Lolla Look Back ’19

Your official after guide to Lollapalooza 2019! Discover places to stay in Chicago, explore food trucks and take a deeper look into the artists that performed. 

Take a look back at last year’s recap! 

Some of you are probably wondering what all the hype is about for a music festival. The thing to take away from Lollapalooza-it isn’t just a music festival. Lolla bridges the gap between different music genres and allows people from all over and of all ages to celebrate the two things these thousands of people have in common, MUSIC and ART. There’s no doubt that you won’t enjoy yourself hopping from stage to stage with an incredible view of Chicago. 


So we all know the logistics of getting there, where you’re going to stay.. it can be a drag. However, I’m here to make your life easier-below I’ve compiled a few different options on where to stay inside the city.  Hotels book out far in advance. I suggest booking your hotel the same day you buy your ticket for the festival! This is also a great way to avoid paying higher prices. 

Grant Park on Apple Maps

Hotel Essex Chicago is the perfect choice if you’re looking to kick your feet up after a long day of dancing! It’s right outside of Grant Park with luxurious amenities including a sky bar, laundry services, valet parking and much more. Did I mention free robes…? There’s really no losing. 

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Chicago South Loop

Being a couple blocks away from Grant Park, Hilton Garden Inn provides an easy stay for anyone. Wake up in the morning and head downstairs for a fresh breakfast before entering the festival! 

A few blocks away from Grant Park, inside the Theatre District you will find Hampton Inn Majestic. This hotel will lock you in with it’s charming vibe and newly renovated Bank of America Theatre located inside. Steps away from the hotel, enjoy a morning in the Art Institute of Chicago to check out some impressionist paintings before heading into Lolla. 

The Silversmith Hotel is an excellent choice! This is the hotel I actually chose to stay at. It’s right in the heart of Chicago, surrounded by several options for food and night life. The interior is beautiful with a large lobby and bar that has a great happy hour. The Silversmith is a 5 minute walk to the festival which saves you money and time. 

Want to stay a little further from the action? Chicago River hotel is an amazing choice. It’s 1 mile away from the festival and a few steps from the Chicago River Walk. Wake up, explore the Tribune Tower and take a walk!

Chow Town

Lets take a look at the food that was available inside the festival this year! Chow Town offered food, drinks and sweets straight out of Chicago. To avoid long lines I recommend eating something before entering the festival followed by an early dinner. The lines can get really long so be aware of your set times and plan accordingly!

Beat Kitchen featured their famous pizzas, signature mac n cheese and different types of empanadas! Vegan and vegetarian options were available. 
Your quick stop to falafel and shawarma, their pita and rice bowls are a must have! Gluten free and vegetarian options are available. 
World famous Billy Goat Tavern is known for its “Cheezborgers” and inspired this 1978 SNL skit. It’s a one stop shop for burger lovers! Vegetarian options available.
BJ’s Market & Bakery has been open since 1997 and run by Chef John Meyer. If you’re looking for comfort food at an affordable price, BJ’s will be your smash spot. Gluten free and vegetarian options are available. 
Broken English Taco Pub caters to 3 locations in Chicago and was available this year at the festival! Vegan and Vegetarian options are available. 
In the 1980’s the  Buonavolanto family brought beef to the suburbs of Chicago. Buona can even be found at your local grocery story. Vegetarian options are available. 
Cheesies, Chicago’s very first grilled cheese restaurant! The owner, Chris Johnston was inspired from a grilled cheese craving-wrote the menu and business plan overnight then quit his job 3 weeks later. Eventually opening up his own restaurant and starting a food truck, Cheesies is guaranteed to satisfy ANY hunger.  Vegetarian options were available. are
My only advice is to watch this video to understand the rave about Chubby Wieners and why you won’t want to miss a meal here. Vegetarian options available. 
Coffee subscriptions to mixtapes-Dark Matter does it all! Stay energized all 4 days with Dark Matter who’s partnered with farmers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.  Until you can taste the craft, enjoy this geeky video from their YouTube page. Gluten free and vegan options available. 
Edzo’s famous finger food! Vegetarian options are available. 
Fatso’s Last Stand in Chicago is known for their burgers and Chicago char dogs.  Vegan options are available.
Harold’s Chicken has been a staple in Chicago since 1950 and is a big part of the south side culture. Vegetarian options are available. 
Does this make your mouth water? Kamehachi was Chicago’s first sushi bar dating back to 1967 and family owned by 3 generations of women. Gluten free and vegetarian options are available. 
Lou Malnati’s is known for their deep dish pizza, so much that Barstool Sports had to check it off their list to try out. Vegetarian options available. 
M burger offers the world famous Impossible Burger, which is a big deal for vegans. For those who don’t know what the Impossible Burger is, watch the video below. Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options are available. 
Genetic engineering = Impossible 
Mad Social is a family owned restaurant that takes a mad twist on american food. Vegetarian options available. 
Naf Naf Grill makes everything from scratch, be sure to try out some of their famous pita bread! Vegetarian options available. 
Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta is famous for their thin crust that even Oprah raves about! Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options are available. 
Robinson’s no. 1 Ribs is known for their famous secret sauce that’s been crafted through 14 generations of Robinsons! 
Steingolds of Chicago has several sandwich’s to choose from. Vegetarian options are available. 
Owner Teresa Ging, has established several rewards throughout her career and was invited to the signing of the White House Council on Women & Girls by Barrack Obama. Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options available. 
Tallboy Taco is known for their beer battered crispy fish tacos and 12 hour smoked brisket. Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options are available. 
With a Chinese, Vietnamese and Asian focus, Tank Noodle is famous for their pho and signature wraps.  Gluten free and vegan options available. 
Budlong Hot Chicken has crafted the perfect fried chicken recipe to complement “Nashville hot”. Gluten free and vegetarian options are available. 
See why the Grateful Dead and Beyonce wanted Goddess and Grocer to cater their concerts. This deli will keep you on your feet all 4 days! Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options available. 
Lifeway Kefir Shop had some lighter options to choose from. Gluten free and vegan options are available. 
Over 85 years in business, Original Rainbow Cone is the oldest ice cream shop in Chicago! Gluten free and vegetarian options available. 
Live music every night, outdoor seating and an Uber friendly staff! Find out why The Smoke Daddy has the best ribs in town during Lolla. Gluten free and vegan options available. 
Vero Coffee and gelato is known for their handmade gelato and premium coffee! Vegetarian options are available. 
Wow Bao is known for their famous Asian hot buns! Vegetarian options are available. 
A one stop shop for marshmallow lovers! Gluten free and vegetarian options available. 
The Churro Factory caters to any sweet tooth! Vegan and vegetarian options are available. 


