talent that could be the next big thing in the music industry over the next few years. 

But it can often be tricky to discover new artist on your own, especially if you play the same Spotify playlist on repeat.

That’s where BBC Radio 1xtra’s Hot for 2020 list comes in.

But what exactly is the list and who the artists to watch out for in the coming year?

What is Radio 1xtra’s Hot for 2020 list?

BBC Radio 1xtra’s Hot for 2020 list is a collection of 15 of the best and brightest music artists who are poised to become the next best thing.

The idea behind the list is to raise the profile of the selected artists who may already be on the path to fame or simply need a helping hand to reach the pinnacle of the industry. 

Who’s in the Hot for 2020 list?

In 2020, the list contains plenty of promising talent:

  • Bandokay & Double Lz (OFB)
  • BenjiFlow
  • Br3nya 
  • Darkoo 
  • IQ
  • Lila Ikè 
  • Ling Hussle 
  • Lucky Daye 
  • Mastermind 
  • Melii
  • Nafe Smallz
  • Pop Smoke
  • Rema
  • Shaybo
  • Sho Madjozi

Who to look out for

Obviously, 15 music artists is a lot to go through, and we strongly recommend giving each of them a listen, but we’ve cherry-picked three of the most promising artists on the list to have a closer look.


Darkoo is a solo female rapper whose biggest work to date is the song Gangsta which, alongside featured artist One Acen, has earned over 6.4 million views on YouTube. 

Lila Ikè

Lila Ikè has potential to take centre stage in the reggae music genre as her Caribbean tones make her songs a pleasant listen. Lila’s biggest song to date is her most recent single Second Chance which boasts 1.5 YouTube views. 

Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke is arguably the biggest of the rappers mentioned in the 1xtra list as he already earns thousands, if not millions of views per song with his most popular song, Welcome to the Party currently standing at 19 million views.

In other news, Chipmunk ‘Waze’: Origins of Stormzy Chip beef explored