20 ARTISTS YOU NEED TO SEE AT SONAR 2017
By Lorna Tiller (Contributor) & Thomas Angrand
Sonar is back for another year to bring us the best music from around the world.
With up coming artists to international headliners, Sonar presents some of the best, yet diverse,
musical talent that 2017 has to offer.
Like last year, the program involves over 150 performances from solo artists to DJ sets. There will be big
names such as Nina Kraviz, Nicolas Jaar, Sohn and Justice preforming alongside new talents such as
alternative hip hop and R&B artist Princess Nokia. After Moderat’s excellent show at Sonar 2016, they are
back again to provide more electronic beats to their array of fans alongside legends De La Soul’s eclectic
sampling and quirky hip hop lyrics — we are very excited for Sonar 2017.
However, as always, Sonar is supporting younger talents such as, Sandro Jeeawock, and
Moreover the boundaries of genres are broken down by the bass guitarist, producer and
singer which is Thundercat to preform his new album Drunk that was released early this year.
Also how can we forget to mention Jon Hopkins who will be playing one of his rare and exclusive sets on
the Friday night at SonarClub — a cant miss!
That being said, all the artists preforming at Sonar are a must-see but in order to help you decide what stage
you want to be at during Sonar, we have selected a variety of
20 Artists You Need To See At Sonar 2017.
Tarik Barri ft. Lea Fabrikant
Tarik Barri ft. Lea Fabrikant will be creating a visceral, multidisciplinary show that involves the
connection of image and sound. This 3D format show will be preformed in collaboration with Todays Art
Festival as part of the We Are Europe project that is supporting innovative cultural practises across artistic
fields. Barri is collaborating with Fabrikant, photographer and sound artist, as she develops live audio and
visual inputs throughout the performance.
Mancunian Andy Stott has a continually adapting sound, in his latest album Too Many Voices released just
last year he has experimented with mixing dub and techno into a transfixing sound. He will be playing at
SonarComplex as part of Sonar by day festival, a personal must-see. Stott has gained a stellar reputation as a
response to his recent releases, starting in 2006 with slow BPM techno his sound has developed into a
extraordinary experience above genre boundaries.
Carl Craig presents Versus Synthesiser Ensemble
An ambitious but rewarding project by Craig to adapt
his techno productions to a symphonic language. Collaborating with Fransesco Tristano in the creation of
this synthesis, they will both be joined by 4 other musicians at Sonar by night. Already expected to be an
unmissable experience, we cannot recommend Versus Synthesiser Ensemble any higher, the innovative and
open nature of Craig’s ideas incorporate everything that Sonar is about.
Denis Sulta’s influence over the production and community of house music in Glasgow has grown
considerable in the past few years. Sulta’s distinct melodic sounds are perfect for dancing and he is
increasingly well respected for his progressive state. With releases on a number of record labels including
Numbers, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, and Mister Saturday Night we predict Sulta has a large career
ahead of him and will be there dancing with him at Sonar.
Bad Gyal is representing the female figures in Sonar well, at just 19 years old she has managed to create a
unique and alternative sound to her tracks. With Jamaican, trap, and Catalan influence Bad Gyal has an alternative
sound that has taken the internet by storm.
Her version of Rihanna’s Work called Pai was a
massive hit online.
Bad Gyal promotes gender equality and empowerment, ‘bad gyal’ is a Jamaican term for a woman that looks good wearing clothes while being considered “naughty”,
desired by men, envied by woman.
Moderat is back for a second year in a row preforming at SonarClub on the Friday night. Moderat began as
a collaborative project between its members Gernot Bronsert
and Sebastian Szary (Modeselektor) and Sacha Ring (Apparat), however their success together made it apparent that this
wasn´t a side project.
Already producing songs that are considered “mini classics”, Moderat is a Bizzarre must-see.
Moreover they are set to have an extraordinary
light and stage set up from their design team, Pfadfinderei,
it is going to be an immense performance from Moderat.
It is a pleasure to be able to announce that Jon Hopkins will be play one of his rare, extraordinary sets at
Sonar 2017. He is set to preform at SonarClub on the Friday night. With an extensive discography involving
some fantastic collaborations over the years, we are very excited. Hopkins is currently working on his fifth
solo album which we are hoping might be sampled at Sonar. His melodic electronic and dance music sounds
are a must see for this year.
Christopher Michael Taylor, is renowned for his particular sound, his electronic beats alongside pop
references and lyrical vocals. Currently living in Vienna, Sohn has just released his second album Rennen, at the legendary label 4AD which has received extraordinary support from his loyal fans.
His attention to detail is evident throughout the
album as it shows of his emotive sounds.
