A NYC-born singer/songwriter/actor/dancer with a powerfully versatile voice, MAX has been steadily making a name for himself online, having already accrued over 1.2 million followers on YouTube, 200,000 followers on Twitter and 940,00 likes on Facebook. His pop-soul singles like “Gibberish” have earned him accolades from MTV, who called him one of their Artists to Watch, Elvis Duran, who named MAX his Artist of the Month, and KISS-FM, who named him an Artist of the Week. He’s performed on NBC’s TODAY Show and starred as Van Dyke Parks in the Beach Boys biopic, Love & Mercy. His current single, “Lights Down Low,” off his album Hell’s Kitchen Angel is approaching 100 million streams across all platforms.
With an unbridled passion and soulful rawness, Michael Blume has gained a reputation for captivating his listeners. His 2016 debut EP, When I Get It Right, teems with thoughtful, socially conscious lyrics that are both personal and universal. Perfectly showcasing his unique mix of R&B, neo-soul, hip-hop, jazz, and electronica, Blume has sold out multiple shows, including New York City’s Bowery Ballroom, with his inspiring, confessional performances. With a musical background rooted in a cappella, Blume produces complex vocal arrangements that highlight his musicianship and range. Whether backed by an acoustic quintet or his signature 11-piece band, his live performances stand out from the rest.
After years working as a sound engineer and tour manager for other artists, GIBBZ (a.k.a. Mike Gibney) decided to make a break and start working on his own music in 2014. Specializing in a spritely brand of upbeat electronic pop, GIBBZ has already released multiple EPs and a full length album, Above Water. Earlier this year, in the wake of touring with other artists, GIBBZ embarked on his first headlining tour.
Born in Albania and raised in NYC, Stanaj is a singer/songwriter who cut his teeth playing Albanian music before succumbing to his love for American pop; think Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Maxwell and Whitney Houston. Relocating to California in 2014, Stanaj’s soulful voice and savvy social media campaign swiftly attracted attention. Since then, he’s signed with Lava Records and recorded with Adele-producer Fraser T. Smith, dropping the five-song From a Distance EP earlier this year.
While their name conjures the wide, picturesque vistas of the Grand Canyon, Glen Rock, NJ's A R I Z O N A chose the Copper State’s name as a deliberate abstraction to focus listeners’ attention on their music. Their sound is a driving, colorful mix of alternative pop and electronic dance music that has truly resonated. Their singles like “I Was Wrong,” “Oceans Away” and “Cross My Mind” average over 9 million unique listeners per month as the 142nd most-streamed artist in the world. Their debut LP, Gallery, further established the band as one great things are expected from.
Australian indie-pop band Atlas Genius first made their mark in 2011, when their barnstorming single “Trojans” made them an international sensation, leading to a record deal with Warner Brothers that paved the way for their debut album When It Was Now, and even further acclaim. Following a two-year tour and some much-needed time off, the band reconvened in Los Angeles to record their sophomore album, 2015’s Inanimate Objects, a more introspective effort that finds this ambitious band stretching and exploring its strengths.
Jesse Malin first made his mark at the age of 12, fronting New York City’s incendiary hardcore punk trio, Heart Attack, and becoming one of the first bands from that scene to tour nationally. Expanding his palette beyond hardcore, Malin then formed D Generation, drawing the lyricism, melody and passion of artists like Bruce Springsteen and the Replacements, but driven by the power and intensity of The Clash, T.Rex and The Ramones. When D Gen splintered in the late `90s, Malin launched a more restrained solo career as a singer/songwriter, crafting more introspective material reminiscent of Springsteen’s Nebraska era. Even since, Malin has been exploring both sides of his muse, releasing several acclaimed solo albums as well as reforming D Generation. His latest effort, an EP called Meet Me at the End of the World, drops this summer.
With a sound that drifts between liltingly ethereal and lurching aggression, Brooklyn indie rock trio Slothrust stalks a compelling musical middle-ground like few others. Having collectively studied blues and jazz, the band’s versatility lends their songs a compelling distorted quality, anchored by guitarist/vocalist Leah Wellbaum’s evocative, confessional lyrics. Their latest album, Everyone Else, finds the band making full use of those disparate qualities to form a coherent, haunting whole.
Raised in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Caitlyn Smith grew up singing in the church and at county fairs. She wrote her first songs at the age of eight, and convinced her parents she was meant to be an artist, eventually landing in Nashville. She’s composed songs for Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Meghan Trainor, and she recently released her album Starfire. Her soulful vocals and honest lyrics create a unique space that can amplify with a full band or be stripped down into intimate experiences. Smith, who has opened for Eric Church, Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley, understands not only how important the craft itself is, but also how music transforms in a live setting.
