As a way of celebrating Pride month, we are chatting with LGBTQ+ members of Sound City’s 2020 lineup. We spoke with the very eloquent and musically divine Sylvie. Listening to Sylvie’s music is a MUST! However, delving deeper into what it’s like being a part of the LGBTQ+ community for Sylvie is truly a beautiful read:
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Sylvie, I’m 23 years old, from Suffolk and I’m a queer singer and songwriter. I moved to London when I was 18 to study songwriting, after falling in love with pop music at a young age and writing my own songs ever since.
2. What does pride mean to you?
Pride for me is a celebration as well as a protest, it’s a great way to come together as a community and celebrate our uniqueness and true selves, but also to send out a clear message to the world that we exist unapologetically. We will continue to fight for our own rights and equality, including the LGBTQ+ community all around the world that is in need of drastic change and support.
3. How do you feel being a part of the LGBTQ+ community affects you?
I think it can be both empowering yet difficult, as LGBTQ+ people we are often met with both acceptance and hatred, which can be hard to overcome. However, being part of a community that understands you is something very valuable to be able to lean on. Whilst I’ve had my own struggles with homophobia and in turn self acceptance, it inspires me to be that rock for the younger generation to lean on/look up to. Especially queer and trans musicians - its important for them to know they have a space to create and to be accepted.
4. Who are your gay icons?
My *bisexual* icon is definitely Lady gaga, and I struggle to not mention when ever talking about my icons or inspirations (or just daily life..) - she changed the game and inspired so many LGBTQ+ folks to love themselves. Need I say more really?
Also, Amber Bain (AKA The Japanese House) - her music is next level and so unique. So so good live too. Lyrical genius.
5. Is there anything you would change to give LGBTQ+ artists a bigger platform within the industry?
I think it’s the same sort of change that has to happen in society, we are at the end of the day, just human beings and we deserve the same opportunities as anyone else. Having Queer spaces like venues, playlists, festivals etc is so important to highlight queer and trans talent that unfortunately gets overlooked.
6. Tell us your gay anthem and why?
Without saying Born This Way for obvious reasons… it would probably be “Take Me Or Leave Me” from the movie Rent. It’s just a great song that my inner theatre kid loves, and is also very gay.
7. What is your favourite part of the queer community within the industry?
The way everyone is so supportive. We all have a unique understanding of each other and can stand up for each other when others don’t.
8. If you were to give your queer younger self any advice, what would that be?
Firstly it’s okay to write songs about girls!!! There are no rules to creativity, don’t hold back so much, being different is the best thing you could be. Also pop music is cool despite what your music class says.
We spoke to Irish queer-pop sweethearts ELM to discuss the things they love about being a part of the LGBTQ community and what it Pride month means to them!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
ELM are Irish queers making pop bangers in a dodgy area of south London. From angsty teens to raging queers, we have been on the creative journey together since the age of 16 (v cute), enjoying every moment of this beautifully chaotic rollercoaster that brings us around the world x
What does pride mean to you?
Pride is that sense of empowerment you get when you are living out your truth. Whether it’s not conforming to gender-norms or having a partner of the same sex, you are projecting the best version of yourself unapologetically to the world, whether people like it or not x
How do you feel being a part of the LGBTQ+ community affects you?
The key word here is ‘community’. There’s a beautiful interweaving network of support within the queer community. Seeing an artist who is just being themselves in their own individual, queer way is empowering beyond words. It reinforces the ideas in our own heads that ‘“YES!” the unique quirks and sparks that make us who we are should make us proud and to be presented in our own ways. It’s such a diverse community, with no two people being the same. We refuse to conform to any gender normative realm, and it lends to the most exciting safe space.
Who are your gay icons?
Pet Shop Boys
…. Too many
Is there anything you would change to give LGBTQ+ artists a bigger platform within the industry?
Although we are much further on than we once were in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, the fight isn’t over. The music industry needs to play a further part in supporting queer artists and queer culture, to allow the younger generation of music fans have idols that represent them as humans. Not just gay men, not just gay women. We want to see a true narrative played out for every story in the LGBTQ+ community to ensure the younger versions of ourselves don’t feel alienated from this black and white world. A bright light needs to be shune on the beauty of individuality x
6. Tell us your gay anthem and why?
Aidan: The first ring tone on my Sony Ericsson was I don’t feel like dancing by the Scissor Sisters, way back in the noughties! I recall playing it nonstop through the little tin can speaker (revolutionary at the time) and securing the bop into my gay anthem hall of fame forever more.
