Reading time: 5min.

by Graham Peters

Virgin Virtuosos #2: WILDES, Dan James and Meg Mac

Every fortnight, we will be bring you three under heard artists who we think have the potential to make it big. For everything from the complete unknowns to the just-about-to-blows, take note.

The unknown: WILDES

We start off this fortnight with London-based electronic pop solo artist, Ella Walker, who goes by the name of WILDES. Sharing the ethereal vibe of Ellie Goulding, Daughter and Florence, her single ‘Bare’ is a soundscape made from dark skies, rainclouds and vocoders. It’s moody, delicate and supremely well produced – it’s got all the right flavours, which tells us she can only get better. Watch out for her in the coming months.

WILDES’ misty single mingles a toney guitar track with breathy, tense vocal lines, then weaves them inside echoes and sends it through a canyon-verb. It’s intensely atmospheric.

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The criminally underheard: Dan James

The next artist on our menu this fortnight made an attempt in early 2013 to break onto the music scene with his rendition of Jessie J’s ‘Mama Knows Best’. The song has a dirty backing track in the style of a big jazz band. With a fiery tone and a completely ridiculous range, the entire vocal track is an explosion of raw power and passion that’s hard to ignore. It’s a shame really, that James’ career hasn’t taken off. He’s obviously extremely talented which fits the bill for this slot perfectly. We can see absolutely no reason why a group of songwriters and producers have yet to pick him up and make him massive.

It’s a crazy world.

The guitar is punchy and gritty; the brass is big and pithy; and James’ volatile vocal chords are at a million miles an hour here. Cocaine for your ears.


The just about to blow: Meg Mac

Here we have another female songsmith (admittedly there’s been a shortage of male up and comers this year). Hailing from Oz, Meg Mac’s track ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’, grabs that Hozier piano-room, gospel style, mixes it up with 90’s mainstream pop melodies, then punches right through it all with a voice that feels like it’s been soaked in honey and set on fire. It’s sweet, salty and warm. With a slew of awards already under her belt, and a growing following on the interweb, you’ll surely be seeing her on big-time playlists this year.

Think Amy Winehouse but cheery, Meg Mac is yummy music for wet dreary Sundays. Like warm spicy stew, but better. So much better.

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We’ll be back with more artists in another fortnight. Until then, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest need to know.