6. 🇮🇹 Mahmood – ‘Inuyasha’ – (64 Points)
Soon we will see a lot more of ‘Soldi’ singer, Mahmood. Once again he is set to participate in this years’ edition of Sanremo 2022. Although this time it is as part of a duet with Blanco. Despite having to reschedule his much anticipated tour to 2022, nothing kept Mahmood down for long in 2021. Early last year he featured as a songwriter on two Sanremo entries – ‘Chiamami per nome’ and ‘Glicine’. As well as this, Mahmood explored his creative artistry in his second album ‘Ghettolimpo‘.
A revolutionary album of 15 tracks, showing respect to his ancestry and the music sounds that inspire him. From this came ‘Inuyasha’. A stirring single that references the 90s Japanese manga of the same name. However in this, Mahmood is expressing his vision of our inner demons and how we try to hide parts of ourselves.
Spotify: 18.1 million/YouTube: 12.7 million
Best scores: 12 – Costa, Nathan W. 7 – Maria, Nathan P. 6 – Tom O.
5. 🇳🇴 KEiiNO – ‘Unbreakable’ – (65 Points)
Of course no New Music Friday special would be complete without Eurovision 2019 televote winners, KEiiNO! Last year KEiiNO, along with Electric Fields, won our New Music Friday 2020 special. So it comes as a surprise that they only place 5th this year. Not that KEiiNO will mind, they were one of the busiest acts in 2021. No less than 9 singles were released by the Norwegian hit-makers last year. Including ‘Monument‘, which finished runner-up in their Melodi Grand Prix 2021 return. Yet that did not stop the KEiiNO fanbase voting them as OGAE Second Chance winners.
Meanwhile 2022 is set to be even busier for the trio. Amongst the exciting news of the return of Eurovision – Australia Decides, KEiiNO dropped the surprise announcement that they are performing a guest interval slot in the national final. As well as another tour of the nation, after the successful tour Down Under in 2019.
The fairytale anthem, ‘UNBREAKABLE’ features on the Deluxe edition of OKTA. Beneath the song is a message of togetherness and finding a place to fit in. It is a fitting story of what KEiiNO has become and the unique bond with their fans.
Spotify: 3.9 million/YouTube: 545k
Best scores: 12 – Isaac. 10 – Isabella, Lisa. 7 – Bente.
4. 🇸🇪 ABBA – ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ – (68 Points)
Last year Sweden’s Eurovision 1974 winners, ABBA announced their comeback with brand new music after a 40-year absence. Along with the highly anticipated, ninth studio album Voyage, a journey the ABBAMania fanatics had been waiting decades for. More than worth the wait, the album has now charted at no.1 in 19 countries worldwide. As well as smashing UK chart records. Not content with the charts, ABBA are being recognised for their success with nominations at the BRIT Awards 2022 and the 2022 Grammy Awards.
Recently the group announced the Voyage album and accompanying tour will be their last project together. Setting sail on a high, ABBA have promised revolutionary performances of new songs and old favourites on tour later this year. Unlike a traditional concert, the Voyage Tour will see the band emerge as digital avatars of themselves from 1979. Together with the team at Industrial Light & Magic, a 3,000 seat purpose built arena located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, will be home to ABBA’s latest tour from 27th May 2022. More dates are continually being added, with tickets available here.
Spotify: 41.9 million/YouTube: 19 million
Best scores: 10 – Isaac, Nick, Tom O. 8 – Bente, Maria. 7 – Costa.