One to Watch: Electro-Pop Sensation Claire Maguire and Jessie J

Heard of Claire Maguire? You will do by the end of this year. The ex-shop assistant will be releasing her first single Let’s Dance 21 (February) and her album Light After Dark follows eight days after.

Claire Maguire

Armed with a gusty voice (a cross between Alison Moyet and Bonnie Tyler) the 23-year-old from Birmingham was waiting for this moment for an awful long time. Maguire wrote her first songs at the mere age of seven and has performed at family parties. She recalls hopping on the desk and singing at primary school. She adds, ‘The teachers thought I was mad, but it’s how I connect.’ 

Fast forward at the age of 17, Maguire left school to focus on music career. She made an impressive connection with Universal Music (via MySpace) who offered her a recording contract at the age of 20.

This up-and-coming star is determined to find her own route in the music industry despite being offered songs by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and Plan B (which is an achievement in itself.) Instead she hooked up with British producer Fraser T. Smith to record the aforementioned album.

With Plan B, Jarvis Cocker, Rick Rubin and Jay-Z as her biggest fans, Claire Maguire is worth the second look.

Jessie J

Jessie J

This pop diva has barely entered the music scene and has already caused a stir. Jessie J has made plans to do a festive duet with past X-factor winner Leona Lewis.

It seems the Essex-born songstress is contradicting herself as she slams X-Factor for giving contestants an easy ride to stardom. However the 22 year old has a soft spot for Cher Lloyd, wishing her all the success in the future on doing her ‘own thing.’

You’re forgiven if you think that Jessie J is a newcomer to the music industry -- the truth is she no stranger! Just like her pop rival Claire Maguire, the winner of the Brit Awards’ Critics Choice has an impressive track record, as she has written hits for Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus and her debut single Do It like a Dude is ripping up the charts.

But her very first taste of fame was 11 years ago, when she performed in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End show Whistle down the Wind.

With Justin Timberlake hailing her as ‘the best singer in the world’ this girl is worth sitting up and taking notice of – it’s hard not to!

The album Who You Are is out on 28 March and 12 April (US release).

About Tracey Dawkins

North-Londoner Tracey Dawkins is a freelance writer and press officer, who specialise in health, youth issues entertainment and music. She’s also a health and fashion correspondent for Exquisite magazine.