Official 2019 lineup poster

As always, the lineup is packed-lets take a deeper look at some of the artists that performed. Keep in mind the headliners that perform each day as it depends on the lines to get inside the festival. 

The Strokes

The Strokes by Roger Woolman

Opening the doors for artists such as The Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon and Sam Roberts, The Strokes dominated the early 2000’s with their rock image. Julian, Nick, Albert, Nikolai and Fabrizio got together in 1998 and have been releasing music under Cult Records ever since. 

Hitting the early 2000’s, the guys appeared on the 9th issue of The Fader and were critically acclaimed by The Rolling Stone, Time and Pitchfork Media. After a few magazine spreads, the band went on a world tour in which they opened up for The Rolling Stones on multiple occasions. While on tour the guys put together a small documentary called “In Transit”, which covers behind the scenes footage of their Summer tour in  Europe. 

A personal look into The strokes Summer tour in Europe. 

In 2003, The Strokes landed their first cover on The Rolling Stone upon their second album release. One of the songs from their third album was leaked on the internet which evoked another world tour while the album was still unreleased. After the tour, the third album “First Impressions of Earth” was released in January 2006. Manager Ryan Gentles confirmed a break after the tour followed by the music video of “You Only Live Once”.  

“You Only Live Once” directed by Warren Fu

Big news from The Strokes Myspace account in 2009-THE BREAK IS OVER! The guys announced they were working on a 4th full length album, “Angles”. This led way into the festival scene in 2010. The band was set to perform at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Outside Lands to name a few. Upon 2012, there was word of a 5th album which was released the next year. 

2016 gave us a 4 song EP, “Future Present Past”. The next few years the band focused on touring and performing at festivals giving way to their newest release in 2019, “The Adults Are Talking”. 

“The Adults are Talking” by The Strokes

The Chainsmokers

Alex Pall (left) and Drew Taggart (right)

The Chainsmokers are an American DJ group from NYC with a focus on pop and electronic pop since 2012. Alex attended NYU for music business and art history, meanwhile Drew was an intern at Interscope Records. Alex was introduced to Drew by Adam Alpert (CEO @ Disruptor Records) in 2012 and proposed the possible idea of a DJ duo. The next year they released a remix of “Medicine” by Daughter which reached number 1 on Hype Machine. 

Listen to The Chainsmokers’ remix of “Medicine” by Daughter

“Roses” was released in 2015 and became a nation wide success. The song even landed a spot on the top 10 for Billboard charts. A year later, Drew and Alex released their Grammy winning hit “Don’t Let me Down” which features Daya. Following that achievement, they were able to perform at Ultra Music Festival. “Closer” was their next release which featured Halsey and became a number one hit in the US and United Kingdom. 

The Memories DO NOT Open Tour was announced the same day they released their single “Paris” in 2017. 

“Closer” by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

The following year was full of new music such as “Sick Boy” and “Everybody Hates Me”. The boys were even booked for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show held in New York City on ABC network. 

The Chainsmokers performnig at The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Sohw

Branching out from music, Alex and Drew recently began a film production company called “Kick the Habit Productions”. The purpose behind this project is to bridge the gap between their artistic vision and entertainment industry as a whole. Their first movie will be titled “Paris” based off of their song. 

“Paris” by The Chainsmokers


Andrew Hozier-Bryne is an Irish singer and songwriter known for his famous track, “Take Me To Church”. Upon the release of his first studio album in 2014, the way was paved for the blues music scene. Musical influences of rock and R&B landed his track on multiple top charts in the country. 

“Take Me To Church” by Hozier. The message of this song entails finding comfort in a lover. This release targeted several audiences and gained global recognition. 

Hozier was born into an arts family. His dad is a blues drummer and his mother is an artist. He’s been writing since he was 15 years old and studied music at the Trinity College in Dublin before dropping out to record demos for Universal Music. 

