Wireless Festival 2018 – London’s Hottest Music Festival

 


Wireless 2018 on paper promised to be the king of the day festivals in London this year, with heavyweights from the hip hop and R&B scene converging on a weekend in the Finsbury Park sunshine. We arrived on Friday excited for what was in store, and were not disappointed. 

 


Friday:
We were welcomed by the “The Godfather of Grime” (to give his full title), who launched straight into his summer anthem Wearing My Rolex. Reports he was indeed wearing his Rolex are unconfirmed at this point, but it got the crowd hyped. After some more bangers from the grime legend, we waited the arrival of one of hip-hop’s most respected artists in Big Sean.

Taking us through his major hits, Big Sean showed why his career continues to go from strength to strength. The high point was Bounce Back, and truly went beast mode on the Wireless faithful.  

Post Malone might be the hottest property right now in the music scene, and he showed it here. Taking the crowd through the songs that put him on the map (White Iverson, Congratulations, I Fall Apart), through to a collection from his new album (Paranoid, Candy Paint, Psycho), the crowd was hyped and ready for the headline act to draw the curtain down on the first night.

Enter J Cole. Bounding about the stage with energy and passion, the North Carolina rapper who showed just why he was chosen to return to the headline slot at Wireless. His incredible lyricism was on show, and energised the crowd desperate to hear J Cole deliver his latest album.



Sunday:

67 have been making noise on the UK scene with their energetic brand of drill music popularised in Chicago. And they made some noise here in Finsbury Park. Despite some controversy around the scene here in the UK, 67 showed why there’s a place for them on the UK music scene.

Onto Giggs, the veteran of the grime scene, who took us through a plethora of bangers. From what made him famous in Talkin The Hardest and Look What The Cat Dragged In through to his latest hit, London Town. He closed with KMT, a song he is the feature on with none other than…

Drake – reports earlier in the day confirmed DJ Khaled would not be arriving for his headline set. Understandably, there was worry at what the festival organisers could do at such short notice. But they came through with the biggest hip hop star in the world. Not bad at all. He blasted through songs from his new album, including God’s Plan and Nice For What, whipping the crowd into a frenzy and bringing to a close a quite stunning weekend of music.

With a billion streams in A WEEK, there is no denying that Drake sits on top of the music scene right now.

And that was it for Wireless. Again delivering as the hottest day festival right now in London. Until next year.

FAULT Weekly Playlist: MORILLA

Australian artist MORILLA is off to ripping start in 2018 with “Love Me,” a track that blends elements of R&B, trap, and electronica. Produced by fellow Aussie cln, “Love Me” channels the intricate beat stylings of Flume with The Weeknd-esque vocals.

We asked MORILLA to put together a playlist of what he’s currently listening to, including cuts from Khalid and Bryson Tiller.

Bryson Tiller – Don’t

This song is one of the songs that re-ignited my interest in wanting to write R&B music again. Bryson himself as an artist, and history of how he got to where he is now is inspirational.

Khalid – Coaster

I first heard this song in the car when I was going through a break up and I cried… no body knows this haha. The lyrics, the melody and his voice just hit home for me.

Banks – Fuck Em Only We Know

I love this song because it oozes romance and rebellion all at the same time. It makes me feel young and in love everytime i listen to it.

Drake – Take Care (feat Rhianna)

This song and the whole Take Care album is probably my all time favourite of Drakes work. I remember thinking at the time that this choices of producers and samples were just different for hip hop and R&B at the time and it really stood out.

SZA – The Weekend

I love everything she does, but this song lyrically is controversial and sexy. I love her flow with her melodies.

Rhianna – Needed Me

Yeh she’s mainstream but I love her, and she is a badass and her attitude oozes through her vocals over this production.

Golden Vessel – Daylight

Ive been a huge fan of GV since the beginning, and he gets better and better with every release. The intricacy with his beats and his production is insane.

Aaliyah – One In A Million

To me, this song is timeless. Aaliyah’s music was ahead of its time. There are so many R&B/Hip Hop tracks that are moulded from her style.

Goldliink – Crew

The chorus right from the beginning is just so catchy and it continues to get cooler the more you listen through.

Frank Ocean – Thinking ‘Bout You

Still the best and most iconic Frank song. Love that he jumps from his low register straight to falsetto between the verses and choruses. And lyrically its so goddamn emotional!

MORILLA Socials:
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FAULT Weekly Playlist: TOTEM

It’s always great to see more diversity in the music industry and TOTEM one of the artists cropping up that’s challenging perceptions. TOTEM is an Indian-American man who weaves smart political and social commentary into slick pop production. Proving that pop music doesn’t have to be thoughtless 4-on-the-floor beats, his skill of turning astute cultural criticism into catchy earworms is bringing him surprising success.

