The Budweiser Made in America Festival, famously curated by rapper Jay-Z, just announced its 2015 lineup. The fest is returning to Philadelphia for its fourth consecutive year September 5-6, and will feature headlining performances from Beyonce, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Modest Mouse, and more. Though last year’s bi-coastal event included performances in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the festival has officially dropped L.A. in favor of being a Philly exclusive.
Read on for a full listing of this year’s Made in America lineup, with bios and music videos for every artist.
Beyonce is more than just a pop star, she’s a superstar. With multiple chart-topping singles and Grammy Awards, multi-platinum album sales, a successful acting career, and a high-profile marriage to rapper Jay-Z, she’s living proof that you really can have it all. Billboard named her their artist of the decade, and Time included her in their list of the 100 most influential people twice. Oxford did add the word “Bootylicious” to the dictionary in 2006, so there’s that influence at work. In 2013 she dropped her self-titled album without any announcement or promotion and it still debuted atop the Billboard 200. The record earned a nomination for Album of the Year at this year’s Grammy Awards, and although she may have lost to Beck (sorry, Kanye), she’s still earned enough accolades to make up for it. The record has now sold millions of copies and earned over a billion streams worldwide, so it’s safe to say that she’s still doing just fine.
The Weeknd is the stage name of Canadian alternative R&B musician Abel Tesfaye. He surfaced in 2011 with his nine-track mixtape House of Balloons, and he was soon championed by superstar rapper Drake, which increased his popularity tremendously. His series of mixtapes were received favorably by critics and his debut album Kiss Land arrived in 2013. In the few years that he’s been in the spotlight, The Weeknd has collaborated with such big-name artists as Drake, Ariana Grande, and Wiz Khalifa.
Axwell & Ingrosso
Axwell ^ Ingrosso is the electronic music duo consisting of former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. Since Swedish House Mafia came to an end in 2013, Axwell and Ingrosso began working on music together. The duo officially formed in 2014, playing their first performance at the Governor’s Ball music festival in New York City that June. They are working on a debut album, which they say will be released soon.
As the first artist signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, rapper J. Cole was surely the subject of much attention in 2011. That year, the label released his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, which debuted at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200. He followed that up in 2013 with his equally successful, chart-topping sophomore record Born Sinner. Last fall, J. Cole dropped his highly anticipated third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which again debuted atop the Billboard 200, making it his third consecutive #1 album. Though it has only been out for a few months, the record has already been certified platinum.
Lorin Ashton, better known by his stage name Bassnectar, is an American DJ and record producer. He is known for his live performances and stunning light shows, and sells out huge venues all over the country. Not only has he proven himself as an influential EDM artist, but he has also stood out over the years as a social activist and philanthropist. In 2011, he donated one dollar per ticket sold on his tour to charity for what was known as the “Dollar Per Basshead” campaign, for which he raised $250,000 and let his fans vote for which charities it would benefit.
Formed in 1993, indie rock band Modest Mouse would grow to become one of the most successful acts of the 2000s. The band released a few albums before really hitting it big with their 2004 commercial breakthrough Good News For People Who Love Bad News. For their next album, 2007’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, they recruited former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to record with them. Marr eventually became a full member of the band, touring in support of the record, although he ultimately left shortly afterward to join The Cribs. Modest Mouse underwent a bit of a lull in activity since then, other than releasing an EP in 2009 and playing a few shows here and there. However, the band came back in full force in 2014, issuing the single “Lampshades On Fire” ahead of their long-awaited sixth album, Strangers to Ourselves. The new album is the band’s first full-length since ’07, but it is proving to have been worth the wait.
Death Cab For Cutie
This year, Grammy-nominated alternative rock band Death Cab For Cutie is back with their first album in four years, Kintsugi. Despite the recent amicable departure of lead guitarist and founding band member Chris Walla, the band remains intact with frontman Ben Gibbard still at the helm after all these years. Known for earnest lyrics across several stunning and emotional albums, highlights of which include 2003’s Transatlanticism and its 2005 follow-up Plans, Death Cab For Cutie has made an indelible mark on indie rock history.
Banks (born Jillian Banks) began writing songs when she was a teenager growing up in California. After a few years of making music just for herself, she uploaded her song “Before I Ever Met You” on SoundCloud in 2013. Soon she found herself with a record deal, and quickly went from an unknown LA songstress to an international music star. Banks released her full-length debut album, the dark and moody Goddess, last September.
Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill began his career by releasing his own mixtapes, after which he briefly signed with T.I.’s label Grand Hustle. After switching to Rick Ross’ MMG imprint, Meek Mill released his debut studio album Dreams and Nightmares in 2012. The record debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and featured appearances from Drake, Big Sean, and Rick Ross. He later founded his own record label called Dream Chasers, and this year put out his sophomore album, Dreams Worth More Than Money.
