Alexander 23’s talent and angelic voice have earned him just under 300,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. His lovelorn single, “Dirty AF1s,” has generated over 850,000 views on YouTube, and his newest single “When I Die” focuses on raw thoughts, albeit in a sunny, playful way. Alexander 23 considers himself to have a daily game plan of being everyone’s friend, even if he may be emotionally unavailable. Fun fact? He has never broken a pinky promise and calls his grandparents often.
Ama Lou is a singer/songwriter from North London known for her unique and soulful sound. After releasing her first single, TBC, to streaming services in 2016, she began playing shows and releasing new music like 2017’s “Said It Already” and “Lost My Home.” Her debut EP, DDD, dropped last year and was supported by the successful Before It Was Knew mini world tour. One of Lou’s songs, “Bless Me – (Demo)” earned a spot on the Mike WiLL Made-It curated Creed II soundtrack, and she has an impressive 312,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
At the start of his career, folk-pop singer Harry Hudson was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but that didn’t stop his aspiring dream of creating a signature pop-Americana sound, flecked with elements of folk and rock. In the spring, the West Coast-based Hudson released his first album titled, Yesterday’s Tomorrow Night, featuring the singles, “Yellow Lights” and “Cry for Love.” Early this year, 25-year-old Hudson teamed up with producer Mike Dean to create a one-off single, “Just Slide,” featuring rapper Jaden Smith.
Growing up in an ethnically diverse family, Canadian singer/songwriter Isaiah Steinberg was never quite sure where he belonged. As a child, he would use his father’s old computer to create loops and beats. In the wake of his mother’s passing, he started singing as an emotional outlet, finding solace in making music. This brought him to Toronto, where Steinberg rechristened himself BAD CHILD, a musical persona designed to provide redemption and catharsis for both himself and his listeners. Ever since, singles like “Breathing Fire,” “Payback” and “Bad Child” have been doing just that.
Putting a bold, contemporary spin on emo, GothBoiClique pushes the envelope by fusing elements of indie and alternative rock with a hip-hop style. The band came together through a tangle of Tumblr blogs, BandCamp beat tapes and SoundCloud messaging to realize they all shared a common aesthetic. Framing themes of emotional turmoil with infectious beats and pop-punk samples, GothBoiClique’s music has resonated with a growing army of fans recruited by their 2016 mixtape Yeah It’s True. Bigger things are expected before the close of 2019, as GothBoiClique embrace live instrumentation with their producers Yawns and Fish Narc.
Fresh off a sold-out, 23-city tour with Grandson and a two-week tour with The Struts, and soon to play select dates as the opening act for the Rolling Stones, Rockville Center-native Danny Rocco, otherwise known as Des Rocs, is definitively on the rise. In his short but promising career as a performing singer/songwriter, Des Rocs has gained 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, courtesy of his incendiary single “Let Me Live/Let Me Die,” which has accumulated nearly 17 million streams to date. Meanwhile, his track “Used to Darkness,” meanwhile, hit #26 on Spotify's U.S. Viral Charts and is the only rock song on the list.
It’s easy to see why The New Respects quickly won the loyalty of both fans and Credential Recordings, who signed them. NPR called their music “a bright-eyed take on throwback rock ‘n’ roll, peppered with blues and soul references and calibrated for maximum pop effect.” Based in Nashville, the band is made up of twins Alexandria and Alexis Fitzgerald, brother Darius and their cousin Jasmine Mullen. They strike a delicate balance of honoring their musical legacy—Jasmine’s mom, Nicole C. Mullen, is a popular Christian singer-songwriter— while also creating a distinctive sound characterized by tight harmonies and infectious melodies. They’ve grabbed the attention of magazines like Nylon and Interview, each of whom premiered their music videos, as well as Rolling Stone, who named them one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” As Alexis told NPR recently, “Our music isn’t set up to be a specific idea of something, but freedom — freedom and fun and family. Wherever that will be welcome, that’s where we want to go.”
Since forming in Poughkeepsie in 2011, Against the Current has been making their mark on the alternative pop scene. Comprised of Chrissy Costanza, Dan Gow and Will Ferri, the band connected with the hopes of creating something special – and then they took it to the next level. Over the past few years, Against the Current has taken part in two world tours, notably their own In Our Bones tour and the Vans Warped Tour. With a familiar yet surprising sound, the band’s work offers an approach to songwriting that is both different and dynamic, focusing on creating small moments for listeners. Their 2016 album, In Our Bones, allowed Against the Current to create a strong relationship with their fanbase and also hit #2 on Billboard’s Top New Artists chart.
