Lovebox ’17 – Saturday Picks

With Day 1 of Lovebox complete and day 2 just hours away, Chase & Status are set to headline the main stage tonight along with MC Rage, for what will no doubt be an epic live act. Known for their unique ‘UK sound’, rooted in various genres from Dub to Reggae and Garage to Grime, the production duo (Saul Milton & Will Kennard), continue to showcase their never ending versatility. Praised for their unique collaborations such as 2015’s London Bars EP (ft Novelist, Frisco, Giggs), followed by collaborations with the likes of Slaves on ‘Control’ and Blossoms with ‘This Moment’,  might we see some special guests joining them tonight? Maybe Emeli Sande for their new single ‘Love Me More’ taken from their forthcoming third album, Tribe. Either way, get ready to belt out some of their most loved anthems. With a whole host of acts set to close out Day 2 of Lovebox, here are some of my top picks for Saturday.

1) Kano (Main Stage: 6.20pm -7.20pm)

Grime MC Kano, is set to tear up the Main stage this evening after the success of his thrilling Glastonbury set, brought to the next level with the accompaniment of a live band. Having started out as an original member of Nasty crew back in 2000, Kano’s career has catapulted and 5 studio albums later, along with multiple EP’s and mixtapes, he’s still representing the fearless direction and determination of the UK Grime scene. Top that off with a string of impressive singles including ‘3 Wheel-ups’, featuring Grime heavyweights Wiley and Giggs, ‘Hail’, ‘New Banger’ and ‘Garage Skank Freestyle‘. With the release of his 2016 album Made In The Manor, produced by the likes of Fraser T Smith, Rustie and Mele, expect a set filled with raw energy, slick flows, infectious beats and some brass, strings and piano thrown in for good measure!

2) Anne-Marie (Main Stage: 2.30pm – 3.00pm)

Time for the first of my 3 A’s. (see below) Having kick-started her career touring the world with Rudimental as a backing singer, as well as contributing vocals for the likes of Magnetic Man & Gorgon City,  25-year-old singer/songwriter Anne Marie made her official solo debut in 2015 with the infectious Karate EP – an ode to her real life status as three-time world Shotokan-style karate champion.  This was later followed this up with hit singles ‘Do It Right’, ‘Alarm’, her most recent single ‘Ciao Adios‘ and lead vocalist on Clean Bandit’s Number One single ‘Rockabye’. To top things off, Anne Marie kicked off the year shortlisted for the coveted Brit Critics Choice Award, alongside Dua Lipa and overall winner Rag’n’Bone Man. Having worked with the likes of Two Inch Punch, Fraser T Smith and Rudimental, expect exciting things from this rising pop stars’ debut album, which will no doubt be filled with ballsy, dynamic vocals and infectious, synth-happy, pop gems.

3) Andy C (Noisey Stage: 7.45pm – 9.15pm)

Having headlined major festivals all over the world, there are few bigger names than that of dnb legend (and my second A pick) Andy C. As a leading figure in the world of electronic music, specifically the dnb evolution, Andy C has an impressive back catalogue to match, including infectious crossover anthems such as  ‘Heartbeat Loud’, ‘New Era’ and ‘Workout’, as well as his incredible remixes for the likes of Sigala, London Grammar and the smash hit 2012 remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’ – still sounding as epic today as it ever did. As co-founder of Ram Records and sister imprints, Program & Frequency, Andy has nurtured and developed some of the biggest dnb headline acts including Wilkinson, Sub Focus and tonight’s headliner, Chase & Status. With his own specialist drum & bass show on Beats 1, Andy C there’s no better person to deliver the freshest new music and hottest dnb classics. Don’t miss out on what will no doubt be a stellar set.