Dylan: Michelle Mc Manus ‘All This Time’. A TRUE GAYCON.
What is your favourite part of the queer community within the industry?
Undivided love and support for expressing authentic self.
If you were to give your queer younger self any advice as an artist, what would that be?
LET GO OF THE PAIN, AND EMBRACE THE FREEDOM.
At the beginning of ELM’s journey, we were expressing the pain felt from the oppression of our younger self. We latched onto the hurt, and expressed that through the medium music. Although it was beautiful, it hurt. Re-living that through every performance was quite intense on our emotions.
Then one day, we decided to write a “fun song”, and rediscovered what a buzz we got from music. Performing empowering, pop, dance songs fills us with confidence to put those oppressive memories to bed, and embrace how fabulouis it is to be your authentic self.
Perhaps we will go back and re-write our struggle one day, but for now we want to live on the buzz of empowering pop bangers x
Catch ELM at Sound City 2020 and be sure to check out their absolute anthems on Spotify!
Today we stand together as a part of the Love Music Hate Racism campaign #SpeakUpThursday to pledge to speak up against racism and bigotry in all its forms. This isn’t just for one day, Sound City does not and will never tolerate racism in any form at its events, festivals, its workplace or its community.
Sound City is about showcasing amazing talent and unearthing brilliant emerging artists from diverse music genres and backgrounds across the UK and the world. But we know that we have work to do to truly realise this vision and to make everything we do - from the artists we showcase and work with, the speakers we programme at our conferences, the participants we have on our training programmes, our workforce and our partners - truly inclusive and representative of the society we live in, to provide equal opportunities for all.
We pledge to being actively supportive of BIPOC. How will we do this? By empowering, amplifying, promoting and giving voice to BIPOC through all of our programmes and looking at how we operate as a company. We will be hosting discussions, updates about artists we are working with, archive content, and ways that we will increase opportunities for BIPOC from now on, on our website and social channels. We know that actions speak louder than words.
With love, support and hope for the future Sound City x
Save Parr Street!
Saving Liverpool’s renowned Parr Street studios is absolutely vital. Parr Street has been a musical milestone for musicians and producers from across the globe. It’s great to see even more famous faces and LCR Music Board coming together in the fight to save what is a huge part within Liverpool’s musical ecosystem.
See you in September 2020 ❤️
We want to thank everyone for sticking by us when we decided to move Sound City to 25th - 27th September 2020! We have extended the festival to three full days of non-stop music greatness because we know how much you’re going to want to dance and sing with your friends to your favourite artist when we get through this difficult time together. 🕺💃
On the other side of summer, we are looking forward to taking over the Baltic Triangle and filling up Liverpool’s iconic independent venues with only the best emerging musical talent. If you were joining us in May, your ticket is still valid for our new dates in September. If you’ve only just bought your ticket then get your dancing shoes ready as September awaits!
We appreciate everyone who has stuck by us at this time. The response has honestly been heartwarming for us even when adding an extra date that is close to selling out already. 🙌
We are working very hard with our health and safety team to make sure everyone can party safely in September. We’ll be dancing together very soon so let’s keep the independent spirit of Sound City alive! Your continued support really does mean everything to us. ❤️ We can’t wait to see all your faces for Sound City 2020!
We are delighted to tell you that Sound City is now expanding to three days for 2020! We will now take place 25th, 26th and 27th September.
We’re also thrilled that both previously announced headliners renowned shapeshifters Friendly Fires and indie goth-pop powerhouses PALE WAVES will rejoin us in September!
We welcome closing day headliners Red Rum Club to the line-up who will be bringing their Scouse Americana hits! As well as outspoken and riotous Dream Wife, dream indie-pop favourites Larkins & many more from all over the world 🔥
We want to say how blown away we have been from the support from all the artists and our fans from all around the world. Sound City is a global community and 2020 will be our opportunity to celebrate together on the streets and in the amazing music venues of Liverpool.
All tickets are valid for the new date which we hope you all can make and existing customers will be contacted by email with more information over the coming days!
Once again, thank you all for your continued support & we look forward to seeing you all in September!
Guest House Episode 001 Announcement
We are thrilled to reveal the artists joining us on Guest House episode 001; Wigan’s finest The Lathums who are recently taking the music world by storm, electronic synth-wave duo Monarchy, indie-rock tastemakers FEVER, high energy pop punk Bronnie and heavy rock powerhouses Crawlers.
