Hippie Hourrah (QC, Canada)

In many ways, it’s the music you sometimes hear after banging your head. A mandala of vaporous sounds. As with the words we try to read in a dream, something escapes us: one letter less, too much, upside down, unknown, incongruous. Here, certainties are shattered into shards of doubt: guitar or zither; modern or ancient; fruit of goldsmithery or of chance?

“Hippie Hourrah” was the song that Jacques Dutronc had written to make fun of the infatuated who swarmed in his flowerbeds. Caustic bit of vertigo to send yourself at 45 rpm or on a sugar cube. Escaped from the latter’s mouth – a Havana smoker never closes it – the word took on flesh, took shape, rolling from one mire to another in the alcoholic swamp of the evenings, a little happiness hidden under light rags and a few beards. He was promised worlds and wonders. Then the walls swallowed the sun. Everything went very quickly then. They were three, four, five or more, Marinel Abas, Miles Dupire and Gabriel Lambert .There were flowers and smoke, also basses and synths. There was this singer in tree posture, once seen in Adam’s costume (from the Fall) within the Marinellis. There were those Jesuses of Bermuda, found at Anemone and Elephant Stone, and their Golgotha ​​of reverberations. And nothing on stage actually sounded like what you saw there. It was as if this word that we struggled to read in dreams had offered itself a chamber orchestra to sing its praises in a buzz of psychedelic choirs, repeating a mantra backwards. And in the celestial vault, an echo resounded: Hippie Hooray, Hippie Hooray…

Mirari More

Mirari’s musical style is rooted in Hip hop but also fuses jazz and R&B. It is formless and experimental. He enjoys building concepts and narratives when working on full-length projects but also enjoys making vibey, catchy singles too. He writes as different characters and compares songwriting to reading a book or watching a play; whether fictional or not, the most important criteria is for art to be interesting, engaging and leave you wondering what next? He has similarities to André 3000 in the boldness and rawness of his music and its depth and colour.

SHLUG

SHLUG, from Cardiff, are a three piece punk band who best describe their sound as three peas in a pod that constantly exploding.

B…. Secret Artist (Shhh)

B…. Secret Artist (Shhh). This secret artist will be announced via the festival app.

Naya Ali (QC, Canada)

Montreal-based Ethiopian rapper Naya Ali burst onto the Hip-Hop Canadian scene in 2017 and does not hide her international ambitions and is quickly noticed for her personality and unparalleled flow. Since the release of her first EP “Higher Self”, the emerging artist has drawn looks and attention from several media and some major hip-hop players, even abroad. With the release of the first part of her real debut album Godspeed: Baptism (Prelude), back in March 2020, Naya Ali is once again making a great fuss and proving that she has nothing to envy the American household names.

Aptly titled Godspeed: Elevated, this new body of work showcases her journey from her introduction in the rap game to her baptism and now her elevation. The prelude was her humble introduction to the game; however, this new chapter testifies that Naya Ali is an artist of exception, full of power, bravado, but also vulnerability. “Godspeed: Elevated” is an album with a mature tone that acknowledges the very real human emotions she experienced in the past few years, from recording her first songs in her basement to performing on the biggest stages of the province and country.

Razkid

Born and raised in Cardiff, South Wales, Razkid is a MOBO artist who specialises in Grime and Rap Music but also ventures into different genres to stay versatile and refreshing. The subject matter of his lyrics can range from brutally honest observations and self reflection to boasts of self confidence and undiluted views on whatever matter he speaks on at the time. All of his production is handled by long term collaborator Minas and they’re now 5+ years working relationship has given them the creative trust to challenge each-other and try new things while still remembering what their dimension of music authentically sounds like. Razkid entered the local Cardiff music scene by releasing the full length project ‘Broke By Monday’ which was inspired by his generation’s lifestyle of living from pay check to pay check and finding solace in recreational drug use and nightlife culture on weekends, said project was released on his own grass roots label ‘Gutterbreed’ which ended up being nominated for ‘Best Album’ at the Cardiff Music Awards putting his name next to big welsh acts outside of his genre such as Boy Azooga.

Since then Razkid has steadily released singles including the stand out ‘Life Is Strange’ which got played by DJ Target on his BBC radio 1xrta show and was previously supported by BBC’s Horizon Launchpad Fund. Razkid’s Future Plans are to continue and accelerate his momentum eventually leading up to his next full length project and spread his name over the UK representing what his city is capable of musically.

TUYS (Luxembourg)

TUYS is a four-piece band established in Luxembourg and now based in Berlin, creating driving indie rock and emotive psych pop music with chiming guitars, synths, and wide-ranging vocals in three-part harmony. The band also heavily focuses on visual art and navigates on the threshold between fiction and reality with a satirical edge.