Thundercat is nothing but extraordinary, Stephen Bruner developed his unique sound in the heart of Los
Angeles beat scene. Classically trained in Jazz, Bruner developed his own sound, mixing his bass guitar,
electronic beats, and melodic voice to create innovative and experimental music. Having collaborated with a
variety of alternative artists such as Kendrick Lamar and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, it is clear that Bruner’s
talent is huge making his a must-see this year.
Nicolas Jaar is coming to Sonar to give a live performance following the release of his album Sirens that
has gained considerable respect and has marked his progression away from his earlier releases.
His alternative music involves acoustic and synthetic sounds ranging over a number of genres such as blues,
ambient, cumbia, noise, and house.
Princess Nokia is renowned for her rap and her attitude which has been influenced by her Latino origins and
her childhood growing up in Spanish Harlem, New York. Now one of the leading female figures in rap,
Destiny Frasqueri is renowned for the originality of her music becoming well respected with in both the rap
and trap communities. Her dedication to feminism and the raw nature of her music earns her a place in our
20 must-see artists for Sonar 2017.
Spain’s very own Ches will be playing one of her wonderful sets this year at Sonar. Renowned for her ability
to effortlessly mix hiphop and electronic beats, perfect for the dance floor. With her own brand and label
company set up here in Barcelona, Allurbansounds. Already growing here in Barcelona we want the rest of
the world to get the opportunity to experience her mixing for themselves.
Soulwax was originally created back in 1995 by David Dewaele, Stephen Dewaele, and Stefaan Van Leuven.
It is comprised of a whopping seven musicians, the only original band member Stefaan Van Leuven, three
drummers (Victoria Smith, Igor Cavalera and Blake Davies), and synth and backing vocalist Laima Leyton.
Soulwax is known for their ability to blur the lines between rock and dance music, this is achieved through
their eclectic choice in beats and instruments creating an truly inspiring sound.
Nadia Rose has taken 2017 by storm, the release of her new album Highly Flammable has had fantastic
support and been heavily supported by key figures in
British music scene. Although already destined to be a
star, the lyrical genius which is Rose, deserves her reputation and place on Bizzarre’s top 20.
Her effortless lyrical flow and hip hop influences have created an unmissable performance.
Deena Abdelwahed is arguably one of the few European artist creating such futuristic and intimate sounds.
Her pre-recorded mixes have been played across a number of influential radio shows and her own world has
been released on InFine label. Abdelwahed is from Tunisia, North Africa, emphasising the impressive nature
of her work and skills. She will be playing SonarXS as part of the Sonar by Day festival.
Crystal / Sparrows
Sparrows, Ryota Miyake, is by far one of the most creative artists, beginning his musical career at the
budding age of 13 when he created a guitar out of cardboard and elastic bands and recorded a loop of the
sounds. This unique and inquisitive sound is evidenced throughout his work. Now working alongside
CRYSTAL band, their sound is now considered experimental pop, however there are clear folk and ambient
Following Evian Christ’s stella performance at Sonar 2015, we have all been long awaiting the release of
his album this year. Alongside preparing for his new album, Christ has be creating his live performance for
us at Sonar 2017. The British producer mixes a variety of different sounds and genres in order to create his
unique and frankly instantly recognisable sound; this include hip hop, grime, trance. Christ is an ultimate
must see at this years Sonar, not just because of his excellent sounds but also because of what we know is
going to be an extraordinary performance.
Kiddy Smile is inspired by the history and influences surrounding house music. With a toe in a number of
different projects ranging across the arts it is clear that Kiddy Smile is nothing but creative. Alongside house
music, he has be inspired by the discos scene in particular a scene that is directed towards gay audiences.
Kiddy Smile often discusses his own experience with his sexuality in his music reaching out to the guy
communities across the world.
Throwing another genre into the mix, We are happy to announce that Bawrut will be playing at Sonar 2017.
Now residents in Madrid, Bawrut is taking the population by storm with his hypnotic mix of acid and house,
however Bawrut cannot be limited to only two genres.
With his track Rumba already well recognised and
played around the world by the most prestigious of DJ’s I do not waver when I say that Bawrut’s set is a
Barcelona’s very own Tutu, known to her friends as Gemma Planell, will be the first performance at Sonar
and a fantastic start to a great festival. While always remaining out of the limelight, Planell has managed to
achieve an extraordinary reputation here in Barcelona’s clubs, festival, and radio sessions. Tutu’s live mix
will be a blend of deep house, trance, the most abstract of acid, alongside techno. However, Tutu is renowned
for her ability to respond to the audiences desires — so lets get down there and create the best start to Sonar
2017 that we can.
Sonar 2017 15.16.17. June Barcelona Spain