A self-taught guitarist, Cobi started making music at an early age, informed by the blues and his godfather’s extensive record collection. He relocated from his native Minnesota to Boston, MA to play in an alternative rock band called Gentlemen Hall. Despite initial acclaim and a major label deal, Cobi decide to leave the band in 2014 and move to Los Angeles to follow his own restless muse. Following a stint as guest vocalist on a high-profile tour with EDM act Above and Beyond, Cobi released his 2016 single, “Don’t You Cry for Me,” which quickly earned him a deal with Lyor Cohen’s 300 Entertainment. Since then, the single reached #1 on Spotify’s Most Viral Chart (World) and has surpassed 23 million streams to date, while Cobi continues to tour and work on his debut LP.
Catching the attention of both SiriusXM’s Alt Nation and RCA Records with their provocative breakout single, “Middle Fingers,” Austin, TX duo Missio have perfected an anthemic blend of electronic pop rife with attitude and undeniably catchy hooks. Fueled by assertive tracks like “I Don’t Even Care About You,” “I Do What I Want” and “Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea,” Missio’s debut long-player, Loner, is poised to become a defiant summer favorite.
Frenship is the L.A.-based duo of James Sunderland and Brett Hite, who first came together via a mutual love of the stirring pop of the 80’s. The duo’s sound is crisp and anthemic, lushly produced and brimming with soaring choruses over driving, electronic beats. Frenship signed to Columbia Records and released their debut EP, Truce, last September, featuring tracks like the platinum-selling single “Capsize and the cinematic “1000 Nights.”
Allan Rayman is an enigmatic singer/songwriter from Wyoming who shrouds his raw, raspy R&B in a richly cultivated, deliberately mysterious persona. He largely avoids doing interviews and shuns all forms of fame, preferring to let his music do the talking. His lyrics are steeped in ruminations on love and death, and his live performances come without any between-song banter or anecdotal extrapolation. Despite his reluctance to abide by convention, Rayman’s two albums, Hotel Allan and Roadhouse 01, have cemented him as an artist to pay close attention to.
Philly-born, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brayton Bowman may still only be in his early 20’s, but his pliable voice exudes the flavor of classic soulful jazz. But Bowman’s no throwback. His style of contemporary pop merges elements of R&B, futuristic funk and hip-hop. Bowman dropped two EPs in 2015 and followed up with an appearance on “Shy” by the Magician in 2016, which hit 13.5 million total streams on Spotify and Soundcloud. His latest, 22 Minutes Later, shows a brand new side to the rising singer/songwriter and is already blowing up.
Ron Gallo specializes in outspoken, high-octane rock. After years fronting the Philadelphia roots rock band, Toy Soldiers, Gallo’s muse steered him a louder direction, prompting the singer/songwriter to decamp to Nashville and form the Ron Gallo III, a fiery power-trio that realizes Gallo’s flair for punk and garage rock. His live shows are already renowned for being incendiary, and his new album Heavy Meta is suitably uncompromising. Gallo has shared the stage with Wanda Jackson, Dr. Dog, Deer Tick, Dr. John, The Walkmen, J. Roddy Walston, among others. He has been featured among USA Today’s “Bands to Watch,” Paste Magazine’s “Philly Bands You Should Listen to NOW” and has garnered appearances on PBS SUN Studio Special, Daytrotter, Audiotree, and many more.
Formed from the ashes of hardcore outfits Bleach Blonde and Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Denver, CO-trio 888 is a band with message. Retaining the raw vocal intensity and earnest lyrics of their emo roots, 888 jettisons guitars in favor of sparkling, infectious electronics to augment their hopeful songs of personal perseverance. Now signed to Island Records, 888’s latest single, “Older Now,” is a shimmering slice of synth-pop that furthers 888’s mission of positivity.
Tennessee four-piece Colony House is a rising band with a resonant sound reminiscent of iconic names like U2 and New Order, and a universal message fueled by faith, family and a vision for the future. Their acclaimed debut album, When I Was Younger, spawned the single, “Silhouettes,” which was the #1 played song on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation for four months straight. They’ve performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers, The TODAY Show and Conan. Their sophomore album, Only the Lonely, was released in January of 2017, and is furthering their already sizable and fiercely loyal fan base and earning raves from Billboard, Noisey, Paste, Entertainment Weekly and more.
Their name more an allusion to their classic influences than their personal geographic roots, The London Souls are a New York City band who harvest the essence of hallowed rock masters like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and distill it through an explosive contemporary filter. The end results have earned them a reputation for being their hometown’s best-kept secret in terms of a live rock ’n’ roll experience.
