SPOT Festival 2018: we preview the Danish festival

As SPOT Festival kicks off in the Danish city of Aarhus today, we take a look at some of the Danish and Nordic acts you won’t want to miss on this year’s line-up

Preview by Nadia Younes | 09 May 2018

Founded in 1994, SPOT Festival has helped launch the international careers of several Danish and Nordic artists over the years including the likes of MØ, Alma, Sigrid and Courtesy. Taking place once again in the Danish city of Aarhus – known as Denmark’s second city and “the city of smiles” – from 9-13 May, the festival will continue to showcase the best up-and-coming talent from Denmark and beyond in over 200 concerts taking place in venues across the city.

This year’s line-up is as eclectic as ever, with bands and artists of just about every genre set to descend upon the festival over the next four days; from goth-rock and metal to hip-hop and R’n’B, there really is something for everyone. With a firm focus on new Danish and Nordic acts, we’ve selected five from this year’s line-up you won’t want to miss.

Alexander Oscar
Nineteen-year-old Aarhus native Alexander Oscar is one of Denmark’s brightest young talents. Signed to Sony Music Denmark and with only two singles to his name – Ocean View and Number – Oscar has already collaborated with a host of big names, including Danish production team The Suppliers (Mark Ronson, Adele) and Swedish producer Anton Malmberg (Fifth Harmony, Iggy Azalea). With his sugary sweet pop vocals and slick R’n’B-tinged production, Oscar is quickly proving himself a global popstar in the making. Sat 12 May, 5.30pm, VoxHall

Artifact Collective
Copenhagen six-piece Artifact Collective are not your typical boy band, but they’re not far off. Fusing R’n’B, hip-hop, pop and soul, the group won a Scandinavian Soul Music Award in 2016 for Best EP with 2015’s Pick Up Line. They returned in September last year with new single Nice View and signed with Danish label No3 shortly after. Their latest single Light Blue is as catchy as ever and proves that if anyone can do summer vibes properly, it’s them. Sat 12 May, 6.15pm, Atlas

As the winner of last year’s Spinnup Scholarship – a programme set up by Universal Music to help them find the best new unsigned and undiscovered artists – KIHLA secured her spot on this year’s SPOT Festival line-up, as well as receiving 20,000 DKK prize money. The 21-year-old artist from Aalborg writes and produces all of her music herself using GarageBand on her iPad, describing her sound as a mix of R’n’B, hip-hop and futuristic jazz. Fri 11 May, 9.30pm, Godsbanen – Åbne Scene

Iris Gold
Growing up in infamous Copenhagen commune Freetown Christiania, Iris Gold is a hippie at heart and cites the psychedelic sounds of the 60s and 70s as key influences on her music, as well as classic hip-hop. Gold first achieved success back in 2015 with her debut single Goldmine and played in support of Taylor Swift and Blur at both of their British Summer Time Hyde Park shows in the same year. Her latest single All I Really Know sees Gold really finding her voice in her strongest track to date. Wed 9 May, 4.45pm, Spot Royal

Not only do Norwegian trio SASSY 009 – comprising of Johanna Scheie Orellana, Sunniva Lindgaard and Teodora Georgijevic – have one of the best band names in music, but they’re also one of the most exciting new acts around. Their debut EP Do you mind brought them global attention when it came out at the end of last year, blending deep house, industrial techno and experimental pop, and they’ve since bagged spots on several festival line-ups across the UK and Europe. You’ll want to stay up late for their set, trust us. Fri 11 May, 1.00am, VoxHall

SPOT Festival takes place in Aarhus, Denmark, 9-13 May