After the cancellation of tours, gigs and the uncertainty of what’s next, we need to come together to support emerging artists through these struggling times more than ever. We bring to you Guest House!
What is Guest House?
The struggle is real but the message of Guest House is simple; we want to support artists no matter where they are or what they are doing. A place where we can enjoy, discover and give back to the artists who excite us in one way or another. We are asking you to give up £4.99 of your hard-earned cash every month in order to support the artists we bring to you via Guest House.
This little amount of cash could make a huge difference. Compared to your Apple Music’s & Spotify’s whereby only a tiny amount of money goes directly to the artist. Guest House’s culture is that there are no blank space, hidden algorithms or crazy micropayment systems in place. The money you pay for subscriptions is equally divided each month to the artists who have performed on Guest House that month. Furthermore, all net revenue made via donations in the performance segment goes directly to the artist.
This is not the only transaction. All the while, artists can connect with fans in a new and innovative way. Guest House allows artists and bands to create new ways of earning money through this tough time and also beyond this and into the future.
Why not try it? Tell us and the artists what you think. If you don’t like it you can always cancel at any time. We can’t say fairer than that!
Welcome to Guest House
For further announcements and more information please follow us on social media as we reveal even more information about how to get involved!
Sound City 2020 Postponement Statement
Following the recent advice from the UK Government on social distancing, and the changing situation with COVID-19, we have decided to postpone Sound City 2020 until 25th, 26th, 27th September. While this was a difficult decision for us to make, the health and safety of our guests, staff and community is the most important thing for us to safeguard. All purchased tickets are still valid for our new date. We’re happy that all the artists have agreed to play, although there may be some minor changes to the programme with new day splits announced very soon.
In light of the crisis, we have developed a brand new online resource “Guest House” that will allow struggling artists and performers to continue to showcase their talent and generate money from the comfort of their own homes. It is an opportunity for artists to showcase their festival sets as well as entertain their fans in innovative ways from the privacy of their own bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, back garden or bedroom! More information and announcements to come, stay tuned on our socials for more updates.
We really do appreciate your support at this time and hope that everyone is staying safe and continuing to help those who are in need. Together we will get through this and party together soon.
Fickle Friends, the four piece with indie synth-pop anthems to get any dancefloor psyched. We were able to have a quick chat with Fickle Friends about what it means to play Sound City and what’s in store as they take over the Friday night for our VIP ticket holders in District.
Name: Natti (Fickle Friends)
What does it mean to you to play Sound City? Natti: I love this festival. I have so many mad memories from back when I lived in Liverpool seeing Jamie XX in the basement of The Shipping Forecast and running about time literally having the time of my life. The city truly holds a special place in my heart so we are thrilled to be playing!
What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool? Natti: The egg cafe, Santos, the people and all the music venues! (And the Beatles!!!)
Who else on the line-up do you want to see? Natti: Well if we could stay (we have festivals all weekend) we would defo be watching Friendly Fires because they’re our FAVE band to see live. And Marsicans cos they are our cheeky pals.
What should people expect for your set? Probably a fair bit of new material what with the album approaching. Maybe some extravagant outfits….haven’t decided yet.
Have you got anything else lined up for 2020? Oh plenty of new music to come, lots of festivals… even looking at running some clothes swaps around the country because fast fashion suckzzzzz! See ya there!
Witness Fickle Friends live! VIP Tickets are on sale now along with upgrades for any current weekend ticket holders who don’t want to miss out on Friday’s action. Tickets available now.
Sound City talks with punk tastemakers Courting
The latest stir in the Liverpool punk scene, if you haven’t heard of Courting then you’re bond to be hooked! With their recent tracks getting played Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, Radio X & Amazing Radio, their performance sat Sound City is much awaited. We caught up with the lads to find out what is in store for their performance this May!
What does it mean to you to play Sound City?
It means a lot to us as a band considering the fact we’re local so get to see the festival every year and it’s nice to finally get to play it. It’ll also be our first festival show, and it’s nice to do that in our hometown.
What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool?
I’ve always felt as though Liverpool is an incredibly accepting place, and being from here you’re able to talk to just about anyone without it being awkward.
Who else on the line-up do you want to see?
Working Mens Club, Monks, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, The Blinders and a load more.
What should people expect for your set?
A lot of noise, some songs we’ve never played before and a scene for scene recreation of the end of Wayne’s World 2
Have you got anything else lined up for 2020?
