My 2014 Rocking The Daisies Headliner Wish List

Let me just start off by saying this list is purely subjective, and based on what I am currently listening to. I also took into account whether these artists are currently touring.

Last year RTD brought Alt-J,which prompted many google searches because very few people knew the band. Of course, Alt-J was a rad, bold choice. The festival became one who set the trend, instead of bringing a predictable headliner to our shores.

I’ve sampled quite a few artists before I decided on the final list. I’ve also decided to focus on current artists who have released amazing albums in the past year, as well as their live chops. I’ve also discarded the obvious headliner requests doing the rounds. Here goes nothing:

1. Haim

Haim is my absolute favourite choice as this year’s headliner. Like last year’s headliner, they only have one album. On their debut Days Are Gone every single track is superb. They also have killer live credentials. This would also be the first time an all female band would headline the festival. Plus, they’re still in that “OMG we can’t believe anyone in Africa has even heard of us” phase. Bringing them here would thus be a somewhat easier task.

2. Solange

Yes, the lesser known, more hip, artistic and creative Knowles sister. On stage, Solange is effortless. She also knows how to draw in a crowd and make them lose their phucking minds. She has two albums under her belt, as well as her EP TRUE which was released in 2012. Come on, we all want to do soul claps while Solange laments her way through “Losing You”. Even Beyonce does. Solange also just completely won Day 2 of Coachella.

3. Vampire Weekend
I don’t even know why we have never had this band in SA or Cape Town. Their last album is sensational. On
Modern Vampires of The City, the band certainly perfected their signature sound. Someone out there needs to make this happen.

4. Sam Smith

I was a little hesitant to include Sam on this list. Not only is he a new artist, but he has not even released his debut album yet. However, his soulful churn on buddies Disclosure’s “Latch” as well as Naughty Boy’s “La La La” proves that Sam can already hold his own. He also sounds superb live.

5. Lorde

Yes, Lorde. The MAC loving anti-pop pop star. The girl who rose to fame singing about never having seen a diamond in the flesh, or taking trains to parties. That one. The same girl who dissed Taylor Swift, and then became friends with her. The same girl who shares her imperfections on social media. The same girl who released a great album, of which songs about driving Cadillacs in her dreams can easily be said to be one of the weaker tracks on it. Yes, that girl.

6. Disclosure
These two brothers released their debut album
Settle in 2013 to much fanfare. They also collaborated with Mary J Blige on a reworked version of their single “F For You”. These guys sound tight, and aren’t just DJs.

7. James Blake

james blake chance the rapper round
james blake chance the rapper round

“Retrograde” was easily one or my top five favourite songs of 2013. Slow and moody, like the rest of Blake’s second album Overgrown. He was also nominated in the best new artist category at the 2014 Grammys. Blake skillfully fuses soul with electronic elements, and it would certainly be a treat to see him do that live.


The Bones of What You Believe synth-pop rockers are steadily growing into a festival mainstay. They also do amazing covers. They are also one of the rising bands to watch, if their Coachella set is anything to go by.

9. Frank Ocean

Oh, the revered Ocean. His debut album channel ORANGE received universal acclaim, whereafter Frank went on to write more amazing songs for other artists, including Beyonce and Jay Z. His second release is rumoured to be released in the American summer. He may be a less obvious choice, but he can close the festival on the last day, when the mood is a little more chilled.

10. Janelle Monae

Yes, the girl who convinced Prince to do a song on her latest album. She got Erykah Badu to do the same. This girl’s boss is Diddy. The Electric Lady sees Janelle playing around with so many instruments, which translates to an energetic, pulsating live set.

11. Arctic Monkeys

Have you heard their last album? Have you heard their entire discography? Yes? Well then, no explanation necessary.

There you have it. My list. Who are you hoping for at Rocking The Daisies this year? If any one of these artists make it, I will be super stoked.


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