KOJAQUE – 6 DECEMBER – ACADEMY
Kojaque burst onto the scene in 2015 with a Radiohead-esque music video of him rapping with his face submerged in water while dressed in a bucket hat and Hawaiian shirt. Questionable health and safety (and fashion) choices aside, Kojaque is one of Ireland’s most important hip hop artists. His brutally vulnerable lyrics paint a picture of what it’s like to be young, disillusioned and badly paid in a bleak but poignant rendering of Northside Dublin. With his caustic lyrics and sleek jazzy beats, Kojaque is one of Dublin’s foremost rising stars and one not to be missed this December.
Tickets from €17.50
Check it out if you like: Tyler, The Creator, MF Doom, Tom Misch
SPIES – 14 DECEMBER – BUTTON FACTORY
Dublin-based indie pop quintet Spies have long been criminally underappreciated. While their previous releases have allowed them to cultivate a small but loyal following, the upcoming release of Constancy, their first album in three years, should earn them their well-deserved place in Ireland’s indie scene. Following a hiatus, they spent time writing and experimenting with their sound, Spies have returned this year with a handful of energetic singles that glow with shiny harmonies and warm synths. Catch them at Button Factory on the 14th December for an evening of upbeat electronic-inspired indie pop that will drive away the winter blues.
Tickets from €15
Check it out if you like: Saint Motel, Bleachers, The Wombats
SIR THE BAPTIST – 16 DECEMBER – ACADEMY
Choirboy-turned-hip-hop-artist-turned-philanthropist Sir The Baptist’s brand of soulful gospel-influenced R&B is as socially conscious as it is catchy. Drawing on his religious upbringing for his lyrical content as well as musical influences like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, this Chicago-based rapper melds R&B with addictive gospel hooks that appeal equally to the religious and the secular. Sir The Baptist’s stage name is a play on John the Baptist, stylising himself as a voice in the wilderness like his biblical namesake. His philanthropy, tackling of difficult issues such as domestic abuse and HIV/AIDS, and his founding a charity and an urban church show that this artist is affecting real change on his humanitarian mission. If you’re a fan of uplifting and socially conscious hip hop, head to Academy on December 16th for Sir The Baptist’s Irish debut.
Tickets from €17.50
Check it out if you like: Kanye West, Aretha Franklin, J. Cole