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Wireless Festival2015 5

Wireless Festival 2016: Five To See

29 June 2016, 13:00 | Written by The Line of Best Fit

With three days to play with in Finsbury Park, you might have a bit of trouble narrowing down the spoilt-for-choice lineup on offer at this year's Wireless Festival. So never fear, we've sifted through the dozens of acts to help narrow down some of our faves to bring you to audio bliss throughout the July three-dayer.

The 1975

What more can you say? This Manchester four-piece has taken the term 'breakthrough act' and smashed it through the ceiling with unprecedented critical and commercial success. Kicking off their 2016 with the release of their second LP, Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, in February, they'll finish off the year headlining the 20000 capacity O2 Arena in December. We found the record "...an impressive step forward from their synth-soaked self-titled debut, experimenting both with instrumentation and subject matter in new and exciting ways." Frontman Matty Healy helpfully summed it up “The polarising, stylistic element of it and the fact it doesn't stick to one genre... that's 'the thing', isn't it? That's what the record stands for; that's what the record is.” Record aside, their live performances are technically adept, yet full of energy and engagement, topped off with neon-drenched visuals, so go feast your eyes and ears on their set on Friday.

BBK

The all-conquering North London grime collective Boy Better Know rightfully take up headline duties on the final day of Wireless and we can't think of a better act to wrap up the weekend. We named Skepta's "Shutdown" as our track of 2015, calling it "machine-tooled grime perfection, made all the more potent by appearing in the right place at the right time. From the intro it shouts its ambition – which other UK artist (or global artist for that matter) could shamelessly kick off with a Drake sample, and appear to be doing Drake a favour?". Their shows, whether it be in remote Reykjavik in Iceland, or a club night in London, have audiences in the palm of their hand and we can't imagine a better place to be than in front of Skepta, JME, Wiley et al. on Sunday evening.

Kehlani

Oakland-native Kehlani mixes up R&B, hip-hop, soul, pop with sincere, witty and biting lyrics to incredible effect, mostly notably on her 2015 mixtape You Should Be Here, which itself was more-than-justifiably nominated for the 2016 Grammys for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Having sold out two London shows back in December (which we were lucky enough to attend), wherever she's playing in Finsbury Park is going to be heaving. Make sure you get there early, as you'll be kicking yourself if you miss this chance to see a rising star before she heads to even bigger things.

Ty Dolla Sign

You might have come across LA hip-hop star Ty Dolla Sign on one of his many guest appearances - with everything from Lupe Fiasco ("Next to It") to Kanye West ("Fade") and Fifth Harmony ("Work from Home"); Charli XCX herself featured on his infectiously fun 2015 single "Drop That Kitty" - from his debut album Free TC. This record was one of our highlights of 2015, filled with beautifully crafted cinematic R&B pop hits with memorable hooks and lines, ticking off both the bangers and the ballads. Ty told us he's aiming for "Quincy Jones status. You know, just being the best. Being remembered as ‘god damn when he was there, he killed it’. One of those types of dudes that had their own shit but at the same time was doing everybody else’s shit”. We can't argue with that, so make sure to enjoy some Free TC on your Sunday evening.

Dua Lipa

Fast-rising newcomer and BBC Sound of…2016 nominee Dua Lipa is definitely a pop star in the making. The much-in-demand "Hotter Than Hell" electro-pop singer has gone from strength to strength this year, with appearances at Dot to Dot and Glastonbury, and is set to follow-up her Wireless performance with a show at Secret Garden Party. We were suitably impressed when we caught her sold our Heaven show back in April and am confident you'll be singing from the same hymn sheet on the Friday.

Wireless Festival takes place at Finsbury Park in London from the 8 – 10 July, tickets are available from the festival website.

Photos by Jason Williamson and Wunmi Onibudo.

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