THE MOODS are a 9-piece (yeah 9!!) electro/hip-hop/reggae/EDM outfit from Manchester – resulting from a musical experiment back in the city’s Boomshack Studios in early 2014. Their lineup consists of Mark Cunningham (vocals), John Horrocks (vocals), Kolega (vocals), Explicit (vocals), Paul Holmes (keyboards), Dave O’Rourke (bass), Phil Horrocks (drums), Chris Barrett (drums) and Will Earl (trumpet). They produce highly refined material, which is often politically motivated. As they put it, their goal is to “make you dance, and then make you think.”
This is Brighton-based urban poet/rap artist MARCUS MANDIBLE. His material is socially/politically-motivated spoken word narratives that are accompanied by backing music that spans across a broad range of genres – including rock, punk, grunge, funk and hip-hop. Giving bold, energetic performances to festival crowds, he has been compared to legends of the UK punk era Joe Strummer and John Cooper Clarke. Among his notable influences are Mike Skinner/the Streets, Rage Against the Machine, Kool Keith, Saul Williams and Henry Rollins.
Originally from the tri-state area, CURT SHARP has spent the last 3 years based in Orange County, California, where he has been honing his writing and performing skills. He supported the Palmer Squares on their 2016 East Coast Tour, as well as opening for Sahtyre, Afro and El Da Sensei. His debut EP, tracks from which have been produced by Curtiss King (Ab-Soul, E-40), is due for release this spring. Personal role models for him include Big L, Will Smith, ODB, Sean Price and Sam Cooke.
Polish artist/producer DANIEL JARACZ is currently based in Nottingham, UK. His work sees him explore hip-hop, R&B, soul and funk genres. He has been making music for the last 6 years and developed his engineering expertise, while studying and working in a local studio. His main influences include Pat Metheny, Nas, Birelii Lagrene, Justin Timberlake, Pharrel, Timbaland and Beyonce.
SØF (aka Sofia Nicole) is New Jersey based songstress who creates infectious indie pop. She has already received several notable accolades – including Winner of the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards 2015 and a nomination for Top 18/Under Female Acoustic Act at Asbury Music Awards 2014. Even more impressive is the list of acts she has opened for, such as Eric Paslay, Dan Reed (the Dan Reed Network), Chris Trapper (Push Stars) and Chris Barron (the Spin Doctors), as well as appearing on numerous occasions with Glen Burtnik (Styx). In addition, she has performed many times in support of veterans of the US armed forces. Among her influences are Young the Giant, Ed Sheeran, Saint Motel and Glass Animals.
SOPHIA DADY creates elegant jazz-pop compositions. Having been unable to pursue her ambitions while raising a family, the Leicestershire-based singer/songwriter is now focussed on recording and releasing material. Her debut single came out last summer and the follow up has just gone on sale. The work she creates draws deeply on her own personal experiences – love, loss, pain, lust, etc. Among her influences are Rumer, Tori Amos, Karen Carpenter, Kate Bush, DJ Shadow, Jamiroquai and Bill Withers.
Taking inspiration from acts like Bjork, Tori Amos, Joanna Newsom and Joni Mitchell, SHELBY FIGUEROA creates heartfelt, emotionally-charged, but subtly rendered compositions. She initially took up songwriting to help overcome the grief that followed the loss of her mother, but has rapidly developed into an accomplished artist. She released her debut EP in mid 2016 (which was produced by Shane Alexander) and is currently working on another. Based in Ventura, California, she recently sang the US national anthem at the season opener for Major League Soccer team the LA Galaxy.
Born in Rome, ANDREA DI GIOVANNI is an emerging electro-pop artist. He studied singing under vocal coach Stefania Calandra (known for her work with Lionel Richie, Phil Collins and Zucchero). In 2013, he left Italy and moved to the UK to attend the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) in London. He released his debut EP in mid 2016 – gaining an MTV New Generation Artist of the Week in the process. This has been followed up by a series of singles, with more material due out during 2017. He cites MØ, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Sam Smith among his influences. He is backed by a band that is made up of Olof Axegärd (drums), Carl-Philip Olander (guitar), Alex Jones (bass/synth-bass), Andrew Burrows (pads/SPDSSX), Cristian Albani (synths), Lucrezia Perletti (backing vocals) and Nadjibá Shabieva (backing vocals). Over the course of the last year they have played together in key venues across London, including Ronnie Scott’s.
