The Brussels Summer Festival will occupy the centre of the city for five whole days. The most striking names include Christine and the Queens, Rudimental, Hooverphonic, Booba, Manic Street Preachers, Giorgio Moroder, Alvaro Soler, and Lost Frequencies. But following in their wake will be some young swallows who might soon be among the big birds that fly through the pop scene. We have selected one for each day of the festival.
Dampa is the alliance between Angéline and Victor, two twentysomethings from the French town of La Rochelle. Their blitz sound is very de rigueur: dark, brooding electro soul with a dash of trap, hip hop, and trip hop. Their biggest claim to fame? The French fashion house Saint Laurent chose their song “Thunderball” for one of their advertisements. It wasn’t a surprise: Dampa’s squidgy basses and dark electronica could get the biggest wallflower dancing.
14/8, 20.00 Museumplein/ Place du Musée
Pomme means apple in French. Is this young French singer implying that you could sink her teeth into her? That would be too easy. Her real name is Claire Pommet and she is twenty years old. Her pop songs sound safe but fresh. A touch of chanson and a dash of folk covered in a dreamy sauce. Her 2019 debut was titled À peu près. Almost. Pomme is not the French Angèle, but in terms of airiness she comes pretty close.
15/8, 17.30 Kunstberg/ Mont des Arts
The nom de plume Kikesa conceals a young rapper from Lyon. He released three albums last year: Dimanche de hippie, volumes 1 to 3. It is not entirely clear why he wants to present himself as a modern hippie. Perhaps because of the peace-loving way he blends pop with future bass, trap, and hip hop? Or is it just tongue in cheek? More than anything, he strikes us as a kind of hip-hop jester. A little bit like the French version of the Brussels joker, Caballero. But with hair.
16/8, 19.15, Kunstberg/ Mont des Arts
No, the 25-year-old Mogli did not grow up in the jungle. She is from Berlin, she is of Algerian heritage – her real name is Selima Taiba – and she is a millennial through and through: she is a musician, actress, and fashion designer. She doesn’t care about gender, or at least, as a young girl she wanted to do everything that boys could do. She went through a dark period, but during a trip across the US in an old school bus, she rediscovered herself. The music she makes is vulnerable, with a lot of piano, her voice melancholy yet warm.
17/8, 22.00, Museumplein/Place du Musée
If you grow up in Durbuy, the smallest town in Belgium, you’re allowed to dream big. That is exactly what Manou Maerten did. The 22-year-old singer first came onto the radar when she took part in The Voice Belgique. And she has humour: she christened herself Le Manou and called her first EP L’Homme. She is currently studying music production at the School of Arts in Ghent, so she can make her swinging electro pop just a bit edgier. Self-made (wo)man.
18/8, 18.00 Museumplein/Place du Musée
BRUSSELS SUMMER FESTIVAL 14 > 18/8, various locations.