BIGSOUND 2022 is just around the corner and with it comes a bucket load of underground artists waiting for punters to discover. To make you a little less overwhelmed with planning out your schedule, we’ve put together a list of our top ten favourite artists that will be gracing the stages over the four festival days.
Beckah Amani waltzed gracefully onto the scene in 2018 with her single Breathe but really started to catch people's attention with her 2020 single STANDARD, which was a sort of reclamation of self relating to the Black Lives Matter movement and her own experience with micro-aggressions and outright racism.
Her music could be compared to the likes of SZA or Arlo Parks, with a bit more of an upbeat swing. Born in Tanzania before emigrating to Australia when she was eight, Amani embodies her West African heritage, creating a warm and joyful sound with rich vocals and funky beats.
Recently winning the triple j Unearthed x SPRINGTIME Festival competition, 2022 APRA Professional Development Award for Popular Contemporary Album, and the coveted QMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2021, Amani is clearly sought after, and is keen to bring her bubbly and lively show to the BIGSOUND stage.
BOY SODA is a favourite in the R&B pop scene and his recent attachment to Warner Music says that the industry is starting to take notice. He was our cover artist in March and has gone from strength to strength even in the short amount of time since.
Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter
Sporting shiny, sparkling R&B pop that instantly puts you in a good mood, BOY SODA knows how to deliver 2000s-inspired bangers with his smooth and sultry vocals. While his music could be found at a club on R&B Fridays, it would also work well on a hot summer's night, driving around with the windows down.
His new single, Willy Shakesphere, ushers in a new season of sadboi rap. It's a fast-paced tongue twister with a heavy 808 beat behind it, mixing modern Gen-Z pop with old-school hip hop.
Another rising R&B star that is taking BIGSOUND by storm is First Nations artist CLOE TERARE, who featured as our first ever cover artist way back in January.
While her style is most definitely based in R&B, it would be cruel to limit Terare to a single genre as her album Burn Book (2018-2012) sweeps through country, rap, metal and pop.
Winning the Billy Thorpe Scholarship at the 2022 Queensland Music Awards, Terare has had a massive year that is only getting bigger. She's heading on tour through September and also focusing on growing the live music scene in Toowoomba (where she’s currently residing), with hopes to release a new single before the end of the year.
A Brisbane local, Dameeeela, is set to dominate the BIGSOUND week with her selective taste-making and talented DJ sets. A Yuggera woman, Dameeeela is a massive advocate for the earth, art, and culture, curating sets that reflect her passions. Her debut single The Shake Up sent shockwaves across the local scene and cemented her place.
Her live performances know no bounds as she's done the massive festival circuit at some of the country's biggest events, including Splendour In The Grass, Listen Out, Falls Festival, Groovin The Moo and Sugar Mountain. She’s also opened for acts like Tyler, The Creator, Charli XCX, Anderson .Paak, Genesis Owusu and Skin On Skin.
Gold Coast country trio Hinterland have been flying high this year after their single Loud took over the iTunes charts, reaching #1 and beating out heavyhitters like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. Reminiscent of The Civil Wars with a pop rock sound, Hinterland brings a fresh take to the term country.
The band, fronted by the multi-talented Jesse Emmanuel and backed by brother-sister duo Rachel and Robbie Bobstock, only formed in 2019 due to pandemic-related boredom, but all of them are individually recognised as prolific musicians within the country music scene. Since forming Hinterland, they have reached a new level of audience that has surpassed anything they’ve ever experienced. Their BIGSOUND shows are set to be filled with powerful guitar riffs and strings to swoon to. So don’t miss out on Australia's newest country stars.
We first discovered LOSER from their 2018 EP Restless Noise and instantly recognised the immense talent and well crafted rock anthems that were brewing under this first release. Since then, the band have continuously hit milestones and honed their alt-rock craft. Dubbed as a cross between Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins, it wouldn’t be going too far to add Queensland's Violent Soho into that mix. Their latest release, All The Rage, introduces some more thoughtfulness to their sound, and has proved that their ability to blend soft melody with heavy drums and grating guitars is unmatched.
Playing BIGSOUND will be a breeze for these Melbourne natives who have also dominated the touring circuit in the last few years, opening for Canadian legends PUP and Aussie favourites Luca Brasi.
Melanie Dyer is another country pop artist that is bound to make an impression at BIGSOUND this year. After a very successful launch in 2017 for her debut album Fresh, and 2019 single Memphis T-Shirt, Dyer has been considered one of the best up-and-comers in the country/pop scene. Her lyrics are the work of a master, really cementing the old adage that a country artist only needs three chords and the truth to create a show-stopping song. Most recently, she is gearing up to share her second album Between You & Me, set for release on September 9th.
It’s important to note that Dyers talent is not limited to the studio, and she's been on an extensive touring schedule for the last few years, playing major country festivals like Mundi Mundi Bash, Tamworth Country Music Festival, NQ’s Rock’nCountry Festival, and CMC Rocks. All this touring will have prepared her for a fantastic BIGSOUND show, and Dyer has taken to Instagram to tell fans that she’s excited to “fly the country pop flag” at her BIGSOUND sets this year.
Nick Ward is the Gen-Z artist of the moment and has a cult-like fanatic group of fans for a reason; he’s just that good. Releasing his debut single Crush in 2018, which has now clocked over 1.5 million listens, Ward has dominated the sad pop space with his thoughtful and enigmatic sound. His latest release BRAND NEW YOU looks at death and loss in a new way, framing it from a youthful focus and taking fans on a narrative journey.
Not only is he a talented artist but he is also a multi-creative, directing music videos and creating a unique and interesting brand for himself that lets fans have a small peak inside his creative genius. His live shows follow in the footsteps of every other creative endeavour that he throws himself into; that is, they are brilliant in every way. Fans have described them as a ‘religious experience’ so it would be smart to put Nick Ward at the top of your must-see list.
South Summit are possibly the newest kids on the block, having only formed in 2021. However, their talent on the stage and in the studio proves that you don’t need to do the time to be a smash hit. With their 2021 EP, Merlin’s, the band burst onto the Perth music scene with a cruisy alt rock sound, similar to the likes of Spacey Jane or Ocean Alley. Since then, their assured sound and stage presence has made it seem like they are veterans in the field. Their latest release Promise Me boasts wavy guitars and cracking vocals.
Their latest tour travelled all around to sold-out shows, including a very intimate and important gig at Casuarina Prison, which the band members stated was “a life-changing experience”. South Summit will also be headed to SPRINGTIME Festival this Sunday the 4th.
Tasman Keith is a singular talent that offers something different with every release. From collaborating with Midnight Oil to his extensive non-EPs that burst with creative freedom, the 26-year-old Gumbaynggirr man has flexed his genius in many different ways. The first being his 2017 debut single, Might Snap, which received significant airplay and critical acclaim. His most recent album A Colour Undone was also a hit amongst fans and allowed him to express ideas he felt he hadn't really gotten to yet, which he explained in our cover artist interview in August.
His vocals are distinctive but would sit nicely amongst the greats. His talent for lyricism is at a similar level and packs a punch, discussing Country, love, loss and everything in between. Catch his set at BIGSOUND to witness his genius.