Portraits: Jaguar Jonze Hussy Wyldest and Luke De Sciscio at New Colossus Festival
Co-founded by three New York music industry vets and longtime friends, Lorimer Beacon‘s founder and head Mike Bell, Kanine Records‘ founder and label head Lio Kanine and Kepler Events and Lola Live’s Steven Matrick, the second annual The New Colossus Festival took place earlier this week and featured more than 100 handpicked, emerging indie bands and artists from the US, Canada, the UK, the European Union, Australia and Singapore. Now, as you may recall, by design, the festival takes place just before SXSW, with the festival’s co-founders viewing the festival as a pre-SXSW stopover that will give its emerging acts an opportunity to organically gain exposure — while filling a critical void in the local festival circuit.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 striking across the globe, the co-founders’ plans for the festival were waylaid quite a bit for understandable reasons — but the festival still had showcases a number of venues across the East Village and Lower East Side, including including Berlin Under A, Lola NYC, Pianos, The Bowery Electric, Arlene’s Grocery and The Delancey, the recently added MOSCOT Eyewear. Understandably, much of my live coverage of the festival had to be cut short: I have a family member, who’s at a high risk of the virus becoming fatal. Of course, I’m disappointed but I have to do the right thing for her safety, as well as the safety and health of others.
Of course, one of the things I enjoy about the festival is the opportunity to see new acts playing some of their first shows in the States — or their first New York shows. And what I hope will be a continued tradition as long as I cover New Colossus is a portrait series of these upcoming bands: this year, I had opportunities to photograph, the rising Brisbane, Australia-based multi-disciplinary artist Deena Lynch, the creative mastermind behind the rising music project Jaguar Jonze; rising London-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and studio engineer Sophie Nicole Ellison, the creative mastermind of the dream pop project HUSSY and her backing band; London-based singer/songwriter Zoe Mead, the creative mastermind behind indie rock act Wyldest; and the Swindon, UK-born, Bath,UK-based singer/songwriter Luke De Sciscio. Check it out below.