Rapper Big Sean entered the spotlight in 2007 when he signed with Kanye West’s fledgling label G.O.O.D. Music. After putting out a few mixtapes, he released his debut album Finally Famous in 2011, followed by his sophomore record, Hall of Fame, in 2013. This year, Big Sean came back strong with his third studio album Dark Sky Paradise, which rose to the top spot on the Billboard 200, marking the rapper’s first #1 album.
Atlanta-bred rapper Future came to attention when he signed with Epic Records in 2011. The next year, he dropped his debut album Pluto, which spawned a number of tracks that made it to the top 100, including the platinum single “Turn on the Lights.” Future followed up his wildly successful debut with his sophomore record Honest in the spring of 2014. The new record features appearances from rap royalty like Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, and Drake among others.
Adam Dyment, a.k.a. Duke Dumont, is a Grammy-nominated DJ and producer based in London. He has done plenty of well-known remix work for artists like Lily Allen, Santigold, and AlunaGeorge among others, but recently he has had several big hits of his own. In 2013 his big breakthrough came with his original track “Need U (100%),” which hit #1 in the U.K. and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.
A-Trak is the stage name of Alain Macklovitch, a Canadian DJ and producer (and also the younger brother of Chromeo’s David Macklovitch). A-Trak began his career in a very impressive way: he became the youngest DJ to ever win a DJ world championship at age 15, and by age 18 he became the first to win all three major DJ championships (ITF, DMC, and Vestax). Needless to say, this guy’s got skills. In addition to his solo career, he is a founding member of the disco house duo Duck Sauce as well as a successful remix artist and producer.
Vocalist Santi White made her musical debut to the world as Santogold with a self-titled album in 2008. Santogold was the subject of much critical acclaim that year, and the album received rave reviews from publications like Entertainment Weekly, Spin, and Rolling Stone. Catchy singles like “L.E.S. Artistes” and “Lights Out” helped make her a huge commercial success. The next year, she changed her name to Santigold due to potential legal issues and released her sophomore album, Master of My Make-Believe, in 2012.
As of last year, the youngest Jonas brother officially stepped out on his own, releasing a self-titled album in late 2014. The new album helped him somewhat shed his Disney-approved image and spawned huge top 40 hits like “Chains” and the multi-platinum single “Jealous.” Now a pop star in his own right, Nick Jonas is touring this year with big acts like Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson, and recently announced that he is set to embark on his own headlining tour starting this fall.
Canadian indie rock band Metric formed in Toronto in 1998. Consisting of vocalist Emily Haines, guitarist James Shaw, bassist Joshua Winstead, and drummer Joules Scott-Key, the band has retained the same lineup since 2001. Metric has released five studio albums to date, in between which Haines and Shaw recorded and performed as members of Canadian indie rock supergroup Broken Social Scene. This summer, they’re touring with Imagine Dragons, after which they’ll release their sixth record, titled Pagans in Vegas, which is due out this September.
De La Soul
American hip-hop trio De La Soul formed in the late ’80s in Long Island, New York. They first came to attention with their hit debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, which hit shelves in 1989. The album promoted the ideas of peace and love, which led many to label the group as hippies. This stereotyping frustrated the group’s members, who made a conscious decision to change their style later on because of it. They have recorded several successful albums since then, and are currently at work on a kickstarter-funded new record.
Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy, is a rapper and producer from California. He has made a name for himself as “the James Dean of rap,” often sporting a leather jacket and a pompadour. His mixtapes have produced viral singles, including “Runaround Sue”, an R&B remake of the rock & roll classic. After hitting the road with Hoodie Allen, G-Eazy came out with his first full length album, These Things Happen, in 2014.
DJ and producer Dijon McFarlane performs as DJ Mustard, a hilarious play on his given name. The Los Angeles-based producer first came to attention as the official DJ for rapper YG, as well as for producing a number of hit singles for other artists like Tyga, 2 Chainz, and Young Jeezy. DJ Mustard has released two of his own mixtapes, and just released his debut solo album, 10 Summers, in August 2014.
Miami-based production duo GTA is comprised of Matthew Van Toth (who goes by just Van Toth) and Julio Mejia (a.k.a. JWLS). Their very first track, “It’s Time,” earned the attention of Afrojack, who released it through his Wall Recordings label. They have toured with the likes of Rihanna, Calvin Harris, and Tiesto, and they are preparing to release more music soon.
