There are artists that make it big and then there are those who despite having all the right ingredients don’t. As a huge fan of pop music from across the globe, it frustrates me so much when I find an artist that should be huge but end up confined to pop oblivion. So this week on the blog, I thought I’d share five of my favourite underrated pop acts in the hope that perhaps you will enjoy and help them on their rightful path to world domination.
Samantha Jade is an Australian singer who has been working her ass off to be a pop star for over nearly 15 years. After a failed stint in the US, she returned to Australia and went onto win the fourth season of The X Factor there. What should have come then was a huge career that saw her conquer not only the Australian market but Europe, the US and more. Instead, she released about a billion (all amazing) singles, each with diminishing returns before finally releasing an (amazing) album.
Currently, she is on the road touring her most recent album ‘Best Of My Love’ which is an album of disco covers. The whole thing feels budget to me and honestly, Jade deserves so much better. I watched a video of one of the tour nights and her voice is still as phenomenal as it was when she won the X-Factor 6 years ago. It’s an incredible waste to have such a talent releasing covers albums instead of getting her own material out there. Samantha Jade should be a huge star, following in the footsteps of Kylie Minogue and becoming the new LGBT icon that she was born to be. I can only hope that Samantha escapes the clutches of her rubbish Australian label and finds better luck elsewhere. She sure as hell deserves it.
Sweden is a hotbed for not only fantastic pop music but also fantastic pop stars with Benjamin being my favourite at the moment. Benjamin Ingrosso is still relatively new to the music scene but despite releasing his debut single in 2015, an album is still yet to surface. Despite representing Sweden at this years Eurovision with the brilliant ‘Dance You Off’, the track didn’t connect with European audiences as expected. I cannot fathom why because if an artist like Justin Bieber or Shawn Mendes had released it, it would have been topping iTunes charts around the world.
Post-Eurovision, Benjamin has released his latest single ‘I Wouldn’t Know’ which is a slice of wonderful late Summer chilled pop. It makes me want to go lie down in a field somewhere and enjoy the last of the Summer rays. An album is supposedly coming at the end of September so let’s just hope that it’s a big success.
Despite being heavily championed by Radio 1, Lion Babe didn’t have anywhere near as much impact as they deserved. Consisting of Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman, Lion Babe offers a mix of sophisticated R&B jams with a little sprinkle of pop. You may recognise their song ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ from being used in TV ads but it’s their more R&B leaning sound that pulled me in. Their debut album ‘Begin’ really is a fantastic album that covers a range of genres but still manages to sound like one coherent record.
Lion Babe’s latest track ‘The Wave’ sees them introduce a little funk into their sound and it’s a sound that really suits them!
I wrote about Michelle Branch recently in my ‘Favourite Albums of All Time‘ post and it annoys the hell out of me that she isn’t that well known anymore. As a teenager, I was absolutely obsessed with both ‘The Spirit Room’ and ‘Hotel Paper’. Sonically both very different records which just showed how good Michelle was.
Her most recent album ‘Hopeless Romantic’ came 14 years after ‘Hotel Paper’ and it was certainly worth the wait – it’s fantastic! Obviously, it’s a very different sound as such a long time has passed but it feels like a natural progression. Michelle was due to tour the UK last year but it was sadly cancelled. Let’s just hope there isn’t another 14-year gap between albums and I can finally see her live one day.
Bonnie McKee came to my attention through her work with Katy Perry. Bonnie has been a songwriter on a number of Perry’s biggest hits including ‘Teenage Dream’, ‘Last Friday Night’ and ‘Roar’. So naturally, us pop lovers began to demand solo music from Bonnie herself and boy did she deliver. Signed to Epic Records, Bonnie released the single ‘American Girl’ which was a slice of full-on Summer pop. But it failed to gain traction on the chart and despite having incredible songs such as ‘SLAY’, nothing else was released.
A self-released EP titled ‘Bombastic’ came in 2015 which was really good but there hasn’t been much since then. Bonnie McKee is basically the pop star that acts like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga used to be so if you want more of that amazing pop from 2009-2012, Bonnie is your girl.