SELECT NOV hawa-by-Guarionex-Rodriguez-Jr
The American prodigy Hawa is kicking off the festival

Showcase festival Fifty Lab: in the vanguard of pop music

Nicolas Alsteen

Looking towards the future, the Brussels showcase festival Fifty Lab is the place for all kinds of musical discoveries.

Set up by the Five Oh agency, Fifty Lab shines a spotlight on the stars of tomorrow thanks to expert advice from the best festivals in Europe. At the cutting edge of trends, festivals in France, Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Poland, and England gather their best picks in the heart of the capital. For three days, from 16 to 18 November, the AB, the Beursschouwburg, L’Archiduc, and the Bonnefooi welcome the rising stars of the Belgian and international scenes.

It all kicks off with Hawa, newly signed by the label 4AD (Big Thief, Bon Iver). Born in Guinea and discovered in New York, the singer makes music that is at the crossroads of rap, R&B and Afrobeat. In a different genre, the English artist Grove alternates between shades of Dizzee Rascal and Little Simz to explore sexual identity in a rave inspired by the energy of the Prodigy. There will also be dream pop from the New York-based collective Michelle.

For the Astropolis Festival, the future belongs to Gwendoline: these two punks chase away the darkness of the world with a great amount of self-mockery and spoken word, a formula that is bound to please fans of Odezenne. For fans of rock, the Siren’s Call festival in Luxemburg will be serving post-punk with the Clockworks, an Irish group discovered by the great Alan McGee (Primal Scream, Oasis).

Alongside international acts, Fifty Lab also gives pride of place to Brussels-based projects. The transgenic jazz of the KAU Trio, the post-punk of Ada Oda, the ethereal soul of Stace, the meticulous electro of Niels Orens, and the experimental work of the violinist Catherine Graindorge are also at the forefront of this innovative programme.

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