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!

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Lovebox 2013 – Top Picks for Sunday

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As the final day of Lovebox draws to a close, synth-pop group Goldfrapp are set to headline the main stage in true style. With another great lineup today, let’s take a look at my top 5 must see acts:

  1. First up is the beautiful voice of South Londoner Lianne La Havas. The Mercury nominated singer/songwriter displays an incredible talent with her soulful vocals and heartfelt honest lyrics.  Having recently performed at the Somerset House Summer Series to a sold out crowd, be sure to catch Lianne at one of her many upcoming performances including Summer Stage in Central Park, Lollapalooza and V Festival. With tracks such as ‘No Room For Doubt’, ‘Forget’ and ‘Is Your Love Big Enough‘, Lianne will grace the main stage at 15.50.
  2. Canadian electro duo Purity Ring (Megan James and Corin Roddick) have gone from strength to strength since releasing their debut album ‘Shrines‘ in 2012, featuring the  tracks ‘Lofticries‘ and ‘Fineshrine‘ and their recent cover of Soulja Boy’s ‘Grammy‘.  The duo are known for their unique live performances and use a tree-shaped instrument for sound and lighting, so this is sure to be one captivating set. (Lovebox Live Stage @ 15.50)
  3. New York based duo MS MR, made up of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow are bringing their electro pop vibes to sunny Lovebox. Previous singles ‘Hurricane’, ‘Fantasy’ and their most recent LP ‘Secondhand Rapture,‘ were all met with great praise with their retro synth-pop vibes.  The duo are set to embark upon a headline tour of North America this Autumn, but before that have plenty of upcoming performances including Lollapalooza, Reading & Leeds and Electric Picnic Festival. (Main Stage @ 14.50)
  4. 25 year old Zebra Katz (aka Ojay Morgan), is an NY based rapper making bold statements in both the hip hop and fashion worlds.  His first single, released through Diplos Mad Decent label Jeffrees, was the critically acclaimed ‘Ima Read’ ft female rapper Njena Redd Foxxx. His unique style of delivery is dark and captivating, as seen in more recentl tracks such as ‘Y I do‘ . Having supported the likes of Lana Del Ray and Azealia Banks, Zebra Katz is ready to take Lovebox by storm. (lovebox Live Stage @ 14.00)
  5. New York based rapper, poet and performance artist Mykki Blanco is set to make quite an impact at Lovebox today. Inspired by the ‘riot grrrl’ movement and drag queen artist ‘Vaginal Davis‘, Blanko is the epitome of radical forward thinking in today’s modern culture.  With two mixtapes already under his belt, including 2012’s ‘Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss’, produced by Siden and Flosstradamus and 2013’s ‘Miss Snow White: The Street Tape‘, Mykki Blanco will be knocking out tracks such as ‘Wavvy‘ and ‘Haze Boogie Life’. The debut album from Blanco titled ‘Michael‘ is due in 2014. One set not to be missed! (Main Stage @13.45)

Other acts to check out through out the day include Hurts, Lil Kim, Kelis and Chloe Howl. Have a listen to the playlist below for today’s top picks and enjoy the last day of Lovebox 2013. Full set times available here.

Lovebox – Top Picks for Saturday

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With Day 1 of Lovebox complete and day 2 just hours away, lets check out todays line up. While East London’s Plan B is set to headline the mainstage, here are my picks for what is set to be another brilliant day filled with sunny feel-good vibes:

