Charli XCX - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
If you don't know Charli XCX yet, give it five minutes. The teenage prodigy's about to explode into 2012. Armed with a rampant imagination, a plethora of dark, emotive pop songs, and backed by a growing army of top producers and worldwide fans, Charli is not like your run-of-the-mill musician.
Earlier this summer she released 'Stay Away.' Co-written and produced by Ariel (Glasser, Major Lazer, Rolo Tomassi and frequent Diplo collaborator), it is as knock-you-to-the-floor as first introductions come. A massive anthem that combines all the majestic bluster of the 80s with distinct post-millennial production, it's an epic and heart-wrenching addition to pop's cannon about "unrequited love and being tainted by someone so you can't be around them any more". Guardian Guide made it pick of the week and it made the prestigious Pitchfork Best New Music playlist. Radio 1 support came from Annie Mac, Nick Grimshaw, Rob da Bank, Huw Stephens, Fearne Cotton and Pete Tong. And this is only the tip of the forthcoming album's iceberg as Charli proves with new cut 'Nuclear Seasons' set for release at the end of November. With comparisons ranging from Shakespeare's Sister to Siouxsie Soux and far beyond, it's certain to be another Goth-pop hit. She comments, 'Nuclear seasons is about a sense of decay. Whether it be the decaying of love, the decaying of life or the decaying of a period of time. Its about being lost and frozen and surviving. Its about being on your own and feeling magic and alive when you come through the other side.
Created over the last year in London, LA and Sweden with a small team of producers (Ariel, Patrik Berger, Jocke Ahlund), Charli XCX's debut album will be unveiled early next year. If the vast majority of her peers might lack ideas, Miss XCX has more than enough to go round. "I have a vivid imagination. Whenever I work I pull from visual references, whether it be club kid fashion, my own dreams or flashes of certain colours and lights. I want to build worlds within my music and like to create a tension between vulnerable childhood innocence and knowing darkness''
Charli's not just sought after for her music though; she's been muse to both Rankin and David Bailey already. "Bailey was cool but so scary" she remembers. "He said 'you've got a lovely voice, but your trousers are fucking shit.'
Playing in bands since the age of seven, Charli's long had music coursing through her veins. She recorded her first album at 14 with a loan from the bank of mum and dad and she's only just paid them back. It did the trick though attracting attention from the right London scenesters and bagging her gigs at warehouse raves across Hackney. A support slot with Peaches followed soon after and before she knew it she was playing the Royal Festival Hall and returning to Bestival last year as a resident (following in Florence's footsteps). She's supported Robyn at the Roundhouse and is playing a single launch at Electrowerks at the end of October. She currently attends the Slade School of Art and runs a regular club night called 'Shut Your Pretty Mouth.'
All of this only at the age of 19, expect big things from this Goth-pop starlet.
St. Lucia - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Even in the urban wilds of Brooklyn, there may be no one else like Jean-Philip Grobler, aka St. Lucia. Originally from Johannesberg, St. Lucia grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. When the choir wasn't traveling - they toured Japan, Australia, Europe and more - they stayed in an enclave tucked in the South African mountains, learning everything from Bach to minimalist opera.
A young musician could hardly find better training. But musically, St Lucia's heart lay elsewhere, and South Africa was full of other rhythms. "My mom says I used to sing along to Michael Jackson," he says - an ordinary anecdote, until he adds, "when I was an infant." As a young teenager, he started to feel that he'd had his fill of classical, and it felt like an epiphany when he discovered the direct emotionality of pop. Eventually, he left the creative "small pond" of South Africa for England, where he spent three years studying music in Liverpool.
St. Lucia's journey ended - as so many journeys do - in New York City, where he started working on the tracks that would ultimately turn into his self titled debut release on Neon Gold. The atmospheric quality of St. Lucia's electronic pop is powerful, with the musician's global travels and history of secret hideaways effortlessly passed onto the audience through his dreamy, shimmering synths.
Neon Gold will release St Lucia's debut album later this year. Formerly a singles-only label that launched releases Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, The Naked & Famous and helped launch the careers of countless others.