TOTEM is currently working on his EP, which will be out this summer, but before that we asked him to put together some of his current favorite songs. Take a listen below.

Calvin Harris – Heatstroke

“I love this new new disco feel that Calvin Harris is doing. This and Slide have been on repeat. Pharrell’s pre-chorus is so unexpected but feels so good. I loved Jamie XX’s last album and this is as close as we have come in pop music.”

Kodak Black – Tunnel Vision

“The hook is an earworm and that detuned sample in the background reminds me of a song from Lauryn Hill’s “Unplugged” album. You gotta listen to this under the influence in a dark room.”

Future – Mask Off

“I read something in the New York Times magazine about this song a couple weeks ago and it made me appreciate this song a lot more. I had no idea about Future’s personal transformation. Also, the recorder sample.”

Julia Michaels – Issues

“It’s great to see songwriters win as artists, and Julia Michaels deserves to win. She and Justin Tranter have been writing exclusively hits for over a year, and this one is no different.”

Vice feat. Jon Bellion – Obsession

“Jon Bellion is one of my favorite songwriters and vocalists. This is such a feel good tune.”

mansionz – Wicked

“I hate the shtick, but this song is really good.”

Drake – Blem

“My favorite song off the new Drake playlist. I really envy his melodic simplicity.”

KAYTRANADA – Got it Good

“I was really late on KAYTRANADA, but this is the song that got me. Nice to hear Craig David’s voice too. His kind of pop R&B is what the world is missing right now.”

Frank Ocean – Chanel

“I’m always amazed how many really dynamic melodies Frank Ocean can fit into one song. This one sounds so fresh but classic.”

Zedd and Alessia Cara – Stay

“Zedd is a musical genius. The drop in this song has so many elements I love— space, harmonies, vocoders. Simplicity at it’s most impactful.”

FAULT Weekly Playlist: Midnight Pool Party

Sydney producers Midnight Pool Party make the kind of music you want to play while out on a late night drive or in the club dancing under a disco ball. The pair have released their anticipated debut EP ‘Dalliance’, which sees a playful five-track body of work brought to life through a clear musical objective. Lyrically, the EP draws from the bittersweet emotions of the ups and downs of relationships, but musically expresses an irresistible groove with soulful, feel-good rhythms. So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up post-breakup, this is what just the doctor ordered.

We asked MPP to put together some of their favorite tunes, which includes tracks from fellow Aussies Flight Facilities and Flume, as well as one of the duo’s inspirations, Snakehips.

Cosmos Midnight – History

“Getting drunk and going home with someone shouldn’t. Taking that scenario turning it into a dance song applies to so many people on the dance floor, smart and catchy AF.”

Calvin Harris/Frank Ocean/Migos – Slide

“When we read ‘CALVIN + FRANK + MIGOS’ we did know what to expect… until we pressed ‘PLAY’ and it was instant love.”

Kaytranada – Got It Good

“Kaytranada never does anything wrong and pairing up with smooth vocals from Craig David makes this song so smooth and so chill.”

Drake – Take Care

“Drake combined with Jamie xx was unexpected but so cool. It was different from what other hip hop artists were doing at the time. Drake always seems to keep things interesting.”

Banks – Warm Water (Snakehips Remix)

“We loved the original version by Banks, but Snakehips injected so much grove into their remix that we couldn’t stop listening. It’s everything we aimed for when we were making our own music.”

Flight Facilities – Clair de Lune

“FF Boys are gods to us and this song inspired us to write our track ‘collide’, intense, beautiful.”

Young Franco – Drop Your Love (Ja Funk Remix)

“Young Franco is the coolest dudes ever! The original amazing but this funky ass remix just takes it to a different level.”

Flume – Never Be Like You

“There’s a reason why this was #1 on triple j hottest 100! Flume is doing Australia proud.”

Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You

“That falsetto! Oooft! Even if you can’t sing, you can’t help but sing along anyway… and cry at the same time haha.”

Chance The Rapper – All Night

“His whole album is amazing and this song is an absolute jam. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, when this song comes on your body just moves to the beat without you knowing it… now THAT is a good song!”

Midnight Pool Party Socials:
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Alesso sits down with FAULT Magazine to discuss success, collaborations and new music!

