The 25th annual Lollapalooza is kicking off its four day music festival in Chicago this weekend from July 28-31. To celebrate their huge milestone, we took a look at their 2016 lineup for up-and-coming performers that we predict will break out this year. They were selected based on a combination of Pandora and Next Big Sound data–trajectory of station adds, spins and thumbs, viral activity across social platforms, and insights from our expert musicologists.
The Berlin-based producer Frans Zimmer goes by the artist name “Alle Farben,” which translates to “all colors” in German– an apt moniker for his sunny, unabashedly buoyant deep house that has been proclaimed as being perfect for both the living room and the dance floor. His latest album, the appropriately titled, Music is My Best Friend, features the folksy track “Please Tell Rosie”–a Pandora favorite. His easygoing style is poised to break out big time.
Kaity Dunstan (aka Cloves) might seem like your average 19 year old. But this Australian singer-songwriter is on the fast track to big time stardom. Her hauntingly beautiful voice and flawless songwriting is a staple on major music festival stages this summer.
Louis The Child continue the tradition of misdirection with artist names, as they are in fact a duo from Chicago, neither of whom are named Louis (the name actually refers to a young king of East Francia). Their quirky yet bass-heavy tracks have a certain guileless innocence and bravely ignoring genre boundaries like on their breakout hit, “It’s Strange,” which is surprisingly delicate and charming. Their set at Pandora’s Discovery Den at SXSW this year rocked the house, and their way around a hummable melody makes them primed for mainstream appeal.
Part of the Mad Decent stable of party rockers, producer and DJ Dylan Ragland fits in perfectly with the Diplo-led label’s wild and unpretentious eclecticism. His 2014 single “Bap U” was at the forefront of the then-burgeoning trap and twerk scene, and floor shakers like “Booty Loose” and “Wiggle Wop” nod to the high energy of New Orleans bounce. He’s one viral hit away from being the next Baauer.
Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Polly A. is one of the fastest rising stars in R&B right now. Her unique breed of what can only be described as “indie soul” will impress even the harshest critic. Do yourself a favor and check her out live- her passion and energy will blow you away.
Chicago-bred William James Stokes (aka Sir the Baptist) has a genre and sound that is all his own. His refreshing and progressive vibe is a hip hop hybrid that draws inspiration from jazz, gospel and soul can be seen all over the summer festival circuit this year, and on his forthcoming album, PK: Preacher’s Kid.
Australian duo Slumberjack (aka Morgan Then and Fletcher Ehler) burst onto the scene in 2014 with their debut EP, a propulsive mix of future bass, tense trap percussion, and lush, exotic melodies. After conquering Australian radio, they’ve set their sights on the rest of the world, and if fellow Aussies Flume and Hermitude are any indication, they have a clear path to success.
British duo Snakehips are a favorite around the Pandora offices, partially because they refuse to be pigeonholed into one style, appealing to everyone from casual pop fans to hip hop heads to electronica geeks. Their laid back 2014 single, “Days With You,” had a neo-Motown vibe, and their 2015 follow up “All My Friends,” with its singalong chorus, was a worldwide phenomenon. Their newest track, featuring former One Direction heartthrob ZAYN, shows their aim is nothing short of chart domination.
Duo Luke and Tess Pretty hail from the somewhat isolated locale of Edmonton, Canada, but their music straddles multiple white hot trends, from quirky J-pop melodies to delicate chillstep production. Their sound is unique but breezy and widely appealing, audible on their 2015 EP, Like What, and a couple sprightly new singles, “XYZ” and “All Yours.”
The NYC-based outfit is difficult to lump into a specific genre. Their unique breed of electronic alt rock set them apart from pretty much everything out in the wild right now. Known for their magnetic stage presence, VHS perfectly blends powerful emotional lyrics with just the right amount of poppy synth and guitar leads to keep the good vibes going.