2019 saw the first year that Australia was the focus country for The Great Escape, and boy did we leave a mark!
The Aussie BBQ was packed out from minute one on Saturday, with both Dobby and Ruby Fields playing concurrently at 12 pm to big crowds. Particularly impressive considering the enormous night the conference had on Friday. People fought their hangovers to get a taste of some Australian brilliance.
Some of the most influential music executives, promoters, agents, media and A&R reps from all over the world were showcase hoping non-stop for 3 days, and the below list ranks the top 10 most hyped bands throughout The Great Escape 2019.
10. Dobby (Australia)
WHY: The Dobby story is your classic music conference showcase advertisement. Dobby’s set started on an outdoor stage 15 minutes before Ruby Field’s set (whose tent was packed). So as he started, people from around the Aussie BBQ could hear his music, but not necessarily see the stage, and you could hear people chatter “wow what is that?”
Dobby started performing to maybe 5 people, and by the end of his set, there was easily 150 watching. Dobby is not only a rapper (and a very good one live) but raps while he plays the drums, and he is a very good drummer! A lot of people simply couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
9. Rachel Chinouriri (United Kingdom)
WHY: Rachel Chinouriri was performing right after KIAN, so the room was already very full. She came on without many people knowing who she was and absolutely blew everyone away with her voice, personality and stage presence.
8. Dry Cleaning (United Kingdom)
WHY: There was some significant hype around Dry Cleaning before their set. So much so that the line up for the venue was massive, the room was very full and we only managed to get in for the last 3 songs. The room had the perfect mix, adoring fans at the front, and music professionals at the back.
7. Viagra Boys (Sweden)
WHY: Simply an awesome live show, this band will be one of Swedens proudest breaking indie bands in the coming years. People were still talking about their showcase days after their set.
6. Tropical Fuckstorm (Australia)
WHY: Tropical Fuckstorm makes the list for one simple reason. They were one of two bands Matt Wilkson (Beats 1) mentioned to me when discussing his highlights for The Great Escape 2019. And when Matt talks you listen, he is one of the key tastemakers for new artists in the U.K.
Congrats Tropical Fuckstorm!
5. Duendita (United States of America)
WHY: The second artist Matt Wilkson (Beats 1) mentioned to me as his The Great Escape 2019 highlight. Check out her song “i’ma get you” below. It’s so damn impressive!!
4. Easy Life (United Kingdom)
WHY: If you’re a great band and have a great song, a good synch can do a world of difference for your career. This is certainly the case with Easy Life after having their tune Pockets (below) added to the soundtrack of EA’s FIFA game.
In the UK the band are promoted by DHP Family, the same promotion company that tours Ed Sheeran, Catfish and the Bottleman, Massive Attack, Ruby Fields and Skegss.
3. Chai (Japan)
WHY: Let’s be real, any pop act from Japan at an event like The Great Escape is going to peak interest and curiosity. However, this group really delivered and got everyone talking.
Fun fun fun! Don’t believe me? Check the video below and you’ll see it what you missed out on.
Chai will mean big hits and big business in the coming years.
2. Ruby Fields (Australia)
WHY: To say it’s been a big week for Ruby Fields would be an understatement.
She completed two sold out shows in London before heading to The Great Escape, her EP hit #1 of the ARIA vinyl charts and she signed with a massive U.K. agency, Primary Talent who also book Catfish & The Bottlemen, Oasis, and The Cure.
Both Ruby’s showcases at The Great Escape were absolutely full, and she had labels from all over the world watching her amidst talks of what label she’ll be signing to globally. No doubt Ruby is one of the acts to watch in 2020 globally as we anticipate her debut album.
1. Kian (Australia)
WHY: KIAN is only 16. I haven’t experienced this much industry hype about a young artist out of Aus/NZ since Lorde. He was not only the “must watch act” every music professional had on their list on the lead up to The Great Escape but he was clearly the most talked about after his set.
Can I also remind everyone again, HE IS ONLY 16!
Watch out world, KIAN is about to do Australia proud.