Get to know Brainchild’s first wave of artists

A few weeks ago we announced the first wave of artists joining the music line-up for our seventh Brainchild Festival, taking place from 12-14 July. Here we share some of our favourite sounds and sights from these supremely talented artists – so you can get hyped for the main event!

Steam Down

This tweet & video from Buster Mantis gives you just a taste of what Steam Down are all about. A South-East London arts collective comprised of artists including founder and long-time friend of the festival Ahnansé, Alex Rita, Brother Portrait and Sawa Manga, they will be bringing one of their trademark sessions to the festival.

Expect a heavenly explosion of Afrofuturism, grime and future soul, fused together with the spontaneity of jazz, where dancing is just as important as the music.


Co-founder of independent label Soft Boy Records. Kojaque mixes sampling and jazz beats with dynamic, poetic lyrics, showcasing life as a modern Dubliner.

This film made by Boiler Room is a beautiful and insightful 15 minutes of viewing. Give it some time and learn more about the Dublin rap collective who are flipping hip-hop’s braggadocio on its head.



Allysha Joy

Allysha Joy is best known for performing in Melbourne Hip Hop collective 30/70, and their success has led her to further challenge her expression in a project of her own. Here’s the stunning debut single off her first solo record Acadie : Raw, released last year.


This jaw-droppingly good session at Boiler Room gets us longing for those summer days and nights dancing in Sussex fields. 

Maisha are a six-piece spiritual jazz ensemble led by bandleader Jake Long whose debut album There Is A Place, was called ‘a celebration of young, eclectic Britain’ by The Guardian. They were part of ‘We Out Here’, Brownswood’s 2018 record, and are a true testament to the vibrant, jazz-influenced underground scene here in London. 


Check out this intoxicating new release from the wonderful lyricist/producer/MC Shunaji! We cannot wait for her set at the festival.

This single is the introduction to her new EP ‘Blue Melon’ and inspired by the vocals of 70s Italian singers like Mina and Patty Pravo. The beat is extracted from drums of Jack Robson (of Brother’s Testament) – also at Brainchild!

She’s just been long-listed for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, as well as being a Roundhouse resident artist, and is one of Brownswood’s ‘Future Bubblers’.

Jerome Thomas

Known for his distinct sound, which samples Jazz to Jungle, and R&B to Hip Hop, Jerome Thomas has collaborations with the likes of Ty Macklin (Erykah Badu) and Ezra Collective’s Joe Armon-Jones under his belt. He’s been hailed as one of the most authentic voices to have emerged from the UK, with vocals that will make you melt like butter.



Have a play of this gorgeous EP from dark, jazzy vocalist Plumm. Inspired by female jazz greats, and an eclectic assortment of sounds and production methods, her band deliver gorgeous, ethereal live performances. We can’t wait to experience one of their eccentric live shows in a steamy Festival setting.

Lunch Money

Listen to their brand new release STYLES™:, self described as: ‘an actual cereal box, stocked with 100% wholegrain wheat flakes and a free toy! – a USB chock-full of the finest WAVs to ever come out your breakfast.’ 

Comprised of members of Touching Bass Church Of Sound and Total Refreshment Centre, Lunch Money make experimental jazz with synths and live instrumentation, including trombone, sax and whatever they have to hand. The resulting sound is something out of this world.

Ben Hayes (Live)

Listen to this hazy new track ‘See Sun’ from Ben Hayes, whose signature genre falls somewhere between spiritual jazz, dance music, and experimental electronica. He’s an integral part of the south London scene, having produced for Puma Blue, Poppy Ajudha, Oscar Jerome amongst others.

Brothers Testament

They’re a dynamic new collective who bring a cornucopia of groove, fusing jazz with sounds as diverse as hip hop, funk, neo soul and gospel music. Their live sets embrace improvisation, so you can expect a totally unique manifestation of these glorious tracks from their debut album at Brainchild this summer – it will be special!

Sawa Manga

Sawa-Manga is the creative child of beat wizard D’Vo and vocalist/poet And Is Phi, joined by a string section comprised of Maria Osuchowska on Harp, Mark Mollison on Electric Guitar, and Saskia Horton on Electric Violin. Their electronic driven sound is rooted in a fusion of hip hop, r&b, soul and jazz. We adore this atmospheric debut track ‘Rolling Hills’, which serves up an equally soothing visual. 

That’s it for now folks. More line-up releases coming soon!

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