Dat Brass have been putting a fresh spin on hip-hop for years now, bringing their brass-heavy arrangements of popular rap songs and funky originals to stages around the country, including Funk and Soul Weekender, Bestival, Boomtown, and a recent stint headlining Pop Brixton’s Mardi Gras celebrations.
Given two rooms and ten slots, here are the artists Dat Brass wanted to see at their own bespoke event. As you may expect, the lineup is a stellar mix of rap, jazz, funk and soul, reflecting Dat Brass’ love of these genres. Big name stars mix with more underground outfits in a lineup that any festival would be proud of. Dat Brass have selected acts they’ve seen live, acts they’d love to see live, and some performers they believe should be essential to any respectable lineup.
Band members Lewis, Ben, Stefan, Michael, Jake, and Seb take us through the list with a few words on why they chose each artist.
Sammus – “The grand-niece of a former Congolese president, daughter of immigrant university
professors and sister to a member of Gym Class Heroes, Sammus is one of the most unique and talented voices in underground hip-hop. She sings, makes beats and raps on politically charged and intricate nerdcore songs about feminism, relationships and aging.” – Lewis
Noname – “Fantastically smooth and catchy jazz rap, her debut album Telefone was a breath of
fresh air. Since then, collabs with a bunch of headline rappers mean she can only get better.” – Ben
Akala – “Any dream line up needs a healthy dose of truth. None can deliver it so eloquently as
fiercely independent British artist Akala. Tons of respect for him and all his work.” – Stefan
Lady Leshurr – “One of the most fun live sets I’ve ever seen, and her wordplay and flow are so on point.” – Michael
Chance the Rapper – “Few rappers can match Chance’s mix of catchy hooks, unique flow and evocative storytelling (perhaps only Kendrick Lamar in the mainstream is comparable). The fact that he uses his influence as such a powerful force for good his native Chicago made him a no- brainer for my list – there are many artists I’d like to see perform, but he’s one I’d really want to get a chance to talk to.” – Lewis
Normanton Street – “First heard of these guys a few years back and they are really bringing
something new to the UK jazz-influenced hip-hop world. The perfect act to kick things off!” –
BadBadNotGood – “They fuse jazz with hip-hop in an incredibly innovative way. I’ve seen them live twice and every time they’ve brought an incredible amount of energy for what is essentially a jazz quartet.” – Ben
The Mouse Outfit – “Amazing performance at Funk and Soul Weekender 2017 with their trio of
dench MCs and room-bouncing groove.” – Jake
The Skints – “I discovered their album Part & Parcel online during my uni days and was blown away by their combination of reggae, hip-hop and punk. I was hooked and haven’t stopped listening to them since and would love to see them live.” – Jake
The Cat Empire – “With their tight fusion of Latin, Jazz, Pop, and Reggae, and some incredibly
catchy tunes and horn riffs, there’s something here for everyone. There’s plenty of dancing, chanting, and singing along to be done in-amongst raspy horn solos, mind-boggling keys solos, and intense percussion breaks. Siiick!” – Seb
Dat Brass are currently working on the follow-up to their acclaimed debut album. They’ve been called ‘unforgettable’ by Roundhouse and ‘f*cking awesome’ by Rare FM. Get in touch today to book Dat Brass for your venue, event, or festival.