Quite impressively, TUYS first TV appearance was at thirteen and their first Rockhal gig at fourteen. Even in the beginning, with their first EPs “People” (2012) and “Carousel” (2015), the band displayed confidence and fervour and projected a wide-eyed charm that’s very endearing. So, it came as no surprise that they soon began building their fanbase also through their engaging performances at festivals like Reeperbahn Festival, MS Dockville, The Great Escape, Sonic Visions, and Rock-A-Field.

The release of “A Curtain Call For Dreamers” series came out in 2020 as the band’s creative manifest, an audiovisual project through which TUYS explore a hooky dance-rock and a genre-bending pop aesthetic with a lush psychedelic twist, combining reality and dream, both in their sound and lyrics.

The album consists of five songs/episodes with witty songcraft and deft arrangements, all winking at futurism and surrealism, both musically and lyrically, while also wallowing in warped dreams painting odd cinematic soundscapes, starring peculiar characters.

Following “A Curtain Call For Dreamers” and their appearance in the digital version of Eurosonic 2021, TUYS have announced their cooperation with three new partners on the live side: Echelon Talent Agency (UK), Friendly Fire and Intersection (Netherlands and Belgium).

TUYS are currently working on a new album while crossing fingers to be touring again soon.

Fig.

With Spanish and Portuguese roots, Fig. is adding a new element to the fast growing South Wales hip hop scene. Originally from Caerphilly in the Welsh valleys, now based in Cardiff, Fig. blends the sounds of traditional hip hop, grime and garage with his own dark vocal tones and melancholic lyricism. Focused on rooting himself in his own experiences and local dialect, he gives a unique outlook on life experiences that hit home while also giving a fresh outlook on the ever changing world around him.

E11ICE

E11ICE is an exciting new artist emerging from the Cardiff scene.

BIG DEX

Introducing Cardiff’s grime artist, BIG DEX.

Ogun

Ogun is an exciting multi-disciplinary artists from Newport, South Wales.

Luke RV

Luke RV. Alternative hip-hop star in the making from Neath, South Wales.

Baby Queens

Baby Queens are an all female Band from Cardiff. New album out in 2022.

Blue City CDF

Blue City CDF are a tag team of MCs from Cardiff the capital city of Wales. Home to a well varied history that runs deep into the Hip Hop scene. And if you follow this history, it’s easy to see where the duo of Jay-Rede and Formal Brown acquired their love for lyricism and all things hip hop.

Coming together in 2019 to form Blue City CDF and releasing their debut EP ‘Out of the Blue’ in September 2020, the duo gained local praise in and around the Cardiff scene. Blue City CDF’s debut album ‘Into the Void’ dropped in April 2021 and the praise drifted further afield into certain parts of England, even gaining the praise of UK HipHop legend ‘Blade’ among many other influential faces within the scene.
Having been nominated for ‘Artist of the Year’ for 2021 by Larynx Entertainment, the duo are looking even bigger for 2022. Working with High Focus Records producer Pitch 92 on a 4 track EP, along with an abundance of talented artists, Blue City CDF show no signs of slowing their already rapidly moving work rate anytime soon.

With that being said, the addition of their second studio album ‘Anamnesis’ produced solely by Risk1 (fellow Bard Picasso producer) set to drop in 2022, Blue City are looking to build on the momentum gained since their debut single ‘City Blues’ dropped, with more heads turning to their direction to see what all the fuss is about!

Tallies (ON, Canada)

Possessing an extensive knowledge of early-’90s dream pop and the skill set needed to replicate the sounds they loved, the Toronto quintet Tallies balance nimble, effects-heavy guitars with extroverted vocals to craft songs on their self-titled 2019 debut album that wouldn’t sound out of place on a mix tape between Lush and the Sundays. Now signed to Bella Union (UK/EU), Tallies are excited to be coming back to FOCUS Wales and have more new music coming in 2022.

Super Duty Tough Work (MB, Canada)

Golden-era taste, current-era based. Inspired by the dirty jazz loop sound of 90s east coast hip hop, Super Duty Tough Work is the live incarnation of hip hop culture’s quintessential era. Revered for their methodically curated set, SDTW mixes laid-back with high-energy, for a satisfaction-guaranteed journey through culture, touching on everything from life as a struggling musician to police violence and racism in Canada and abroad. SDTW excels on stage and on record, bringing a fresh take on tradition in a movement where loops are and jewels are the tools of the trade. Following the release of their debut album Studies In Grey, SDTW received a WCMA nomination for Hip Hop Act of the Year and received a Polaris Prize nod making them the first Manitoba-based hip hop act to be considered.

TEKE::TEKE (Quebec, Canada)

After initially forming as a tribute band for Japanese guitar legend Takeshi Terauchi, TEKE::TEKE learned that they had to tear up their surf-tinged covers and build something new. Since then, the Montreal-based seven-piece have expanded their already wide scope into a dazzling journey through classic Japanese balladry and Brazillian psychedelia alike. Fusing everything from traditional Japanese instrumentation to punk guitar, TEKE::TEKE have created their own musical universe–one that’s continuously expanding.

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