Over the next few years the artist climbed various music charts. He released his second EP and went on an American/European tour. Hozier performed at the 57th annual Grammy Awards and won Artist of the Year in 2015. 

“Wasteland, Baby!” is Hozier’s most recent album

Hozier’s second album was released this past March and landed on top of Billboard’s Top 200. 

Rufus Du Sol

Tyrone (far left), Jon George (middle), and James Hunt (far right)

Rufus Du Sol is an alternative dance music group from Sydney, Australia. Members consists of Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt. Crafted in 2010, their debut EP gained global attention by Hype Machine and Vimeo Awards. This recognition led to their second EP in 2012. 

One of their most recent albums “Solace” blessed everyone in 2018 with one of their most popular songs “No Place”. 

“No Place” official music video 
TIME’S video with Rufus Du Sol 


Gabi Wilson is an R&B rock star known as H.E.R., which stands for Having Everything Revealed. Her recognition was gained by participating in Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing in 2009. 

Gabi Wilson on Disney’s Next Big Thing 

The young girl was introduced to stardom on the Today Show at 12 years old. At the age of 14 she signed to RCA Records and released her first single “Something to Prove” in 2014 under her real name. 2 years later she introduced the H.E.R. persona and released 2 volumes of her first EP into 2017. The reasoning for her persona was to create something where there was no secrecy. H.E.R. is an open identity sharing Gabi’s thoughts and feelings, as well as a voice for women who feel alone. 

Gabi Wilson on the Today Show

She was nominated for 5 Grammy awards this year and won Best R&B Performances and Best R&B Album. She’s gone on to gain support from major artists like Pusha T, Usher, Bryson Tiller and Rihanna. 

Lil Baby

Atlanta rapper Dominique Jones is known as Lil Baby. He gained attention in 2017 after the release of his mixtape “Perfect Timing”. He’s known for his songs “My Dawg” and “Drip Too Hard” to name a couple. 

“Drip Too Hard” by Lil Baby and Gunna

He grew up in a single parent home once his dad left at the age of 2. Dominique found himself getting in trouble time after time which led to his drop out in the 10th grade. He spent the next couple years in jail due to possession and intent to sell charges. However he began working with Quality Control upon his release. With the help of Young Thug, he released his first mixtape under 4 Pockets Full, Wolfpack and Quality Control. 

The release of his later mixtape “Too Hard” gained recognition due to his songs “Freestyle” and “All of a Sudden”. 

All of a Sudden by Lil Baby ft. Moneybagg Yo

While there was heat still simmering from the release of “Too Hard”, he then released his studio debut album, “Harder Than Ever”. Over the next year Baby began working w/ Gunna. Together they released an album, “Drip Harder” which features some big names like Drake and Nav.  

Official documentary starring Lil Baby presented by Quality Control

King Princess

American singer and songwriter Mikaela Straus is known as King Princess. She was born and raised in Booklyn, NY and is the daughter of two recording artists. Most of her childhood was spent in her father’s studio where she learned to play the drums, piano and guitar. 

After attending a private school in Manhattan, she packed her bags for LA to study music at USC Thornton School of Music. She later dropped out to focus on her career and released her debut single “1950” in 2018. 

“1950” by King Princess

The young artist has already stepped her foot in the festival scene this year with performances at Lollapalooza, Coachella and Glastonbury Fest. 

Fits and the Tantrums

American band from LA with a focus on indie pop and neo soul. Members include Michael Fitzpatrick (lead vocals), Noelle Skaggs (co-lead vocals and percussion), James King (sax, flute, keyboard, percussion and guitar), Joseph Karnes (bass guitar), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards) and John Wicks (drums and percussion). 

The band was created due to an old Conn electric organ Michael bought. He reached out to his old college friend James after the purchase. From there, friends of friends were brought on-Noelle, John, Joseph and Jeremy. On the night Michael purchased the organ he wrote “Breakin the Chains of Love”. 

“Breakin the Chains of Love” by Fitz and the Tantrums

Michael describes the bands chemistry to be flawless-so much they could have performed after their first rehearsal. The band practically did, a week later they performed at Hotel Café in Hollywood. The next year was spent performing at various clubs around Los Angeles. In 2009 their debut EP was released followed by their first tour in support of Hepcat and Flogging Molly. 

A record deal was announced with Dangerbird Records a year later. Upon the deal “Pickin’ up the Pieces” was released as their first full length album in 2010. The next year included performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and made their first appearance at Austin City Limits. 

Through Elektra Records, a sophomore LP was released in 2013. Throughout the next several years the band continued to release new music with mentions of The Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Los Angeles Times.  


Paul Fisher is an Australian music producer signed to Dirtybird and Catch and Release Records. Before his music career, he was a professional surfer. 

Professional surfer Paul Fisher

His interest in music started while he was traveling on a surf tour with his fiend Leigh Sedley (also a professional surfer). The two started a DJ group called Cut Snake until Fisher later went on to put music out by himself. 

“Losing It” by Paul Fisher

In 2017 he debuted his first single and EP. “Losing It” was released the following year and reached the top of several charts such as Billboard Hot Dance Songs and ARIA Club Tracks. The single was even nominated for Best Dance Recording at the Grammy’s this year. His most recent release is “You Little Beauty”. 

