Music News and Interviews

Azealia Banks tops NME’s 2011 Cool List


Azealia Banks may be a name unfamiliar to most listeners out there, and that’s because she hasn’t recorded her debut yet and her touring history has been rather scarce compared to most artists. But this isn’t stopping Banks from being one of the most heralded up and coming artists; among those singing her praises, NME decided to put her atop their Cool List for 2011.

The list itself seeks each year to organize a handful of artists that NME has deemed cool for that year. What exactly that means is still quite vague. Regardless, NME has the task each year of sorting out which music makers go where, and each year it seems as if NME has to dip into a pool of artists that don’t seem as repetitive. However, this year features the return of several artists who seem to garner a large amount of NME press as it is.

With all this in mind it doesn’t surprise me that NME would change their focus in terms of who makes the list. Although they seem to regurgitate a lot of individuals each year (Jarvis Cocker, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, and so on to a ridiculous extent), this year seems to highlight some of the biggest up and comers. This includes the likes of Lana Del Rey, and Ellery Roberts (of Wu Lyf). With the desire not to keep chucking out the same handful of artists each year it makes sense that Banks would reach the top. This is not to say that NME has forgotten their old favorites as they still dominate the list. They are back and in great force as expected, but I digress.

There is a lot more to Banks’ topping of the 2011 NME Cool List. Her initial touchdown as a proper recording artist is based heavily in England. Banks recently finished up one of her first small tours in the United Kingdom with dates earlier in November in Glasgow and London. Banks will also be soon moving to London to record her debut alongside Paul Epworth.

With this type of visibility and promise, alongside the growing need for NME to introduce some new artists to their list and Banks’ critical start within the UK, it makes sense that the magazine would put her atop their list this year.

Top 10 2011 NME Cool List:

1. Azealia Banks
2. Jarvis Cocker (Pulp)
3. Honor Titus (Cerebral Ballzy)
4.+5. Tom Meighan and Serge Pizzorno (Kasabian)
6. Lana Del Rey
7. Rhys Webb (The Horrors)
8. Theo Hutchcraft (Hurts)
9. Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys)
10. Ellery Roberts (WU LYF)