With five weeks to go before the Sónar hits downtown Reykjavík, the festival has announced that award winning UK grime artist Giggs will headline the SonarHall stage on the closing night. The controversial rapper’s latest album ‘Landlord’ debuted at number two in the UK album charts last summer, and was followed up with a sold out headline show at London’s o2 Forum.
The south London trailblazer, born Nathaniel Thompson, was joined by grime big wigs Stormzy and Skepta on his album and at o2 show respectively, but the show was a long time coming. In 2010, Giggs had his UK tour cancelled after the police warned of security risks, and two years later he was acquitted on charges of firearm possession. In 2003, the rapper did a two year prison term for similar charges, and has since alleged that law enforcement tried to thwart his rise to musical stardom. Today, he’s happy to be making music and chooses to distance himself from his gang roots. “I just want to thank police for all this great promotion that they’re giving me, all these cancellations, which are making me more powerful,” Giggs has been quoted as saying to the BBC. There’s been no word yet from the Reykjavík police department on whether they share their UK colleagues’ views.
UK’s hip hop scene will also be represented at the festival by rising star Nadia Rose, the 22 year old leader of the new wave of British female MCs, Sónar announced today. Also joining the line-up are local RnB favourites Sturla Atlas, Kraumur award winning hip hop wunderkind GKR, and Alvia Islandia, Iceland’s “bubblegum trap queen”.
As always, dance music will dominate the SonarLab carpark stage. The festival has confirmed that Berlin-based techno innovator Blawan will join Icelandic dub legend Exos in the DJ booth for a two hour back to back session. Exos had a marvellous 2016, touring South America, hosting events with his fellow трип label mates, and playing Berlin’s seminal club Berghain. Local techno stalwart Frímann has also been added to the carpark line-up, which promises to be particularly strong this year, with Ben Klock, Helena Hauff, B.Traits and a selection of domestic talent already confirmed.
The fifth edition of Sónar’s Reykjavík edition, which takes place on 16-18 February at the Harpa Concert Hall, boasts one of the most illustrious lineups to date. Ahead of today’s announcement, Sónar had previously confirmed Fatboy Slim, Moderat, De La Soul, Sleigh Bells, GusGus, FM Belfast, Forest Swords, Sin Fang, Samaris and Tommy Genesis for this year’s festival, with the Red Bull Music Academy returning for the third consecutive year, presenting a roster of progressive international and domestic talent.