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3. A*M*E 

Remember Gary Barlow of Take That fame? Well A*M*E (pronounced Amy) is the latest and hottest artist signed to his label (she calls him Uncle Gary). Born in Freetown in 1994, Aminata Kabba moved to south London at eight years old. Ten years later, the super-coiffed Barbie-esque teenager is representing hard for West Africa’s (and the world’s) love affair with K-Pop. She’s just starting out as a performer in her own right, but A*M*E’s been honing her songwriting chops for some time: a track she wrote called ‘Beautiful Stranger’ became a number one hit for K-pop group f(x), and she’s co-written with Emeli Sandé. Like Laura Mvula (another artist on our list) she’s been nominated for BBC’s Sound of 2013. ‘Play the Game’, which samples Chaka Khan‘s ‘Aint Nobody’, is the infectious first single from her album set to drop in 2013.

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