Berklee Artists to Perform at Top Music Festivals This Summer Through BPMI
The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) is sending seven artists to perform at top music festivals in the U.S. and Canada this summer. The progam enables students to go from the classroom to the stage in every facet of artist development and touring. BPMI has nearly doubled its festival slate, from four to seven, since piloting the program last summer. Students will perform at the Governors Ball in New York, June 2–4; Essence Festival in New Orleans, June 30–July 2; Chicago Open Air, July 14–16; WayHome Music and Arts in Ontario, July 28–30; Lollapalooza in Chicago, August 3–6; Osheaga in Montreal, August 4–6; and Outside Lands in San Francisco, August 11–13.
Eighteen music business/management students were selected for BPMI’s inaugural class, which began its first full-year cycle in the fall of 2016. The class listened to hundreds of submissions and chose seven student artists to appear at a festival and to feature on its artist compilation, Dorm Sessions 12. Jack Martini, Mayah Dyson, Aversed, Flakes, Lady Pills, Olivia Swann, and D-Will were selected based on live performances, recordings, videos, and social media presence.
Stream tracks from Dorm Sessions 12:
The class then split into teams of three, with each team assigned to work with an artist throughout the spring and summer to prepare for its festival appearance. The teams handle artist development, marketing, contracts, tour budgets, digital presence, merchandise, and sponsorships. They will also accompany the artists to each festival to handle on-site promotion; assist with production and tour management; and film the performances and document their travel experiences.
“This year, BPMI breaks new ground in experiential education. The students will travel to their respective festivals in a Berklee/Vans [sneakers] branded tour bus, and the artists will play club shows on the way to and from the festivals,” said Jeff Dorenfeld, BPMI founding managing director. “The students will also rehearse their artists, preparing them to perform on stages that are 40 to 60 feet wide and over 4 feet high—much larger than what they’re used to.”
Learn more about BPMI:
BPMI 2017 Summer Festival Schedule
Governors Ball | Sunday, June 4
Jack Martini, an Italian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, cooks up songs with the finest flavors from around the world. Collecting places to call home, Berklee student Martini has lived in Rome, New York, Paris, London, and Boston. His eccentric sound and eerie melodies are complemented with simple yet thought provoking lyrics sung in English, Italian, and French. The self-taught guitarist also accompanies on piano, bass, and the occasional clarinet.
Essence Festival |Sunday, July 2
Mayah Dyson, is a singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and model studying at Berklee. In 2013, Mayah released her debut EP, Mayah the ?. Dyson counts Kelly Rowland as one of her biggest inspirations and a mentor. Rowland saw something in Dyson and believed in what she could offer the world with her music and voice. In 2016, she appeared on Rowland’s television show Chasing Destiny. Later that year, she sang backup for Solange during her Saturday Night Live performance. Dyson is currently working on a new project, due for release in early 2017.
Chicago Open Air | Sunday, July 16
Aversed was formed in 2009 by guitarist and vocalist Sungwoo Jeong and Berklee alumnus bassist Martin Epstein B.M. '14. They began composing original music in 2010 and recorded their first demo. Guitarist and alumnus Alden Marchand B.M. '14 joined in 2011 and the band began writing and performing again with the addition of drummer Jeff Saltzman (ex-Buried Electric) in 2014. Multifaceted student vocalist Haydee Irizarry completes the lineup. Aversed has performed with Ensiferum, Exhumed, Korpiklaani, Sonata Arctica, Tengger Cavalry, and Incite, among others. In 2016, the group released its debut EP, Renewal.
WayHome Music and Arts Festival| Saturday, July 29
Flakes, a.k.a. Will Schu—true to his namesake—hails from the small ski town of Park City, Utah. He got his start in music as a jazz pianist and performed in various ensembles, culminating in performances at Telluride Jazz Festival and Carnegie Hall. In 2014, Flakes began studying at Berklee as an electronic production and design major. Since then, his style has developed into an eclectic and organic, yet uncompromising electronic sound.
Lollapalooza | Saturday, August 5
Lady Pills is a Boston-based garage rock trio composed of Berklee student Ella Boisonnault, and alumnae Alison Dooley B.M. '16 and Claire Duhring B.M. '16. Taking inspiration from bands such as Pixies and the Raincoats, Lady Pills combines elements of loud, fuzz-filled rock and a raw, stripped-down sound with intimate and relatable lyrics. Since forming in October 2015, Lady Pills has released an EP and full-length album, the latter titled Despite, and appeared at festivals including Boston Calling and SXSW.
Osheaga | Saturday, August 5
Olivia Swann is a pop/soul artist from London, United Kingdom. Inspired by hip-hop, R&B, and jazz, her sound is a harmonious blend of old and new. Swann, a Berklee student, aims to have an intimate musical conversation with her audience at every performance. Her main aspiration is for her audience to feel something when they listen to her music. She draws from personal experience about love and life and is passionate about narrating today’s culture and bringing awareness to its issues. Swann’s debut EP is set to be released in 2017.
Outside Lands | August 11-13
D-Will, a.k.a. David Wilson, is an urban electronic/hip-hop producer and DJ. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Wilson is an electronic production and design student at Berklee. Wilson started classical piano training at 5. At 16, he was exposed to audio engineering and began sequencing small productions in Protools and Ableton. Since then, he has continued to create and collaborate with artists around the country, and has developed his own modern sound.