UK in Cannes: six British artists to see at Midem 2017


Ed Sheeran, Adele and other British artists have been taking the world by storm, but what about the up-and-coming UK artists who could build their own global fanbases?

This year’s Midem will offer a chance to see six British artists playing live. We’ve profiled them below, including some embedded tracks so you can get a taste of their music.

Music is GREAT Presents: British Music at Midem

Tuesday night at Midem will see three British artists performing at the Music is GREAT presents British Music Night showcase, at the Majestic Hotel Beach.

Hosted by the British government’s campaign to promote UK music exports, the evening will kick off at 8.10pm and last until 11.30pm. The three acts are:

Dream Wife

This three-piece band hail from the UK and Iceland, meeting at art-school in Brighton and releasing their debut EP in July 2016.

They’ve since been winning fans on their own tours, as well as supporting artists including Sleigh Bells and The Kills, with a busy summer of European festivals in store this year too.

The Guardian hailed their music as having “the energy and attack of 90s alt rock but also the gloss and sheen of late-70s/80s skinny-tie new wave”.

Jake Isaac

British soul artist Jake has been building plenty of buzz since the release of his first independent EP in 2012. Since then, three more have followed, before his debut album ‘Our Lives’ landed in 2017.

Jake’s music has also been winning friends among some influential people, supporting Elton John on his latest stadium tour at Elton’s request, as well as bagging support slots with Paloma Faith and Ella Eyre.

He’s also been collaborating with artists including Ella Eyre, Maverick Sabre and Saint Raymond on a series of ‘Our Lives’ sessions: duets putting a new slant on the tracks from his album.

Public Service Broadcasting

You won’t forget Public Service Broadcasting after you’ve seen them live: their combination of vintage public-information-film samples and archive video footage carries a real punch live. The band are preparing for the release of their third album ‘Every Valley’.

The band have described the new album as “a story of industrial decline” initially inspired by the history of coal mining in the UK. “This is an album about community as much as it is about mining; it’s the story of an entire region centred around one industry, and what happens when that industry dies,” blogged PSB’s J. Willgoose, Esq. earlier this year.

Unusually for the band, there’s a guest vocalist on new track Progress (above) as they continue to evolve their sound.

Midem Artist Accelerator Showcases

Midem’s Artist Accelerator is a program that supports emerging artists and the teams around them, inviting them to Cannes for mentoring sessions with experts; networking with the wider industry; and live performances in the event’s evening concerts.

This year, Wyclef Jean, Daddy Yankee and representatives of Universal Music, Sony Music, Pitchfork and United Talent Agency are among the ‘artistic committee’ members for the accelerator. And three of the 11 artists in 2017 are from the UK. They are:

Be Charlotte

Scottish band Be Charlotte won’t have any truck with your pigeonholes: led by Charlotte Brimner, they’ve run the gamut from pop and hip-hop to indie and electro, forging their own sound in the process.

Putting out music independently through AWAL/Kobalt, the band’s four singles so far – ‘Machines That Breathe’, ‘Drawing Windows’, ‘One Drop’ and ‘Discover’ – have helped to build their fanbase, as has a recent tour of south east Asia.

Be Charlotte’s showcase takes place at the Majestic Hotel on Tuesday 6 June at 7.30pm.

Adian Coker

Hailing from south London, rapper and producer Adian has been winning plaudits from journalists and radio playlisters alike since well before the release of his debut EP ‘Time Out of Mind’ in 2015 – his first mixtapes cam out in 2012 and 2013.

Adian’s music has been described as a crossover between British grime and US hip-hop, with the potential to appeal on both sides of the Atlantic. Signed to Kitsuné, his Midem appearance is expected to be part of a smooth rise to greater prominence.

Adian Coker’s showcase takes place at the Majestic Hotel on Wednesday 7 June at 8.50pm.


Singer, songwriter and producer Shakka is another artist that’s won the backing of some famous names: among them grime godfather Wiley, Idris Elba and Rita Ora. Signed to Pitched Up / Columbia Records, he’s released a steady stream of music over the last two years.

2017 has already seen Shakka release singles ‘When Will I See You Again’, ‘Rollin’ and ‘Don’t Bother Me’, showing fans the talent that many first encountered with his guest verse on Wretch 32’s ‘Blackout’ back in 2013.

Shakka’s showcase takes place at the Majestic Hotel on Wednesday 7 June at 10.10pm.

Music Ally’s Midem 2017 coverage is supported this year by Music is GREAT, the British government’s campaign to promote UK music exports.

The UK and British Music are represented through the British Music at Midem stand, with the Department for International Trade joining forces with music industry associations AIM (Association of Independent Music), BPI (British Phonographic Industry), MPA (Music Publishers Association), PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) and PRS for Music.

Together, they will support over 150 UK music businesses and member delegates as they seek to pick up on the latest trends, connect with international companies, sign deals and develop trading and export opportunities.

Stuart Dredge

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