Forté’s Top 10 acts to watch from BIGSOUND

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Forté’s Top 10 acts to watch from BIGSOUND

Woah, when they say BIGSOUND is big, they really do mean it. This year was actually the biggest in the event’s history, seeing more than 6000 attendees become immersed in the conference and showcase series, with over 150 of Australia’s hottest new acts.

Now with the four day music festival and conference coming to a close for another year, it’s time to sink back into reality and sum up the very best bits from what we saw at BIGSOUND 2017.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that there was an immense amount of talent at this years’ BIGSOUND and it is physically impossible to get to every single act. This opinion is based on what the Forte crew experienced, and by no means does ii imply there were no other amazing talented musicians.

Stella Donnelly

This Perth darling was one of the clear standouts of BIGSOUND. And rightly so, she was amazing. Her showcase appearance was fueled with inspiring lyrics, real talk, her gorgeous vocals and her incredible wit.
And all it took for Stella was a guitar, her voice and real-talk lyrics. She was that good she was even named the inaugural winner of the Levi’s Music Prize, awarding her $25,000. Her banter between and even during songs was probably the best I’ve seen for a long time and has the crowd in stitches!


These guys definitely has some buzz surrounding their BIGSOUND gig. Hailing from Sydney, the metalcore band working together elements of hardcore punk, prog, and metal to create epic tracks. Building a reputation on the road over the last three years as one of the most exciting live acts in the Australian scene and with a national tour on the horizon for their debut album (The Mortal Coil, out 3 November), Polaris should be on your list.

Thandi Phoenix

The girl has sass, and she is talented as hell! The first thing that strikes you about Thandi Phoenix is her voice. Powerful and honest, her vocals are the sort that will stop you in your tracks and demand your attention. Quite literally. She is putting some serious flavour into her tracks too blending pop with electronica and raw, honest storytelling. Girl power anthems are her jam, listen to any of her tracks and you’ll be feeling on top of the word in second. At only 24 (literally celebrated her birthday at BIGSOUND), we see big things to come.

Machine Age

What a talent. It’s likely you would have heard a song from Brisbane-based producer/performer extraordinaire Adrian Mauro, aka Machine Age, contributing to records from Big Scary and BANFF. But that’s not why he’s here. Now focusing on his solo career, his showcase was stunning with a set of blending guitar pedal loops, drum pads and laptop samples to produce a raw and powerful guitar and synth-heavy sound. If you ever get the chance to see him live, it WILL be worth it.


Warrnambool lad Didirri delivering a stunning solo performance at this years festival. Taking a step back from the rap and rock that was dominating the festival, this singer delivered emotional songs which commanded attention from the whole venue. Along with his engaging and charismatic on stage presence, it’s the voice. It’s all about his voice – and we love it.

Ziggy Ramo

After getting on Australia’s radar in 2016, the hip hop artist from Perth has maintained Australia’s attention with his fusion of energetic music with poignant and important messages that come across regarding race relations in modern Australia. Recently releasing “Same Script” to acclaim, Ramo was names as One to Watch by triple j Unearthed this year.

Ruby Fields

She’s already had two amazing singles spinning on triple j for some time now, but regardless of that, she won over the punters at BIGSOUND with a killer set of her rock tracks. Despite the high expectations put on her already by the industry, she 110% delivered and exceeded them at her showcase. At only 19, we’re confident that we’ll be seeing heaps more from Fields over the Summer season.


Sydney songwriter and vocalist Odette is full of soul – and you can tell straight away this gem will be one to watch. As a self-taught pianist, her vocal talent in itself is praiseworthy as she captivates audiences with her indie-pop creations. Her debut single ‘Watch Me Read You’ is a showstopping blend of slam poetry and soul which is already making big waves, and her stage presence is already strong and captivating – keep your eyes peeled.

Press Club

This Melbourne outfit well and truly brought punk to BIGSOUND – and boy do they do it well. Currently being one of the most exciting bands kicking around, their live gig is really something that needs to be seen. It’s raw, it’s frenetic and it is demanding with a whole lot of jumping and head-banging. From playing alongside major acts like WAAX and Ali Barter, to having just been announced on the lineup of Festival of the Sun and Fairgrounds Festival, Press Club are well on their way. They’re fast, straight to the point and up in your face – just what we like.

Miss Blanks

Brisbane’s Miss Blanks was the talk of the festival after her performance at The Elephant on Wednesday night. Backed only by DJ Sullivan, she was commanding and confronting, owning the stage with her raw, honest and outrageous lyrics (one of her songs is ‘F**k Real Slow’ so you can just imagine). She has complete control over the room, causing literally everyone to booty shake – even her own mother who was front and center! She even started out with ‘house rules’ by inviting all the women and non-binary punters to the front ‘coz “our place isn’t at the back”. There was a backing track which probably wasn’t super necessary – but regardless she killed it and will be one to watch.

Give them a listen, see what you think, check out the BIGSOUND playlist and even make your own hot list. Just enjoy absolutely everything the music industry is throwing our way. What a time to be alive.