Cedric Gervais began his ascent to DJ stardom when he moved from his native Paris to Miami in 1998 when he was just a teenager. Within a few years, he became a very in-demand remixer and producer. Although he was successful early on in his career, his most successful years came more recently. In 2012, his single “Molly” was a huge hit, peaking at number five on the U.K. dance chart. Then in 2013, his remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” hit it big in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, reaching the top ten on the pop charts in all three countries.
Former Detroit resident and producer Barclay Crenshaw adopted the name Claude VonStroke in 2005 when he decided he needed a quirky name to go with a quirky mix of techno tracks. He released his debut album a year later, titled Beware of the Bird. He has since released two more albums, and formed his own label called Dirtybird.
Brooklyn-born rapper Fabolous released his first record, Ghetto Fabolous, in 2001, earning hit singles right off the bat with tracks like “Can’t Deny It” and “Young’n (Holla Back).” His 2003 follow-up Street Dreams was equally successful, earning him more top 10 singles and featuring collaborations with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, and Mary J. Blige. Fabolous has released a number of successful records since then, the latest arriving in 2014.
Halsey is the stage name of New York’s Ashley Frangipane. In true hipster fashion, the New Jersey native took the name of a stop on the L train to use as her musical alias. She self-released her first single, “Ghost,” and based on the strength and popularity of that song she signed a deal with Capitol Records-owned electronic/dance label Astralwerks in 2014. She released her debut EP later that year.
Before pursuing his music career full-time, rapper Action Bronson was a gourmet chef in New York City. He decided to leave the culinary arts behind in 2009 in favor of making music, and released his debut album two years later. Although he never did end up as a chef, Action Bronson still shows his love for food by constantly rapping about it. The guy even has his own food series for VICE. Unless you hate food, you can’t hate Action Bronson.
LA-based mapper and Odd Future member Thebe Kgositsile is better known by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt. With an affinity for morbid themes and one-word song titles, he released a successful and critically acclaimed mixtape before even reaching his eighteenth birthday. After taking a several-year hiatus to attend boarding school in Samoa, Earl Sweatshirt came back in 2013 with his full-length debut album, Doris, followed by a sophomore album that dropped earlier this year.
Canadian DJ/producer Ryan Hemsworth combines the styles of hip hop and indie pop. He began his music career by producing recordings in his bedroom, when one of them ended up on the popular music website Fader. Soon, he would be working with artists like Quadron, Shady Blaze, and Lana Del Rey. He released his debut solo EP in 2012, and followed that up with a full-length album a year later.
Formerly a member of the hip hop group Kids These Days, Chicago-based rapper Vic Mensa made his solo debut in 2013 on Chance the Rapper’s mixtape Acid Rap. In that same year, he released his own mixtape called Innanetape. The success of Innanetape led to a growing fan base and critical praise, and also brought him the opportunity to tour with J. Cole and Wale a year later.
Matthew Burns, better known by his stage name Burns, is an English DJ and record producer. He built up a respectable profile through his remix work for artists like Calvin Harris, Passion Pit, and Empire of the Sun. In addition to his lauded remix work, Burns has released a number of popular original tracks of his own.
Botnek is the duo of Canadian producers Gordon Huntley and Erick Muise. Their music is influenced by electro house, rave, and techno. Botnek’s latest release is an EP called Sriracha & Beer that came out in 2012.
Belgian electronic act Aeroplane began as a duo in 2007, featuring producers Vito Deluca and Stephen Fasano. They made their debut in 2010 with the album We Can’t Fly. Shortly afterward, Fasano departed from the group, and Aeroplan now functions as Deluca’s solo project.
British DJ/producer Jacob Plant has made himself known with recordings for several prominent EDM labels, including Calvin Harris’ Fly Eye Records and Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak. Plant has also done official remix work for major artists like Rihanna, Iggy Azalea, Calvin Harris, and Axwell.
Saint Motel is an indie pop band formed in 2007 by pianist/vocalist A.J. Jackson and guitarist Aaron Sharp. The duo met while both studying film at Chapman University in Orange, California, and soon recruited bassist Dak Lerdamornpong and drummer Greg Erwin to round out their lineup. Using their film school knowhow, the band put together appealing videos for each of the six tracks on their debut EP ForPlay. Saint Motel’s 2012 debut full-length was met favorably by critics, earning the band more popularity and the chance to tour with internationally famous acts like Imagine Dragons, Arctic Monkeys, and Weezer.
Young Rising Sons
Young Rising Sons is an alternative rock band that formed in New Jersey in 2010. The group is made up of vocalist/guitarist Andy Tongren, guitarist Dylan Scott, bassist Julian Dimagiba, and drummer Steve Patrick. In 2014 they released their debut single “High,” which became an internet hit and eventually a huge commercial success. Currently, Young Rising Sons are at work on their debut full-length album, which is said to come out sometime later this year.
