The wealth of access to new genres and artists is unparalleled - 2017 has been a big year for music and even a bigger year for culture. The recent emergence of powerhouse female vocalists from the U.K. throughout the year has hosted various experimentalists unafraid of conforming to traditional R&B. The U.K. music scene has a long-standing history, dating back to before Sade’s “Smooth Operator,” and growing past Craig David in the early 2000s.

European influences tend to hit the U.S. market a little later, even Nielsen Music has noticed a shift in the genres that are being listened to this year. According to the mid-year report released back in June, R&B and Hip-Hop are now responsible for 25.1% of music consumption in the U.S., taking the reigning crown from Rock Music who only claims 23% of the nation.

While streaming has altered the traditional music business model, and where social media has become an integral part of an artists career, R&B/Hip-Hop has become more popular on Spotify and Apple Music than Rock and Pop combined. The rise in R&B could simply correlate to the quality and quantity of music coming from talent across the world. It’s the domination of artists straying away from the genre’s norms and offering a unique and soulful musical experience - fused with grime, indie, and electronica -  that saw the genre leap forward this year.

Some of these artists are enjoying mainstream success - like Jorja Smith having caught the eyes of Drake or Ella Mai’s recent collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign.

Below, we've sourced the top five female acts reigning from the U.K. Get familiar with them now before we have to say "told ya so."