For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: Sophisticated dance-pop and soul
FOR FANS OF: Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, George Michael
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: While other artists claim to have taken control of their own "brand", George Maple – real name Jess Higgs – is a true boss. Releasing music she wrote and produced herself through her own imprint, Maple is creative director, CEO and the overall master of her meticulously crafted output. Trained as a jazz and soul singer from an early age, Maple (and her impressive vocal chops) has graced songs by artists such as Flume, Snakehips and Flight Facilities. Her just-released debut LP, Lover, is full of personal and brutally honest songwriting, eschewing the usual dance-music tropes for confessional tales of relationships, ambition and empowerment.
SHE SAYS: "I never meant to be a producer, it happened out of necessity. I realised I need to write and produce and do everything I can on a track and then no one can fuck with it." For Maple, taking control also means obsessing over the little things. "I was at a shoot earlier today and I noticed that there was food there and nobody was eating it. I think there should be a service that comes around and collects the left-overs from artists’ riders and distributes it to the poor and hungry. I notice wastage a lot more these days."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Kryptonite" is a dance-floor-filler that is catchy yet substantial.