Signing a record contract used to be the traditional route to fame but with the first independent grime album debuting No.1 in UK chart history this year, it’s becoming a lot easier for artists to release their own music without the support of major record labels. Here are five upcoming artists and bands that are touring in April/May to watch out for in 2017:
- Mica Millar
Mica Millar’s distinctive soulful voice will paint you a picture and put you in the settings of her lyrics which tell stories of life, love and loss, transporting you back into the past. Described as the ‘next big thing’ by Manchester Evening News, the singer-songwriter often sings with minimal instruments in the background, shifting through genres of Jazz, Blues and Neo- soul which not only heightens but complements her pure and soothing voice.
Essential track: Down River (A stream of consciousness)
- Abnormal Sleepz
A creative mix of rap, blues, and 90s instrumentals, Sleepz (also known as Reece Samuels) creates feel-good music with meaning and substance. Taking inspiration from hip hop’s mix of instruments, Sleepz is sure to switch up the style of his music and offer variety by not only singing & rapping but also drawing on philosophy and personal hardships within his vocals. The rapper’s well received EP; The Meditape Two is sure to get your head nodding from the moment you play it, giving you the ultimate chill out vibes, especially on a sunny day.
Essential track: Boyz n Da Hood Ft. Kinkai
Formed in 2015 and performing at several festivals across the country, Manchester’s Agbeko creates a get-up-and-dance style music that gives you a taste of 70s African dance music. Influenced by afrobeat and ethiojazz, the 11-piece afro-rock-funk-psychedelic band combines a unique mix of funk guitars, drums, and trumpets to give an energy-filled atmosphere, that by no doubt will put you in a good mood. Agbeko is unlike anything else you’ll hear all year.
Essential track: There Must Be (Another Way)
Loud, rebellious and authentic, Cabbage are a Manchester based five–piece neo-punk band. With explicit lyrics (that have deviant undertones) and a laid-back nature, Cabbage create that type of music you listen to when you’re not in the mood. Even if you’re not into neo-punk music, this band will leave a last impression on you and have you reaching for your best air guitar impression along with headbanging movements to match.
Essential track: Dinner Lady
- Louis Berry
No better artist to keep an out eye out for other than Liverpudlian singer, Louis Berry. His voice has a distinct rasp and gritty old soul tone to it for a 24-year-old. His vocals are typically placed over fast-tempo alternative surf rock style music which instantly takes you back to the 60s and reminds you of The Beach Boys in particular. If you love rock ‘n’ roll music then Louis Berry is the one.
Essential track: She Wants Me