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Saturday, May 20

3 Days in Portland featuring AMINE

A2

The Last Artful, Dodgr

8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show

18 and over

$10 advance

Presented By: Red Bull Sound Select

3 Days in Portland featuring AMINE

It all started in Portland, OR...

Now, Portland isn't traditionally referred to as a hotbed of hip-hop like Brooklyn or Compton is, but Aminé could very well change that perception.

"You don't ever think of a rapper or even a black guy coming out of Portland," he asserts. "That's just not a thing! However, there's a fairly diverse subculture in the city that few people know about. It's very different from what you would expect."

However, everything he does defies expectations. The rapper, artist, and director draws equal influence from his parents' Ethiopian heritage as he does from trailblazers such as Kanye West and André 3000. He's more likely to record in a remote AirBNB'ed wilderness cabin than he is in a posh studio, and he cites Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson as major inspirations. Building on a lifelong passion for music, he began recording in high school and quietly sharpening his mic skills. While attending Portland State University, he released his 2015 project Calling Brio.
Merging visual lyricism, swaggering production, and his clever, catchy bars, it became a phenomenon on Soundcloud, racking up over 1 million+ plays. In addition to praise from Pigeons & Planes, HypeTrak, and more, Complex spotlighted him as "one of the artists we're certainly checking for this year."

"I'm a fan of all genres," he explains. "My parents always played African music and Bob Marley. Then, I grew up on everything from Erykah Badu to John Mayer. I want to do something that reflects this diversity. My songs need to be good for the listener personally."

Representing that mosaic style, his 2016 single "Caroline" struts through a funked-up tribal bounce with the kind of grit and gusto that'd make Jules Winfield and Vincent Vega proud. Upon release, it quickly caught fire, garnering 10 million-plus Spotify streams, 8 million-plus Soundcloud plays, and 4 million-plus YouTube/VEVO views as well as reaching #1 on Spotify's Global Viral Top 50, #1 on the US Viral Top 50, and #1 on the Canada Viral Top 50. As the track took off, he inked a deal with Republic Records.

"With ‘Caroline,' I wanted to make an encouraging and fun record," Aminé goes on. "It really happened in the moment, and it's a feel good song."

It's also just the beginning. Aminé has a lot more surprises up his sleeve for Portland, hip-hop, and the world at large.

"I never want a basic reaction," he leaves off. "I want you to always have questions. I hope to challenge listeners to wonder why. Those are the artists I care about."

 

A2

Enigmatic rapper and producer A2 makes music that matters. Whether writing over soulful electronica or woozy R&B, the 26 year-old creates considered compositions bound by a sense of mystery, introspection and a streak of vulnerability.

To listen to A2 is to take a surreal journey through sensual soundscapes often unexplored; this is make-out, make-up, break-up music set to a rhythm and tempo of A2's very own. This is cinematic music that has something to say, and A2 says it beautifully, with a subtlety rarely found within such obviously killer, yet brilliantly understated, pop tunes.

Raised in Croydon, he points out the manor made the man and the musician. "I'm inspired by my estate," he says, slowly, of his influences. "My area and my environment definitely pays a part in who I am and the music that I make. My music is also based around conversations that I might have with a girl, or my mum, or my friends. I take pieces of a conversation and subliminally drop it into a song."

A2 and his two sisters were bought up by his mum, and she encouraged her children's musical inclinations. He learnt piano and would spend a lot of time listening to his mum and older sisters playing R&B, Jazz and Blues, trying to imitate them on the piano or keys. You can catch glimpses of those riffs within his own music, but as a South London boy he was also naturally drawn towards Battersea's So Solid, Stockwell Grime producer and MC Dot Rotten and seminal grime track, ‘Creeper', over which A2 and his mates began to practice MCing.

Though he's a British rhymer bought up around Rap and Grime, he gravitated naturally towards calmer compositions. "I just wanted something a bit quieter, more chill," he points out. "I was done with all the noise, you know? I wanted to create music that was much more about easy listening, dark in its own way, but enjoyable." Over the years, he's perfected his craft, working hard to learn the nuances within producing, engineering and songwriting; this is a multi-talented man who is able to move easily between various disciplines.

With his LP due to release in Spring 17; Blue which is the acronym for 'Before Love Undoes Everything' has massive support behind it. Partnering up with Beats, Boiler Room and being named on Red Bull's Sound Select 2017 - A2 is sure to deliver a remarkable project tapping into new audiences.

Last year we saw him perform at wireless, selling out a second headline show at XOYO and releasing a teaser EP in November called 'More Sleep 2' which A2 describes as "a wake up call" taking his listeners on a journey from 'More Sleep' which was "a period I was working late making songs but More Sleep 2 was me realising my dreams are reality so it's an oxymoron.. kind of". This year we have seen A2 premiere "a moving photograph" via highsnobiety 'X2', then later featured on the rising platform Colors Berlin.

With performances scheduled around the the world, 2017 is shaping up to be the year of A2. He's clearly a highly determined individual keen to make his mark on music in his own way, and on his own terms. "I want to be known as a master of my craft, and I want to create moments," says A2. "A lot of people don't seem to make music for the right reasons, or in the right way. I do this 100% for the love of music and art - that is what separates me for everyone else." A2's artistry isn't about chasing views, likes and retweets, it's about crafting a career within the creative realm that can last through generations. "This is about authenticity and longevity. Everything I do is about the passion that I put into it."

 

The Last Artful, Dodgr

Sometimes in life, you come across a voice so present and singular in its tone that it makes your entire world stop for a moment and all the hairs on your neck stand up. The Last Artful, Dodgr has proven to be one such phenomenon.

Born in Los Angeles and currently inhabiting Portland, Oregon - Dodgr's own unique brand of rap-singing, made up of casually delivered triple entendres, unforgettable melodies and an ever-changing stream of cadences, has begun to spread like a wildfire. From her noteworthy singles "Squadron" and "Oofda" topping Spotify charts, to her manifested-thru-song appearance on the legendary Sway In The Morning radio show, everything has been coming up Dodgr the last few years. And really, she's only just getting started - with all of that leading up to her collaborative concept album, Bone Music, with producer Neill Von Tally, released in early 2017 to critical acclaim from Pitchfork and fanfare alike.

She'll be pushing things even further in all directions this year with her upcoming debut solo album on Fresh Selects.