5 Genre-Bending Artists Striking the Lightning Stage this Year
February 4th, 2020
Genres help us define music, but these categories can hold musicians creatively captive and keep audiences from discovering music they never knew they would enjoy. While there’s nothing wrong with fitting squarely into a genre, some of our favorite artists defy this classical approach of defining music.
As avid music fans, our lineup curators work hard to bring you artists that are pushing against the norm and inviting LIB attendees to re-conceive the realm of musical possibility. To give you a taste of the musical journey to come this Memorial Day Weekend, our music team has hand-selected 5 of their favorite genre-bending artists taking the Lightning Stage this year!
Why we dig it and you will too: “GRiZ sets are an energetic dance party where dirty bassy beats, house rhythms and funky saxophone notes move through your body in irresistible ways. Let’s get weird y’all!”
Just a fun-loving kid from north Detroit, GRiZ is a self-described “future funk” artist mixing electronic music with his infamous saxophone, energetic funk, and sweeping electro-soul. Once you’ve seen GRiZ perform, you’ll be able to recognize his distinct style and sound anywhere.
His latest album, Ride Waves, incorporates uncharted territories in hip-hop, pop, and dance music but still keeps that distinctive GRiZ funk style. His live show is a spectacle in its own right, and we can’t wait to see Ride Waves incorporated with his improvised saxophone, guitar, vocals and head-dropping bass lines at the Lightning Stage.
2. Lion Babe
Why we dig it and you will too: “Smooth and sultry RnB rhythms wrapped in playful nostalgic beats, Lion Babe is about to be your new favorite band. Let this dynamic duo whisk you away to an inspiring world of their own creation.”
A New York bred funk and soul duo of genre-bending artists Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman (aka Astro Raw), Lion Babe blends vintage colors with modern sonics to create their self-described futuristic nostalgia music.
First breaking onto the music scene in 2012 with their single “Treat Me Like Fire,” the duo has gathered international acclaim for their magnetic performances. Their latest record, Cosmic Wind, incorporates their multi-genre experience and showcases their artistic growth over the last 8 years. We can’t wait to see what direction they take their Lightning Stage performance.
Why we dig it and you will too: “What better way to warm up the Lightning Stage than a comedian and house legend coming together in a project that defies all categorization. Between the two of them they will capture your heart and your dancing feet and have you whistling along to their jovial musical landscape.”
Meet Wajatta, the fusion of a genre-fluid improviser and an LA underground techno mainstay creating vocal and electronic masterpieces that defy musical logic. Reggie Watts, an internationally renowned beat-boxer, comedian, and artist, DJ, producer John Tejada are the duo behind this ‘70s funk inspired electronic music. Their recent single “Don’t Let Get You Down” is emblematic of LIB’s focus on finding unique talents that creates music that makes you think twice about what you’re hearing.
4. Jarina De Marco
Why we dig it and you will too: “Colorful, hilarious, poignant – feminist social commentary and identity politics wrapped in a vibrant, playful package. Can’t wait to see the music come alive with costumes, dancers, & her undeniable charisma.”
Transcending categories and borders, Jarina De Marco is a doer and maker whose sounds embody a multi-ethnic future. From the Dominican Republic, she incorporates sounds and rhythms indigenous to the Amazonian rainforest and Dominican countryside. As a vocal leader for women’s rights and equality, Jarina actively embodies the 6 ways of LIB and is one bad-ass woman. In fact, Jarina sings in over four languages and manages songwriting, production, visual design and video direction.
5. Big wild
Why we dig it and you will too: “Quirky samples and uplifting beats layered with chorus like vocals, a refreshing vision of modern pop with accents of funk and disco. Heartwarming beats that you and your friends will be toe tapping and head nodding along to.”
Originally known as hip-hop beat producer J Beatz, Big Wild switched creative lanes after a life-changing trip to Big Sur, California. His music is directly influenced by our state’s wide open spaces and natural beauty, creating the infamous and atmospheric sound that is definitively Big Wild. 2019 saw him release his first album ever, Superdream, and encompasses his progression as a lyricist, singer and songwriter and is distinctively different than what brought him to music fame in 2012.
Big Wild’s live acts are known to be some of the most impressive displays of musical talent on the electronic circuit. Seeing him seamlessly transition between drum pads, synths, keyboards and live vocals all while keeping that Big Wild energy is a sight to behold. We’re ready to be awed at the Lightning Stage this year.