Former Navy brat-turned globe-trotting rapper MadeinTYO (Malcolm Jamal Davis) is bringing the cultural diversity of his world travels as a teenager to hip-hop. Already feted by industry tastemakers like Complex, The FADER, Noisey and XXL for singles like “Skateboard P” (featuring Big Sean) and the platinum-certified “Uber Everywhere,” MadeinTYO is on the fast track to becoming a major player.
Manitoba-born singer/songwriter/producer Goody Grace taught himself to play guitar at an early age and was producing his own music by his tween years. Now deftly meshing his penchant for soulfully confessional acoustic songs with eloquent, melodic rapping, Goody Grace is poised to take his career to the next level. His most recent single, “2 Shots,” featuring Gnash earned almost 300K plays on Soundcloud during its first week.
Hailing from South Central, Duckwrth is a rapper and visual artist who revels in contradictions. True to both his eye-catching art and overall aesthetic, Duckwrth’s music is a potent combination of playful and socially conscious. His debut LP, I’m Uugly, is a colorful, funky blend of sounds and styles that elude easy classification, but as far-out and psychedelic as his rhymes and imagery may get, Duckwrth remains grounded and refreshingly unbothered about not adhering to any genre stereotype.
The son of songwriter Casey Beathard, who has penned hits for Eric Church and Kenny Chesney, Tucker Beathard was weaned on a steady diet of vintage country music and classic rock. Drawn to the rich melodies and soul-baring storytelling of country music, but with a restless rock ‘n’ roll heart, Beathard is a self-taught musician who yearns to express himself through his songs. Signed to Big Machine, Beathard is already establishing himself with singles like “Momma and Jesus” and the driving break-up anthem, “Rock On.”
Versatile multi-hyphenate Spencer Ludwig brings a lot to the table. As a trumpeter, singer, producer and dancer with pronounced style and a penchant for jazzy, soulful pop, Ludwig imbued Capital Cities’ multiplatinum-selling debut album, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, with his signature horn-playing (most notably on the hook for their double-platinum selling single, “Safe and Sound”). As a solo artist, Ludwig practices a swaggering soul sound and isn’t afraid to showcase his blazing musicianship, evident in his infectious singles, “Diggy,” “Right Into U” and “Good Time People.”
Channeling his inherent shyness and vulnerability into his band’s sparkling blend of synth-driven alt.pop, Flor (Portuguese for flower) vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Zach Grace crafts spritely, nuanced pop songs about love and longing that uplift and illuminate their listeners. The band’s debut LP, Come Out, You’re Hiding, overflows with lushly produced, breezy melodies and heartfelt odes that crackle with spirit and emotional release.
Boogie started rapping as a high-schooler in Long Beach, CA, informed by his time in church, his love of R&B and the struggle to get off the streets and make something of his music. As a grounded and driven single father, Boogie avoids hip hop cliché and wants his music to act as an outlet from a different mindset apart from what he sees as the bitterness of his generation. In the wake of two celebrated mixtapes, Thirst 48 and Thirst 48 Part II, Boogie’s songs and laid-back delivery have been compared to Chance the Rapper’s, and he’s proud to be representing West Coast hip-hop in 2017.
Despite a high-profile ad placement and a GRAMMY nomination, NYC-based duo Sofi Tukker (Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern) came together practically by accident. A restless citizen of the world with musical aspirations she initially wouldn’t acknowledge, Hawley-Weld encountered the formerly hopeful professional basketball player Halpern at an art show at Brown University, after an illness had sidelined his athletic aspirations. While bedridden for months, Halpern had taught himself music production, which blossomed into a full-time field of study for him. After only a couple of months’ collaboration, the pair wrote the song “Drinkee” (featuring Hawley-Weld cooing lyrics in Portuguese) which became a wildly successful viral track, reaching the top of Spotify and iTunes charts around the world, earning a GRAMMY nomination for Best Dance Recording and scoring a high-exposure commercial for Apple Watch. Already renowned around the globe, Sofi Tukker’s story is still just beginning.
BMI joins forces with Lollapalooza for the 12th consecutive year to present the best and brightest new talent on the BMI stage. True to our track record, 2017’s class promises to be a formidable array of must-hear artists. From the already-globally-renowned dance-music phenom Sofi Tukker and the enigmatic R&B sounds of Allan Rayman, to the psychedelic hip-hop of Duckwrth, the expansive pop anthems of ARIZONA and all points in between, the BMI stage at Lollapalooza 2017 will be the place to catch tomorrow’s chart-toppers as they begin their ascent.
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