English rock band The Struts was formed in 2010 by vocalist Luke Spiller and guitarist Adam Slack. Their often flamboyant glam rock style has drawn comparisons to bands like The Rolling Stones and Queen. In fact, the group was given the opportunity to open for The Rolling Stones in Paris last year in front of 80,000 fans. Last year, The Struts released their debut album Everybody Wants, which reached #52 on the U.K. albums chart.
Hip hop group Flatbush Zombies formed in 2010, unsurprisingly in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. The group is comprised of three rappers who go by the names Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick “Arc” Elliott. In 2012, they released their debut mixtape, D.R.U.G.S., which actually stands for “Death and Reincarnation Under God’s Supervision.” The group followed that up in 2013 with a second mixtape called “BetterOffDEAD.”
Lolawolf is the trio of Jimmy Giannopoulos, James Levy, and Zoe Kravitz (a.k.a. the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet). They self-released their ’90s-influenced debut album, Calm Down, in 2014. The band recently toured with pop acts like Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus.
Philadelphia band Creepoid makes dark noise rock reminiscent of late-’80s shoegaze bands like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine mixed with Sonic Youth. Earlier this month, they released a new album called Cemetery Highrise Slum, which is their third studio record.
Originally called Daylight when they formed back in 2008, alternative rock band Superheaven takes cues from grunge bands of the ’90s like Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots. As Daylight, they released their debut album Jar in 2013, after which they changed their name to Superheaven. This spring, Superheaven released their sophomore album, Ours Is Chrome.
Hop Along is an indie folk band from Philadelphia that began as the solo project of vocalist Frances Quinlan called Hop Along, Queen Ansleis. As a solo project, Quinlan released an album titled Freshman Year in 2006 before turning the endeavor into a full-fledged band and shortening the name to just Hop Along. The band released an album in 2012 called Disowned, and they just released a follow-up titled Painted Shut earlier this year.
Singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield makes music as Waxahatchee, adopting the name of a lake where her parents have a house in her native Alabama. She released her debut album, the bedroom-recorded American Weekend, in 2012, to much critical acclaim. From there, she began performing in the Philadelphia area, where she put together a full band for her live appearances, and released her sophomore album, Cerulean Salt, in 2013. Now, Waxahatchee is signed to Merge Records, and just released a third record titled “Ivy Tripp” in April.
Strand of Oaks
Strand of Oaks is the rock project of producer and songwriter Timothy Showalter. He has released several albums as Strand of Oaks since 2009, each showcasing his unique sound that blends indie Americana with anthemic rock. His most recent album came out in 2014 and is called HEAL.
Up-and-coming rapper Remy Banks dropped his mixtape higher. earlier this year. The Queens native is a member of the NYC-based World’s Fair Collective, and is determined to put his city back on the map in terms of being the center of rap music.
Rapper Mick Jenkins came onto the scene in 2012 when he released his debut mixtape, The Micktape. His latest mixtape, The Water[s], came out in 2014 and received favorable reviews from critics.
Marian Hill is an electronic pop duo from Philadelphia comprised of producer Jeremy Lloyd and vocalist Samantha Gongol. Their debut single, “Whisky,” was popular with music blogs and made it to the top ten on the Hype Machine charts. They released their latest EP, Sway, in February of this year.
Rapper Post Malone recently became an internet success story with the meteoric popularity of his hit single “White Iverson.” The track, though only released a mere four months ago, has already received over 12 million streams on SoundCloud. Without even a full record out yet, Post Malone is already selling out shows, signaling that he may just be rap’s next big thing.
Detroit-born singer-songwriter Mayaeni came to attention in 2012 with the club hit “Nothing Inside,” a collaboration with DJ Sander Van Doorn. Later that year, she signed with Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, and she is currently at work on a new album.
In 2013, Queens-based rapper Bas became the first artist signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. A year later, he released his debut album Last Winter, which includes a guest appearance from J. Cole himself. Following the release of the record, Bas embarked on a national tour supporting rapper Ab-Soul.
Rapper Cozz first hit the internet with his single “Dreams” back in 2014. The track caught the attention of J. Cole, who soon signed him to his label Dreamville Records. Cozz released his debut studio album, Cozz & Effect, later that year.
Chicago-bred rapper Omen recently came to attention when he signed with J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. In 2011, he released his critically acclaimed mixtape Afraid of Heights, which features guest appearances from J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Following the success of the mixtape, he released a follow-up called Elephant Eyes in 2013.
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