Roll up, roll up, the future of pop is here. The Brits Critics' Choice Award has a reputation for making good on its bets each year, picking a name that will become omnipresent in my world, your world, and your mum's word, and they've just announced their three person shortlist for 2016.
The votes are gathered from a shady cabal of top music editors and critics who specialise in knowing what's best for baby; baby being the music buying British public. This anonymous panel, the freemasons of pop music, who vote via email each year, have repeatedly shown how well they read the culture path ahead, by electing such globe-trotting winners in the past as Adele, Florence & The Machine, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith. You can argue with the music, you can complain at how many times its played during the pivotal moments of a Channel 4 documentary about lonely Cornish men in their 50s, but you can't argue with those sales figures, baby.
In fact, even when this award totally fucks up - like when they gave it to pea soup pianist Tom Odell or the porcelain hat stand and folk trouba-bore James Bay - they still usually become outright commercial successes. Which is why most of us think of the Critics Choice Award less as an artistic accolade of pop craftsmanship, and more like getting a stockmarket tip from Gordon Gekko - it's a dipstick indicator of who will simply make the biggest amount of cash next year in the music industry. By cash, we mean obscene cash, dirty amounts of cash, early 2000s Snoop video levels of cash. Piles of cash so tall, they'd give you vertigo. Bank balances so astronomical, you'll develop anxiety, and wish again for simpler times when you could eat a Whopper at Kings Cross Burger King without going straight up on Mail Online.
So, who have the critics bestowed this privilege for the forthcoming Brit Awards 2016? Well, refreshingly, some genuine talent actually. We'll start with Izzy Bizu, because she's our favourite. The 21-year-old South Londoner has a sharp and soulful voice, combining R&B production, off-kilter jazz cadence and a voice that would melt a freezer full of pre-mixed Daiquiris. She's the only one on the list that could appear on Jools Holland and have the whole family nodding approvingly.
Elsewhere, there's Berkshire songwriter Frances. Berkshire might have set off your Tory alarm there, but don't worry, that's where Reading is. Frances does pop ballads like "Grow" that often sound a bit too John Lewis for their liking, but she's got a voice to blow forests down, she writes most of her own music, and she's already shown a refreshing openness to switch from piano plundering Adele blues to squelchy future disco whenever the shoe fits.
And then there's Jack Garatt. When Jack Garatt performs live - surrounded by more instruments, pads and buttons than seems realistically necessary - it's like watching an octopus play Bop It. That deserves an award.
So that's your three. Have the critics got it right? Will one of these artists make boat loads of dough next year? Yes, they definitely definitely will.