A platinum-shifting Toronto R&B upstart, Canadian hip-hop legend, and Eastern Seaboard alt-rock institution have been announced as new additions to the first instalment of the upcoming Squamish Constellation Festival.
Organizers have added Jessie Ryez, Shad, and Wintersleep to a bill that already includes Bahamas, Serena Ryder, A Tribe Called Red, and Half Moon Run. The Squamish Constellation Festival will run July 26-28 at Hendrickson Field—the site which formerly hosted the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
The Toronto-born Reyez has proven a formidable force in soul-influenced R&B since making her official debut with the 2017 EP Kiddo. In addition to landing a Polaris Prize nomination for that record, and scoring the 2018 Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Junos, she's appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and racked up 20 million or so streams on Spotify for her 2016 singer "Figures".
High-profile artists that she's teamed up with include superproducer Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa (as a writer for "One Kiss) and rap god Eminem ("Good Guy" as a guest) from Slim Shady's most recent album, Kamikaze). Reyez's latest record is Being Human in Public.
First surfacing with 2005's When This Is Over, Shad has showns himself to be a multiple threat over the past decade, hosting CBC's crazily popular arts show q for a two-year stretch ending in 2018, and exploring the origins of rap in the award winning documentary Hip-Hop Evolution. The Kenyan-born artist known to his parents as Shadrach Kabango heads to Constellation in support for his sixth studio album A Short Story About War.
Closing in on its second decade as a band, forward-thinking alt-rockers Wintersleep formed in Halifax in 2001, landed a New Group of the Year award Juno in 2008, and has scored hits with singles like "Black Camera" (2010) and the number-one smash "Amerika" (2016). The group's guitar-heavy most recent outing, In the Land Of, takes a sometimes beautiful and understated, and sometime dramatically heavy approach to big issues (climate change, Canada's treatment of its First Nations).
In announcing the additions to the Squamish Constellation Festival, event cofounder Tamara Stanners said in a press release, “We are so excited to add these incredible artists to our lineup. Jessie’s messages of empowerment, Shad and his rap wisdom, and East Coast indie-rock royalty Wintersleep showcase the diversity of Canada’s music scene and the lineup of our first Squamish Constellation Festival.”
Ryez, Shad, and Wintersleep join a lineup that already includes Foxwarren, Fast Romantic, and Cosmo Sheldrake, and Jocelyn Alice. A strong Vancouver component will see the festival showcase acts like Peach Pit, the Boom Booms, Art D'Ecco, and Dear Rouge.
Constellation programming will also include art installations, food trucks, and B.C. craft beverage and beer vendors.
General admission full weekend passes are on sale now for $199 and $425 for VIP, plus service charges and fees. (Limit of eight general admission weekend passes for general admission sales.) Got to constellationfest.ca for full details.