This Friday, British vocalist Anne-Marie makes her Bay Area headline debut when she performs at Rickshaw Stop as part of floating SF party POPSCENE, making her the latest artist to step out from a featured role with DJ quartet Rudimental to pursue her own mainstream success.
The 25-year-old native of Essex, whose sound is considered a "well-rounded fusion of electro, R&B, hip hop and pop," joins a list of vocalists who have utilized supporting appearances with the group as a springboard to solo success. So far, Rudimental has helped jump-start the careers of Ella Eyre, Sinead Harnett, MNEK and John Newman, who made his own POPSCENE debut in January 2014.
Rudimental achieved worldwide recognition and success following their 2013 debut Home, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize, awarded annually to the best UK album of the year. Anne-Marie (born Anne-Marie Nicholson) joined the group on tour for two years, then featured on four songs for the group’s 2015 follow-up, We the Generation, most notably the album's fourth single, "Rumour Mill." Despite Ed Sheeran catching wind of demo single “Summer Girl” in 2013, she opted to wait to release her debut proper, the Karate EP (as The Guardian reported in a short profile, she’s a triple world champion in Shotokan) until July 2015.
Yet it’s been 2016 that’s proven to be her breakout year. Stand-alone single “Do It Right,” a sultry, bass-laced track with reggae-infused rhythms, was released in January. Follow-up single “Alarm,” released this past May, continues the trend of her music finding a pairing of electronic sonics with hints of reggae back beat. This time around, she's granted more space to showcase her vocal power, especially during the song’s bridge, when she belts out out words of a scorned lover: “Bang bang, two shots fired / Man down, one fool, one liar / Ring ring, trust gone missing / House on fire...”
POPSCENE, which has maintained a focus on “spinning the best in new music” since 1995, has consistently been a proving ground for emerging British talent, some of whom have made their Bay Area debut with the party before going on to achieve worldwide success. In the past, they’ve hosted names like Sam Smith, Calvin Harris, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Alt-J, and Jessie Ware, among others. They also hold the somber fact of being the only party to host a Bay Area appearance by the late Amy Winehouse, who performed at POPSCENE back in 2007.
Anne-Marie, DJ Aaron Axelsen
October 7, 2016