    1. First up has to be the dynamic duo AlunaGeorge. Their infectious electro-pop vibes are set to take over Mainstage at 17.30 as they knock out their chart topping hits from Disclosure’s ‘White Noise‘, to ‘Attracting Flies‘ and their forthcoming re-release of ‘You Know You Like It‘. Having recently played to a sold out Electric Brixton, the duo are gearing up for the release of their debut album ‘Body Music’ on July 29th. Expect a massive crowd for Mainstage at 17.30, so get there early.
    2. DJ and producer B Traits, aka Brianna Price, is set to bring her upbeat carnival vibes to the Big Top Stage with MC Juma. The Canadian DJ, currently filling in for Annie Mac on  BBC Radio 1, is responsible for mixing ‘Fabric Live 63: Digital Soundboy‘ alongside Shy FX and Breakage. Expect an exciting set from B Traits today on the Hospitatlity (Big Top Stage) at 17.00
    3. Luka C and Ali Love have both enjoyed solo success over the years and now bring their much loved Infinity Ink Project to the Lovebox Stage.  The long term friends have collaborated with the likes of Chemical Brothers and Justice, right up to their current work with Hot Natured and Crosstown Rebels. Previous releases have included the funk infused ‘Games’ to the ridiculously catchy vocals of ‘Infinity’ and the psychedelic soulful ‘Aya’. You can catch Infinity Ink on the Hot Creations (Terrazza) Stage at 16.00, as well as headlining the official Lovebox afterparty at Oval Space.
    4. John Newman, whose infectious vocals featured on Rudimentals chart topping ‘Feel The Love‘ and ‘Not Giving In‘ is set to headline the Main Stage today. Having recently released his debut EP ‘Love Me Again’, topping the charts,  Newmans trademark big vocals are sure to draw quite the crowd today at Lovebox. Newman is set to take to the Main Stage at 16.30.
    5. Superstar DJ and Producer Mark Ronson is heading up Mark Ronson & Friends at the Red Bull Music Arena. The triple Grammy award winner, who has worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Katy B, is in high demand this summer with DJ sets at Melt Festival, Bestival and Ibiza. You can catch Ronson headline on the Red Bull Music Academy Stage at 20.30.

As with yesterdays incredible lineup, other notable mentions must go to High Contrast, Fred V & Grafix, A Trak and  D’Angelo. Check out my playlist of top picks for today and check back soon for Sundays picks

Lovebox – Top Picks for Friday

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Lovebox Festival returns to Victoria Park tomorrow with an eclectic line-up spanning across 3 days (19-21st July). Headlining the Friday is the one and only Azealia Banks, fresh off her Glastonbury set where she premiered her new single ‘ATM Jam’ ft Pharrell. With a whole host of amazing acts set to kick off Day 1 of Lovebox, here are some of my top picks for Friday:

  1. First on the list has to be the Queen of Dance Annie Mac, making her highly anticipated return since embracing Motherhood. Annie is regarded as the Gatekeeper of Radio 1, kicking off the weekend with her #raving #behaving vibes and closing it on a Sunday night with the mellow #musicalhotwaterbottle. Annie will no doubt deliver one hell of a set having already geared us up for Summer with her free ‘Sunshine Mix‘. Welcome back Annie!
  2. DJ & producer Julio Bashmore was responsible for one of the most infectious house tracks of 2012 with ‘Au Seve‘, which he released under his very own label, ‘Broadwalk Records‘. Previous production credits have included Jessie Ware’s ‘110%‘ and ‘Imagine It Was Us‘. Having made his debut at Coachella festival this year, followed by a killer set at Field Day, expect plenty of ‘Bashmore Bass’ during his extended Lovebox set.
  3. Breach, aka Ben Westbeech, is responsible for arguably one of the summers hottest house records; ‘Jack’. Originally released through Dirtybird and most recently through Atlantic, Breach sure knows how to produce a hit record, having previously written Redlight’s infectious ‘Get Out My Head‘. Expect a big crowd for Breach as he makes his Lovebox debut.
  4. Festival favourites Rudimental are set to cause a stir with their electric live show with crowd pleasing anthems such as ‘Waiting All Night‘ ft Ella Eyre, their new single ‘Right Here‘ ft Foxes and the song that started it all ‘Feel The Love‘ ft fellow Lovebox artist John Newman. With their debut album reaching no 1, Rudimental are sure to receive a massive reception as the crowd soak up the quartets electro summer vibes.
  5. My final top pick comes from the brilliant Duke Dumont who brought us the chart topping ‘Need You’ (100%) ft AME. Having just released ‘Hold On‘ ft Mnek as the highly anticipated follow up, expect a debut album to drop shortly through Blase Boys Club . Be sure to check out his recently released ‘Hard Summer Mixtape‘, as well as the stunning remix of Haim’s ‘Falling‘.

With so many amazing acts kicking of Day 1 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to Mele, Lulu James, John Talabot, Monki, Amplify Dot, Artwork, SBTRKT DJ Set, Ruen Brothers and Toddla T, all of which I’ll definitely be checking out and highly recommend. Thankfully the weather looks to be pretty hot again, so Wiley’s track ‘Heatwave’ should be pretty apt for his set tomorrow. Check out the full Friday lineup here.

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!