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How PinkPantheress went from making GarageBand beats in her bedroom to being voted the BBC’s Sound Of 2022

PinkPantheress
(Image credit: Brent McKeever)

British singer, songwriter and producer PinkPantheress has been confirmed as the winner of the BBC’s prestigious Sound Of 2022 poll, marking the culmination of a remarkable 12 months for the soon-to-be-huge pop star.

PinkPantheress rose to prominence last year when she started posting TikTok videos of her song sketches from her university dorm room. Created using GarageBand, we’re led to believe, these marry dreamy vocals to samples from the likes of Adam F’s classic ‘90s drum ‘n’ bass hit Circles, Sweet Female Attitude’s 2000 UK garage banger Flowers and Crystal Waters’ 1991 house hit Gypsy Woman.

With their breezy runtimes - most of her tracks so far clock in at around two minutes or less - PinkPantheress’s songs have managed to pull off the neat trick of appealing to both Gen Z listeners who like their tunes short and to the point and millennials and Gen Xers who get a nostalgic kick out of hearing those samples.

Singles Pain and Just For Me have both broken into the UK Top 40, and the first PinkPantheress mixtape, To Hell With It, was released in October 2021. She’s now signed to Parlophone and Elektra Records.

Discussing her Sound Of 2022 win with the BBC, PinkPantheress says that most of her self-produced music thus far has been made in the middle of the night when no one can hear her at work.

“I sing more confidently when I know no-one can really hear me, “ she says. “There's something about it being really late and dark and relaxing and silent that's more inspiring than a busy, sunny day. Especially for my music.”

With this award in the bag, and PinkPantheress already coming to the attention of megastars such as Coldplay, who covered Just For Me in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, it seems doubtful that she’ll be able to protect her relative anonymity for too much longer.

At the time of writing, little is known about her beyond her stage name, other than that she was born in Bath and has since moved to London. It seems that her film studies have now been abandoned so that she can concentrate on new music, of which we’ll doubtless hear more over the coming year.

“I shan't give too much away but expect a feature or two,” she told the BBC. “I've been a bit of a lone wolf so far, but I've been really trying to get into my collaboration bag. That's the thing I'm most excited for.”

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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