2016 Magic City Mix
His sound: Rap that digs deeper
For fans of: OutKast, Big K.R.I.T., Kanye West
“Hip-hop is a cultural lifestyle that can bring about positive influence, knowledge of self, and initiative to change our current social structures. I plan to do just that, not with music alone, but in any aspect within my creative ability. Rap is my primary tool used to do so.” Read more about his music.
Their sound: West coast-inspired psychedelic garage punk
For fans of: Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, The White Stripes
Take two parts White Stripes. Add in another part garage punk that makes you want to get up and move, and you have Dirty Rainbow!!, the 2015 album release from The Burning Peppermints. Read more about their music.
Their sound: Droney post-punk
For fans of: Joy Division, Sonic Youth,My Bloody Valentine, True Widow
Anna Thomical has been obsessed with music as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until four years ago that she first picked up the guitar. “I love how playing centers me, clears my thoughts,” she says. Read more about her music.
His sound: Innovative hip-hop with strong lyricism
For fans of: Playdough, Bodega Brovas, The Difference Machine, The Kid Daytona
For the past seven years, Rashid Qandil has helped put artists on local stages through LOBOTOMIX, a local hip-hop advocacy group. Although he’s seen the hip-hop scene ebb and flow, right now he says Birmingham is experiencing an unseen rise in this kind of music. Read more about his involvement in the hip-hop community.
His sound: Rocker turned singer-songwriter
For fans of: Neil Finn, Paul Westerberg
The Athens, Georgia, native once shared stages with Widespread Panic, Bright Eyes, Lucinda Williams, Verbena, and the Drive-By Truckers. He made records, toured, heard himself on the radio, signed autographs, and “barely made a living” with the Lures and Randall Bramblet. Read more about his music.
Her sound: Spirit and soul
For fans of: Corinne Bailey Rae, Mayer Hawthorne, Curtis Mayfield Band
Music runs just as deep in Ashley Sankey’s blood as it does her soul. Her mom, Sharon, coached her in jazz, classical, rhythm and blues, and gospel vocal techniques. Her grandmother Katie is a gospel artist, and her dad, William Jr., taught her how to express herself in words. Read more about her music.
Their sound: Synth rock
For fans of: Future Islands, The National, Animal Collective
Some say they sound like The Cure went surfing. To music retailer zZounds, they’re proving “that dreamy and upbeat don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” Whatever you call it, Creature Camp is creating original sound. Read more about their music.
Their sound: Textured instrumental
For fans of: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Russian Circles
In Snow’s music doesn’t need words to tell a story. The band hopes through their music listeners find their own story and experience a sense of rest and “a way to cope to be honest.” Read more about their music.
His sound: A mix of adventurous modern music
For fans of: Everything from Randy Newman and Parliament-Funkadelic, to Burning Spear, Allen Toussaint, and LCD Soundsytem
As you might guess, The Audiovore (also known as Lee Shook) consumes a lot of music. “I used to like to say it’s music for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all meals in between, but now I just think of it as one big potluck,” he says. Read more about his involvement as a DJ and music promoter.
His sound: Jazz with pop and eastern music influences
For fans of: Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Woody Shaw
People are often impressed by the marquis names Gary Wheat has played with: The Temptations, O’Jays, Four Tops, Frankie Valli. But his proudest moments have been in the “trenches of the Birmingham music scene, creating music with my friends and the varied and rich talent here.” Read more about his music.
His sound: High volume chaos, sound and fury
For fans of: The Who, The Stooges, Ramones, Black Sabbath
Chris Hendrix is a boundary pusher, an experimenter. Over 27 years, he took ’80s hardcore punk music in his band Gross National Product to weirder and more intricate levels. “I always described GNP’s sound as like being underneath a runaway freight train, trying to sit up and being knocked back down by it, repeatedly and relentlessly,” he says. Read more about his music.
Photo Assistant: Stan Bedingfield – Produced by Lindsay Ellinas
Written by Madoline Markham