SAMF Is Right Around The Corner — Here Are The Artists To Get Excited About

SAMF Is Right Around The Corner — Here Are The Artists To Get Excited About

There are so many artists on the lineup for Spring Awakening this year. Here are some of my favorites and some that I think you should look out for if you are attending the festival.

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I am going to pull five artists from each day to try and give you guys a rundown of who I think is most worth seeing. There are over 90 artists scheduled for the entire 3-day weekend so my 15 artists definitely do not show the diversity the festival holds but hopefully can give you some insights about some fan favorites!

One through five, my top artists for Friday, June 7th.

Six through ten, my top artists for Saturday, June 8th.

Eleven through fifteen, my top artists for Sunday, June 9th.

1. June 7th - Dom Dolla 

Dom Dolla is an Australian house music producer who truly gets me excited about house music. At just 27 years old, he has recently begun to really market himself in the house music genre. With over 700,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, he is most known for his hits — Define, Take It, and Be Randy.

2. June 7th - Galantis

If you know anything about EDM, you know Galantis. Galantis, a Swedish electronic dance music production duo, made up of Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklow, has been defined as one of the most popular duos currently in the EDM genre. With more than 12 and a half million monthly listeners, they are most known for their smash hits, Runaway (U & I), No Money and Spaceship.

3. June 7th - Illenium 

Chicago native, Nicholas Miller, better known as Illenium gets to return to his home town for his first ever SAMF debut. He began his career in early 2008 but fully immersed himself into it after he saw Bassnectar in concert in 2012. This past year he released an EP that threw him directly into the spotlight. You cannot go on social media without seeing something about him or his music. With over 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, he is most well known for his songs, Feel Good, his remix of Don't Let Me Down by the Chainsmokers and Beautiful Creatures.

4. June 7th - Virtual Riot 

A German DJ and an electronic dance music producer, Virtual Riot is someone that everyone should look out for. Before he was Virtual Riot, he was Your Personal Tranquilizer who produced ambient dubstep and future garage. With over 600,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, he is most known for his songs, Energy Drink, Pray For Riddim, and his collab with Datsik for Warriors of the Night.

5. June 7th - Zedd 

This Russian-German DJ is well known throughout the entire world, if you don't listen to EDM, you most likely have listened to him on the radio at some point. He has collaborated with many different artists that get him exposure into many different realms of music. With over 20 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Zedd is most well known for his songs, Stay, The Middle and Beautiful Now.

6. June 8th - Alan Walker 

A Norwegian DJ whose song has been used in every single video you see on Facebook since 2015, Alan Walker is still a name to be remembered. At just 21 years old, Walker has truly made a name for himself in the EDM world. Mainly known for his house music style, he also makes some electro music as well. With over 25 million monthly listeners on Spotify, you may know him for his top songs, Faded, All Falls Down and Darkside.

7. June 8th - DJ Snake 

Another name you just can't forget, DJ Snake, from Paris, France but has mad himself every well known in the U.S for his collaborations with some of the biggest artist in the world such as Justin Bieber, Cardi B and so many others. With almost 30 million monthly listeners on Spotify, you may know Snake for his most popular songs, Let Me Love You, Middle and Taki Taki.

8. June 8th - Flosstradamus 

Another Chicago DJ, this will be Curt Cameruci's first Spring Awakening since 2015. His name is not as well known as others, but he is definitely someone to look out for during this festival. His sound is something really different that always gets me hyped up; his music type is more trap than anything. He is credited as one of the pioneer DJ's who brought trap and EDM together. With almost 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, you may know him for, Soundclash, Came Up and 2 Much.

9. June 8th - Rezz 

The first female DJ I get to talk about, finally! REZZ is a Canadian DJ from Ontario who produces more new wave electro and techno beats. Currently signed under Deadmau5's record label, REZZ is on the come up. With more than half a million monthly listeners on Spotify, she's best known for her hits, Edge, Relax and H E X.

