With songs about police brutality and transgender conversion therapy, Declan McKenna has emerged as one of the uk’s most interesting new composers.
Now the 18-year-old, who began writing songs at school, has been named by the BBC Introducing artist of the year.
The award recognizes musicians who got their start through the Introduction of the BBC, which allows unsigned acts to get played on the radio.
McKenna said he was “delighted and honoured” to be recognised.
McKenna gave a big jump in 2014, when using the Introduction of the web to send his first songs at the BBC.
“I uploaded a lot of demos when I was 14 or 15 because there were all these amazing bands coming out of the BBC Introducing at the time,” he said.
“I remember playing in Three Counties, which was my local station. They had Me in the studio, which was great, because I had never done anything like that before.”
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Among those first songs was a track called Brazil, which deals with allegations of corruption in Fifa, ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
I caught the attention of Columbia Records, which later signed the singer in the backstage of Glastonbury.
As McKenna’s reputation grew, BBC Introducing, continued to provide their support, inviting musicians to record a session at Maida Vale studios, and putting him on stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter.
Getty Images / BBC
The Hertfordshire-born singer released her debut album, What do You Think About The Car, earlier this year, the wedding of the socially-conscious lyrics to a sun-drenched brand of indie pop that shows his love of David Bowie and Abba.
He will receive his artist of the year awards during The Year in the Music of 2017, which screens on BBC Two this Friday at 21:00.
On learning he had been named artist of the year, he said: “I would like to say a big thank you for relentlessly rooting for me throughout the years.
“There is No award could ever overshadow the time, effort and support given by so many others to get me to the point that I am now, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
BBC Music Introducing started 10 years ago as a way to bring together all of the BBC shows that the champion of new and emerging artists.
Now there are 38 shows across local and national stations. Musicians of any genre, from the classic to the dirt – you can send your recordings through the tool to upload.
The Year in Music 2017, hosted by Claudia Winkleman and Clara Amfo, will be on BBC Two this Friday, December 8.
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