“You Little Beauty” by Paul Fisher

Lauren Daigle

Lauren Daigle, contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her musical inspiration comes from the blues. After contracting a very serious case of mononucleosis, she entered the medical field to do mission work. Lauren graduated early and set off to Brazil to do mission work before going back to school. 

As a child Lauren was always singing around the house. Her mother referred to their home as a music box. She joined the choir at LSU and tried out for 2 seasons of American Idol. North Point Community Church helped Lauren achieve the recognition needed for her music career to set sail. Centricity Music invited her to attend a worship in 2013 which led to her record deal. 

“You Say” by Lauren Daigle

Her first single was released on a holiday album featuring various Centricity artists. The release of her song led to an enormous fan base which encouraged her first EP in 2014. The next year she released the full album which landed number one on Billboard Christian Airplay Chart. 

The work Lauren continued to put out quickly earned several rewards, climbed top charts and earned a couple of Grammy nominations. Her lead single “You Say” was a part of one of the studio albums she put out that won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. The album has sold over 208,000 copies in the US. 


Vincent Fenton is known as French Kiwi Juice, “FKJ”. He’s a french musician with a focus on Jazz, electronic, french house and rhythm and blues. Making his mark in the french house music scene, Vincent studied sound engineering in film school. He figured it made the most since to learn that through audio for film. He’s known for his solo live performances through Ableton. 

Lead single to French Kiwi Juice by FKJ

After his debut album, Vincent began playing at festivals like Coachella, Euphoria and Lightening in a Bottle. This past March he married June Marleezy, a fellow musician he collaborated with on Amsterjam.  

Amsterjam ft. June Marleezy and FKJ
Take a look at Vincent and June’s wedding ceremony


Erick Orrosquieta, an American DJ signed to Ultra Records is known as Deorro. Since the age of 14, Erick was djing at local gigs. 2012 was the beginning of his career when DJ chuckle proposed the idea of remixing his song “Make Some Noise”.  His remix landed top 50 on Beatport. To this day he’s been remixing tracks from well known artists such as Steve Aoki. 

“Make Some Noise” remix by Deorro

The following year was a major breakthrough for Deorro. He released “Yee” on Hardwell’s label. This connected him with Steve Aoki and Diplo in 2014 in which they released “Freak”. 

“Yee” by Deorro

In late 2014 the artist took a break from djing to focus on the expansion of his record label, Panda Funk. 

Deorro and his family were homeless in the beginning of his music career. When his album “Good Evening” was released, it was evident there was a story behind it. The album took 3 years to make. He stands out from other musicians as he makes it a point to be the same person on and offline. The point is not to wear a mask and really be transparent. In an earlier interview with Dancing Astronaut he touches on the personal subject of his music. He has recognized how far he has come and noticed that his music was able to save lives, even his own. It’s something he holds dear to him and is able to pass along to his family. 


Saba, otherwise known as Tahj Malik Chandler, is a Chicago native. At the age of 7 he started playing the piano and working with different softwares for production. He graduated high school at 16 as he exceeded a normal GPA. 

To spread his music he would pass out mixtapes in his high school hallways. Upon graduation, he began performing at YouMedia Center. In late 2012 Saba released his first project, “GET COMFORTable”. The album enlists other Chicago talent who portray the road to self discovery in today’s world. 

Lead single for “GET COMFORTable” by Saba

In 2013 Saba and Chance the Rapper collaborated on Chance’s album, “Acid Rap”. This collaboration pushed Saba into releasing his second album, “Comfort Zone”. Saba uses this album as a gateway into his life by his verses. 

Chance the Rapper and Saba
Lead single “Time Zone” for the album “Comfort Zone” by Saba

2015 consisted of more collaborations with Chance the Rapper and even a performance on Stephen Colbert. Over the next few years Saba put everything into his music and focused on releasing new tracks. This led to a tour announcement in 2018 for his second album, “Care For Me”. The album was dedicated to his cousin and close friend John Walt, who was involved in a tragic incident in Chicago in 2017. 

“Life” by Saba, part of “Care For Me” album

This past December he was named one of the ten “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune for his music and efforts to the John Walt Foundation. 


Joe Boston, better known as Shallou is a producer, singer and DJ from DC. He grew up with a family that loved music. His dad played Radiohead around the house while he was a kid. This led to his early inspirations such as James Blake and Gold Panda. Joe went to college in New Orleans prior to moving to Chicago to focus on music production.

His music career began in 2014 when his work was picked up by Billboard, The Fader and Complex. The release of “Heights” and “Doubts” in 2016 spun on repeat across multiple streaming services. Joe later covered “Friends” and recorded it with a string quartet at Spotify’s office in New York.

“Heights” by Shallou

Shallou released his debut EP “All Becomes Okay” with all of its profits donated to the Environmental Defense Fund. This year he’s been booked for Lollapalooza and Coachella. 


CloZee is a french composer based in Toulouse, France. Her real name is Chloe Herry and she’s signed to Gravitas Recordings and Otodayo Records. Her sound is universal making it easy for anyone to listen to. She doesn’t just lay down one specific sound. CloZee has crated a platform that reaches several audiences and motivates her crowd to groove.  

