Last year saw the massively popular arts festival Afropunk move from its regular hosts of Paris, New York and Atlanta to London, bringing a wave of culture to the UK in its two-day extravaganza. Now, the festival is steaming ahead towards ‘round two’ in London on the 22nd-23rd July, bringing a whole host of some of the most relevant Hip-Hop, RnB, Soul, Reggae and Punk performers to one of London’s most interesting venues, Printworks.
The full line-up announcement that came on 25th April brought some truly stellar names to the roster. Topping the bill is soul singer Lianne La Havas, a performer renowned for her beautiful voice, jazzy melodies and widely acclaimed album Blood, which was one of the highlights of 2015. Another of the bigger names is Danny Brown, Detroit-based shock-rapper with a penchant for hedonism while staying mindful of the lows that accompany the highs. He brought stunning lyricism and thrilling production to his album Atrocity Exhibition last year and is still riding the wave of hype that this project cast. Another of the US-based names is the enigmatic Thundercat, who’s soulful singing and wizardly bass playing has been utilised in the projects of fellow artists such as Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar while also allowing his solo career to blossom, most recently exemplified in his latest album, Drunk.
Of course, it being a London
festival, the presence of grime and UK Hip Hop cannot be overlooked. Little Simz and Nadia Rose both make appearances as fantastic, young, up-and-coming female MCs while one of BBK’s most popular flagship artists, JME will inevitably wow with his sheer energy and dexterity on the mic.
Willow Smith makes a rare and unexpected appearance on the bill. Her RnB-pop prowess will no doubt impress for the Afropunk audience. Another unique performer on the line-up is Saul Williams, rapper, poet and spoken word artist. His passionate, invigorated wordplay inspires in a political climate as volatile as todays; an artist whose words couldn’t be more relevant than right now.
The aforementioned acts are just a small taste of the eclectic line-up. Afropunk’s wild, fashionable and energetic vibrancy will not disappoint.
LIANNE LA HAVAS, NAO, THUNDERCAT, DANNY BROWN, JME, WILLOW SMITH, THE HEAVY, CORINNE BAILEY RAE, SAUL WILLIAMS, JAZZIE B, LITTLE SIMZ, NADIA ROSE, KOJEY RADICAL, CONNIE CONSTANCE, SATE, BIG FREEDIA, OBGM’S, MAHALIA, BLACK ORCHID, JAZZ REFRESHED, BLACKTRONICA, FAM, BORN & BRED, HANNAH FAITH, GAL-DEM DJS, CLARA AMFO, JAMZ SUPERNOVA