4) Annie Mac (Main Stage: 7.50pm – 8.50pm)

My final A pick (see above) has to be the Queen of dance, Annie Mac. While Annie has had the pleasure of kick-starting the weekend off for many years now, tonight she has task of performing right before tonight’s headline act, Chase & Status. With the success of he headline Glastonbury performance on the John Peel Stage, complete with a live Gospel house choir,  Annie is sure to get the entire main stage crowd #raving with her infectious selection of tunes. With the success of her recent club culture documentary ‘Who Killed The Night’, her personally curated AMP Lost & Found Festival in Malta,  and her ever popular primetime weekday evening show on Radio 1, Annie is seen as the premiere tastemaker when it comes to the latest club bangers. Throw in a live gospel house choir and expect plenty of goosebumps, lots of dancing and all around feel-good vibes.

5) Kölsch (DJ Set) (Transistor Stage: 8pm – 9.30pm)

Danish tech-house DJ and producer, Kölsch (Rune Reilly Kölsch) is set to close out the Transistor Stage tonight with his stunning form of romantic techno.  The Transistor stage resembles a giant radio, complete with explosive flaming pyrotechnics throughout – so quite the spectacle and one not to be missed. Known for this ability to produce emotion-induced music, Kölsch perfectly combines both mainstream and underground styles, all the while producing luscious, sonic soundscapes. With the success of his critically acclaimed album 1977 followed by 1983, Kölsch consistently delivers with tracks such as ‘Grey’, ‘DerDieDas’, ‘Cassiopeia’, ‘Der Alte’ and recent single ’Speicher 97’ EP – not to mention producing some excellent remixes such as Eric Prydz ‘Generate’, Monkey Safari’s ‘Cranes’ and recent remix of London Grammar’s ‘Hell To The Liars – which is 12 and half minutes of pure bliss and definite contender for best remix of the year.  Currently signed to iconic German electronic label, Kompakt and set to take up residency in Hï Ibiza this Summer, expect an epic set from the Danish Don with his melodic and intimate form of electronica.

6) Raye (Main Stage: 1.40pm – 2.10pm)

19-year-old South London singer/songwriter Rachel Keen, AKA Raye, takes to the mainstage this afternoon for the final day of Lovebox 2017. Raye stormed into the spotlight when her self released 2014 EP, Welcome To Winter, racked up millions of Soundcloud streams, securing her a coveted deal with Polydor. Since then, the dynamic pop star has released two EP’s, a string of infectious singles such as ‘The Line’, Bet You Wish’, ‘I U Us’, co-writing credits on Charlie XCX’s ‘After The Afterparty’, and some quality collaborations with the likes of Stormzy, Stefflon Don, Jonas Blue, Jax jones and Nas. All this at just 19 years of age? Having recently placed third in the BBC’s Sound of 2017 poll, Raye is consistently raising the bar for pop music today, pushing down boundaries along the way and delivering a unique sound full of character and style.  

Like yesterday, with so many incredible acts closing Day 2 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to AJ Tracey, Kurupt FM, Jamie Jones, Solardo, DJ EZ and Zdot.

Check out my final Lovebox Playlist below and enjoy the final day of the festival.

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Lovebox ’17 – Friday Picks

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Lovebox Festival returns to East London’s Victoria Park tomorrow (14-15th July) with an eclectic line-up spanning across the two days. Friday’s headline act is the one and only Frank Ocean, performing one of his only two UK festivals this year. With the success of his debut album Channel Orange, followed by 2016’s Blonde featuring collaborations from the likes of Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean has wildly become one the most celebrated and critically acclaimed acts of this decade. With a whole host of amazing acts set to kick off Day 1 of Lovebox, celebrating the best of British and international musical talent, here are some of my top picks for Friday:

1) Jamie XX (Main Stage: 7.25pm – 8.40pm)

Jamie xx has the task this year of playing right before main stage headliner, Frank Ocean. However, when you have tracks such as ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times’, it pretty much speaks for itself. With the massive success of his 2015 debut album In Colour giving us transcendent singles such as ‘Loud Places’, ‘See Saw’ and ‘Gosh’, Jamie xx consistently delivers a wide range of textures & styles, firmly positioning himself as a unique & imaginative contributor to the British dance scene. Jamie xx pushes boundaries and offers up a new realm of possibility from that of his main project, The xx. Whatever you do, make sure you reserve your spot for Jamie’s main stage set.