Based in Ottawa, rock artist SABRINA FALLAH has performed all over central Canada, with her songs receiving radio airplay across North America and Europe. For her early EP and single releases, she was able to benefit from the producing skills of Stuart Epps, (Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Twisted Sister) and Chris Birkett (Peter Gabriel, Sinead O’Connor, Steve Earle). In early 2016, she went to Nashville, Tennessee, where she had the opportunity to work with Grammy-nominated writer/producer Kent Wells (Dolly Parton, Curtis Braly). Among her musical heroes she cites Green Day, Bon Jovi and Billy Idol.
Teen singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist MADISON MUELLER released her debut single in late 2016 and an EP is due out shortly. In addition to completing her own studies, she teaches piano and vocals at the Spaulding School of Music, in her hometown of Barrie, Ontario. Her musical influences include John Lennon, Queen, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Alanis Morissette and Fleetwood Mac. After starting out playing gigs locally, she is now performing at larger venues further afield, such as the Mod Club in Toronto. She’s also been involved in charity benefit events to raise awareness about mental illness.
CAMELIA SPRITZ is a collaborative project that brings together the respective talents of singer/songwriter Sarah Griffin and producer Tom Manning. In a period working together of less than 5 months, the Monmouthshire-based duo have expertly constructed a distinctive indie pop/trip-hop sound. They are currently recruiting musicians for their upcoming live shows. Their influences include Stevie Wonder, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Haim, Madonna and Blondie.
BRIGHTLIGHT CITY are a 5-piece alternative rock unit made up of Jamie Giarraputo (vocals), Justin Giarraputo (guitar), Tom Stock (bass), Ben Bell and Jono Staunton (guitar). They have shared stages with Max Raptor, Fizzy Blood, Young Legionnaire and Blood Youth, as well as getting airplay on Kerrang! Radio and BBC Introducing. Currently they are touring the South East to promote their 3rd EP. The EP has given them the opportunity to work with producer/mixer Matt Hyde (Funeral for a Friend, Bullet for My Valentine, Slipknot).
Transatlantic progressive rock act IT are made up of British and Canadian components. They have been working together for over 2 decades and have just released their 5th LP (recorded at their own purpose-built studio in London – Spacehouse). The lineup features Nick Jackson (vocals/guitar), Andy Rowberry (guitar/backing vocals), James Hawkins (bass), Will Chism (drums) and Ryan McCaffrey (keyboards/saxophone). Their influences include Porcupine Tree, Nine Inch Nails, etc.
UNEVEN STRUCTURE are a progressive metal act from Metz in northern France. Their lineup comprises Igor Omodei (guitar), Jérôme Colombelli (guitar), Benoit Friedrich (bass), Matthieu Romarin (vocals), Arnaud Verrier (drums) and Steeves Hostin (guitar). They released their debut EP in 2009 and have output a steady stream of material ever since. Their long-awaited new LP is due for release next month.
Described as a crossbreed of Soundgarden and Beck, A STRANGER (otherwise known as Anders Christensen) is a self sufficient Swedish alternative rock artist. He personally takes care of all the instruments, production and vocals, only relying on the support of other musicians for live performances. Included in his broad base of musical influences are Tracy Chapman, Stone Temple Pilots, Therapy, Bad Religion, Dire Straits and Iron Maiden.
GLENN HODGE BANNED is a gifted Kent-born anti-folk artist now living in London. He plays gigs throughout the metropolis on an almost weekly basis (usually solo, but occasionally backed by a full band). With his material he looks to emulate, to some degree at least, the likes of Billy Bragg, Ryan Adams and Frank Turner – proving himself to be an adept wordsmith and a powerful performer.
Liverpool-based singer/songwriter ELAINE HARRIS creates and performs silky smooth contemporary jazz. Among the artists from which she gains inspiration are Norah Jones, Richard Hawley, Dianna Krall, Laura Marling and Beth Orton. Having already released a couple of singles, she is now finishing up work on her debut LP, which is being mixed by Dave Scott (Oasis, Tricky, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Fall). For studio sessions she is being assisted by group of Mancunian musicians – Andrzej Baranek (piano), Frank Grimes (double bass) and Hugh Lawrence (drums). Several years back she supported the now sadly departed Colin Vearncombe (Black).