10.  June 8th - Subtronics 

Recently getting big in the past few months, Subtronics is mostly known for his style of dubstep and his use of mechanical sounds. You'll find that he is the most popular on Soundcould where most of his following is. With almost a quarter of a million monthly listeners on Spotify, he is well known for his hits, Now That's What I Call Riddim Vol. 1-4 , Senapi and Hit Em.

11.  June 9th - Benny Benassi 

I never knew that Benny Benassi made one of my favorite songs ever, but I finally found out and I am now stoked to see it live. He is credited with bringing electro-house into the mainstream music industry. At 51 years old, Benassi has not stopped making hits, he paved the way for many, many DJ's and he continues to make his own, unique music. With over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, he is most well known for Satisfaction (my favorite), Cinema, and Paradise.

12.  June 9th - Cheat Codes 

Cheat Codes are DJ's for the summer. They are most well known for their style of future bass, trap, and tropical house. This trio has many hits with big artists throughout the U.S. as well. With over 14 million monthly listeners on Spotify, you will know their biggest hits, No Promises, Feels Great and Pretty Girl.

13.  June 9th - Crankdat 

After turning down a full ride scholarship to Kent University, Christian Smith dedicated his time and energy into making music. Only two years older than me, he is a million times more successful. With almost 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Crankdat is most well known for his remix of Fetty Wap's Trap Queen but also these three songs, Kneel Before Me, Reasons To Run, Next Life.

14.  June 9th - GRiZ 

Straight out of Michigan, this DJ has something not many DJ's do - soul. Know for playing his saxophone in his mixes and also incorporating funk, electro-soul and self-described future-funk into everything he produces. With over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, you will know GRiZ for his most popular songs, Good Times Roll, Can't Hold Me Down and Find My Own Way.

15.  June 9th - Martin Garrix 

Last but certainly not least, if you don't know him, have you ever turned on a radio? Martin Garrix is one of the most well known DJ's in the world right now, moving his way from EDM into more pop music, his career exploded almost immediately. With almost 30 million monthly listeners on Spotify, you will know his most popular songs, In the Name of Love, Ocean, and High On Life.

There is 15 artists here but almost a hundred at the festival. Go and find someone you like and fall in love with their music.

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A Survival Guide For Electric Forest

A list of things to bring, the most important being a positive attitude.
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With summer festival season in full swing, and one of the most talked about festivals only a few days away, I thought I’d feature an article on how to best prepare yourself for a camping festival, specifically Electric Forest. On June 23-26, thousands of people from all over the country will occupy the small town of Rothbury, Michigan. For many, it is their first year and are quite unsure of what to expect. I was not as prepared as I could have been my first year. You can never be too prepared, but you have to experience something yourself to truly know what to expect. I hope these tips offer insight into how to have the best weekend.

Have a good attitude and be flexible. Be open to the fact that things do not always go as planned. Everyone has a special forest experience meant for them and sometimes that includes doing things you did not expect and meeting people you would not have met otherwise.

Live with and love whatever the weather decides to do. At any festival you have to be ready for anything, especially in Michigan where the weather is unpredictable. One minute it can be sunny and hot, next minute there could be a thunderstorm. It is best to bring multiple pairs of shoes, ones you do not care how muddy or dusty they get. Or you could go barefoot. No one really cares how much clothing you have on in the Forest.

Bring clothes that you love (including extra underwear). I suggest pulling the largest duffel bag out of your closet and filling it with all of your favorite clothes. Keep in mind to pack warm clothes, it gets cold at night. Also, do not forget a rain poncho, jacket or suit and boots.

Bring baby wipes. They are good for just about anything. They provide you with an alternative to soap and running water by cleaning off yesterday’s makeup and glitter and scrubbing away a day’s worth of dirt and sweat. Baby wipes, or some other form of wet wipe, is a must.

Reusable water bottles. Bring at least two, if you don’t have a camelback. It is easy to get dehydrated when out in the sun all day and dancing the night away. Staying hydrated is just as important as eating an ample amount of food each day.

Bring an abundance of food so you can avoid paying high prices from vendors; although, you should indulge in Spice Pie pizza at least once while there. The best food to bring is food that can handle being in a cooler for a few days. Foods like eggs, hot dogs, rice and beans, and fruits such as, apples, oranges and bananas and more. A portable grill is a must, as well as a cooler to keep everything fresh. Ice is sold on site.