We’ve got some tracks ready to go, and hopefully we’ll be playing all around the country.
Grab your tickets to see Courting live this May here!
Meet PRS for Music and PPL
PRS for Music collect and distribute money on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers, for the use of their musical compositions and lyrics. PPL collects and distributes money on behalf of performers and recording rightsholders (e.g. record companies and self-releasing artists) for the use of their recorded music when it is broadcast or played in public.
Both PRS for Music and PPL are dedicated to championing their members’ rights and supporting UK music.
The two societies work to ensure those who write, perform, compose, own or publish music are fairly paid for their work. For that reason, we have chosen to team up and curate a stand-out panel at Liverpool Sound City 2020. On Friday 1 May from 12:00 to 12:30 pm, Oli and Rob from Marsicans will join us to discuss everything you need to know about being #OnTrack with your career and the practicalities involved.
Whether you are already a member of PRS for Music and PPL, or thinking of becoming one, come and visit us at The British Music Experience to find out how to make the most of your membership and how integral your royalties really are.
We are kicking off the festival with a drinks reception at Chapters of Us and would love to see you there!
As with previous years at Sound City, 2020 sees students and alumni from BIMM Institute - Europe’s most connected provider of music education – joining a brilliantly eclectic line-up of artists.
With eight campuses throughout England, Ireland and Germany, and with its northern-most campus in the heart of Manchester, BIMM is home to an array of success stories including high profile artists such as Fickle Friends, Pale Waves, James Bay, George Ezra, Black Peaks and Fontaines .D.C.
Here’s what you can expect from BIMM Manchester artists appearing at Sound City this year.
The soulful acoustic stylings of this twenty-year-old singer songwriter from York draw comparison to the likes of Jake Bugg, David Gray and Noel Gallagher, and have been earning him a reputation as one to watch out for in 2020. Lewis’ debut EP, 2019’s ‘I Bicker, I Mend’ tells coming of age stories with lyrical poeticism far beyond his years.
These self-dubbed ‘Queens of Sassy Rock’ are causing a heck of a stir on the live circuit with their riotous blend of 70’s punk riffs and dance rhythms. Their debut single ‘Unknown’ serves up lashings of glam rock attitude delivered with wild abandon and recalls The Runaways at their glorious peak.
Delivering husky vocals with a soulful UK RnB flavour, this promising young artist has already received much-hyped radio play from the likes of BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Introducing, and NTS Manchester. Her latest single ‘te extraño, pero…’ has amassed nearly 200,000 streams on Spotify alone!
This versatile young artist’s budding career is already imbued with promising highlights including live dates in 2019 at Focus Wales, Gwyll Arall, Fresh On The Net Live. Her song ‘Overdose’ recently reached the finals of the UK Songwriting Competition in the ‘Under 18s’ category.
With a blend of avant-garde spoken word poetry and alternative indie rock instrumentation, this Manchester-based quartet are anchored by the impassioned lyrics and dynamic delivery of frontman Spencer Mason, whose style echoes the likes of fellow wordsmiths Kate Tempest and Ghostpoet.
With a growing selection of epic pop songs under their belt - including the brilliant new single ‘Dysphoria’ - and having already supported the likes of Blossoms and Courteneers live, Manchester quintet Valve have been described as “one of the best upcoming bands of 2019” by Natalie Eve-Williams of BBC Introducing. Miss them at your peril!
Meet The Artists of Launch 2020
We are proud to announce the 12 talented acts who Sound City will be offering 12 months of music artist support too. Catch them at Sound City 2020!
The 12 artists named for the 2020 programme are The Mysterines, Tomike, Nikki & The Waves, The Sway, Podge, Lizzie Ross, Molly Green, Daddy. Including Leeds College of Music students; L’nee Golay and Weezy Jefferson. Plus Levi’s Music Project 2019 alumni Lydiah and That’s Juvey?.
The programme helps artists with recording and releasing music; funding; tour management; marketing and PR; personal development; and the transition to treating their band and brand as a business.
You can see them live across the Sound City weekend! Join us.
Leeds College of Music Showcase at Sound City
Leeds College of Music is delighted to return to Sound City for the fifth year running! Chosen by the team at Sound City, five LCoM artists will perform across a range of venues at the festival on Saturday 2 May 2020.
Our partnership with Sound City is just one example of the many and varied performance opportunities available to LCoM students.
Here’s a bit more about the artists selected for this year’s line-up….
