Steve Harris, the marketing consultant for Universal Music, outlined their big releases for the festive season.
Sam Smith: “He was our breakthrough of the year in South Africa. Not only did his album In the Lonely Hour go platinum, but the diverse demographic audience who love this man is incredible. His hit single, Stay With Me, was No 1 on the SA Airplay Charts for four weeks and I’m Not the Only One has ensured this album is a Top 10 for the festive season.”
Maroon 5: “With intense mini movie style videos, a frontman on our television (Adam Levine on The X-Factor) and smash-hit singles, Animals & Maps is a winning album on your Santa list.”
Katy Perry: “Prism has sold more than 11 million albums worldwide including a platinum-accredited award locally. I feel a Bring Katy Perry’s Prism Tour To South Africa campaign imminent. In the interim, Prism is for that fan in your family. With the hit singles, Unconditionally, Roar, Birthday, Dark Horse and This Is How We Do there should be quite a few fun hours of listening”
Taylor Swift: “1989 is the biggest album this year and is already gold in South Africa. Hit singles like Blank Space and Shake It Off, plus a cover on Time magazine and a barrage of press attention make this a perfect Christmas gift. Wrap it with quality red lipstick.”
Jessie J: “Wow. If you or your friends enjoyed her rocking performance at I Heart Joburg and love her hit singles, Bang Bang and Burnin Up, this is a wrapper for the festive season.”
Nickelback: “They have toured South Africa and are now back with a killer new album entitled No Fixed Address. With What Are We Waiting For? already an iTunes hit and No Fixed Address the edgiest album they have delivered, this one is destined to fill that rock sock.”
Hozier: “With the single, Take Me To Church, nominated in the Best Song With A Message category at the MTV European Music Awards this year, this debut album is a rare find. Package it with a bottle of single malt whiskey for that ultimate pressie.”
5 Seconds of Summer: “Take your Christmas in a new direction with this Aussie foursome. With hit singles like She Looks So Perfect, Don’t Stop, Amnesia and Good Girls, this is a perfect gift for that teenager in your house… if she does not have it already.”
Frank Sinatra: “Finally, something for the Rat Pack-obsessed – Sinatra: London a deluxe three-CD and DVD and digital audio collection. It is a treasure trove of UK highlights from Sinatra’s seven- decade career. With more than 50 previously unreleased recordings and a collector’s DVD of previously unreleased recordings from a Royal Festival Hall concert in 1962, this makes the most elegant gift of Christmas.”
Now That’s What I Call The 80s: “This delivers the very best of the pre-millenial, pre-internet and mobile-free generation on a specially priced three-CD set. There are 59 tracks celebrating the biggest hits of the decade and it features the biggest names from that era.”
Andrea Bocelli: “Reflecting his very first love, Opera – The Ultimate Collection is the definitive of Bocelli’s own beloved and favourite operatic selections that have inspired his career over the years. Often credited with bringing classical music to the masses, Bocelli has always performed and released both pop and core classical material, often combining both in two separate halves of his concerts. Bocelli is one of the world’s most popular classical artists having sold 80 million records and counting.”
Katherine Jenkins: “Making a milestone in Katherine’s astonishing career, it has been 10 years since the release of her debut offering, Premiere, in 2004. Now with this album, Home Sweet Home, there are some key collaborations. These includes violin virtuoso, David Garrett and Britain’s best-loved tenor, Alfie Boe. Home Sweet Home is a ground-breaking new record covering a broad landscape of the world’s most popular classical composers. She is also a platinum- selling artist in South Africa.
Sony SA say their list includes the evergreen Christmas popularity of Susan Boyle. Her latest offering is called Hope.
On the local front the record company has been pushing Simphiwe Dana and her political new album, Firebrand.
Commercial country fans can treat themselves to Garth Brookes and his Man Against Machine. Those little whipper snappers, One Direction, have released a sure-fire success for Christmas with their album, Four. At the other end of the spectrum, AC/DC have an new album out for old rockers called, Rock or Bust.
For those into the more commercial pop style, Pitbull and J Cole are big releases. Finally, the soundtrack to Annie the Musical is also considered by Sony a potentially successful Christmas release.