Despite having already established herself on YouTube, indie-pop singer/songwriter and blogger Tessa Violet wanted to challenge herself with additional creative outlets. Knowing very little about the music industry, she released her first single, “Crush,” which generated 50+ million streams independently in under 6 months. After that almost overwhelming success, Violet released her second single titled, “Bad Ideas,” at the end of 2018 with similarly explosive results. With two hits under her belt and over one million active listeners monthly, Violet sold out her first ever headline shows, becoming one of Billboard’s “10 New Festival Artists to look out for in 2019.” Violet’s most ambitious and creative track titled, “I Like (The Idea of) You,” is out now.
Still in his early 20s but with a hit album and successful headlining tour already under his belt, pop singer/songwriter, Roy Blair, isn’t on the come-up. In fact, he’s already gone to Heaven. Cat Heaven, that is. His 2017 debut album, with its hooks, pizzazz and colorful lyrics, catapulted him to stardom and allowed him to spend the better part of the last two years on the road—both on his own and as an opener for The 1975. With songs like “Thunder” (which has over 13 million Spotify streams) and “Dennis,” we can’t wait for Blair to put the B in BMI with his performance on our Lolla stage.
Inspired by her father, indie-pop artist UPSAHL began releasing music at just 14 years old. With maturity as a key ingredient to her craft, she exudes a strong, disciplined stage presence. UPSAHL’s lyrical passion for important cultural issues and relationships couples nicely with her classical training on piano and guitar. This potent combination has earned UPSAHL recognition from platforms such as Billboard, Consequence of Sound, HillyDilly, Ladygunn, Refinery29, Earmilk and more. UPSAHL’s previous festival experience includes playing at The McDowell Mountain Music Festival, where she opened for Beck and Flume.
The enigmatic guise of Vermont singer/songwriter Joe Mulherin, nothing,nowhere. plays an introspective blend of hip-hop and guitar-driven emo rock. While he continually hides his face in videos and promotional photographs, Mulherin’s lyrics pull out all stops in baring his soul. His most recent album, Ruiner, is an emotive exercise in catchy catharsis.
Renowned for their rambunctious live performances, Los Angeles-based band LIILY is taking guitar-oriented rock to the next level. LIILY’s taut brand of high-octane, high-energy rock has stormed digital platforms, racking up over one million streams on Spotify with the single “Sold,” and garnering over 700,000 views of the video “Toro.” Their frenetic live show landed them a month-long residency at The Echo in LA in January, some incendiary appearances at SXSW, a tour with The Glorious Sons and a spot at the Shaky Knees Festival just this past May. Their mission is simple: “If we knock people out,” says guitarist Sam De La Torre, “we’ve done our job.”
At 16, Coi Leray packed her bags and moved out of her Boston home to follow her dreams of writing, recording and performing her own music. Perfecting a unique sound that blended old school soul with contemporary beats into an infectious mix, Leray infused her hard-hitting rapping and singing with substantive lyrics. By the end of 2017, her singles “G.A.N” and “Pac Girl” started to establish Leray by upending female stereotypes with her fresh take on hip-hop, while her 2018 single, “Huddy” racked up 2.6 million views on YouTube. Now 21, Coi Leray is promoting her debut album, Everything CoZ, and the buzz is only growing.
“Chock-full of energy and attitude” is how the site Nakid first characterized RUSSO, the L.A.-based pop-punk combo of frontwoman Cailin Russo, guitarist Tyler McCarthy, drummer Haley Brownell and bassist Sean Ritchie. While taking cues from bands like No Doubt and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, RUSSO puts their own distinctive stamp on their music. Having formed in 2018, the band is already making waves with their infectiously volatile live show. Their first album, House With a Pool, is out now, boasting singles “Ghost” and “Lonely.”
Originally from Connecticut, Witt Lowry is a rapper whose witty rhymes contain both grit and powerful confessions. What makes Lowry unique is how he uses his platform to spread hope to fans while giving them a therapeutic outlet. Recent projects include his single “I Could Not Plan This,” released September 2017, which hit the #1 spot on iTunes Hip-Hop Chart in all major markets around the world. Ending 2018 with a headlining 34-date U.S. tour and a 13-date international tour, Lowry started 2019 with a new album titled Nevers Road, and has since been on the road to support it.
Singer/songwriter, ROLE MODEL, is demonstrating what it means to be honest with music. With songs titled “i don’t rly like u” and “not a fan,” he puts his own unique twist on modern love and life. Having toured with artists like Omar Apollo and LANY, ROLE MODEL successfully blends confessional lyrics with chill pop beats and acoustic guitar. His most recent single, “minimal,” is approaching a million Spotify streams, and with his spot on the BMI stage at Lolla, he’s going to show us why he’s one to watch.
