Lets face it, you've probably heard of Afropunk. In the past few weeks, anticipation has been building for the famous US festival to finally come to London, after years of waiting. Afropunk, a festival that started in Brooklyn over 10 years ago is finally expanding to London's Alexandra Palace this September 24th, and we couldn't be more excited!
Following last year's success of Afropunk Paris, the festival has attracted a worldwide audience, bringing good vibes to over 70,000 people with performances from some of the best musical artists, from Lauryn Hill, to D'Angelo and Lenny Kravitz.
Celebrating diversity and the participation in cultures that are deemed 'alternative', Afropunk was described by the New York Times as 'the most multicultural festival in the US', and for a city as diverse as London, we're expecting a similarly vibrant turnout next week when Afropunk touches down in old Blighty. With a line-up bursting with talent both homegrown and from across the pond.
So, ahead of next week, we thought we'd help you get to know some of the acts we're most looking forward to seeing at Afropunk London - oh, and you can still get tickets with no booking fees via the DICE app!
1) Loyle Carner
As one of UK Hip-Hop's hottest prospects, we were so excited to see Loyle Carner on the bill for the first Afropunk London. Loyle came into the limelight back in 2014, when he collaborated with spoken word artist Kate Tempest, and since then, he's come into his own, selling out European tour dates last April, with another tour coming up next month.
Loyle's laid back, honest style delivery of hip-hop makes his music easy listening. That, combined with the bare honesty of his lyricism, where he often talks about personal and family issues he's had to face, mean he's a rapper you can really respect and connect with.
Aside from the music, Loyle recently launched a cooking school for kids aged 14-16 with ADHD, something he suffered from as a child. He's definitely one to watch, and we're looking forward to vibing out at Afropunk when he's on stage.
2) Eden Hagos
This Los Angeles–based, Sudanese-born, San Diego–bred producer and DJ is one of the Soulection crew and someone we've been looking forward to finally seeing in London for the longest time. After her performance last year at our LA showcase, we knew we'd be seeing Eden across the pond very soon. With an eclectic mix of smooth sounds and bass-heavy bangers, Eden's offering as a DJ is one that will take you on a journey throughout the set. Her vibe is uplifting and we always have a good time when she's on the decks. Make sure you catch her spinning alongside more of our favourite selectors Hannah Faith, The Whooligan, Iamnobodi, Joe Kay and Sivey.
3) Jorja Smith
Jorja, the singer-songwriter hailing from the West Midlands who blew us all away with 'Blue Lights' earlier this year, which sampled Dizzee Rascal's 'Sirens'. A smooth R&B track infused with a little something else we can't quite put our finger on. Jorja's mysterious and sultry vocals have always made her fascinating, and with the consistent quality tracks she's been putting out lately, we're looking forward to finally catching her live next week at Afropunk. At just 18, we can tell Jorja has a long future ahead of her in music. Described as the UK's 'next R&B star' by Hunger Magazine, we can only agree that the future is bright for Jorja Smith.
We love Akala. For anyone that knows of him, you know he couldn't be a better fit for a festival like Afropunk. Since the early 2000s the rapper and spoken word poet has been making great music and delivering important messages on social justice, health, education and politics. Akala is someone who uses his music and platform to educate others, and we can only respect that. Akala has given guest lectures at various universities, and the International Slavery Museum, as well as workshops and TV appearances, and even a talk at Oxford Union.
With a flow that allows him to tell stories through his verses, Akala makes music that's meaningful, his lyricism is sophisticated and deliberate. He's definitely one to watch, you don't want to miss this, he might just make history!
Kwabs, the British Ghanian singer-songwriter best known for his song 'Walk' is someone we've been looking forward to seeing live for a long time! Raised in Bermondsey, the South London singer studied Jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, and has developed a sound that is unique to him. The bassy, earthy tones of his voice make him stand out from the crowd when it comes to soul/pop/whatever-genre-he-fits in the UK. If you like Sampha and Frank Ocean, we're pretty sure you'll like Kwabs. His music is atmospheric, and we can't wait to see it performed on stage!