There is nothing that gives us more pleasure on BBC Music Introducing in Norfolk than hearing a new act for the first time. It’s also special seeing one of those acts go onto greater success. And two performers with a Norfolk connection are really blazing a trail right now.
It was only a couple of years back that Isaac Gracie was playing small venues such as The Birdcage on Pottergate in Norwich. At the time he was studying at the UEA and about to release his first EP, recorded by himself in his bedroom. They were simple sessions, just voice and guitar – but they captured perfectly a new raw talent. We played them on our show and it wasn’t long before his distinctive voice and powerful, emotive songs gained him the attention of presenter Huw Stephens at Radio 1. Isaac was whisked off to Maida Vale for a session, quit the UEA and before long was performing at the world famous music Festival South By South West in Austin, Texas.
His self-titled album has just come out on Virgin EMI, accompanied by a massive UK and European tour that continues right through the summer. And amongst the places he’ll be playing is back in the City where it all kicked off with a gig at the Norwich Arts Centre.
Another act heading for the heights is Mullally. Born in the village of Belton, just outside the seaside town of Gorleston on the far East coast he spent his early years with a band before turning solo whilst studying at Access To Music in Norwich. Mullally has always worked hard at his singing and songwriting and that effort definitely began to bear fruit last year. He signed to major label Atlantic and was on the bill at many a summer Festival, including the Introducing stage at the BBC Big Weekend in Hull. A new single Sweet Coffee (feat. Bassette) is just out and what a track it is. A catchy tune, a vocal range that captures perfectly Mullally’s love of Soul – and just quirky enough to be different from the norm.
It’s great to watch such big talents unfolding before your eyes like Mullally and Isaac Gracie. It’s great to know also that tomorrow I could push play on a brand new track from another brand new artist and hear someone who could also be breaking through to the big time in a few years’ time. So don’t forget if you are making music send it in to us on the Uploader at bbc.co.uk/introducing