Bring towels. They serve multiple purposes like using them to sit on the ground or for drenching up sweat.

Wear sunblock and sunglasses or a hat. The sun beats down during the day and you do not want to have a sunburn by the second day.

Bring trash bags to pick up after yourself and keep the campsite clean.

Although you should try to be minimal on paper products, toilet paper, paper towels, tissue and paper plates are all good things to pack.

Bring miscellaneous toiletries like toothpaste and brush, soup, lotion, face wash, baby powder, body spray, deodorant, Q-tips, cotton balls, hairbrush, razor, hair ties, dry shampoo.

Bring a first aid kit, you never know when you may need it. You are exposed to the elements all day, so if you tend to get sick easily, bring your favorite allergy medication and Emergen-C.

Print out a festival map and schedule since they will not have paper copies there and you do not want to have to rely on the app on your phone.

Bring campground essentials. Canopy, folding chairs, table, tapestry, blankets, pillows, tent, canopy, duct tape, sleeping bag, camping pad or cot.

Don't forget flashlights and a lantern. The campgrounds do not provide any sort of lighting.

Bring your hammock to relax. If you do not have one, they are sold there.

Jumper cables are important, too. It is a guarantee that you or someone near you will need to jumpstart a car at some point during the festival, especially if the car charges phones while it is turned off. If you bring jumper cables, then you have nothing to worry about.

Ear plugs for if you need some shut-eye and can still hear bass thumping from faraway stages or your neighbors are up later than you.

Just for fun things like body paint, kandi supplies, selfie stick, LED toys, Frisbee, hoola hoops, glitter, bubbles -- whatever you can think of that you might want to play with there.

Bring spending money for a variety of things, like buying unique items from the vendors.

Don’t forget to fill your tank up with gas before entering the lines to get in. It takes multiple hours to get in before setting up camp, and your car idles the entire time, moving a few feet every couple minutes. Also, you do not want to wait in a long line to fill up your tank at the only gas station when leaving Monday morning.

Don’t forget to have fun! Check out a set you have never heard of before, or take a break from your friends and go explore on your own. Do not be afraid to lose yourself in the forest.

Cover Image Credit: google

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Pharrell Williams Lights Up Napa's BottleRock

"Yezzir."

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If we want to take a pair of binoculars and zoom into one specific moment in my most recent trip to California, then the focus should stay onto BottleRock Napa. While the name itself gives away where this was located, it does not elicit the weather, food, music, and vibes – as we all know, I have a soft spot for music.

Day 2, Saturday (May 25th), included artists such as Sir Sly, Gary Clark Jr., Cypress Hill, Juanes, White Panda, and Pharrell Williams. A music festival in Napa Valley lives up to the perceived expectation – Michelin-star chefs and food vendors, wine galore, liquor, craft beers (IPA heaven), and a beautiful landscape. This is quite a difference from Chicago's Lollapalooza or Milwaukee's Summerfest, which mind you, there is no ill will for those festivals – but BottleRock poses its experience in a league of its own. Such a league includes an older age demographic of attendees, a "one-of-a-kind" location (for the US at least), and the non-festival route musicians — many of which are included above - and that was only Saturday.

As far as shows of the day, Pharrell Williams takes the cheesecake with his "mini-N.E.R.D. reunion" with Shay Haley, amongst his vocal featured classics "Gust of Wind," "Get Lucky," "Drop It Like It's Hot" and plenty more. His singing, even at age 46, came with grace and passion; start to finish, with little to no technical difficulties. The band was incredibly tight, note for note, and the all-female supporting singers and dancers added an element to this show, which I had yet ever to witness. The art and focus on a "performance" could not have been more prevalent in this show.

Pharrell's show is one that goes in the books with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Childish Gambino, The Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Drake, and Disclosure. It is like the Men's Warehouse saying, "you're going to like the way you look," except Pharrell says, "you're going to like the way you feel, after my show." And that my friends, is a wrap.

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