Parklife returns to Heaton Park this weekend (10th-11th June), an event that will be of extra significance in light of the Manchester attacks only a fortnight ago. Despite this, the festival rightfully goes ahead as planned, and promises to be another emotional tribute to the victims of the attack, taking inspiration from Sunday’s One Love benefit concert staged by Ariana Grande.
Manchester’s The 1975 will no doubt deliver a poignant performance in their home city, although fellow headliner Frank Ocean’s appearance is in doubt after a series of festival cancellations in recent weeks. Whilst Parklife’s line up offers household names and festival regulars such as Boy Better Know, Two Door Cinema Club, Stormzy, Jess Glynne and Fatboy Slim, I would like to point you in the direction of five ‘hidden gems’ that might not attract the biggest crowds but should definitely be considered by the Parklife faithful.
Appearing on the Sounds of the Near Future Stage on Sunday is Fakear, a.k.a Théo Le Vigoureux, a 25-year old French electronic musician who has been ‘hailed as something of a figurehead for a new, emerging electronic scene in France.’ An experimentalist who sees electronic music as much more than ‘just for nightclubs’, Le Vigoureux has amassed a noticeable global presence, with a significant following in his homeland. Remixes have followed for the likes of AlunaGeorge, ODESZA and Years & Years, as well as a popular collaboration with Rae Morris on his 2016 LP Animal.
Saturday’s Sounds of the Near Future stage line up features Rejjie Snow, an Irish hip hop artist from Dublin. Born Alexander Anyaegbunam, the 23-year old’s debut EP Rejovich rose to widespread acclaim in the summer of 2013. The following years saw regular single and video releases, but the absence of a full-length album that Snow’s fans craved. Last month finally saw the long-awaited release of LP The Moon & You, and a number of new tracks are likely to appear on Snow’s setlist.
19-year old Rachel Keen, known professionally as Raye, is a London-based singer-songwriter. Despite her tender years, Raye has achieved mainstream attention with her vocals on the Jonas Blue hit ‘By Your Side’ and the Jax Jones track ‘You Don’t Know Me’. Raye has also earned recognition from addictive releases such as ‘Distraction’ and ‘I, U, Us’ from her SECOND EP, and placed a respectable third in the BBC’s ‘Sound of…’ award in January of this year. 2017 has also brought a collaboration with Charli XCX, and Keen’s appearance alongside the same artist and Rita Ora at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last month suggests further collaborations are imminent. It would not be surprising to see some new material when Raye appears on the Parklife Stage on the Saturday.
The Japanese House
Amber Bain, under the moniker The Japanese House, is a name that might be familiar to some. Having accompanied The 1975 on two tours last year as well as having a number of tracks produced by band members Matty Healey and George Daniel, the 21-year old has seen a steady rise in popularity since her 2015 EP Pools to Bathe In. Channeling chilled synth and electronica, festival-goers should expect a very unique sound when she graces the Parklife Stage.
Hun Choi, known by his stage name Hunee, is a relatively unknown artist within the electronic music scene, having debuted on vinyl in 2009. His standout track ‘Rare Happiness’ from his 2015 release Hunch Music is synonymous with his style of groovy electronica that features disco, jazz and soul influences and takes inspiration from 1980’s Detroit and Chicago house. A DJ and producer who is ‘tireless and visibly enthusiastic at every gig’, Hunee should certainly be considered by festival-goers on the Palm Stage today.