Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival is back and bigger than ever. Curated by Tyler, The Creator, the two-day festival will take over Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium on Nov. 10 and 11 for a festival quite like no other. Doubling as carnival, rides and all, Flog Gnaw also sees performances by some of the rarest and most popular acts in the world of hip-hop and R&B, as well as some cult indie darlings. After all, at what other festival are you going to have the chance to catch both Jaden Smith and Ms. Lauryn Hill performing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill?
Before we go any further, please do see Tyler, The Creator and Kids See Ghosts. We literally do not know another time you will have the chance to catch Kanye West and Kid Cudi, and the man who created what is poised to be one of the best festivals of the year. But with that being said, there is a fair share of artists you should familiarize yourself with before Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival rolls into town. The following acts are both Tyler, The Creator and Ones To Watch approved.
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Earlier this year, Philadelphia-based rapper and singer Tierra Whack redefined the indescribable hype surrounding an album drop with the release of her debut project Whack World. Comprised of 15 one-minute tracks, the unorthodox approach set the internet ablaze. To make the release of Whack World even more historic, each song was accompanied by its own diverse music video that perfectly captured the album's varying moods. The clear demonstration of Whack's wide breadth of talent signals not only a salient new voice in hip-hop and R&B but a not-to-miss Camp Flog Gnaw set.
Long Beach bedroom producer Shane Blanchard crafts dizzying dreamlike music under the moniker of Bane's World. Composing the majority of his material using only his computer and a collection of instruments in his garage, Bane's World music is that of listless summer days spent skating and hanging with friends without a care in the world. It's music that is nigh impossible to lose yourself in and translates excellently well in a festival, or carnival, setting. And if music's growing landscape shift to falling in love with talented young bedroom artists is any indication, we'll be seeing Bane's World name pop up more and more in the years to come.
New York R&B artist Raveena is bringing both a newfound voice and narrative to the world of R&B. In her debut EP, Shanti, Raveena's silky smooth vocals gently glide across hazy and colorful soundscapes. The phenomenal debut EP earned her comparisons to the likes of iconic figures such as Sade and Minnie Riperton. While her ethereal brand of R&B will likely place her alongside the R&B greats before her, it is the refreshing way in which she tells the story and celebrates women of color, marginalized couples, and femininity that will cause Raveena to go down as a uniquely profound voice in R&B.
Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers
Emerging from Sacramento by way of viral video is Hobo Johnson & The Love Markers' ineffable fusion of hip-hop, alternative rock, spoken word, and emo. Following a manic live submission of the band's song "Peach Scone" to the NPR Tiny Desk Contest series, the viral wordsmith struck a chord with audiences the world over, and, despite not winning, would still lead to a performance on NPR's Tiny Desk. The band's train of thought approach to songwriting and delivery is purely infectious and is only a part of the reason why we're so excited to catch them at Camp Flog Gnaw and during the remainder of their tour.
London's Ama Lou is a soulful R&B talent who transforms her wide wealth of artistic influence into beautiful song. Citing everything from a love for classic film to social activism as inspiration for her music, Lou's sound calls back generations while maintaining a current social lens. While she has only released a handful of music to date, including the spellbinding debut EP, 2018's DDD, Lou has already gracefully established herself as a rising star. What's more is that this Camp Flog Gnaw performance will serve as a part of the 20-year-old's first headlining tour across three continents, so this is a star in the making you don't want to miss.
Men I Trust
Men I Trust is a dream pop outfit with an insatiable groove, and quite possibly one of our favorite new discoveries of the year. Comprised of Jessy Caron, Dragos Chiriac, and Emmanuelle "Emmma" Proulx, the Montreal trio birth into existence a different sort of dream pop, one that impulses you to tap your foot and sway to the effortless melodies and rhythms. Their smooth-as-molasses, and equally delectable, music spans two full-length records, 2014's self-titled release and 2015's Headroom, as well as a series of singles that have proven to be more infectious than the last.
Australian artist Ruel is quickly on the fast track to stardom, and all before the age of 18. The 16-year-old pop and R&B artist has yet to release his debut album but has already amassed a loyal following, with millions of listeners following the rising star's every release. It's not difficult to see either, as his beautifully crafted songs pull inspiration from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean, and James Blake. With a voice, musical insight, and songwriting prowess that betrays his age, Ruel is very much the future of music.
Los Angeles-based indie rock outfit Slow Hollows was brought into existence by the magnificent mind of 20-year-old frontman Austin Feinsten, who has collaborated with the likes of Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator. Beyond this already far-too impressive résumé, and the fact that Feinsten is a part-time Yves Saint Laurent model, Slow Hollows' own music is indie near perfection. Joined by Aaron Jassenoff, Jackson Katz, and Daniel Fox, the garage pop and rock aesthetics are all present, along with an innate ability for deeply emotive songwriting that we cannot wait to experience live.