The Brit Awards rising star nominees for 2023 have been revealed.
Previously called the critics’ choice award, artists including Adele, Ellie Goulding, Florence & The Machine, Sam Smith, Celeste and Sam Fender all won in previous years before going on to become household names.
The award aims to identify future stars of the UK music scene and is open to British artists who, as of 31 October 2022, had not achieved an album chart top 20 placing or more than one top 20 single.
Cat Burns, FLO and Nia Archives are the three artists up for the award at next year’s Brit Awards ceremony, which takes place on a Saturday evening for the first time. Find out more about them below.
Cat Burns: ‘A major thing on my bucket list’
The 22-year-old from Streatham, in south London, is a Brit School alumnus and already a platinum-selling singer-songwriter, whose debut EP Adolescent, released in 2016, climbed to number 11 on the singer-songwriter charts in just 24 hours.
Debut single Sober was released in 2018, and in 2021 her hit track Go went viral on TikTok and peaked at number two on the UK singles chart.
In May 2022, Burns released the six-track EP emotionally unavailable and went on to supported Ed Sheeran on the European leg of his Mathematics tour.
She has already picked up several awards and accolades, including Attitude’s music award and the Gay Times Honours’ rising star in music gong. She was also named as a Spotify Global RADAR artist earlier in 2022.
Next on the list is a support slot for Sam Smith on their UK and Ireland headline tour, Gloria, in 2023.
On her Brits rising star nomination, Burns said: “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!”
FLO: ‘Girl groups are back’
R’n’B girl group FLO – featuring Renee, Jorja and Stella, all 20 – released debut single Cardboard Box earlier in 2022. The single won them some high-profile fans, including Missy Elliott, Kelly Rowland and Sugababes, and led to performances on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show in the US, as well as Later… with Jools Holland in the UK.
They have also performed at the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards and The BET Soul Train Awards, and are up for the best newcomer award at the MOBOs.
Debut EP The Lead was released in the summer to critical acclaim, and has since amassed more than 70 million global streams.
Critics from i-D, Dazed, NME, Complex and Pitchfork have all tipped the group for success.
On their Brits rising star nomination, they said: “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.”
Nia Archives: ‘Words won’t describe how I’m feeling’
Nia Archives is making “soft-hearted lo-fi jungle for introverted extroverts” and says her first memories of music are deeply rooted in her Jamaican heritage – reggae and lovers’ rock were always played around her childhood home in Leeds, and she also listened to gospel as an attendee of a Pentecostal church.
After moving out at 16, Nia relocated to Manchester where she was a regular at raves and house parties, where she eventually felt emboldened to take the mic to sing and freestyle.
She self-taught herself production at the age of 16 and is currently studying music business and production at university in London. Her first EP Headz Gone West was made mainly in the early hours of the morning in a cramped bedroom studio in August.
On her Brits rising star nomination, she said: “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.”
The Brits rising star winner will be announced on 8 December, ahead of the ceremony in February. The 2023 show takes place on Saturday 11 February at the O2 Arena.