Monday, June 26, 2017
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2011 Outstanding Newcomer

Outstanding Newcomer: Mary-Jess

Editor says: A Westerner that brings Eastern flavours back to the West; on a major label; with all original songs; for many of which she has writing credits.  She may have not made as big an impact in the West as her fellow nominees (yet!) but Mary-Jess sets an exciting precedent.  2011 had her quietly release Shine for the UK market but fireworks are bound to be set off when she arrives back in China, where 70 million people are eagerly awaiting her return.

Runner Up Nominees

Although Il Volo has been around in Italy for quite some time, 2011 was the year they took to the world stage.  They were a hit when they guested on American Idol, causing their debut international album to sell like hotcakes.  Their success can easily be attributed not only to their easy charm but to their incredible vocals which were able to make even the most tired standard, O Sole Mio, sound vibrant and interesting.  They've had a fantastic year, and their album is a fine testament as to why.

Joe McElderry does not have the experience of his peers and his repertoire leaves much to be desired but the incredible things about McElderry are the level he is at for a beginner, and his entry into the classical world.  He won X-Factor in 2009 as a pop singer and entered a celebrity reality show about turning pop stars into opera stars.  He did so well that his direction has been completely altered.  He has brought a whole new legion of fans to CC and reached number 2 in the UK album charts; a magnificent achievement for a CC artist and one that should be acknowledged.

It cannot be conveyed enough how talented and special Mariette Davina is, and the shame is that as an independent artist, she continues to share her talents in obscurity.  Her debut album, which mixes her classical (but quirky) vocals with religious themes, possesses a most unusual but welcome sound.  She writes all of her material and hasn't recorded any covers.  Creativity always earns mega points here.

Independent mezzo-soprano Sisca released her debut album, Impermanent Life, at the turn of the year and it's one of the most original CC albums ever to grace the market.  Sisca brings different flavours into her music and different messages.  There's not an 'Amazing Grace' in sight as you look down the self-penned (with the exception of Michael Jackson's 'Earth Song') tracklist.  Beautifully envisioned, performed and produced, Sisca is one of the more promising artists to have recently appeared.

Notation
The winner of this award was determined by the Editor of Classical-Crossover.co.uk.