From homegrown rap powermoves making subtle waves to powerful political performances on the main stage at Glastonbury, this year has seen it all. Here's who's coming through in 2020...
Amidst the nightmare that has been 2019, creativity and ambition has sprung. With self-expression opportunities thriving, it feels as though we are witnessing diversity and authenticity within music more than ever before. Homegrown talent has come through this year – often challenging our notion of the conventional. We’ve heard the future, and it sounds like this.
Manchester has seen a wave of talent in 2019, such as the likes of Hak Baker on tour with UK powerhouse slowthai, appearing at our very own Manchester Academy.
Known for his emotionally-charged lyrics and graceful melodies, Hak’s music feels raw and honest. With songs like ‘Grief Eyes’ and ‘Tom’ (a deeply vulnerable and poetic melody about his friend) Hak really does feel like a breath of fresh air.
His soulful and powerful narratives felt the perfect match to slowthai’s ‘Bet Ya A £5er’ tour, which came shortly after his debut album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ which, along with slowthai himself, has become ludicrously associated with UK politics. Bleak, funny and provocative – slowthai has joined artists such as Stormzy as much-needed advocates for the working class and often overlooked youths of Britain.
Tools like spoken word and poetry came into the game with artists such as Kojey Radical stepping into the limelight with the release of his funky and soul-inflected ‘Cashmere Tears’ and announcement of his UK 2020 tour.
Manchester’s Band On The Wall saw an intimate and energetic performance from Loyle Carner, who’s highly anticipated second album ‘Not Waving But Drowning’ addressed mental health, ADHD, grief, love and everything in between.
We saw Little Simz deliver her unapologetic third studio album GREY Area and sell out her UK tour (which included a powerful performance at Manchester Academy) a move that’s been much anticipated for the London rapper, who was the first independent artist on Forbes’ ‘30 under 30’ list. Tearing down industry sexism, her fiery, transparent narratives come through her clever wordplay and at last, Simz is receiving the hype she deserves.
So, who’s lined up for Manchester’s iconic venues in 2020? Here’s a few you may not want to miss…
Gorilla, Manchester. Thursday, 30 Jan 2020
Bombay Bicycle Club
O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Monday, 3 Feb 2020
YES (The Pink Room), Manchester. Friday, 7 Feb 2020
YES (The Pink Room), Manchester. Saturday, 8 Feb 2020
The Deaf Institute, Manchester.
O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Saturday, 15 Feb 2020
Mura Masa – R.Y.C World Tour 2020
O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Saturday, 22 Feb 2020
YES (The Pink Room), Manchester. Saturday, 29 Feb 2020
Manchester Academy, Manchester. Wednesday 4 Mar 2020
O2 Ritz, Manchester. Monday, 9 Mar 2020
YES, Manchester. Monday, 9 Mar 2020
Salford Lads Club, Salford. Saturday, 14 March 2020
Manchester Academy 2, Manchester. Saturday 21 Mar 2020
The White Hotel, Salford. Saturday 21 Mar 2020
Gorilla, Manchester. Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020
Manchester Academy. Saturday, 25th Apr 2020
The Deaf Institute, Manchester.
Foals – Sounds of the City 2020
Castlefield Bowl, Manchester. Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020
The Streets – Sounds of the City 2020
Castlefield Bowl, Manchester. Friday, 10 Jul 2020