“Koto” by CloZee

YBN Cordae

Maryland Rapper and songwriter Cordae Dunston goes by YBN Cordae. He was born in Raleigh, NC but moved to Maryland at a young age. He always took a liking for music. This comes as no surprise since his dad played classic hip hop around the house-Rakim and Nas for example. 

At 15 years old he picked up writing rap lyrics as a hobby. Cordae made it a point to focus on his education before fully committing to his music career. However, he released 3 mixtapes under another alias “Entendre”from 2014-2017. He dropped out of college in 2018 which he realized it was not for him and moved to LA.

Entendre-YBN Cordae

Dropping out of College allowed Cordae to fully focus on his music. He dove head first into his rap career in early 2018. After his visits to LA he became good friends with YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay. He released his first single under his name YBN Cordae called “Introduction to the World”. It was a remix from Eminem’s “My Name Is”. Cordae gained global recognition after his interview with LA Leakers. 

“Introduction to the World” by YBN Cordae

Cordae’s first performance was at Rolling Loud followed by the 2018 XXL Freshman Show in New York. He rang in 2019 with two new songs and a studio album. This sparked him to be named one of the member of XXL’s 2019 Freshman Class. 

Childish Gambino

Donald McKinley Glover Jr., formerly known as Childish Gambino is an American actor, producer and DJ. He was born in California however he grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He has one sister and younger brother, Stephen, who occasionally works with Gambino as a writer and producer. After graduating from NYU he dove into writing and music. He began djing and producing electronic music under the name of mc DJ.

“Rockstar” by mc DJ

Hitting early milestones in his career, Gambino was brought on to be the writer for 30 Rock in 2006. The name Childish Gambino came from Wu Tang Clang’s name generator and released his independent mixtape “Sick Boi” a couple years later. 

Lead single “Easy” from the mixtape “Sick Boi” by Childish Gambino

Over the next few years Gambino focused on releasing new music which led to his national tour IAMDONALD in 2011. The tour consisted of rap, comedy and various video snippets. He then stepped into the festival season the same year with his performance at Bonnaroo.

Breaking ground, he signed his first record deal with Glassnote Records. His releases under Glassnote hit top charts on multiple platforms. The abundance of new music allowed Gambino to create “Atlanta”. Atlanta is a show on FX with a music theme in which he is an actor, writer and executive producer. You can also watch it on Netflix.

Watch the trailer for Atlanta here. 

To promote his new album “Because the Internet” he wrote a short film “Clapping for the Wrong Reasons” to serve as a prelude. 

In 2018 Gambino signed with RCA Records to start the New Year. Following the record deal, he released the infamous “This is America” 5 months later. He used his music to spread awareness of current world issues in this release. It went on to win Grammy Song of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Rap Performance and Record of the Year. He later embarked on his 5th and last concert tour, “This is America” last September.

Learn about the hidden messages in the “This is America” music video by Childish Gambino.

Come 2019, he was brought on to be the voice of Simba in Disney’s new “The Lion King”. There is no doubt Gambino has more to show us. Through his work in film to music he is truly an inspiration to many.

Watch behind the scenes for the screen play of the new Lion King here. 

Tame Impala

Tame Impala is led by Kevin Parker (guitar and vocals) and is an Australian psychedelic music project. Other member include Dominic Simper (guitar and synthesizer), Cam Avery (vocals, bass, and guitar), Jay Watson (vocals, guitar, and synthesizer) and Julien Barbagallo (vocals and drums).  Tame Impala started as a home recording project inside Kevin Parker’s home in 2007. It caught the attention of several record labels but eventually they signed to Modular Recordings a year later.

Lead single for their “Tame Impala EP”

When Parker shifted the project to a line stage he reached out to Simper and Watson for help. Heading into 2009, they released the “Tame Impala EP”. Their first EP climbed the top of numerous charts upon the release. This led to joint tours with other groups such as MGMT and You Am I to name a couple. They even went on to play at a few festivals.

“Skeletons” by Travis Scott, produced by Tame Impala

“Sundown Syndrome” was the first single released under the project. It was included in the soundtrack of the film “The Kids are Alright”. Another one of their songs “Half Full Glass of Wine” was used to conclude an Entourage episode. The guys lead way into 2017 with an abundance of new music leading up to their recent collaborations with Zhu, Travis Scott and SZA.

Janelle Monae

Atlantic Records’ star Janelle Monae is a rapper, songwriter, actress and producer. As a little girl Janelle dreamed of being a singer. She moved to NYC to study drama. After she finished her studies she moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2001 where she met Outkast’s Big Boi. A couple years later she released her first EP “The Audition”.

“The Audition” by Janelle Monae

The artists she collaborated with in the past led way to her signing on Bad Boy. Her deal with Bad Boy was unlike so many others. The label wanted to help her grow organically without pushing any music out she normally wouldn’t produce. Over the next few years, Janelle put out new music such as “Metropolis”, “The Arch Android” and “The Electric Lady”. Recognition hovered over her recent work.

“Tightrope” by Janelle Monae, part of “The Archandroid” album

In 2012 she became the new spokesperson for Covergirl. She also performed at the Women of Soul event at the White House alongside Ariana Grande and Patti LaBelle. In 2016 Janelle debuted her acting career in the film “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures”.

