Even though you know what’s coming, Parklife’s lineup still blows you away each and every year, and 2018 hit like a hurricane once again. Featuring titans of the UK music scene like Liam Gallagher, international superstars like A$AP Rocky, soulful singers like Jessie Ware and dancefloor destroyers like Solomun, the Parklife lineup has a little bit of everything. Looking ahead to the June weekender at Manchester’s Heaton Park, we picked out five artists that have us all hot under the collar counting down the days to Parklife 2018.
Not many UK artists enjoyed a bigger year than J Hus last year, the singer and rapper earning himself a cult hero status with his wicked debut album Common Sense. Combining elements of dancehall, afrobeat and grime into a pop-friendly package, the bouff daddy took the myriad influences of his home in East London and turned them into one of the most outrageously addictive sounds that the capital has produced since UKG.
21 year old Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor has set her sights on redefining pop, bringing a vivacious energy and artistic flair that is recognisable in the greats like Bjork, Madonna and Grace Jones. Sure to put on a proper show for the Parklife crowd, she’s worth fitting your schedule around.
A few years ago, a variety of R&B artists started to push the boundaries of the genre with experiments and excursions into futuristic electronic sounds, and Kelela is a direct product of that same penchant for innovation. Taking a Night Slugs-esque approach to half-time dance music, with elements of hip hop, dubstep and R&B being slung together with apparent ease, Kelela uses her idiosyncratic writing style and smooth vocal tones to make some of the most engaging “Alternative R&B” of the last few years, and will be a real spectacle on stage at Heaton Park.
When future generations ask who the greats of British electronic music were, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more fitting of your list than Kieran Hebden. Having been crafting immaculate albums since ‘99, Four Tet has been constantly redefining his own sound and the art itself, influencing artists across the full spectrum of dance music with his intellectual and intricate music. 2009 album There Is Love In You is rightly hailed as a classic of British IDM, house and electronic music, but last year’s release New Energy might even have topped it with its sublime use of melodic samples and understated rhythms. Miss him at Parklife and you’re doing yourself a disservice.
If there’s another DJ with Honey Dijon’s presence behind the decks, we’ve yet to find them. A selector with the history of American dance music intertwined in her very identity, Dijon wears her heart on sleeve as she guides parties through its most potent emotions. Laying it all down with her cross-genre blend of sensual house, vibrant disco and dancefloor pumpers, she’s a student of the Derrick Carter school of banging it out Chicago style, and she’s top of the class too.
Parklife takes place at Heaton Park in Manchester on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June.
Photo courtesy of Parklife Festival
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