Merthyr-born singer/songwriter DARREN PARRY has won prizes for his compositions on both sides of the Atlantic. Fascinated with music from his youth, he studied the songwriting of individuals like Desmond Child (Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett) and Diane Warren (Lady Gaga, Joe Cocker) as well as the producing innovations of John ‘Mutt’ Lange (Def Leppard, AC/DC) to help him craft his own material. He beat over 6000 entries to take the 2004 UK Songwriting Contest. He then gained honourable mentions in the USA Billboard Contest, the USA Song of the Year and USA Unisong competitions. In 2014, he once again entered the USA Song of the Year (judges for which included Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Don Henley, Phil Collins and Gwen Stefani) and was runner up. Over the course of the last decade he has toured extensively throughout the US, as well as performing in Hong Kong, France and the UK. He has also sung to 70,000 sports fans at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. His key influences are Al Green, Michael McDonald, Joe Cocker, Paul Rodgers (Free/Bad Company), Stevie Wonder and AC/DC.
French synthpop/electronic dance music artist MATT SPRINGFIELD first started posting demos of his music onto online platforms back in 2008. Soon after he released his first single. Having started to build a name for himself, in 2010 he was awarded Best Newcomer by radio station BigFM. With the help of crowdfunding he was able to finance his debut LP, which came out in 2012. In the recording studio he has worked with producers/musicians like Greg Haver (Mel C, the Manic Street Preachers), Ryan Smith (Beyonce, Bon Jovi, Erasure) and Nick Nasmyth (Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue). He’s deeply into bands/artists like Depeche Mode, U2, the Police, David Bowie, Oasis and New Order.
Unassuming alternative rock trio GOLDEN CURTAIN are from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – spawned out of bands Grand Prix and Garageland. They have just released their 3rd LP and are currently in the middle of tour dates to raise awareness about it. Their lineup consists of Andrew McKenzie (vocals/guitar), Andrew Gladstone (drums/vocals) and Brad Gamble (bass/vocals).
SECRET SHINE are a Bristol-based 5-piece indie outfit producing quality shoegaze/dream-pop. Their lineup features Jamie Gingell (bass), Kathryn Smith (vocals/keyboards), Dean Purnell (vocals/guitar), Scott Purnell (guitar) and Tom Adams (drums). They originally got together in late 1990 and then reformed in 2005 (3 members having been involved in the Britpop band Junkie in the meantime). To date they have released 6 LPs, 4 EPs and 7 singles. Among the major events they’ve performed at are the Culture Collide Festival Los Angeles 2013, Madrid Popfest 2015, plus Indietracks Festival 2010 and 2016. Their influences (as you might expect) include Catherine Wheel, Slowdive, Ride and My Blood Valentine, as well as the Smiths and the Cure.
DOWNFALL 2012 have shared stages with acts like Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper, the Damned Things, the Hunger, Fair to Midland and Dirty Wormz, as well as touring with Otep. The Houston-based 3-piece hard rock band features Daniel Gil (vocals/guitar), Boo Rogers (bass/vocals) and Casey Bowen (drums/vocals). Their material has punk, metal, hardcore and rap dynamics involved. Among their influences are the Mars Volta, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aesop Rock, Pantera, Incubus, Sage Francis, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Guns’n’Roses, Gnarles Barkley, Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley,
Bristol-based indie-rock duo INNSPIRE is made up of Andy Carter (mixing/arrangements/synths) and Matt Sands (vocals/guitar). Their sound has been compared to acts from the 1990s Manchester scene – like New Order. The pair have been friends for many years and took the decision about 3 years ago to start collaborating on material. Both began writing and recording on their own studios and shared files and ideas before meeting up to create completed tracks. They have just released their first EP based on these efforts. Oasis, Nirvana, the Stone Roses and the Cure are among their favourite bands.
