M.I.A. is curating this year’s edition of Meltdown, the annual festival at London’s Southbank Centre showcasing emerging artists. Today, the Sri Lankan rapper has announced the first batch of names for the festival, with Yung Lean, Mykki Blanco, Tommy Genesis, and Crystal Castles set to perform.
Other names on the lineup include Brooklyn-based rapper Young M.A (playing her first ever UK show) and Mercury Prize-winning trio Young Fathers. Elsewhere, French rapper MHD will perform with Mr Eazi, M.I.A. collaborator Dexta Daps will play with reggae star I Wayne, and London’s Afrikan Boy will play a late night show. Mykki Blanco’s show will be followed by a DJ set from Le Tigre’s JD Samson. Finally, M.I.A. herself will close the festival.
Throughout the nine-day festival, the Southbank Centre will house a range of free music, art, and film events, including a mass carnival and block party. Leading into Refugee Week on June 18, there will also be a day of activity with refugee artists and charities.
“I hope you rate my curating,” M.I.A. says in a statement. “I’m happy and honoured to be a part of Meltdown amongst important artists who have contributed to keeping it real in the past. I’m bringing together new outlaw musicians from everywhere, who have all contributed to keeping things weird, exciting, opinionated, loud, emotional, brave or off the grid in the present climate. It’s a layered ten days of creative ideas, curated out of wanting to know these artists as well as knowing their art well. Hopefully my contribution fills these summer days with vibez, wild ruckus, controlled chaos and good times, with a touch of education – working together to break boundaries with clashing identities, beliefs, styles and sexualities. Welcome to London, Summer 2017.”
Meltdown runs between June 9 and 18 this year. Previous curators for the festival include David Bowie, Patti Smith, Morrissey, and Yoko Ono. Check out the full lineup and dates here.