There are numerous events in the music industry where the solo songwriter or the indie artist is the most concerned and focused individual within the room.
However, in recent times, this is not the case. With artists such as Skepta and Young Fathers winning the Mercury Prizes, and Stormzy smashing through at the BRITs, there has been a sea-change in the treatment of urban genres, with the likes of grime, hip-hop and R&B infiltrating other platforms and events which had previously been closed to them.
Clash are fortunate enough to help carry on the inception which is why our stage at The Great Escape consists of UK artists ready to force their sound upon the fans of typical solemn guitar strumming and raspy vocals and have to embrace the articulate lyrics and deep voices of Unknown T, SL, Jaykae and more.
We're by no means alone, though, with plenty of other stages also platforming UK rappers - clearly, there’s a light to be shed on them and what they are bringing to Brighton Beach.
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When you’re 16, you’re more or less likely finishing up your GCSE’s and preparing for the summer where you’ve got no responsibilities and college (if you decide to go), seems miles away. Further away, is the world 16-year-old SL lives in where he is globally known for his catchy hooks, distinctive balaclava and jaw dropping visuals.
With his hit single 'Gentleman' grabbing 27 million views on YouTube whilst being independent, and dropping his highly anticipated debut EP ‘Everything Good Is Bad’, the prominence this young star has created for himself shows that he is destined for things bigger than sitting in a classroom all day.
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Arriving in the industry the scene with a dominating ‘Mad About Bars’ freestyle with the standout line ‘bend your back and then dig it’ this Homerton native entered the game with his energy off the charts. The viral hit ‘Homerton B’, being referred to as the perfect drill track for girls, is what made the 19-year-old shoot into the spotlight of the drill genre.
It even attracted the attention of Universal Music Group and earned him a record deal. Reeling on the high of that song, he has also released singles ‘MEAT’ and ‘Throwback’ that featured UK legends Crazy Cousinz.
With a distinctive bass voice and his own unique take on the drill genre, Unknown T definitely wants to be known and will be.
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Hailing from the Midlands and quickly becoming one of the most talked about artists last year, Birmingham’s Jaykae is to thank for gathering recognition for the city’s grime scene.
After supporting acts such as Skepta, Stormzy and even making an appearance at Drake’s recent Birmingham show, Jaykae is determined to make a name for himself and has made game changing moves with singles such as ‘Toothache’, ‘Moscow’ and ‘Heartache’.
Headlining our stage at The Great Escape, 2019 is looking to be a great year for this fellow.
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Born and raised in Manchester, Aitch is known for his playful lyrics and altering flow. Bursting into the scene with his independently released single ‘Blitzed’, he has now gathered over a million monthly listeners on Spotify.
He’s previously been a supporting act for Wiley and the late Cadet proving to his peers and fans that he is an important figure in the grime scene in the forthcoming years. With a recent standout verse on Russ’ Keisha & Becky remix, it seems like the north is taking all the glory this year.
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With collaborations from the likes of Ty Dolla Sign, Lil Durk and Roddy Ricch, Yung Fume is already a global superstar. His 2017 EP ‘Level Up’ was produced by hitmaker Zaytoven (who has produced hits for Gucci Mane, Migos and more) earning him co-signs from all over the globe, predominantly Atlanta. Known for his high-energy during performances and enticing lyrics, attendees at The Great Escape will have to brace themselves for a very vibrant and exuberant show from this artist.
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Taking the meaning of G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) to an extremist level by actually purchasing pet goats, AJ Tracey refuses to indulge is jokes or games when it comes to the criticism of his music.
He is aware of his worth and secure in the position he created for himself within the music scene. His self-titled debut album released earlier this year earned a majority of positive reviews from numerous outlets.
That, along with peaking at No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart as well as his single ‘Butterflies’ featuring Not3s going gold, clearly shows why he thinks so highly of himself - and is correct to do so.
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The Great Escape runs between May 9th - 11th.
Words: Debbie Ijaduola // @debbiesthuglife
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