 

EDM has risen to new levels of prominence in recent years and right at the very heart of that, stands Alesso. Despite acquiring success and fame as a musician, DJ and producer at a very young age, he bucks the trend of being persistently in the media. His achievements are undeniable yet he has remained grounded and almost enigmatic as he oscillates from a reserved disciple of music to lord of the dance (music). Since 2012 Alesso has been charting gold and platinum hits with big names and has wracked up an obscene number of downloads and plays across all mediums. If he can achieve all that he has in four years and at 25 years of age, you have to wonder what he will be able to achieve in forty.

 

You have had well in excess of half a billion plays across all platforms with hundreds of millions of views on Youtube alone. When was the first time you felt as if you’d ‘made it’?

I don’t ever feel like I’ve made it. I’ve set goals for myself since the beginning of my career. Like I hope I get to release a track, then I hope I play at least one live show a month, I hope I get to signed to a label. So each experience for me has been incredible and I don’t take anything for granted.

 

You’ve played some of the best festivals and venues in the world and this got me wondering: what would you say is the best moment of your career so far?

There isn’t just one particular moment I can pick. I’ve had a few. Headlining the Sahara Tent at Coachella not only once but twice. My own show at the globe in Stockholm and now this year headlining Summerburst festival has all been monumental moments for me.

 

If you could choose to play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I love going to Asia. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and I enjoy my time there so much.

 

You’ve collaborated with A-list music stars like Calvin Harris, Usher and David Guetta. So, in a similar vein, if you got to choose your next collaboration, with whom would it be?

Drake.

 

Knowing what you know now, is there any warnings you would have given 16-year-old you before your music career took off?

Enjoy every moment. Don’t take anything for granted. And it’s always going to be hard work.

 

Similarly, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians who want to follow in similar footsteps to you?

Just stay passionate, be confident, be brave and you will find your way.

 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?

I think I would still have a job in entertainment or music in some capacity.

 

What should we look out for from you in 2016?

New music!

 

What is your FAULT?

Making people dance!

 

Words: Robert Baggs

FAULT Future: self-proclaimed ‘Super-Pop’ stars AVAN LAVA

AVAN LAVA shot by MIke Brun

AVAN LAVA shot by Mike Brun

As a culture, we’re going through a bit of an awkward phase; from Miley Cyrus‘ tongue (and general state of being) to Lena Dunham‘s sex scenes that never go according to plan, the pop cultural jackpot in 2013 is the balance between awkward and audacious. With their campy pop sound, bizarre dance routines, and ties to Miu Miu and Dior to boot, this is something Avan Lava seem to have mastered.

Self-described as “New York City’s freshest Super-Pop act to come out since Madonna”, the energy of this collective project is impossible to deny. It centres on the figures of Le Chev (producer), Ian Pai (multi-instrumentalist), and TC Hennes (lead vocalist and frontman-extraordinaire.) Andrew Schneider, Drew Citron and Jo Lampert were later introduced into this orbit but it is really Hennes’ power-pop vocals, pulsating energy and endless grind that carry the set. When the lights come down, confetti canons and glowing mic stands announce the band in all their kitsch glory and it is not long before their distinctively New York-sound hits the crowd with heavy synths, disco beats and killer hooks. In no time they are launching into ensemble dance routines that, although strangely gauche, have enough surrealism to get the audience going and cut through any Brooklyn–hipster pretension the band could be falsely accused of.

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There is a clear 80s influence and Hennes, a peroxide-blonde with a musical theatre background, takes on a persona that fuses Madonna circa ‘Holiday’ with the glam rock that New York made famous. He struts across the stage, engaging the audience from the off and supporting himself with soaring vocals that carry the band’s anthemic tracks; ‘It’s Never Over’ is relentlessly catchy with a chorus that has the entire audience singing along word-for-word upon first listen. ‘Tear It Down’ launches in a similar vein, bordering on teen-bopper but with enough Scissor Sisters-camp to make it feel modern. ‘So F*kt Up’ blends yearning, intimate vocals over a trap-happy beat; capturing the urban shoe-gazer sound of artists like Frank Ocean and Drake. On this track, as on ‘Sisters’, Hennes voice is allowed full exposure and the vulnerability is impressive, producing a sound that feels a lot more current than the consciously “super-pop” sound of other, bigger tracks.

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The truth is that in the digital age, musicians and bands must be performers above all else and Avan Lava understand this. They combine genuine musical talent with a showmanship that is somehow both highly-stylised and endearingly chaotic. If they conquer the 80s nostalgia that sometimes gets overly referential, they really do have something. Bottom line: it’s been two days and ‘It’s Never Over’ is still stuck in my head.

LOOKING FOR MORE? READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH AVAN LAVA HERE

Words and photography by Will Ballantyne-Reid (unless otherwise stated)