L’nee’s music is a rich blend of all things wonderful: a bit of soul, a bit of hip-hop, and a sprinkle of singer-songwriter vibes all mixed up to create one beautiful sound. Her recent single Options, featuring producer Psalmist Music, was on five major playlists on Apple Music India, including A-List Pop, Today’s Hits and Best of the Week. Her forthcoming single Never Loved Somebody Like You was featured on the new hits Amazon Prime TV series Made In Heaven.
Weezy Jefferson’s music takes a contemporary approach to Hip Hop using intricate lyricism and wordplay. Weezy has appeared across a range of different platforms, such as BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1xtra and has been play-listed as BBC Introducing’s Track of the week on BBC Radio 1.
Her Tilted Moons
HerTiltedMoons is an eerie music project by Venetian singer-songwriter Cecilia Nicolè. Cecilia has always been immersed in a musical environment and she began studying the violin at age 5, wrote her first songs at 14 and began gigging in Italy straight after high school. With her music being influenced by British bands and singer-songwriters, in 2018 she moved to Leeds. Her song Dead Poets has been featured on BBC Music Introducing.
ALLEYWAYS, the Leeds based Pop-Indie outfit bring their alternative stance on pop culture to the new indie generation. Their punchy tunes, brought to life by frontman Dougie Turner’s electric presence, weave a spell over the tight groove provided by bassist and producer George Barwick. Saxophonist, Stu Whyte, adds an extra dimension to the sound that is completed by the glittering funky guitar of Ben Clark. The band have supported the likes of Fickle Friends, King No One, Glass Caves and Cassia, and have been featured on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Introducing.
Sheffield’s very own answer to conscious hip-hop, reminiscent of the melancholic vibes of Loyle Carner and the attitude of the 4 Owls, on stage MOAN hit you with raw chemistry and compelling storytelling, drawn right out of their very own lives. Fresh from their first festival circuit supporting KRS ONE and Riot Jazz brass band, MOAN make music for the people and represent this hard, mislead modern way of living.
The 2020 Sound City line-up features an impressive list of headliners, including Friendly Fires, Pale Waves, Marika Hackman and LCoM alumni band Marsicans.
Will you be joining us for the weekend? Attending Saturday for Friendly Fires, The Blinders, Louis Berry, The Mysterines and more? Or attending Sunday for Pale Waves, Marika Hackman, The Snuts, Tim Burgess, BC Camplight or more?
Day and weekends tickets are now on sale, grab yours today.
Friendly Fires & 100s more acts announced!
We are delighted to announce the latest acts joining the Sound City 2020 lineup. With new headliners Friendly Fires - we can’t wait for them to bring the dance-infused indie party down to the Baltic Triangle.
Alternative songstress Marika Hackman and one of Scotland’s best new bands The Snuts also stop by, with Louis Berry, Bad Sounds, Spector and Marsicans all appearing across the weekend.
The introspective songwriting craft of BC Camplight will be on full show, whilst jangle-pop purveyors SPINN will bring the sonic sunshine down on Liverpool. All this plus 100s more at Sound City 2020!
Day splits/tickets coming Friday - last remaining Early Birds available here
All previously purchased Sound City 2020 tickets automatically entered!!
Sound City 2020 Announcement!
The first wave of acts have been announced for Sound City 2020, the UK’s leading independent festival and conference for new music.
We are proud to unveil the incredible Pale Waves as our first headliner for next year. One of the biggest names in Indie Pop, their gothic edge makes them one of the country’s most unique and exciting bands.
Also announced is Tim Burgess. Frontman of The Charlatans, he takes to Sound City as one of the finest songwriters the UK’s ever produced. The Blinders make their return after performing the set of the festival in 2018, and Stealing Sheep will also grace us with their mind-melting experimental pop.
The band on everybody’s lips The Lathums will also appear, alongside The Lottery Winners, Jamie Webster and The Mysterines.
The true value in Sound City however is in the talents you may be yet to hear. Now is the perfect time to get to know all of the 20+ artists announced so far with our Official Spotify playlist, which will be updated regularly from now until the festival.
This week marks the start of MaMA Festival & Convention! France’s leading music industry gathering, over 5000 industry professionals partake in 3 days of panels and workshops, sharing their insights and experiences.
Now in its 10th year, MaMA has a reputation for being at the forefront of innovative and collaborative thinking in an industry marked by constant transformation.
By night MaMA becomes a huge urban festival, taking over Paris’ Pigalle District to showcase the talents of over 120 French and International artists.