This Nashville-based singer/songwriter is known for his delicately sculpted sound that captures chaos, heartbreak and redemption. A South Carolina native, he relocated to Music City at age 17 and landed a publishing deal with BMG Nashville in 2013. Since then, he has written for Tim McGraw and Josh Abbott Band, among others, and released two sets: his critically acclaimed debut EP, Halloween, in 2017, and a studio album, Dying Star, in 2018. Rolling Stone has noted how artists like Merle Haggard and The Misfits have influenced his sound, and with songs like “Mockingbird” and “Poison” garnering millions of Spotify streams, Kelly’s rootsy brand of self-examination and punk-rock irreverence is an exciting addition to BMI’s Lollapalooza stage.
Though he was raised in rural Virginia, enigmatic singer/songwriter, Just Loud, made his way to New York City at age 15 to make a name for himself as a musician. His music lives up to his name: an infectious mix of big-sounding funk, soul, rock, pop and introspection makes it perfect for those of us who like to dance and for those of us who like to look inward. His debut EP, Episode 1, was released last year, as was his single, “Soul Train,” which featured the iconic Debbie Harry. His most recent single, “Blue on Blue,” dropped in May, and his set on the BMI stage promises to be anything but quiet
Yeek is a Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and producer hailing from South Florida. With music that blends hip-hop, rock and pop and reflects the genre-less ears of today’s youth, he made his debut in 2017 with the 10-song LP, Sebastian. Last year’s EP, BLACKHEART, demonstrated Yeek’s commitment to growth and exploration, and his continued artistic evolution allowed him to create his most realized body of work to date: the 2019 EP, IDK WHERE. Collaborations with Dominic Fike, Umi and Jesse help to round out the set, which Yeek will masterfully bring to life on BMI’s Lollapalooza stage and on his headlining summer tour.
Rock duo, Illiterate Light, have an eclectic background that is reflected in their music. Floating between postmodern confusion and vibrant, life-affirming optimism, Illiterate Light’s Jeff Gorman and Jake Cochran allow their pasts—which includes running an organic farm, touring the mid-Atlantic by bicycle, and living in small communities while pursing alternative education—to inform their sound. Gritty guitar melodies, honest lyrics, explosive energy and a rigorous tour schedule are just a few of the many reasons why Illiterate Light has a bright future ahead of them. Their debut LP is set for release on Atlantic Records this year and is being produced by Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon, Chris Stapleton) and Adrian Olsen (Foxygen, Natalie Prass). Their most recent EP, Sweet Beast, is the first taste of what’s to come for this promising act.
Originally from Mesquite, Texas, GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter/actress Tayla Parx is putting her own stamp on how artistry, feminism and music are perceived. Having already penned a slew of pop, R&B and hip-hop hits for other artists, Parx is aiming to shift perspectives. In just one year, Parx became the first female songwriter to have three simultaneous top 10 songs—Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” and “thank u, next” and Panic! At The Disco’s double-platinum “High Hopes”— in the Billboard Hot 100 since 2014. In addition, she accompanied Ariana Grande for an impressive performance on Ellen. This year, Parx’s full length debut, We Need to Talk, brings not just music, but an impactful conversation to the table, carried by her single, “I Want You.”
With slick lyrics and gritty beats, Yung Gravy got his start in 2016 when he decided to start making music that he actually wanted to listen to. Taking inspiration from OutKast, Nate Dogg, Patrice Rushen and The Blackbyrds, Gravy began releasing a string of singles and EPS on SoundCloud that caused music fans—and labels—to take notice. With hit songs like “Mr. Clean” and “1 Thot 2 Thot Red Thot Blue Thot” earning nearly 80 million and 75 million Spotify streams, respectively, the Minnesota-born rapper is ready to make a lasting impression on the game. His goal for his music is simple: “This is all meant to make people feel good,” he says. “This is party music, and everyone’s invited.”
Bülow is a 19-year-old German-born alternative-pop singer/songwriter who is gaining critical acclaim for her dark, melancholic melodies. Combining distinctive music with her raw voice and honest lyrics, her songs convey striking emotions. As a child, Bülow grew up in five countries, including Germany, the U.K., the U.S, the Netherlands, and is currently residing in Toronto, Canada. Bülow’s first releases include two EP’s titled Damaged Vol. 1 and Damaged Vol. 2. Her most recent album is Crystalline, dropped in April.
Now in its 14th year, the BMI Stage at Lollapalooza is set to be a springboard to stardom, with 24 must-see bands lighting up the stage over 4 days. With sounds spanning from righteous riffs and incendiary rock fury, to soulful funk, angelic pop, emo-flecked hip-hop and beyond, the 2019 lineup showcases a bold new class of groundbreaking acts destined for greatness. Don’t miss tomorrow’s musical idols, rebels, icons and -- iconoclasts – on this year’s BMI Stage at Lollapalooza!
Hear it live, so you don’t have to hear about it later! Follow @BMI and #BMILolla on Twitter for updates on your favorite acts.