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06th Jun 2017

11 acts you don’t want to miss at Parklife

You won't want to miss these


Last weekend saw Ariana Grande go from pop-star to icon with the One Love Manchester concert.

An incredible show of peace and solidarity as well as a clear message from Manchester that love trumps fear and hate. This weekend, Manchester’s ‘Parklife’ festival is another chance for the public to band together and point one finger at anyone who tries to terrorise civilians.

Held at Heaton Park, this festival has one of the strongest lineups it’s ever had across the multiple genres showcased.

So come with us, as we guide you through the must-see artists, as well as our own personal “underrated acts” that you may not of heard of, but trust us, you’ll want to look into.

1. Run the Jewels

The rap duo of El-P and Killer Mike may have only released three albums together, but they have both been in the rap game for over two decades.

ATL native Killer Mike made his debut on Outkast’s album ‘Stankonia’, before winning a grammy with the legendary duo, featuring on the track “The Whole World”. El-P is a prolific producer and rapper from New York, known for his super-heavy beats and feisty bars.

If you’re into rappers such as Nas, DMX and Wu Tang Clan, these two should be right up your street. Together, they’re unstoppable.

2. Anderson .Paak

You know you’re kind of a fucking big deal when Dr. Dre enlists you to feature on six out of 16 tracks on one of the most highly anticipated albums of any genre.

That’s what happened in 2015 when Anderson .Paak was thrust into the spotlight on the Dr. Dre album Compton, but since then he’s stood on his own two feet. The release of his debut album Malibu was very well received, featuring among others: The Game, SchoolBoy Q and Talib Kweli, with T.I. jumping on a remix of one of the standout tracks from the album “Come Down”.

3. Giggs

For years the London rapper (who has nothing to do with the footballer) has always deserved far more spotlight than he’s garnered, releasing certified UK Rap classics in “Talkin’ The Hardest” – Giggs better pop-up in your thoughts as an artist – and Look What The Cat Dragged In.

This changed with the rise of popularity of UK Rap and Grime, giving him an album that charted at number two Landlord with his highest charting single in “Lock Doh” hitting number 52 on the UK Charts.

This lead to the co-sign of all co-signs. Not one, but TWO appearances on a Drake album. Need we say anymore?

4. Sampha

This Londoner first appeared on this writer’s radar in 2013 when his haunting yet incredible voice appeared on the Drake song “Too Much” from his album Nothing Was The Same.

Having only released 2 EPs at that point, he then seemed to disappear, only chipping in with three features in three years, appearing alongside Kanye West, Solange and Frank Ocean on various projects.

The reason for his sudden disappearance is fully and beautifully explained on his debut album Process, particularly the single – and my pick of the album – “No One Knows Me (Like the Piano)”

5. Nadia Rose

Don’t let the fact that she’s Stormzy’s cousin make you think she rides on his coattails in any way. This rapper from Croydon has got the bars, the flow, the energy and the personality to more than stand on her own two feet.

She released her debut EP Highly Flammable in January and take it from the guy who was at her headline EP launch, you need to wake up to someone who has been slept on. Track of choice? “Skwod” – a combination of beat, rhymes and all the life.

6. Frank Ocean

Aaaah Christopher Edwin Breux, or Frank Ocean to you and me. A man whose genius demands so much attention that it’s easy to forget his debut album came out five years ago and it wasn’t until earlier this year that we got a follow-up in the shape of Blonde.

The American RnB singer has put everyone on edge by cancelling three festival appearances this year already and hasn’t performed on these shores since 2013 – he’s probably the most in-demand and sought after act on the lineup.

7. Patrick Topping

Patrick Topping is changing the scene with his fresh new style of House-Tech with the likes of ‘Forget’, ‘Sussed’ and collaborations with other DJs. Most notably mixing with Green Velvet on tracks ‘When is now’ and ‘Voicemail’ to just name a few. His remix of ‘Dem A Pree’ rounded off Topping’s 2016 as it was one of the biggest tracks of the year.

If you’re into all things tech house, then the WHP & Kaluki Stage is the place to be on Saturday.


8. Oliver Heldens

The Dutch maestro Heldens will most certainly put on a show for everyone at Hangar, an instant crowd pleaser with his wide variety of house songs. His label Heldeep allows him to work with some of the best house DJs in the world, creating tracks like “Space Sheep ft. Chocolate Puma”.

Expect some old school tunes along with the latest bangers in house music on Sunday.

9. Jamie Jones

Jamie Jones has forged a course to the forefront of techno with his label Hot Creations in recently years. By adding a melodic twist, tunes such as “Hungry for the Power” and “Come Together” will get you in the mood for a boogie as he blows the roof off the stage.

Catch him headlining the WHP & Kaluki Stage and at Afterlife in the Albert Hall on Saturday – if you’re a fan of Techno you won’t want to miss him.

10. Stormzy

When it comes to urban music in the UK, the year has belonged to Big Mike, aka Stiff Chocolate, aka The Problem, aka Stormzy.

The grime MC finally released his long-awaited and highly-anticipated debut album Gang Signs & Prayer and delivered. No….MORE than delivered.

After sold out shows across the UK he’s paying Parklife a visit before heading around the world, including appearing on the same bill as non other than Jay-Z. Need we say more?

11. Danny Brown

The Detroit-raised renegade, described as the most “unique” rapper in recent history. He’s worked with some of the biggest in the game from Ghostface to Kendrick.

Danny brings a rough vocal to an easy-listening beat. His song “Grown Up” was a huge break for him, putting his name in front of more mainstream listeners – another independent rapper showing the public you don’t have to be signed to be successful.

If you’re at Parklife and want to hear something that’s a step away from the norm, this is the man you want to see.