If you haven’t made plans for Labor Day weekend yet, maybe you should just stay in Philly for the fifth annual Budweiser Made in America Festival. Launched in 2012 by hip-hop mogul Jay Z, the two-day event brings some of the biggest acts in music to our fair city — with this year’s headliners being Coldplay and Rihanna. For many, however, the most exciting part about music festivals is discovering rising talent before they make it big. Here are five artists to watch at this year’s Budweiser Made in America Festival.
Hometown: New York
Sounds like: Kesha meets Meghan Trainor
Listen: “I Got It” featuring Fetty Wap
Sophie Beem may be only 17-years-old but she sure doesn’t sound like it with her powerhouse vocals and confident attitude. It’s no surprise that the young singer is mentored by Beyonce, who personally signed Beem to her Parkwood Entertainment management company. If you’re a fan of R&B-infused pop with a lot of sass, you’ll dig Sophie Beem. Check out her singles “Skyline” and “I Got It” featuring hip-hop sensation Fetty Wap.
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Lil Uzi Vert
Sounds like: ASAP Rocky meets Marilyn Manson
Listen: “Money Longer”
Lil Uzi Vert is a hip-hop artist hailing from Philadelphia who mixes melodic rock influences and lightning fast delivery to create a sound all his own. In an interview with Complex, he cites Marilyn Manson as a big influence as well as fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa, who he said was his “favorite hip-hop artist.” The songs on his “Luv is Rage” mixtape has had over 70 million streams on Soundcloud and in June he was included as an artist to watch in XXL Freshman Class.
Sounds like: James Blake meets Coldplay
Kevin Garrett is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh who now calls Brooklyn home. His smooth vocals and blend of organic sounds with electronic elements draw many comparisons to English musician, James Blake. Lovers of emotional, raw music should catch his BMIA performance this year. He's also made headlines recently co-writing “Pray You Catch Me” with Beyonce for her "Lemonade" album.
Hometown: Berlin/Los Angeles
Sounds like: Sia meets Andra Day
Bursting onto the music scene all the way from Berlin, Bibi Bourelly has a raspy realness to her voice that is infectious. She sings it like it is and knows how to write a hook, having written songs like “B**** Better Have My Money” and “Higher” by Rihanna. For only being 22-years-old, Bourelly is mature beyond her years, but given that she moved to L.A. on her own as a 10th grader, it’s no surprise her music has guts, too.