The summer months are now in full effect. Drinks are getting poured and vibes are locking in as we head into this year’s almighty festival season.
Over the past few years, the festival scene in the UK has been flourishing and expanding in conjunction with the newly popularised music that has come with it, with an assortment of both new and old musical talents breaking through and attaining decorated success. However, with all this being said, the UK definitely isn’t the only spot for high energy, capacity packed, line-up boasting festivals.
2018 marks yet another year for the coveted Outlook Festival, which takes place in Pula, Croatia and offers a mammoth line up featuring some of the biggest names across bass music. September will see Outlook return with its biggest five days to date. Over the years and as the festival has expanded and with this it has invited in some of British rap music’s biggest names with artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Manchester’s own Bugsy Malone. This year, they are looking to take it one step further, recruiting in some of the nations biggest musical heavyweights for one huge summer party.
With over 380 hours of music, across 10 different stages, the likes of Mist, Stefflon Don, J-Hus and AJ Tracey will all be in attendance to make this year’s Outlook Festival one to remember. Having said this, aside from the headliners, it cannot be forgotten that there lies a colossal line up of talented artists and MC’s elsewhere on the line-up. Outlook Festival has always been one that pushes a range of artists and this year is no different with a selection of the finest in underground talent.
This year, GRM has teamed up with Outlook Festival and in doing so, have compiled a shortlist of artists who we think you should be looking out for at this year’s adrenaline-fuelled festival.
Brighton based emcee Ocean Wisdom made a name for himself a few years ago for his double-time skills when it was spotted that 932 words on his single ‘Walkin’ were delivered faster than the 1560 words on Eminem’s ‘Rap God’, a track which prior held the Guinness World Record for most words in a hit song, all of which occurred without Ocean Wisdom even being aware. If you haven’t been down to a show before just know that he’s a high energy performer that hypnotises you with his words in an instant.
Since his breakthrough, Ocean has gone on to establish his name further and the Camden born artist this year collaborated with grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal on the track ‘Revvin’’, a single which has been bubbling ever since its release. Ocean himself has made it known that it’s “Gonna be a madness when (“Revvin”) goes off” at Outlook this year. Make sure you’re there for that.
Being at the forefront of everything does not determine one’s impact and legacy on an industry and this could not be truer for Kojey Radical. An influencer in the fashion realm as much as in music, the unorthodox artist has been known to present a rawer, original approach to his music, taking on a collection of styles and cadences throughout his catalogue. Being influenced by the workers at his youth centre, who allowed for him to explore his own sound, as well as his sister who exposed him to musicality and different sonics, Kojey has always been one to stand out from the crowd and he looks to exhibit that at this year’s Outlook, by inviting the ethos of open-minded listening. In response to being asked how he would pronounce his sound to others, he said:
“I wouldn’t necessarily describe my music to someone who hasn’t heard it before, I would always say just listen. Sometimes I wish, just listen, was a musical genre. When we rush to put things in a box, we implement our expectations and that’s very limiting.”
Though Manga may be a new name to some, he has been on the radar of many people for years, being present on the scene since its humble beginnings. Handpicked by the godfather of Grime, Wiley to join the pioneering Roll Deep collective in 2004, he honed in his talents on a number of underground pirate radio stations such as Rinse Freeze Em and On Top FM, platforms which are now recognised as formulating the basis of grime music. In 2013 he announced that he would be venturing into a solo career under the name Manga Saint Hilare and since has dropped a collection of tracks, accompanied by a number of visuals, pushing both his own new sound as well as facilitating some other new faces who have entered the scene.
As an artist who has been on the circuit for a lengthy duration, he has most certainly seen how shows and festivals have changed since the pirate radio days, explaining that:
“The main difference in the crowds of today is the diversity. When I first started, It was just guys from the hood, in small dark clubs. Now its thousands of people from all walk of life enjoying themselves together sharing the vibes.”
Looking to bring nostalgic grime sounds back at Outlook festival this year, Manga’s set is definitely one to look out for this year in Croatia.
In recent history, musical collectives have been on the rise in the UK, whether that be in drill, afro-swing or grime alike. Enter Levelz, the 14 strong unit from Manchester, a city, which has been on the up ever since Bugzy Malone stormed his way into the grime scene, but has been furiously represented by the Levelz crew for years.
Of late, the group won their hometown’s edition of Red Bull Culture Clash and then went on to take over Apple Music’s Beats1 for an evening, they also went on to host a five-hour special Boiler Room set, where all 14 members churned out outputs ranging from chilled lo-fi hip-hop to adrenaline-pumping drum and bass licks.
After shutting down Outlook Festival last year, Levelz are back again this year, with Mr. Fox setting himself the “challenge to out do last year’s madness”.Set to bring all round energies this year, look out for Levelz as they aim to once again make their mark on the Pula stage.