The 2021 Rising Star winner is Willow Kayne.
The Award honours young British and Irish songwriters and composers with exceptional potential and ambition, and supports and accelerates the careers of the most promising music creators. Discover the five nominees below.
All nominees receive a year-long mentorship from a well-established Academy member and leaders from Apple Music. This year’s mentors are Cathy Dennis, Jamie Hartman, Jamie Scott, Nile Rodgers and Fiona Bevan.
Listen to music from this year’s nominees and more on Apple Music
As her social media points out, Allegra means ‘lively’ in Italian. And the soulful singer-songwriter’s ascent has certainly been a hectic one, involving everything from cutting her first demo at 13, to walking away from it all to volunteer at a Buddhist retreat centre. But that life experience has certainly paid off: an accomplished co-writer, she has now released two gorgeous songs as solo singles, Spectacles and Excuse Me, and is working on her debut EP. Expect it to be a lively one, in anyone’s language.Listen to Allegra on Apple Music
If versatility is the key to modern musical success, then Rachel Chinouriri is already well on her way. The singer-songwriter hails from Croydon, is of Zimbabwean heritage and has already seen her emotionally complex anthems find favour with everyone from Michaela Cole to Coldplay’s Chris Martin. The sound that launched a million syncs, Chinouriri’s debut EP, Four Degrees In Winter, already has over 2.5 million streams and showcases a writer with a song for every occasion. Expect all-round superstardom to follow.Listen to Rachel Chinouriri on Apple Music
Grantham is most famous as Margaret Thatcher’s birthplace, but Holly Humberstone – also from the Lincolnshire town – is about to change that. The unique singer-songwriter – all cutting lyrics and irresistible pop melodies – has already supported Lewis Capaldi at Wembley Arena, become an Apple Music Up Next Artist and placed second on the BBC’s Sound Of 2021. Lord alone knows what she might’ve achieved if Covid-19 hadn’t confined her to her parents’ house. But as she moves from Grantham to the world, we’re about to find out…Listen to Holly Humberstone on Apple Music
If you can judge a singer-songwriter by the company they keep, then no wonder 18-year-old Kamal is on the rise. He has co-signs from Dave, Annie Mac and Billie Eilish, while his woozy pop-R&B jams have already racked up over 45 million streams on Spotify. He’s even written one of the de facto lockdown anthems, Homebody, although it was actually penned pre-quarantine. No matter, as the world returns to normal, expect Kamal to go places, in every sense of the phrase.Listen to Kamal. on Apple Music
Willow Kayne is a ‘90s obsessive, but her melting pot of influences is very 2021. Peppering her songs with hip-hop, hazy electronica and punk attitude as well as lyrics so sharp you could cut yourself on them, she’s already been signed up by Dua Lipa’s management team and scored a major label deal with Columbia. Meanwhile, her irrepressible debut single, Two Seater, laid down a marker as only a potential future superstar can, and even greater things are on the way.Listen to Willow Kayne on Apple Music
Discover music from the Rising Star nominees and much more on Apple Music.
Get to know the 2021 Rising Stars through a specially curated playlist, watch interviews with each nominee and their mentors, and listen to our archive of Ivor Novello Award winning songs, film, and television scores.