“I’m completely speechless,” the 21-year-old told the BBC. “It’s a huge compliment to be recognised by the industry and the BBC in this way.”
Smith always looked likely to top the 15-strong list – which also included FACT favourite FKA twigs, Kelela and Chance The Rapper – following his year at the top of the charts as a guest vocalist on tracks by Disclosure and Naughty Boy. His own debut album, In The Lonely Hour, is due out in May 26 via Capitol Records.
Smith has already been named the winner of the Critics’ Choice prize at this year’s Brit Awards, and he’s just been nominated in the best song category for his collaboration with Disclosure, ‘Latch’. Disclosure, meanwhile, lead this year’s Brit Awards with nominations in four categories, including best British group.
The Sound of 2014 list was compiled using suggestions from 170 UK-based critics, broadcasters and bloggers. Previous winners include Haim, Adele, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J. Ella Eyre was named runner-up yesterday, followed by Banks, Sampha and George Ezra in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
Last month DJ Premier remixed ‘Latch’ for the Disclosure remix album – hear it below: