Friday Five: Create Your Own Music Festival
The news told us 2019 has been the hottest recorded summer on this planet. The temperatures are consistently in the upper 80s/90s and a lot of music is dropping right now. It also means that we are in peak festival/concert season. Whether it’s Rolling Loud or ONE Music Fest, there are plenty to choose from no matter what your taste is.
We’ve all thought about making our own concert or festival lineup. There is a website called Festify which creates a festival lineup based on your Spotify activity. This inspired me to write about my own dream line up.
My list isn’t based on my Spotify activity but to make this line up interesting the musical acts that I chose were based on certain parameters:
Only five acts can be chosen (a collective group will count as one act)
Grammy winners are not allowed to be picked
The chosen acts are rising artists and/or under the radar
Without further ado, here is my “fantasy booked” concert/festival lineup:
Since seeing him perform on tour in D.C. with Rapsody I have kept an eye out for this Atlanta native. Working with the likes of Dreamville, H.E.R., Goldlink, and others, he is an artist that you will become more familiar with as time passes. His flexibility across Hip-Hop and R&B genres is a testament to the fact that his pen will flourish in any pocket. The infectious energy that he brings to his stage show will convert you into a fan by the end of the night.
If you’re not a part of the “Citrus Squad”, what’s taking you so long? The mysterious R&B collective is one of the freshest acts out right now. Their nostalgic funky disco-like bassline groove mixed with vulnerable lyrics for the internet age has hooked many listeners. Many of the stops on their first headlining tour were sold out. If that’s any indication for what they can do starting out, they have a bright future ahead of them.
To make this festival well rounded you need a little bit of soul to balance things out. Ari Lennox’s new wave of R&B includes a playful nature of sound mixed with honest and relatable lyrics about relationships and self-discovery draws comparisons to that of the greats. The vibe on her records is translated in her live performances as well. Ari has the tools to become like the icons that she looked up to while growing up.
His singles and freestyles have caught the ears and eyes of many with his flow. For all the buzz that Cordae has garnered since coming on the scene, his fans and new outlookers were anticipating a major release. His debut album "The Lost Boy" catapulted that upward trajectory with a project that showcases that he is wise beyond his years and built for the long haul. With credits from H.E.R., Dr. Dre, Pusha T, it’s evident that the 21-year-old’s has lots of potential and staying power.
Griselda Records (Westside Gunn, BENNY, and Conway)
Any concert or festival needs a little edge to it and that edge would come from Buffalo, NY. Griselda Records. If Griselda Records were a stock, I’d buy a couple of shares. In a time where a lot of rappers sound alike, Westside Gunn, BENNY, and Conway are the exception. Their lyrical prowess over haunting boom-bap beats is reminiscent of the early to mid 90’s Rap. While they might not be as under the radar as some of the artists I mentioned previously, this collective is having a hell of a run in 2019 and on the verge of graduating from the underground.