THE JEFFERY BROTHERS BAND was formed back in 2000, by Ontario-based siblings Josh Jeffery (lead vocals/guitar) and Nick Jeffery (drums/backing vocals). Since then the guys have been playing the live music clubs and many large scale festivals across Canada, the United States and Europe – entertaining audiences with their brand of classic-contemporary rock. In addition, they’ve performed with acts like Bernard Fowler (the Rolling Stones, Herbie Hancock), Quiet Riot, Great White and Helix. Their influences cover a broad spectrum – including AC/DC, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet and Buck Cherry, among others. Their material has also been featured in several TV series in North America.
Hard rock act ELECTUS has been in existence since 2008, originally founded by Russell Peake (rhythm guitarist/vocalist) – it wasn’t a fully formed entity until Dan Smith (bass), Mick Hales (drums) and Pete Checkley (lead guitar) were adopted into the lineup however. Their debut LP soon followed (released in 2015) and this was backed up by an extensive UK tour. A 2nd LP was brought out in late 2016 and more live gigs are already underway this year. Being from the Black Country they are to some degree influenced by the legendary metal bands that came out of this area during the late 1960s and 1970s.
Making use of unconventional tunings and time signatures, ASTRAL CLOUD ASHES is an innovative Emo/alternative rock venture from the Channel Islands. At the core of this project, which was embarked upon about a year ago, is Antony Walker (guitar/vocals/writing/production). He is accompanied by Jason Neil (backing vocals), Sean Durham Waite (bass/vocals) and Matt Booth (drums). Cited as key influences are the likes of Thomas Dolby, the Cure, Now Now, Tubelord, Colour, Pavement, Red House Painters, the Pixies, XTC and the Mars Volta. The debut LP has already been released and recordings are already under way for the follow up (which is expected out later in 2017).
CARPETFACE is an inventive producer/songwriter/performer based in London. He first made an impact on the UK hip-hop scene back in 2002. In the time since he has played over 1300 shows (across Europe, Asia, North America and Africa) and released a steady stream of material. He’s supported heavyweight acts like Del La Soul, Onyx, Ugly Duckling and Anti-Pop Consortium. Having taken a sabbatical for the last couple of years, spending some time in France, he is now ready to release his next LP. For this he has collaborated with a variety of artists – including Djar One, Donald-D (Rhyme Syndicate), Young Einstein (Ugly Duckling), DJ Moneyshot (the Allergies), Yuniq and Nonstophiphop. Among his influences are Chuck D, Beastie Boys, Ragga Twins, Ice-T, Beck and Ice Cube,
Introducing AMSTRONG. This Newport based indie-punk act have a long and eventful history. Back in 1998 the NME named them in their Top Ten Unsigned Bands and were featured by champions of the indie music cause, such as John Peel and Steve Lamacq. Over the years they have witnessed a series of lineup changes with one constant throughout – namely Julian Pitt (vocals/guitar/songwriting). Pitt is evidently influenced by acts like Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout and XTC, as well as the Beach Boys, the Smiths, Scott Walker, etc.
THIS ELEGANT CHOAS are a female-fronted 4-piece melodic rock band from the Midlands. Their members are Stephanie Taylor (vocals), Paul Clifford (guitar/backing vocals), Greg Boden (bass) and Mark Beach (drums). They originally got together back in 2010, but took a break in the 2014-2015 timeframe. Now they are back gigging and recording. They’ve played Glastonbudget and are currently through to the semi-final stages of Metal to the Masses competition (vying for the opportunity to perform at Bloodstock 2017). In addition, they have supported Die So Fluid and Hands Off Gretel. Among their main musical influences are Tool, Coal Chamber, Deftones and Adam & the Ants.
Dublin’s ROLLINGEXILE are a post-punk rock band made up of Miranda Gonzaga (bass), Federico Bianco (lead guitar), Rory Smith (drums) and Charlie Hall (lead vocals/guitar). Charlie is a true industry veteran with a colourful past. He’s previously played for the School Kids and Berlin, as well as standing in for Larry Mullins Jnr on drums at several early U2 performances and supporting the Boomtown Rats. Having just released their 2nd LP, they are now in the process of touring Europe and the US. Their musical influences include Phil Lynott/Thin Lizzy, the Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, the Who and Bob Marley.