By Jose Mujica
August 8, 2018
It’s back to Baltimore this weekend for the 5th annual Moonrise Music Festival. Since its inception in 2014, Moonrise has earned a reputation of being one of the most popular and diverse Electronic Dance Music festivals on the east coast, boasting impressive attendance numbers year after year. Thrill seekers from all over the country will make their pilgrimage to Maryland to take part in the now-established psychedelic ritual of blinding lasers and booming bass. The 2018 headliners continue the tradition of showcasing some of the hottest EDM acts alongside a mix of some big names in hip-hop and indie synth music. Attendees can look forward to showstoppers such as Marshmello, Kaskade and DJ Snake, but some of the undercard acts that may fly under the radar show a lot of promise.
Here’s are some of our must-see acts at Moonrise 2018:
Easily the most popular saxophone player since Bill Clinton in the early ’90s, Griz has become synonymous with his unique brand of funky, soulful, and jazzy EDM. Hailing from the suburbs of Detroit, he made a name for himself touring alongside other heavyweights of the genre such as Bassnectar, Gramatik and Big Gigantic, establishing himself as a force within the genre. It’s been a few years since he dropped an album so fans are eager to hear if any new material will be revealed on Sunday.
The rapper hailing from Long Beach, CA is a pure force in hip-hop with his caustic sense of humor and a contrarian streak in his interviews, making them some of the most entertaining online. Whether it’s calling ’90s hip-hop overrated or calling out R. Kelly’s sexual abuse allegations on air, Vince is not one to bite his tongue for anyone. His fearless and bold persona translates to his music, where he illustrates the reality of his violent past. He falls short of glamorizing the lifestyle and refers mostly to the horrors all while expertly mixing in socio-political commentary overy dancey electronic production. As one of the bigger rap names on the lineup, you can bet the crowd will be packed for his performance.
An electronic indie-pop duo originating from New York, Phantogram weaves some of that textbook New York gritty hip-hop sound into their otherwise dreamy and psychedelic EDM soundscapes. After touring alongside Outkast member, Big Boi, in a group aptly titled Big Grams, where they infused southern rap with their signature sound, Phantogram is back on the road ready to conjure up some visions and raise some spirits. The duo released two new singles “Someday” and “Saturday” benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which could indicate a new Phantogram project is on the way.
A Boogie wit da Hoodie
A Boogie wit da Hoodie is a rapper/singer straight out of the Bronx that’s been making waves since he was named an XXL Freshmen in 2017. Firmly cemented in the new-age wave of rapper/crooners, A Boogie’s ear for catchy melodies is made clear with every earworm song that he drops. His 2017 debut album, The Bigger Artist, went gold proving that A Boogie’s more pop-centered hip-hop style was able to gain a significant audience outside of New York City. Increasing his exposure by joining fellow NYC Rapper, Tekashi69, and Fetty Wap on their hit song “KEKE,” A Boogie is gradually growing into an artist with a national following. Festival attendees who might want a break from the heavy bass in favor of soothing vocals and smoother vibes should definitely make their way to the Lunar Stage to catch his performance.
You know it’s gonna be a party as soon as you hear “Mustard on the beat, ho!” before the drop. One of the most consistent hip-hop DJs in the festival circuit, there’s a good reason why Mustard gets booked at festivals all across the globe. He brings the hype! Boasting hits such as 2 Chainz “I’m Different,” Tyga’s “Rack City” and YG’s “My N*gga,” Mustard’s style of bouncy, catchy hip-hop production is impossible not to nod and dance along to. In what he affectionately refers to as “ratchet music,” if there’s anywhere at Moonrise to catch booties dropping lower than the bass, it’s going to be at Mustard’s set.
The Norwegian DJ, Cashmere Cat, began his career posting his own pop electronic remixes of artists such as 2 Chainz, Tory Lanez and Kanye West. Cashmere Cat has become one of the most sought after names if you’re looking for innovative dream pop production. With more recent collaborations with Ty Dolla Sign, Camila Cabello, Kehlani and others, Cashmere Cat seems to have settled within his niche of cloud pop, getting away from the roller coaster builds and drops typical of EDM acts instead opting for a more rich, full and soothing experience. For those looking to get lost in the vibes, Cashmere’s set is one you won’t want to miss.
Mija seems to go tragically overlooked in the saturated scene of EDM festival regulars. Refusing to label her music as any specific genre or subgenre, Mija prefers to let her work speak for itself. Coming to fame after impressing Skrillex and performing alongside him at a few festivals, spectators quickly realized Mija was a force to be reckoned with. In the last couple of years, Mija’s output seems to be steadily increasing, indicating that she’s ready to step up to the plate with the heavy hitters. With an incredibly impressive range of influences from EDM, trap, hip hop, and pop, Mija’s sets explore an entire range of emotions and sounds that leaves fans fully worn out by the end. Her rebellious persona, incredible stage presence and expansive sonic arsenal will make you an instant fan.
Check out the full lineup for Moonrise Festival August 11 + 12 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.