02.07.2019, Words by Ben Jolley

The best UK acts to catch at Wireless Festival 2019

Though the headline spots are occupied by big US acts, there's a host of incredible UK talent on offer...

In just a few days time, some of the biggest names in rap and pop will descend on the grounds of Finsbury Park as Wireless festival returns to the capital for three days of hip-hop, grime, drill, R&B and everything in-between. While US artists occupy the headline slots – Cardi B, Travis Scott and A$AP Rocky – the impressive line-up also features plenty of fast-rising British artists and, most importantly, there’s a healthy gender balance across the entire programme.

Here’s our pick of the most exciting UK talent that you can’t afford to miss at Wireless 2019, which is being held this weekend, July 5-7.

Headie One / Friday / 5.10pm

‘18HUNNA’ is one of the biggest songs of the year to date, so it’s no surprise that Headie One’s collaboration with Dave climbed to number six in the UK Top 40 – marking him out as the highest-charting drill rapper out there. The Tottenham rapper’s newest single, ‘All Day’, is just as infectious, and then there’s debut album ‘Drillers x Trappers’. Sure to make lightwork of the Pepsi Max Stage late Friday afternoon, we’d advise getting down early for this one because it’s just one of a handful of summer festival dates in the run up to Headie’s October UK tour.

The 10 Best Drill Tracks, according to 67

Ella Mai / Friday / 6pm

2018 was a phenomenal year for 23-year-old singer-songwriter and former X Factor contestant Ella Mai. The London-born musician’s breakthrough single ’Bood Up’ made history too – the longest running number one by a woman on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop Airplay chart. With an entire album’s worth of material to work through, she’s more than ready to command the main stage. Also, it’s a great chance to catch her before she goes on tour with queen of pop Ariana Grande next month.

Steel Banglez / Saturday / 3.40pm

A producer whose discography reads like a checklist of names in the UK scene, running from Mist to J Hus and MoStack, Steel Banglez is the go-to producer behind some of the biggest hits of the last few years. He’s also enlisted the help of AJ Tracey (who performs at 7pm on Sunday) and Yungen (who plays at 2.15pm on Saturday) on his own bangers ‘Fashion Week’ and ‘Bad’, so there’s a good chance he’ll bring out a special guest or two…

Stefflon Don / Saturday / 4.45pm

The last time Stefflon Don dominated Wireless, on the second, more intimate stage in 2017, she invited all the women in the crowd to join her onstage – and what a moment it was; a real demonstration of girl power. Two years later with millions of streams to her name and having headlined Strawberries & Creem festival in Cambridge just a few weeks ago, she’ll have thousands watching her every move and singing along to her chart collaborations ‘Hurtin Me’, ‘Boasty’ and ‘Phone Down’.

Flohio / Sunday / 1.40pm

Known for her incendiary live shows and incomparable, rapid-fire flow, British-Nigerian rapper and songwriter Flohio (real name Funmi Ohio) is destined to cause a roadblock early Sunday as she blazes through unstoppable cuts like ‘Wild Yout’, ‘10 More Rounds’ and ‘Watchout’ with an effortless punk energy.

Visit wirelessfestival.co.uk for more information and tickets.

Related: Wireless 2018 in photos.

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