By Vanessa Tam
SEATTLE – Kicking off another epic year of summer music festivals just across the border in Seattle, Washington, Upstream Music Fest + Summit returns for a second year of epic music discovery and industry learnings in the heart of Pioneer Square.
For the programming of the summit, a committee of artists, music industry professionals, event producers and creative directors who all have significant experience navigating the music industry will address the most pressing issues and challenges faced by emerging artists today.
On the music side, the festival will play host to over 15 curated stages positioning a wide range of international acts including Miguel, The Flaming Lips, Little Dragon and Cut Copy, alongside a selection of rising stars from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Featuring guest curators such as Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Consequence of Sound, Sub Pop Records and both Do604 and Do250, a good amount of Canadian talent will be representing the true North at the festival.
Check out our list of 5 Canadian artists you should definitely be checking out at the festival this year.
Charlotte Day Wilson
With roots ranging from R&B to folk, Charlotte Day Wilson is a 25-year-old vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Toronto. Through her soulful, singular voice and timeless productions, Wilson has built a strong fanbase following her EPs Palimpsest, CDW and Stone Woman along with her work with friends and collaborators BADBADNOTGOOD, Daniel Caesar and River Tiber.
The Switch DJs (Syd Woz, Roxy Motorola, Donna Crooner) are an upbeat DJ and production trio that established themselves in Vancouver, BC in 2017. By focusing on a rare mix of house, rap, tech and jungle during their sets, the Switch DJs made a name for themselves by throwing parties and opening for major artists including Black Madonna, Denzel Curry, Mall Grab and Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan. Pushing musical boundaries and bringing a diverse group of people together is at the heart of Switch.
A Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer, Pomo makes funky electronic music influenced by hip hop, house and retro funk music from the 70s and 80s. Growing up in Port Moody, British Columbia, the young artist cultivated his tastes and sound through the Vancouver electronic music scene before moving to Montreal for a period of time joining the likes of Kaytranada, Ta-Ku and Stwo on HW&W.
Since then, Pomo hit his stride in the electronic dance music market, garnering millions of listens online with his multifaceted productions on a grip of original songs and remixes for some of music’s biggest players including the much loved Anderson .Paak.
After the last show of their final European tour in support of their 2015 album, ‘On Blonde,’ Canadian band Yukon Blonde were not ready to come home – so they didn’t. Instead, frontman Jeff Innes relocated to Madrid, to be joined by his bandmates over the following months. After returning to Canada, the five piece retreated to their studio on Galiano Island, BC, where the band finished the writing process for their to be released 2018 full length record.
Snotty Nose Rez Kids
Snotty Nose Rez Kids are a hip-hop duo from the Haisla Nation of the Haislakala speaking people. Recreating their identities within their own contexts, the due aims to reclaim their voices and share them with a wider audience. Zazaxsmalis, otherwise known as Yung Trybez is a writer, rapper, photographer and spoken word artist of “The People of the Snow” that is the Haisla Nation. Wa’tla’ka othethise known as Young D or “D” is a songwriter and rapper that was born and raised in Kitamaat Village. Together they are the Snotty Nose Rez Kids.
Upstream Music Fest + Summit takes place at Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington June 1-3.Seattle, upstream music festival