International superstars, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, and J. Cole will headline this year’s Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago (July 28th – July 31st). Other well-known acts include Future, Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, and Disclosure. But there are several other talented musicians that you need to pay attention to. In fact, here are 9 Lesser-Known Artists at Lollapalooza That You Need to Listen to Right Now.
Every now and then, music-biz hype isn’t hype – it’s well-deserved praise for real talent. Soul-singer Leon Bridges is this type of artist. Best known for his song “Coming Home,” which received regular airplay and was also a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify, the Fort Worth, TX native has received critical and public acclaim. With the release of his debut album, Coming Home, Bridges has proven himself more than worthy of the spotlight. His nuanced style and vocal range are a welcome addition to today’s musical landscape.
English duo AlunaGeorge consists of Aluna Francis (vocals and songwriting) and George Reid (production and instrumentation). The band’s sound has been described as “advanced minimalistic polyrhythmic beats” as well as experimental hip-hop, ’90’s R&B, and house. Their first album, Body Music, spawned the hit song, “You Know You Like It.” AlunaGeorge’s second studio album, I Remember, is set to be released in April 2016.
Jessy Wilson and Kallie North form the talented duo Muddy Magnolias. Blending elements of R&B, blues, country, indie, and folk, the Muddy Magnolias will astound you with their powerhouse vocals and beautiful harmonies.
Con Brio is a living, evolving testament to the power of soul. Propelled by the young phenom Ziek McCarter – a charismatic, undeniably gifted showman – Con Brio’s sound draws a clear lineage from the dance-heavy funk legacies of legends like Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown, while keeping an eye on R&B trailblazers like D’Angelo and Prince and a focus firmly on the future.
Sir the Baptist
Sir the Baptist is an Indie American Renaissance Artist. If 2Pac was our first urban prophet, Sir is our first glimpse at an urban hymnist with that same ghetto gospel. Sometimes provocatively preachy, sometimes rebellious and sinful, Sir the Baptist writes poignant songs that address the current state of our world.
Australian contemporary soul outfit, Hiatus Kaiyote is a collaboration between four individuals (Nai Palm/singer-guitarist, Paul Bender/bass-production, Simon Mavin/keys-synths, Perrin Moss/drums-production). Their sound references a swathe of influences – electric, acoustic, futuristic, psychedelic, progressive, soothing and urgent – slipping in and out genre and defying definition. With nods from soul royalty (Prince, Pharrell Williams, Erykah Badu, Questlove, Common, DJ Jazzy Jeff), the band’s following has grown exponentially. But it was a collaboration on a new version of “Nakamarra” with A Tribe Called Quest legend Q-Tip, that earned Hiatus Kaiyote worldwide recognition. This song earned them a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance, making Australian history as the first band to be nominated for any R&B category.
Jahkoy describes his penchant for switching from low-key contemporary R&B and rap to energetic dance grooves as “bipolar sound.” Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, the talented singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer gained some notice in 2014 when he released his song “Poison.” He followed that song with “Still in Love” and “Hold Your Hand” which he released through his own Bipolar label.
Rebelution vocalist/guitarist Eric Rachmany and renowned producer, DJ, and remixer Amp Live (formerly of Zion I) may possess different backgrounds, but they both travel the same creative road. Now, their paths—along with a myriad of musical genres riding shotgun—intersect in Unified Highway. The duo’s self-titled debut [Audible Collision / Strange Focus Records] explores this intersection via a fascinating fusion of reggae, electronic, hip-hop, alternative, and soul siphoned into unforgettable songs.
Alina Baraz makes music that connects with your mind, body, and soul. Listen to her Urban Flora EP and you will agree.
Check out the full Lollapalooza lineup here – Lollapalooza 2016.