Janelle Monae’s acting debut in Moonlight

This past year she released her 3rd studio album “Dirty Computer” as well as a sci-fi emotion picture for it. 

21 Savage

Sheyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph is known by his rapper name 21 Savage. He was born in London, England but resides in Atlanta, Georgia. 21 didn’t have the easiest childhood. His parents separated at a young age and his mother moved to Atlanta with him when he was 7 years old. He went back to the UK to attend a family funeral for his uncle. He returned to the US with his visa expiring a year later. His mother started a new family and 21 had a new brother, Tay-man. Tay-man passed away in an attempted drug deal which led 21 to be banned from every school in his county due to gun possession. Upon completing his time at a youth detention center, he began attending schools in the metropolitan area of Atlanta but eventually he dropped out. His dropout led him to join a local street gang called the Wider Bloods. 21 became a full time drug dealer and took part in some robbery and car theft. At the age of 19 he lost his best friend on his 21st birthday and was also shot 6 times by rival gang members.

“Picky” by 21 Savage

21 began rapping after the death of his best friend. It was his best friend’s uncle who provided him money to attend a recording studio. In 2014 he released his debut single “Picky” and was later named an underground hero by Interview Magazine. In 2016 he was named one of the Freshman Class of 2016 by XXL. 21 and Metro Boomin released their EP “Savage Mode” and watched it gain global recognition. From there, he became the cover of Fader, his single “X” went platinum and he signed to Epic Records. 2017 gave us Issa Album which plotted number 2 on the US Billboard 200. The next year he released his most recent album I am>I was. This album features artists Lil Baby, Gunna, Travis Scott, Post Malone,Offset, J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Schoolbag Q and Project Pat.

21 Savage talks about his latest album


Alessandro Linbald is known by Alesso and is a Swedish DJ and producer. His interest in music began early. He stared playing the piano at age 7 and first found his interest in electronic music at 16. His Alesso EP gained the attention of Swedish House Mafia which led to their collaboration.

Alesso’s Swedish House Mafia Remix at Amsterdam Music Festival in 2013

Within the same year he learned to DJ, he was listed number 70 in the top 100 DJs in 2011. A couple years later he had already played at major festivals including Coachella, EDC and Ultra to name a few. The following year he signed with Def Jam Records. While on his Heroes tour, he partnered with the charity “Chime for Change”. Chime for Change seeks to improve the lives of women globally. From 2016 to 2019 Alesso really pushes himself through his music. He played back to back sold out shows, made television appearances and performed at several music festivals.

Watch the Alesso interview with Dj Hanzel, aka Dillon Francis here. 


Frederik Durand is a Canadian DJ known as Snails. Over the last few years he has given everything into his first project to ensure a top spot in bass music. His first debut album and tour was called “The Shell”.

Watch the album teaser for “The Shell” by Snails here.

He’s worked with artists like Big Gigantic to Waka Flocka. Snails created his own label called Slugz Music, which had been a recent dream of his. The label’s sound ranges from old school metal to punk and rock n’ roll. The artists has even gone as far as to release his own comic book series, The Shell: Sluggernaut.


Ethan Snoreck is an American DJ and producer from Chicago, IL. He began working on his music his freshman year of high school. It wasn’t until his senior year homecoming dance that he shared his music with his classmates. His work even caught the attention of Skrillex. He performed 8 dates on tour with The Chainsmokers but had to take a short break to attend his high school graduation.

Listen to “Good Nights” by Whethan here. 

At 16, he was recognized as the youngest producer ever to release a record on Future Classic. Flume is a big influence for this artist as he incorporates a lot of indie future notes and electropop in his sound. He frequently works with Oliver Tree who’s song “Can’t Hide” debuted Billboards Spotify Viral 50.

Rich The Kid

America rapper and songwriter Dimitri Roger is known as Rich The Kid. He was born in Queens but moved with his mom to Georgia when his parents got divorced. He lived in a suburb 30 minutes outside of Atlanta. Upon his debut mixtape he collaborated with Migos on “Streets On Lock”, which is available in 4 volumes. His second mixtape was released in 2014 with featured artists Young Thugg, French Montana and Kodak Black to name a few.

Lead intro to Migos and Rich The Kid’s “Streets On Lock” mixtape

The following year he worked with Diplo on a song called “Bankroll”. The same year he signed to Interscope Records. In 2016 he started his own label, Rich Forever Music. The first signee was Chicago native, Famous Dex. The first producer signed was The Lab Cook. A few months later Rich partnered with 300 Entertainment for them to serve as a parent company. Towards the end of the year Rich The Kid signed Brooklyn rapper Jay Critch. He later released his album “Hood Fav”. One of his most recent signees is 83 Babies from North Carolina.

Diplo and Rich The Kid’s “Bankroll”

Party Favor

Rising EDM star, Dylan Ragland, is popularly known as Party Favor. He was born in Manhattan, however he grew up in Park City, Utah. He released his first EP in 2016 which included artists Dillon Francis, Gucci Mane and Rich The Kid to name a few. The album went viral and landed number 2 on iTunes Dance album charts. His recent work has allowed him to collaborate with major companies such as T-Mobile, Mountain Dew, Samsung and even an anti-smoking campaign. He went on his first world tour back in 2017.

