Afropunk; the festive summer celebration of diverse yet unified artists who embrace an eclectic range of cultures and freedom of expression as a necessity. Afropunk is back this weekend, and the musical line-up is expected to be manifold. This year’s artists range from The Internet, Danny Brown and Willow Smith to homeland artists such as NAO, JME and Nadia Rose. Here my selection of must-see artists that will be attending this year’s festivities.
MOBO-winning artist and cousin to Stormzy, Nadia Rose is an up-and-coming female MC from Croydon who is creating new waves with her unapologetically bold song – Skwod. Her debut EP, Highly Flammable, came out in the beginning of this year – a year that has been busier than ever before. Her effortless swag and South London air are notable aspects of her album and live performance. Nadia Rose is sure-fire act to catch this weekend.
For fans of: Steflon Don, RAY BLK, AJ Tracey
Stemming off the Odd Future collective, the 6-piece band are back in the UK for one of their few appearances this year. Their performance style is infectious and groovy. Festival-goers can expect sultry and soulful vocals from Syd and popular songs from their last project – Ego Death. We suspect that Syd and Matt Martians will also play tracks from their solo projects to keep the set list spicy.
For fans of: Syd, Anderson .Paak, Thundercat, Jesse Boykins II
Having made a name for herself as an actress, model and well-rounded artist, the 16-year-old socially conscious singer and fashion icon will be making her Afropunk London debut. Some may not be aware that in addition to covering multiple magazines, becoming the face for fashion industry’s top designers, and still finding time to campaigning for the end of human trafficking, Willow Smith has developed as an artist tremendously since her ‘Whip My Hair’ days. Over the past year, she has released over 30 songs online, collaborating with artists such as SZA as well as her famous brothers. Afropunk will be a great springboard to bringing her impassionate, thought-provoking and ethereal sound to the UK.
For fans of: Sky Ferreira, FKA twigs, SZA, Kali Uchis
With a flow endorsed by Kendrick Lamar and receiving widespread recognition for the work she has already released, Little Simz is an artist that has gone beyond the level of just ‘an artist to watch out for’. The experimental rapper got her start in London, but soon performed alongside Estelle, Ms Dynamite and Kano to name just a few artists. Having released her latest project last year, we are excited to see the energy transpire from record to live as her rapping capabilities transpire before a crowd of eager listeners.
For fans of: Allan Kingdom, GoldLink
Calling all rock and roll fans. Sate is a musician whose set will undoubtedly be an energetic and ground-shaking performance. Composed of a striking sense of power and zeal, her shows have become known for evoking a multitude of emotions and uniting fans by raising the torch of rock in an age where it seems to be diminishing. As one of the younger and most popular artists in the genre, Sate is leading rock to new realms whilst respecting its sonic routes.
For fans of: Maestro, k-os
Overall, this year’s Afropunk is set to be a mad weekend full of alternative music, films, art and positive vibes. General tickets are still available for purchase via the following link: http://afropunkfest.com/london/tickets/By Kelly Kiesewetter