2) Solange (Noisey Stage: 8pm – 9pm)

Over the past few years, Solange couldn’t be mentioned in an article without being referred to as as ‘Beyonce’s Sister’. However, after years of hard work proving herself as an established, forward-thinking and grammy-winning artist, Solange can finally lose the ‘Beyonce’ tag. Her most recent album,  A Seat at the Table, confidently dealt with the complexities of black womanhood. With stunning singles such as ‘Cranes in the Sky’, ‘Mad’ ft Lil Wayne and ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ ft Sampha, Solange has made a fearless stance with her empowering body of work.  Having recently performed on Glastonbury’s West Holt Stage to rave reviews (one of the few performances that wasn’t allowed to be filmed for the BBC coverage) make sure you don’t miss her Lovebox set.

3) Rex Orange County (Noisey Stage: 2.20pm – 2.50pm)

Rex Orange County (aka Alex O’Conner) first came to my attention last year with his single ‘UNO’, serving up a refreshing slice of charming lo-fi mixed with witty conversational style vocals. When your talents have been recognised by Tyler the Creator, you know you’re onto something pretty special and unique. With the release of his self-produced debut album  ‘bcos u will never b free’, featuring on Tyler’s recent track ‘Boredom’, to his most recent debut album proper, Apricot Princess, ROC’s material offers up a personable outlook on life, effortlessly blending various styles from pop and indie to jazz and hip-hop. Showcasing  a talent far beyond his years, O’Conner’s melodic hooks are infectious and unassuming as heard in tracks such as ‘Best Friend’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Sycamore Girls’.

4) Sälen (Main Stage: 2.45pm- 3.15pm)

Self described as ‘Straight-talking, slightly to the left pop music’’, Sälen is made up of Ellie Kamio, Paul Taylor Wade and Simon Milner. The London trio, whose name is inspired by a small Swedish village with 652 inhabitants, serve up some effortlessly cool vibes with a unique edge. From their infectious synth-pop vibes of ‘Diseasey’ and ‘Heartbreak Diet’ to the saccharine-induced tones of ‘So Rude’ and ‘Copper Kiss’, Sälen’s eclectic influences set them apart from their contemporaries serving up a delectable form of ‘explicit pop’. With their glossy productions, breezy melodies and sweet sugary vocals akin to the likes of AlunaGeorge, this is one act that certainly won’t disappoint.

5) Ray BLK (Noisey Stage:4.00pm – 4.30pm)

23-year-old Ray BLK kicked off the year as BBC’s Sound of 2017 winner and has since gone from strength to strength with her straight-talking, down to earth attitude.  With the success of previous tracks ‘My Hood’, ‘Chill Out, ‘2am’ and her most recent offering ‘Doing Me’, Ray perfectly balances her free style vocals and soulful R&B melodies, delivering a refreshing slice of UK R&B. Having recently featured on Gorillaz’s latest album Humanz alongside Zebra Katz and Rag‘n’Bone Man, as well as previous collaborations with Stormzy and Wretch 32,  Ray is currently working on her debut album, which will no doubt represent her core values from her stage name, BLK (Building, Living Knowing)

6) Joe Goddard  (Corona Sunsets Stage: 4.00pm – 5.30pm)

As one half of house-duo 2 Bears, member of electro band Hot Chip and co founder of the Greco-Roman imprint, Producer/DJ Joe Goddard has released over a decade worth of albums and remixes – even earning him a Grammy nomination for his edit of the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Wide Open’. While his many side projects keep him busy, Goddard finally unveiled his highly anticipated first official solo album, Electric Lines. The album skilfully pays homage to the history of dance music and retro electro. His infectious form of house, disco, techno, creativity and left-wing pop music, has given us gems such as ‘Gabriel’, ‘Taking Over’ and more recently ‘Home‘ and ‘Truth Is The Answer’.

With so many incredible acts kicking of Day 1 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to Sampha, Eats Everything, Bicep, Seth Troxler, Kaytranada & DJ Jazzy Jeff – all of which I’ll definitely be checking out throughout the day. So to get you in the mood for some sun and music this weekend, check out my Lovebox Playlist below. Check back soon for Saturday’s picks!