Though The Lumineers and Childish Gambino are headlining the festival, many of the smaller acts should not to be overlooked.
The 2019 edition of Montreal’s Osheaga festival features big name headliners such as The Lumineers, The Chemical Brothers, and Childish Gambino. While these acts are sure to draw a crowd to the three-day event, other smaller acts will be fighting for the spotlight to expand their fanbase with festival-goers. Here is a list of eight underground artists to keep an eye out for next weekend:
Toronto R&B singer Anders is perhaps most recognized for his vocals on DJ duo Loud Luxury’s track “Love No More,” but the artist has a play-worthy repertoire of his own. With two EPs released (669 and Twos) and various singles under his belt, Anders most recently performed at the 2018 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball and the 2019 Juno Awards despite only performing concerts following the release of his two projects. The young songster is a crooner at heart, whose sound and voice are most notably compared to fellow Torontonian the Weeknd’s in his earlier work. His set is a must for any R&B lovers wishing to discover new talent.
JPEGMAFIA is synonymous with insanity. Well, not really. But when you listen to his music, you’ll understand. He’s not the kind of rapper you’d see on the charts. He’s the kind of rapper you’ll see breaking barriers and blending in sounds you’d never expect on a hip hop track. The rapper is also part troll, best heard on the short track “I Cannot F***ing Wait Til Morrissey Dies.” Peggy isn’t for everyone and his music may not stick during a first listen, but his performance at Osheaga should rank among the wildest, most unpredictable shows of the festival. Also, his song with other Osheaga performer, Flume, called “How to Build a Relationship” is an absolute banger.
The latest release from Meghan Remy’s musical outfit U.S. Girls is an accomplishment in pop music. It’s a forward-thinking album that establishes modern feminism as a key theme. The instrumentals are sweet and somewhat reminiscent of the 80s. While not charting like many other pop outfits of the decade, U.S. Girls don’t need to. Their messages and sounds live strong in the context of their albums and the beautiful production across their records should translate to a fantastic show.
Ski Mask the Slump God
Ski Mask began gaining popularity upon his formation of Members Only, originally a South Florida duo between himself and the late controversial XXXTentacion. The two were originators of what is now coined “Soundcloud rap.” The artist combines ad libs, screamo and rapping to make a sound quite unique to himself. His most recent album, Stokeley, boasts features from some of the industry’s newest young guns such as Juice WRLD, Lil Yachty and Lil Baby. Ski Mask’s live performances are sure to be filled with high energy and a chance of mosh pits.
In 2018, a trailer for Donald Glover (headliner Childish Gambino)’s show Atlanta featured a light and trippy indie rock song called “A Gap in the Clouds” by Yellow Days. At that point, the song was already two years old, but it put the British singer on the map for the rest of the world to see. Backed by a powerfully deep voice and sweet guitar riffs, Yellow Days already has two beautifully produced projects under his belt. Since then, he’s released multiple singles that may wind up on a new album. Whether it debuts before Osheaga remains to be seen, but a live rendition of his excellent “A Little While” should make it all worth it.
Young Thug may be the most influential rapper in recent history, inspiring the sound behind countless artists in hip hop, especially those currently emerging from Atlanta. The rapper gained popularity in his early days due to his vocals that at times sounded like pure gibberish. Years later, listeners recognize this authentic style as being ahead of its time, one-upping mumble rappers with clever wordplay and tongue twisters. Barter 6 and Beautiful Thugger Girls are essential albums for anyone wishing to hop on the Thug train. The rapper is also credited with being one of the most fashion-forward in the industry, constantly pushing the boundaries of what others deem to be men’s or women’s clothing. His set is not to be missed and anyone who is a fan of rap will surely be surprised by how many songs of his they recognize.
New York native Two Feet is an alternative singer whose 2018 hit single “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” reached No. 1 on the U.S. alternative charts. The music seems inspired by jazz, blues, guitar and something a bit more sinister. His first EP, First Steps, along with the success of its single, “Go F*ck Yourself,” led to Two Feet’s signing with Republic Records. The artist was originally scheduled to perform at last year’s Osheaga, but a medical emergency caused him to cancel his set. Fortunately, Two Feet has released an album since and therefore will have a wider catalogue of material to choose from for this year’s performance.
Tierra Whack’s Whack World is one of the most creative and innovative albums of the decade, mixing hip hop, R&B, and a little inspiration from many other genres. Her music exudes originality. Each song on the album clocked in at 60 seconds and had an accompanying video, making this audio/visual project one to remember. In 2019, Whack released five new songs in five consecutive weeks, only this time the songs are full-length. Recognition for the 23-year-old Philadelphia native is only increasing as she was most recently included in the Beyonce-curated The Lion King: The Gift album on the track “MY POWER.” She’s received co-signs from many greats including fellow Philly rapper Meek Mill.