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MUSIC: Three New Girls To Listen To In 2013

Nina Nesbitt

Forget Gaga and her ‘Little Monsters’, Justin and his ‘Beliebers’ and even Jessie J and her ‘heartbeats’, 2013 is going to be dominated by ‘Nesbians’- the self-named super fans of the lovely Nina Nesbitt who she chats to in a special Nesbian code via her website. Cute or what?

Nina has already wowed the crowd in her homeland of Scotland at T in the Park, racked up 50,000 Twitter followers and thanks to chance meetings, twitter convos and a lot of determination she has already supported Ed Sheeran, Example and Rizzle Kicks on their sell-out tours.

The 18-year-old half-Scot half-Swedish lass with an enviable blonde mane of hair that frames her signature red lips and eyeliner flicks is truly an artist of her generation - she started her career by uploading videos of covers on Youtube, writing songs and teaching herself how to play guitar at the age of 15, all whilst staying in direct contact with her fans and finishing off at school. Phew!

Her debut EP, ‘The Apple Tree’ reached number 6 in the ITunes chart and track of the name same name was Fearne Cotton’s single of the week on Radio 1. She also released track, ‘Boy’ online which has received a cray amount of Youtube hits.

Skip forward to 2013 and Nesbitt is on the brink of releasing her debut single due early Feb with an album to boot in the summer which has been produced with Jake Gosling [He’s worked with the likes of Paloma Faith and One Direction FYI].


I was lucky enough to catch up with Nina for a quick chat recently where she told me that the album would be “like The Apple Tree EP but with a bit of a grungier feel too.” It’s set to be a mix of ballads and upbeat acoustic tracks with lyrics that touch upon adolescence, love and break ups.

Fans of 2012’s golden boy, Ed Sheeran will undoubtedly love Nina and not just because the pair have already worked together. Nina offers the female perspective of confessional and relatable lyrics with catchy melodies- something that Ed cracked when he initially debuted last year.

When I asked Nina if she was nervous when touring with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Example, she replied in her typically nonchalant yet understated way, “I don’t really get nervous, it was good practice I guess”. Unfazed or what? A confident young woman who has defied the rules, loves her fans and broken into the industry in her own way is just what the chart needs - she has the talent to back up the bravado too…We officially want to be a part of the Nesbian crew!



Twenty-year-old South Londoner Arlissa is a little difficult to describe. On first listen you’d think she is another RnB starlet set to take the charts by storm with her smooth and strong vocal range, covetable style and urban roots. Which is, in part, spot on.

Check out her collaboration with American hip-hop star, Nas on track, ‘Hard to love somebody’, which was released at the tail end of 2012. It’s everything that is aforementioned; yes, an RnB track but one to rival the big contenders currently dominating the charts. However, listen to another track of Arlissa’s and you’d think you’re hearing a completely different artist entirely.

To present her as the average urban artist is misleading- and definitely does the talented young singer a disservice. She is capable and diverse- which is probably why she is so hotly tipped for 2013- even at a time when potential young superstars are surfacing from the UK- and typically from London- by the bucket load.

Given the chance to listen to her solo demos there are vocal similarities to the likes of Florence Welch, Marina Diamandis and there are even glimmers of the soulful tones of Adele and Jessie Ware.

To add to her eclecticisms Arlissa has cited her musical idol as none other than original rule breaker Kate Bush.

Arlissa is undeniably an indie come RnB artist with the talent to straddle both genres and mix them up to create something fresh. The hype surrounding her is testament to her vocal talent, which has only been heard in short supply, because as of yet there is very little official content out there.

Although keep an ear out for her tune, ‘Sticks and Stones’ which is set for release early this year - a track which actually wouldn’t sound out of place on Marina and the Diamonds latest album. An upbeat track, with a catchy chorus - it will be the perfect debut to make everyone sit up and listen to this London girl’s new sound who refuses to be pigeon holed into one genre. We can't wait to hear more!

Wild Belle

Okay, I admit it; Wild Belle isn’t technically a girl of 2013. Yes they’re in fact a brother/sister combo from Chicago. But for the sake of continuity, as I said we’re all about the girls in this feature [Sorry lads] and the vocals on these retro sounding songs are provided by the dulcet tones of lead singer Natalie Bergman. Wild Belle released an EP with some amazing dub-pop tracks in 2012.

After a lot of hype on the indie dance scene and all around the bloggersphere from Brighton to New York- they are set to release their debut album, ‘Isle’ in Spring 2013.

Their perfect indie-pop treats are spiced with a reggae influences- take a listen to tracks like: ‘Backslider’ and ‘Keep you’ for some serious groove with melodies that wouldn’t sound out of place on a track by 2 tone heroes The Specials.

Their breakout tune, ‘It’s too late’ is probably the indie version of Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’- sticking two fingers up at boy who just can’t make up his mind til you decide you’re over him. Natalie delivers lyrics in a blasé kinda way- this girl oozes effortless coolness.

They’re a bit folk, a little bit reggae, a bit indie and Natalie will be your new style crush of 2013. Mix Lana del Rey with Florence Welch and a splash of sixties style for good measure.

Emily Stockham

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