CULTURE

Panorama Festival 2016: Meet the Artists Serenading Randall’s Island

Photographed by Emily Malan

Aurora
Text by Emilia Petrarca. Photo by Emily Malan.

The inaugural Panorama Festival proved that, despite sharing founders with Coachella, it’s not just an east-coast imitation of the bigger festival. With a lineup including stars like A$AP Rocky and Sufjan Stevens and rising artists like Aurora, it set a high bar for festivals to come. Here, meet the stars of the weekend’s lineup, photographed behind the scenes and on stage by Emily Malan.

1
Aurora
Text by Emilia Petrarca. Photo by Emily Malan.

With platinum-blonde hair and an angelic accent, the 20-year-old Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes is the mythical lovechild of Björk and Grimes. Her magical sound has caught the attention of Katy Perry and Jaden Smith in the past, and her latest album, “All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend,” has over 50 million listens on Spotify.

2
AlunaGeorge
Text by Emilia Petrarca. Photo by Emily Malan.

Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge is an English electronic musician from London. She and her partner, George Reid, have been a duo since 2012. Francis does the vocals and songwriting, while Reid is the master of production and instrumentation. Together, they make a talented (and extremely stylish) team.

3
A$AP Rocky
Text by Katherine Cusumano. Photo by Emily Malan.

A founding member of Harlem’s A$AP Mob, 27-year-old Rocky (né Rakim Mayers) burst onto a stagnating New York City rap scene with 2011’s Live.Love.A$AP. Since then, he’s released two additional records, made his big-screen debut with 2015’s Dope, and proved himself equally at home front-row during fashion week (he supported Alessandro Michele at Gucci before he was named the new face of Dior Homme). He’s still making time for touring, though, playing into the night at Sunday’s Panorama festival with the support of the whole A$AP Mob.

4
Sufjan Stevens
Text by Stephanie Eckardt. Photo by Emily Malan.

Sufjan Stevens first made it clear that he wasn’t just any indie musician in the mid-2000s, when he turned heads with the announcement of his plan to make an album for each of the 50 states, starting with 2003’s Michigan. Though that’s since been scaled back, the 41-year-old from Detroit remains as ambitious as ever — equally adept at tear-inducing acoustic compositions as experimental pop better suited for neon raves.

5
Prinze George
Text by Katherine Cusumano. Photo by Emily Malan.

Folktronica trio Prinze George released their debut, self-titled EP in 2015 and quietly racked up several million hits across Spotify and Soundcloud. Their sound, as evidenced on Prinze George nimbly dances between twinkling synth music (“Upswing”) and sweet, lilting folk (“Windows”). Now, they’re gearing up for a full-length record to be released in August, aptly entitled Illiterate Synth Pop — but not without an energetic Panorama set, first.

6
SZA
Text by Emilia Petrarca. Photo by Emily Malan.

Solána Rowe, also known as SZA, is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and has been making music on her own since 2012. In 2013, she was the first female artist to be signed to the hip hop record label Top Dawg Entertainment. Now, at the age of 25, she’s known for both her sound and her unique style.

7
Tokimonsta
Text by Katherine Cusumano. Photo by Emily Malan.

Los Angeles-based producer Tokimonsta was classically trained in piano before she turned to beat making in college and became the first female artist signed to Flying Lotus’s label. She released her debut EP Creature Dreams in 2011, a record that inaugurated several years of collaborations with the singer Gavin Turek. Jennifer Lee, as she is known outside the DJ booth, has also collaborated with musicians like Anderson.Paak, who also played at Panorama Saturday, and MNDR.

8
Tourist
© Emily Malan Photography

British singer-songwriter William Phillips, who goes by Tourist on stage, came out with his first solo album, titled “U,” this May. Before stepping out on his own, he worked behind-the-scenes writing songs like “Stay With Me” for Sam Smith, which won them both Grammys in 2015. Phillips’ debut album is mixture of the smooth romance we heard in “Stay With Me” and electronic dance beats that make you want to jump up and down, or at least bob your head. But it’s not all rhythm — the album has a narrative arc, painting the picture of his first real relationship from beginning to end.

9
White Lung
Text by Stephanie Eckardt. Photo by Emily Malan.

White Lung might have just released its fourth studio album, “Paradise,” with Domino Records, but don’t get the wrong idea: The four-piece, fronted by the writer Mish Way, is still far from being polished. First formed in Vancouver in 2006, the band has stayed true to its punk roots ever since.

10
Classixx
Text by Katherine Cusumano. Photo by Emily Malan

Classixx — the alias of producer duo Tyler Blake and Michael David — made a name for themselves in certain corners of the internet as master remixers prior to the debut of their 2013 album Hanging Gardens. For their latest release, Faraway Reach, they returned to those roots, collaborating with musicians like Passion Pit, T-Pain, and How To Dress Well. The Los Angeles-based musicians played Panorama on Saturday, and they’ll continue to make the festival rounds this summer, next stopping at Chicago’s Lollapalooza.

11
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
Text by Stephanie Eckardt. Photo by Emily Malan.

Since messing around on a guitar as a teen in Hermann, Missouri, Nathaniel Rateliff’s blend of folk, gospel, and rock has landed him on tour with bands like Dr. Dog and the Lumineers. With five albums under his belt, he’s now formed his own group, the Night Sweats, complete with saxophone and trumpet.

12
Silversun Pickups
Text by Katherine Cusumano. Photo by Emily Malan.

The four-piece alt-rock band Silversun Pickups came together in 2000, releasing their first EP in 2005 and full-length the following year. Ten years later, they’re still probably best known for the 2006 track “Lazy Eye,” but this year’s tour in support of their latest album, Better Nature, has taken them to both Coachella and Panorama, as well as multiple dates alongside the U.K.’s indie stalwarts Foals.