Nile Rodgers is a supremely well connected and musically omnivorous legend, so his Meltdown Festival was always going to be packed with talent. He’s already announced Latin pop queen Anitta, innovative artist-producer Sophie and rising afrobeat stars Kokoroko, plus an opening show from a lil’ group called Nile Rodgers & Chic, and today’s second wave of bookings is equally exciting.
French-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim, Sweden’s post-punk heroes Viagra Boys and queer South African artist Nakhane have joined the bill, adding to its global flavour, as have London’s own modern soul collective Jungle, indie-pop trio Kero Kero Bonito and Nigerian-born London artist-producer Azekel. Radiant Children will bring their super-smooth R&B beats, and Smiths legend Johnny Marr will be rocking out. Marr named his son Nile – himself a musician – in Rodgers’s honour. So if the Chic one decides to make a guest appearance, it raises the tantalising prospect of seeing Nile, Marr and Nile Marr all on one stage. Iconic.
Rodgers is also planning free daytime parties on the Southbank Centre’s Riverside Terrace. These include Disco Wonderland, an all-day disco honouring his Chic work, and Mini Vogue Ball, which features a masterclass in catwalk voguing. For box-fresh talent, head to And the Beat Goes On, a showcase for UK rising stars including students from the Brit School, where Adele and Amy Winehouse honed their craft. You might just catch a future superstar.
Meltdown is at the Southbank Centre from Aug 3-12. Tube: Waterloo.
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