Here is a scene from Neighbors 2 ft. Party Favor’s “Booty Loose”

Said the Sky

American electronic dance producer and DJ Trevor Christensen goes by Said the Sky. At the age of 8 he picked up piano lessons but gave it up because he wasn’t enjoying it. Making a full circle he picked it back up along with other instruments while he was in middle school. His interest for electronic music stemmed from a digital audio production class he took it high school. Trevor was motivated to sign to Phase Management from fellow friends that were already a part of Phase. Since being signed he’s released one studio album, 2 EPs, several singles and an abundance of remixes.

Said the Sky’s “Never Gone” 


Head banging, croc lover Chenay Ray is known as CRAY. She’s been releasing electronic music since 2015. Originally she wanted to pursue a career in artist management. From one Taurus to another-we don’t half ass anything…She took the extra step in learning music production to fully understand what it means to be a musician.

“Peaches” by CRAY

The name CRAY was a childhood nickname and it seemed to stick. She’s an avid gamer with a good following on Twitch. She began playing live sets while streaming and received a positive response. Her hard work led to her tour in Japan with Skrillex. CRAY’s unique sound allows her to stray from labels and focus on her music independently.

Watch The Sidewalk Talk interview with Cray here. 

Twenty-One Pilots

Columbus duo, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are known as Twenty One Pilots. After months of marketing themselves on social media, the two performed at Newport Music Hall in Columbus where several labels expressed an interest in them.

Twenty One Pilots live at the Newport Music Hall

In 2012 they signed to Atlantic Record’s sister label, Fueled by Ramen. This label housed other artists like Paramore and Panic! At the Disco. The next couple of years were focused on creating visual content. In 2013 they joined Fall Out Boy on tour and starred on Conan. To keep their streak rolling the two also appeared on the MTV Movie Awards and Late Night with Seth Meyers the following year. They also performed at major festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Firefly.

Twenty One Pilots appearing on Saturday Night Live

Their performance on Saturday Night Live and 2016 American Music Awards all led to their re-branding in 2018.

The official music video for “Chlorine” by Twenty One Pilots

Lil Wayne

New Orleans artists Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. is known as Lil Wayne. He joined Cash Money Records at the age of 9. Through the label he released his first solo album, “The Block is Hot” when he was 17, which eventually went platinum.

Intro to “The Block is Hot” by Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne released 11 other studio albums with the most recent being “Tha Carter V”. He’s also the founder of his record label “Young Money Entertainment” and has assisted in progressing the careers of Drake and Nicki Minaj. His approach to signing artists is based off of a personal connection and he allows them to have full creative control over their sound. In 2011 he retired as a rapper to focus on other interests as well as his family. The artist’s list of good deeds exceeds long. After Hurricane Katrina he donated $250,000 to rebuild a park he played in as a kid in New Orleans. He also donated $30,000 to a non-profit after school program called Indiegogo Campaign to help with expansion. Every year during Thanksgiving he and the rest of Cash Money giveaway turkeys in New Orleans.

Cash Money Records giving away Turkeys at Thanksgiving in 2011. 

RL Grime

Henry Alfred Steinway is known for his trap and bass music under the name of RL Grime. His name is inspired from the author of his favorite novel series Goosebumps, R.L. Stine. In 2011 Grime joined the LA music collective WeDidIt and released his EP “Grapes”. In 2012 Grime and fellow producer Salva collaborated on a remix of Kanye West’s “Mercy”. It received global attention, especially from The Fader.

“Mercy” remix by RL Grime and producer Salva

His signature touch is incorporating vocal drops from celebrities into his tracks. Some examples include Tony Hawk and R.L. Stine to name a couple. His debut studio album “Void” was released in 2014 followed by “Nova”in 2018.

Intro to “Nova” by RL Grime


Ricardo Valdez Valentine is known by his stage name, 6lack. He’s an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. His global recognition stemmed from his release of “Prblms” which is a part of his debut album “Free 6lack” in 2016.

“Prblms” by 6lack 

His second album “East Atlanta Love Letter” was released in September 2018. It landed number 3 on Billboard 200. He is also a member of Spillage Village and is signed to Love Renaissance and Interscope Records.

6lack talking about his “East Atlanta Love Letter” video


American rapper and singer Sergio Giavanni Kitchens is known by his stage name, Gunna. He was born in College Park, Georgia and was raised by his mother and four older brothers. With the musical influences of Cam’ron and Outkast he began making music at the age of 15. Gunna was introduced to Young Thug through King Troup who was a mutual friend and community figure that passed away in 2015. He’s also a close friend of Lil Baby whom he’s made some of his best collaborations with. The artist is signed to 300 Entertainment and YSL Records.

“Sold Out Dates” by Gunna and Lil Baby


French DJ, producer and songwriter Hugo Pierre Leclercq is known as Madeon. He began producing at the age of 11 and his popularity stemmed from a YouTube video “Pop Culture” in which he performed a mashup of 39 songs using a Launchpad. His first EP was released in 2012, “The City”, followed by “Adventure” in 2015. After the release of Adventure he went on a 22 stop North American tour.

