Updated: May 4
Music festivals are a thing; like a big thing. Like, the type of thing that is now a multi-billion industry and a staple for all musicians. “Music festivals, which make up a large chunk of the $20B global concert industry, are big business” according to one report by USA Law Group. Rolling Loud is one of the most popular festivals in America and has embraced Hip Hop and R&B full force and hosts an average of 200,000 attendees.
Although, we mostly find the world’s biggest artists in the world take the stages at Rolling Loud and other festivals – theMSQshop believes it's time to diversify the stages with indie talents. Here are some of our favorite acts I’ve seen tear down stages and put on amazing shows.
** the ONLY requirement I set when writing this was I HAD to see the artist perform myself.
This guy is an electric artist with superstar status. Confromthe703 embodies all skill sets that make for a great live performance. His high charisma and music that match his energy make the guy a perfect candidate for live shows. If headbanging and dread shaking was a sport, well here is the catalyst.
I’ve got to witness this guy multiple times at live shows but nothing stands out more than VibeFest in 2017 (an all-day festival in Virginia made of dozens of the hottest artists in the state). At this festival, I witnessed Con steal the show in one of the most lit performances I’ve seen to date. As he slowly rises from his hiatus, plan to see more big performances from this guy.
2. Nickelus F
Nickelus F has been serving some of the biggest stages on his own since I was watching him as a middle schooler on BET. This guy is a legend so part of me feels it’s an obvious choice to have Nick on every festival possible but after COVID shut down Something In The Water in 2020 we missed an epic moment for Virginia. The rapper/producer is a seasoned veteran and would be an excellent fit on the Rolling Loud line-up.
Nick’s music is huge and his live performance is thrilling. I can imagine him right now with 75,000 fans screaming and turning up to his raw tenacity. If Rolling Loud doesn’t book him after this, I will personally be offended.
3. Sam Reed
I first found out about Sam Reed when she co-headlined an event at the National with her previous band Photosynthesizers. That was in 2011. Her stage presence and voice were astounding and I knew she was destined for great things. Years later she is still creating music and standing out in a major way.
This is an act with a soulful voice that can touch a huge crowd at a festival. The ability to have a band behind would make it even more magical, maybe a reunion show? Either way, we need to make it happen.
4. Andrew Hypes
Yes, he is a producer. But Andrew Hypes is also a phenomenal DJ. This guy might actually be the most passionate guy I’ve seen when it comes to live music. Besides the viral moments and the crazy amount of talented artists he has worked with from Shaq to Lecrae to Jay Pharoah, this guy's live set is bananas.
His ability to mix classics with new bangers in his mashups is sure to set the crowd OFF at Rolling Loud. I’m actually getting hype thinking about it right now. And if you ever need a real taste test, you can check any show he goes back to his hometown of Waynesboro. *insert obnoxious amount of fire emojis*
Skuzii is a performer’s performer, rapper’s rapper, a musician’s musi– man you get the point. This guy is on point when it comes to live performances. He is calculated and knows how to get the crowd involved in a major way. You can see the joy it brings him when he's in front of a crowd, it’s like he is still trying to prove something to himself.
We haven’t even touched on his ability to bring the saxophone at any moment and serenade the audience with melodies comparable to Lisa Simpson (yes, Lisa had the juice). With that being said I don't think it's far-fetched to see him rocking a stadium in the near future.
Written by OG ILLA (@HLGNLIFE)
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