A great thing about Sónar Festival is the chance to see some of the absolute biggest names within more leftfield music, whilst at the same time discovering a bunch of brand new artists. A testament to the strong curatorial skills that have brought this year's 26th festival edition to be. Sonar festival, among the unmissable headliners, also put a lot of up and coming acts on the map. In that vein, we wanted to shine a light on 10 acts that you maybe didn't know about yet that we highly recommend you check out. 

 

Aleesha

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2019 is set to be the breakout year for this young urban artist with the style, attitude and songs to make it happen. Produced by $kyhook and Innercut, “Peligrosa” might be her biggest banger to date, but it’s by no means her only potential hit. “This Ain’t no Love Song”, for example, shows off her R&B chops, while “Come and See This” could easily co-exist on a playlist alongside PartyNextDoor and Tinashe. Early plaudits as “the spanish Rhianna” don’t seem to faze her, or really do justice to an artist who is developing at such a breakneck pace.

 

Alvva

10 Sónar Festival Gems you should get to know Here are 10 tips of lesser known acts for this year's festival | Image 1

DJ Alvva, whose sets focus on the elastic rhythms of experimental grime, digital dancehall, neo-kuduro, and liquid rave, and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. In a short time, this DJ who splits her time between San Sebastian and Barcelona has shared the booth with spinners of the caliber of Honey Dijon, Octo Octa, Kutmah and Sam Binga. 

 

 

Brat Star 

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Named after a Bratz doll, this young DJ steps out of her packaging to present one of the freshest voices in Berlin’s underground scene. Originally from Canada, now based in the German capital, her mixtapes and dj sets show a commitment to the transcendent power of music above considerations of genre or style. From dancehall to techno, hardcore to trap and with influences stretching from the ’80s through to the latest producers, nothing is out of bounds.

 

CA7RIEL

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Lush beats and a sing-song flow are the stock in trade of this young multi-instrumentalist from Buenos Aires. Ca7riel is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting new voices in Latin American hip hop thanks to his soulful r&b inflected hip hop, that has won him praise from peers including Nathy Peluso, with whom he recently completed a South American tour.

 

Deva

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Hailing from Cantabria in northern Spain, the singer Deva Joseph will make her Sónar debut. Tracing her background to the UK and Antigua this relative newcomer to the scene made waves little over a year ago with a cover version of Travis Scott's Goosebumps on youtube. Since then, tracks like 'Bounce', 'Checks' and 'Nothing Forever' have situated her midway between trap, soul and dancehall, characterized by an immediacy of flow and creation. Her work ethic and quick turnaround have marked her out as a talent to watch, and one whose sights are firmly set on world domination.

 

ha$lopablito

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As Latin Trap continues its assault on the global charts, ha$lopablito represents the ultra-local flipside. Hailing from Bogotá, Colombia, his music stands out for its lyrical focus on real issues affecting the country, from government corruption to the glamorization of the drug trade to the spread of fake news on social media. Not what you’d expect perhaps, but arguably, exactly what the genre needs. 

 

DJ Seinfeld

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Gaining traction as a standout figure of the so-called “lo-fi house” scene, Dj Seinfeld is the alias of Armand Jakobsson, a Swedish DJ and producer now based in Barcelona. While the lo-fi house tag helped his tracks get attention, stripped of any scene they stand up by themselves as timeless house tracks in the Chicago tradition but with an unquantifiable extra freshness about them. It’s exactly this quality that has allowed the producer to thrive in a crowded field, with the infectious synth lines and perfect melodies of tracks such as “Time Spent away from U”, impossible to forget once heard.

 

$kyhook

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In 2019 Spanish trap continues to mutate away from its trap roots, encompassing elements of deconstructed club music, neon synth stabs and polyrhythms and no producer has been as intrinsic to the exciting evolution of the underground beat scene as $kyhook. Whilst best known for his collaborations with Pedro La Droga, “Skydrvg 1.0” (2014) y “Skydrvg 2.0” (2017), the producer has also teamed up with MC’s such as Rels B, Sticky M.A., Dano and Erik Urano - with each collaboration being more unique than the last. The culmination of this experimentation came in 2018 with his full length Until You Get Here, a textured, atmospheric, synth-driven opus which once again points towards the future of urban music, and cements his position in the vanguard of European beat makers. 

 

 

Titi Calor

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Initially conceived as a creative outlet from Anna Baqués’ work as a promoter and booker, in a short time Titi Calor has morphed into one of the most in-demand DJs in the party scene. A regular at Barcelona’s Trill Club as well as the influential Club Marabú and Garage442, a set from Titi typically contains anything from gabber, reggaeton, and baile funk through to listed pop, Kizomba, dembow and grime. Really, anything that sounds fresh and can make the dancefloor move. Following slots at the aforementioned club and at Eufonic festival, now is the time for her to make her debut at Sónar, playing an opening slot at SonarVillage.

 

Yakamoto Kotzuga
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The Italian Giacomo Mazzucato, who goes by the pseudonym Yakamoto Kotzuga, says he mostly plays guitar and bass. Yet his intricate, skittering beats suggest a kinship with many electronic styles, from downtempo to hip-hop to IDM. But that’s not all this musically omnivorous Italian artist does. On his 2015 debut album, Usually Nowhere, squeaky synths provided a backdrop for jazzy compositions in the mould of Flying Lotus, interwoven with whispering samples. His latest album Slowly Fading, released in March 2018, employs ricocheting percussion and reverb-heavy synth lines, on tracks that range in mood from contemplative to melancholic and ominous. Mazzucato sounds like a different artist from song to song, ensuring that listening to his work is never dull.

 

Get all the details and ticketing info for this years Sónar festival here