10 Artists You Can’t Afford To Miss At Leeds Festival 2021

There’s nothing worse than after a festival, you speak to others that were also there and they tell you about a set that you thought you’d give a miss, or chose to see someone else and the FOMO kicks in big time. To help you counter act we’ve picked 10 artists on the line that we feel are un-missable! I once chose to see Metronomy over Queens of the Stone Age because I wanted a good spot for Courteeners, my girlfriends will never let me live that mistake down.

STORMZY

Stormzy is one UK’s most inspiring and influential cultural figures. Known for evolving the underground musical landscape, as well as being a true spokesman of black empowerment and social activism. His latest album ‘Heavy Is The Head’ became his second consecutive No.1 album in the UK Official Charts and has since been certified Gold.

‘Vossi Bop’ broke the record for the biggest ever first week streams for a British rapper with streams accumulating to over 12.7 million. The single saw a combined sales total of 94,495 and subsequently earned Stormzy his first ever UK #1 single, holding the top position for two consecutive weeks. ‘Own It’ featuring musical heavyweights Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy ended up also topping the Official UK Charts.

Building momentum with impassioned support from his devoted fan base, Stormzy is now the proud possessor of over 30 awards including; 2 x BRIT Awards, 1 x Ivor Novello Award, 6 x MOBO Awards, 1 x Q Award, 1 x MTV EMA, 1 x BBC Music Award, 1 x Teen Choice Award, 3 x AIM Awards, 2 x BET Awards, 2 x British GQ Awards, 2 x Global Awards and many more. The Croydon-born MC has also broken records in the live sphere and last year became the first British rapper to ever headline Glastonbury Festival, one of the world’s biggest music festivals.

YUNGBLUD

Since exploding onto the scene with his 2018 debut album 21st Century Liability, YUNGBLUD has traveled the globe and brought his rebel-minded hip-hop infused rock-and-roll to an ever-growing legion of fans. In the midst of his nonstop touring, the London-based artist has built a one-of-a-kind bond with his young audience—a deeply felt solidarity that served as a major touchstone for his new EP, the underrated youth.

BEABADOOBEE

Born in the Philippines and raised in London, Bea Kristi began recording music as Beabadoobee in 2017. At just 20 years old, Beabadoobee has built her huge, dedicated Gen-Z fan base with her flawless output of confessional bedroom pop songs and DIY aesthetic. Her first track, ‘Coffee’ gathered hundreds of thousands of streams in a matter of days.

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN

UK alternative rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen are practically of no fixed abode due to the constant touring since 2014. Their highly acclaimed third album The Balance was released in the early summer of 2019 and has added a whole raft of exciting new material to their already highly charged live set. They have now amassed over 1 billion streams to date.

Catfish and the Bottlemen possess a magnetic and dynamic focal point with frontman Van McCann, consolidating their description as one of the best live bands to come from UK this century. No other UK alternative rock band to emerge this decade has achieved such international acclaim and success.

YONAKA

Sometimes you have to go through the shit to emerge victorious on the other side and fight your way through the proverbial tunnel to find the light. And this is the exact journey that Brighton’s Yonaka have spent the last year navigating, and ultimately, conquering.

Now coming out the other side armed with a new lease of life, they are ready to share a story of empowerment and perseverance that is set to rival the greats. All packaged up into some alt-rock bangers, of course.

Starting their story a few years ago when they met at Brighton university, vocalist Theresa Jarvis, bassist Alex Crosby, drummer Rob Mason and guitarist George Werbrouck-Edwards instantly jelled, quickly building their name with raucous live sets and a seamless merging of pop, rock and hip-hop inspired beats.

KSI

Olajide William ‘JJ’ Olatunji, known publicly as KSI, is one of YouTube’s biggest stars, a chart topping music artist and a professional boxer with a combined social media reach of over 40 million. KSI’s two YouTube channels have amassed over 30 million subscribers and over 6 billion views on YouTube alone. He also possesses the third most-followed music channel in the UK behind Ed Sheeran and One Direction. His album Dissimulation via BMG / RBC Records is the biggest debut studio album of 2020 so far and includes features with AJ Tracey, Tion Wayne and Offset. He has previously covered The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer Magazine and Music Week.

GERRY CINNAMON

In an age of information overload, it’s clear Gerry Cinnamon cuts through the noise.  No longer is the intermediary power with the label or the media. It is between the artist and the people. Gerry is perhaps the UK’s or the World’s best example of that.

He is more than an artist but a phenomenon, paving the way for the next generation of DIY pioneers. The awards, the sold out shows and the reaction to his critically acclaimed debut album has not only propelled him to the next level but has affirmed his place as a writer as well as a live act.

SIGRID

In a world of fake everything, Sigrid is the real deal. Scientists in an algorithmic pop lab couldn’t dream this up, though they’d probably have a go: a 22-year-old musical prodigy who sounds real, looks real and writes about the real stuff, who knows relationships are “not like in the movies; our story’s after the end” (from her certified Gold electro-pop banger Strangers). Her epic songs are both tales of the unexpected and shout-outs to human resilience, her vocal range spanning the powerhouse pipes of Adele to the falsetto thrills of SIA, for whom haunting acoustic tenderness comes as naturally as infectious vocal inflections.

SAM FENDER

Born and raised in North Shields, just outside of Newcastle, Fender came from a musical family. After gigging locally, he was discovered by Ben Howard’s manager, who helped pave the road for Fender’s debut single, “Play God.” Moody in tone and socially conscious, it was followed by two more singles, “Greasy Spoon” and “Millennial,” before the BBC named Fender along with acts like Sigrid and Lewis Capaldi for their Sound of 2018 list. Tours with Hozier and Catfish and the Bottlemen followed, as did 2018 singles like “Leave Fast” and “That Sound,” both of which later appeared on his EP Dead Boys, released by Polydor in November of that year.

BIFFY CLYRO

Biffy Clyro are a Scottish rock band from Kilmarnock, comprising Simon Neil (guitar, lead vocals), James Johnston (bass, vocals) and Ben Johnston (drums, vocals). After their first three albums, the band expanded their following significantly with the release of their fourth, Puzzle in 2007.

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