As each new year rolls around, music publications are wont to predict who's going to be big, or highlight their 'ones to watch' for the year to come. It's understandable, we'd all like to know how the next twelve months might play out, and music is just another part of that.
Seeing as festivals are our thing, we've picked out a few names that we expect to see a lot more of when the busiest part of the season comes around. Acts who may not have graced festival stages on too many occasions in the past, or those who have earned the right to have a jam-packed summer of shows following big releases in 2017.
Some of these names are already on the way to being fairly established, others are just setting out on their journey. But wherever they find themselves, we're eagerly anticipating the chance to see them perform on the world's festival stages over the next twelve months.
If 2017 belonged to anyone in music then Texas-born, Cali-based collective Brockhampton can definitely stake a claim for ownership. The three full albums that formed their Saturation trilogy were each as good as anything released last year, and it's looking like 2018 is going to see them take their live show to the world.
After an impressive twelve months which saw her featured among Mixmag's 'Breakthrough DJs of 2017', the stock of Orlagh Dooley is rapidly rising. And from the mixes we've heard it's not that difficult to see why. Unafraid to explore Detroit techno, African and Latin rhythms, electro, disco edits, acid house or breakbeat, her sets always seem to be an exciting affair.
Despite his huge single Did You See being one of the tracks that soundtracked much of last summer, festival appearances from the East London performer were actually fairly few and far between, with most shows coming in the pre-album tour in May and the impressive Common Sense tour in November.
A headline set at new festival Shockout is scheduled for the end of February, and there are appearances at Fresh Island, TRNSMT and Way Out West to follow. It's safe to say we're excited to see more from the main man, and if his recent tweets are anything to go by, there could be a lot to get excited about this year.
2018 I ain't playing no fucking games.— J HUS (@Jhus) December 17, 2017
Album 2! Still in the game with same ppl I came with. Never needed a link up to get by. pic.twitter.com/j9BfgzMR22— J HUS (@Jhus) December 18, 2017
Arguably the surprise of last year, SZA's second album Ctrl impressed more or less everybody (including us), way more than we could have really expected. Seeing how she translates the project to the stage will be exciting, and given that she's literally the second name on the Coachella poster and among the sub-headliners at Firefly it looks like people might be willing to give her pretty high billing over summer. And deservedly so.
One of the early releases to get excited about this year, Shame's debut album Songs of Praise is already turning heads, and the indie/post-punk fivepiece can surely look to carry the momentum through to festival season and show the world what they're made of.
This incredibly talented gentleman first came to our attention via collaborations with Loyle Carner (who we like very much) and work with the ever-superb Soulection collective/label. His debut album is scheduled for an 8 April release date, so we'd be very surprised if he doesn't feature on plenty of festival posters across the summer (he's already on Coachella's, which is something).
Another of 2017's biggest breakthrough acts, Khalid released his debut album American Teen – he's still only 19 years old – to critical acclaim, and it has since gone on to be Grammy nominated. He's heading to London in July to support Bruno Mars at British Summer Time, so we're fully expecting him to make some other festival appearances while he's in Europe.
Rex Orange County
What with appearances on Tyler, The Creator's superb album Flower Boy, performing with Skepta at the Mercury Prize event and earning a nomination for DICE's Live Award, 2017 was another exciting year for Rex Orange County. And to add to that, he recently found himself in second place on BBC's 'Sound of 2018' poll.
A couple of times over summer he had early slots at festivals, but we can surely expect to see him further up the billing this time round. So far it's just All Points East and Best Kept Secret that have enlisted his services, but more are likely to follow.
Another creator of one our favourite albums of 2017, Jay Som is an act we're itching to see live, preferably somewhere sunny and warm. While she kept fairly busy across last summer with appearances at various North American festivals, we'd love to see her take things worldwide, particularly if that meant a string of European festival shows.
Before her 20th birthday, Jorja Smith had not only supported Drake on his UK tour, but also featured prominently on his More Life project, even having a song named in her honour.
She'll be keen not just to be known as an associate of the 6 God, and what better way to do that to release her eagerly anticipated debut album to the world and take it to the biggest stages. Coachella, We Love Green and Way Out West are already locked in, here's hoping for more.
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