Pop singer-songwriter PinkPantheresss has been crowned the winner of BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2022. 

The 20-year-old saw off strong competition from a long list containing the likes of buzzy indie band Wet Leg, groundbreaking Tamil-Swiss singer Priya Ragu, fellow singer-songwriter Mimi Webb, and post-punk outfit Yard Act.

“I’m honestly gassed, my dad’s going to be so happy!” PinkPantheress told the BBC after her win. “I had self-belief from the beginning but when other people start telling you stuff like this, it genuinely keeps you going.”

She might have just been honoured with one of the most prestigious awards in British music but details are scarce surrounding the artist. Born in Bath, she prefers to keep her real identity hidden from the public to “avoid stress and preconceptions.”

Her music relies heavily on samples, notably on ‘Pain’, which samples U.K. garage classic ‘Flowers’ by Sweet Female Attitude. Her sound can be described as an infectious mixture of U.K. garage, bedroom pop, two-step, and dance.

TikTok has been integral to her growing success: she openly uses it as a “focus group”, posting snippets of potential songs to gauge fans’ reaction before deciding whether to continue with them. Her breakout hit, ‘Just For Me’, first gained attention on the platform, with even Coldplay eventually covering it in Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

Heading into the new year, PinkPantheress has teased upcoming music and told the BBC that fans should “expect a feature or two.” “I’ve been a bit of a lone wolf so far, but I’ve been really been trying to get into my collaboration bag,” she added.

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Radio 1’s Sound Of… poll is usually a harbinger of future success: previous winners include Adele (2008), Ellie Goulding (2010), Michael Kiwanuka (2012), HAIM (2013), Sam Smith (2014), Years & Years (2015), and Sigrid (2018).

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Check out ‘Just For Me’ by PinkPantheress:

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