Thanks to the incredible successes of Adele and Sam Smith, being chosen to sing the James Bond theme song has become something of a new career benchmark for UK vocalists. Fans and critics have already started speculating as to who may be in contention to fill their Oscar-sized shoes following the official poster reveal for 007’s next chapter, No Time To Die arriving in April, 2020.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 5, 2019
Singing the 007 theme song is more than just a crossover marketing opportunity for artists – it’s a near-guaranteed entry into the award season conversation. Adele‘s power ballad, “Skyfall” earned the singer a Grammy, Academy Award and Golden Globe, while Smith took home the latter two despite a muted reception to their haunting track, “Writing’s on the Wall.” The gig, if executed properly, is an almost bulletproof opportunity that is sure to draw some of the biggest names in UK music and perhaps even in America.
With the first trailer for “No Time To Die” expected to drop in the coming weeks, Pop Crave has taken an early look at the possible artists in contention for the role:
Frontrunners: UK Vocalists
It’s more likely than not that the producers on NTTD will look to secure a singer from across the pond in theme with the film’s title character. It can also be assumed that the artist will be delivering something more along the lines of a stripped-down ballad where the focus is almost entirely on the vocals. With that being said, artists like Lewis Capaldi (“Someone You Loved’) and Harry Styles (“Sign of the Times”) feel like obvious contenders here. The slight edge goes to Styles, though, as he appears to be gearing up for a new album promo season that will certainly draw more eyes on the blockbuster sequel.
Award season loves a good narrative, so much so that a song can gain buzz before even being released if the artist at the center is prestigious enough. The legendary Elton John certainly fits this profile, an artist with enough respect and admiration from all corners of the industry that makes him a dream contender for the film’s marketing team. It’s also possible the NTTD producers will go the more commercial route with Best New Artist winner Dua Lipa or the UK darling Ellie Goulding. Lipa has already confirmed her interest in the role to several outlets, and it doesn’t hurt that Smith himself gave the rising singer his stamp of approval.
If the NTTD producers are smart, then they’ll also secure a high-profile producer/songwriter to draw even more buzz for the film. Oscar-winner Mark Ronson (“Shallow”) and Ed Sheeran should definitely be on everyone’s radar in this department. Sheeran may even be in contention to sing the theme song himself, though his music isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of James Bond. Landing the gig would also go against his recent vow to take the next 18 months off from performing.
Other possible contenders: James Arthur; Florench Welch; Ella Mai; Jessie J; Labrinth; Coldplay; George Ezra; Zayn.
Dark Horses: The Stan Favorites
While it’s much less likely of becoming a reality, the NTTD theme song will feature an artist outside of the UK if Stan Twitter has their say in things. An open poll on Pop Crave shows a strong push for Lana Del Rey whose silky, atmospheric vocals would make a for a perfect fit within the James Bond universe. Her commitment to her new album, ‘White Hot Forever’ and her billing on the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack may cause some road blocks, though.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 5, 2019
Another offbeat choice for the role is The Weeknd, an artist who could deliver similar energy to LDR with better chances of chart success. Stan Twitter also showed a surprising amount of support for powerhouse vocalist Adam Lambert, though his absence from the Top 40 and limited credits on film soundtracks will prove to be a big hurdle. Sia also shouldn’t be counted out as a performer and perhaps even a songwriter on the track thanks to her extensive work on film soundtracks in the past few years (“Vox Lux,” “Fifty Shades Freed,” “The Emoji Movie,” “Wonder Woman,” “Zootopia”).
Keep in mind that NTTD is being helmed by American director Cary Fukunaga, all the more reason we could see Bond bucking classic traditions with its new chapter.
Other names thrown out on Twitter: Lady Gaga, Lorde, Hozier.
The Wild Card: Stormzy
With Bond entering a new decade, it’s about time that the classic franchise start to shake things up a bit. Fans have already rallied (and failed) with their petitions for Idris Elba to play the first black James Bond ever, while other corners of the internet continue to ask for a reimagined female version of the character. A theme song by rising rapper/singer Stormzy could prove to be an exciting image overhaul for a franchise that may be too committed to its old ways.
Stormzy has a lot going for him as a contender despite not being a “classic” vocalist. Originating from London, the 26-year-old scored his first #1 song in the UK this year with “Vossi Bop” before making waves with an astounding headline performance at Glastonbury. It doesn’t hurt that he explicitly references James Bond in his #1 smash: “I’m James Bond, tryna live my movie like I’m Idris.”
Who would you like to see sing the theme song for NTTD? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter over at @PopCrave!