Sounds Like: Chart-topping U.K. pop at the intersection of hip-hop, R&B, and dance music
For Fans Of: Sam Smith, Tinie Tempah
Why You Should Pay Attention: Though still pretty much unknown in America, British producer Shahid Khan (a.k.a. Naughty Boy) has followed a long road to massive success in the U.K. – including stops working at Victoria's Secret and Dominos Pizza before attaining national prominence on the game show Deal or No Deal. He's worked with Rihanna and Leona Lewis, and produced a large chunk of English singer Emili Sandé's Our Version of Events. But he didn't break out on his own until his 2013 debut album Hotel Cabana, which reached number two on the U.K. chart thanks in large part to its excellent single "La La La" featuring neo-soul singer Sam Smith. The album – which also features Wiz Khalifa, Bastille, and Ed Sheeran – will get Stateside release in May.
He Says: "With me, personally, my focus is on making my music famous, he told Rolling Stone. Doing interviews and things is making yourself famous, which is not part of my plan. I want it to be faceless but I want my music to be famous."
Hear for Yourself: The elegant, Bollywood-tinged bounce of "La La La." JON DOLAN