“Pop Culture” by Madeon

Madeon started producing under the name of “Deamon” and “Wayne Mont” until 2010 when he came up with the anagram Madeon. He went on to releasing several mixtapes and created his own independent label, “Pop Culture”. Over the course leading into 2018 he focused on sharing his music with the release of his “Good Faith” project.

Madeon live at Lollapalooza 2019


San Francisco native Dan Griffith is an American DJ, producer and musician that goes by his stage name, Gryffin. While he attended University of Southern California for electrical engineering, he spent his free time working on music in his dorm. His first intentions were to create music for his friends to play at college parties and had no idea he would go on to headline festivals. His debut studio album was “Gravity” followed by his EP “Gravity: Part 1” along with several other singles. He is currently signed to Interscope Records and The Darkroom.

Gryffin’s “Remember” ft. ZOHARA

Lil Skies

Kimetrius Foose is better known as Lil Skies. He’s an American rapper and songwriter from Pennsylvania. Skies is currently signed to Atlantic Records and All We Got Entertainment. He began writing songs at the age of 4. A big musical influence is his own father, Michael Burton Jr. He is a fellow hip hop artist that went by Dark Skies but is now known as BurntMan.

Lil Skies on growing up

He briefly attended Shippensburg of Pennsylvania before dropping out to focus on his music career. The same year he opened for Fetty Wap at the University he attended. The following year Skies released “Red Roses”and 3 other singles before catching the attention of Atlantic Records.

Meaning behind the lyrics for “Red Roses” by Lil Skies and Landon Cube


Australian record producer, music programmer and DJ Harley Edward Streten is professionally known as Flume. His music career stems from his father, Glen Streten, who’s a filmmaker and record producer. He grew up on the northern beaches of Sydney with a brother and sister. He began composing music at the age of 15 from a production disc he found inside of a cereal box. In 2011 he was signed to an Australian Record Company “Future Classic”. Under the label he released “Sleepless”, “Over You” and “Paper Thin”. His influence for the name Flume was inspired by Bon Iver.

“Sleepless” by Flume
“Flume” by Bon Iver

Flume’s music landed on several top charts which led to his own tour in 2013, which sold over 40,000 tickets. A couple years later he released “Some Minds” making it his first original track since his debut studio album. After the tour he released a second studio album which led way to his most recent mixtape, “Hi This Is Flume” in 2019. It consists of 17 songs and 6 features.

“Jewel” by Flume from “Hi This Is Flume” album 

Meek Mill

Robert Rihmeek Williams was born in South Philly, better known for his stage name Meek Mill. After the death of his father, his family moved further north to pursue a better life. Meek grew close with one of his father’s close friends who happened to be a DJ in the Philly underground music scene. Hanging out around the music scene inspired his career. He began performing at an underground rap battle scene which advanced his career and grabbed the attention of T.I. He spent the next several years pouring everything into his music which has led to his most recent album, “Championships”.

“Championships” by Meek Mill

Louis The Child

Chicago based DJ and production duo consist of Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren. The two artists met at a Madeon concert and after a few conversations they decided to start making music together. From 2013-2014 they began playing at small venues. Their release of “It’s strange” heightened their career and eventually the two ended up opening for artists such as Madeon and The Chainsmokers. This led to their own tour in 2015. Over the next few years they released 2 EP’s and several singles. They also performed at Red Rocks for the first time in 2018.

Red Rocks footage of Louis The Child captured by Colin Miller


Destin Choice Route is an American rapper and songwriter from Atlanta. He is the youngest of 4 siblings and took the name J.I.D from the nickname his grandmother gave him for his jittery behavior. He received a scholarship for football at Hampton University in Virginia and played 2 seasons before he was kicked off the team. After football he moved in with Doctur Dot and Johnny Venus, members of Earthgang, whom he met while in Virginia. He released his first mixtape in 2010 then created Spillage Village with Earthgang, Hollywood JB and Jordxn Bryant.

Learn about J.I.D’s childhood and journey to Dreamville here. 

The next four years he spent putting out new music and opened up with Earthgang and Bas on Ab-Soul’s “These Days” tour in 2014. Moving to 2018, he was on the cover of XXL’s 2018 Freshman Class. He had earlier news of joining Mac Miller and Thundercat on tour before the sad news of Mac’s death. He premiered his song “Working out” on A Colors Show on YouTube right before the release of his most recent album, “DiCaprio 2”.

J.I.D on A Colors Show

Manic Focus

Manic Focus is a project under John McCarten, a Chicago based electronic music producer. His unique sound is a cross from blues to bass. He’s worked with artists such as GRiZ and Russ Liquid to name a couple. He’s gone on to perform at Red Rocks, Camp Bisco and Summer Set. His album “Minds Rising” is a curation of Chicago’s landscape and artists with several collaborations such as Lettuce and Russ Liquid as mentioned prior.

Lead intro to Manic Focus’s album “Minds Rising”

Ilo Ilo

Ilo Ilo is Chinese slang for parents aren’t home and is a producer and DJ duo that performs with masks to keep their identity a secret. The purpose of hiding their identities is to have their audience focus on the music and its heavy bass. These two are new on the scene and are sure to soar through the EDM scene. They’re signed to Big Beat Records.

“Come Thru” by Ilo Ilo

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