The Rhymes, Rhythms and Soul of Treefort

 The Fringe of Treefort

Treefort is too indie!” I’ve heard this exact statement from too many friends in the past month. Maybe, just maybe, there is some truth that. Treefort has a strong indie vibe. If true, is this really a problem? What does indie even mean? I fondly remember my friend in middle school convincing me it meant ‘music from India’. We were adorable kids, but we were just a little mistaken. The indie label originally intended to signify artists that maintained an independent status separate from major label contracts. Unfortunately this is no longer the word’s operational definition. Indie, for most of our audience, means guitar strumming with a human voice. Whether it’s lo-fi, alternative, post-rock, blue-grass, folk, punk, folk-punk, my friends are right! Treefort has a TON of guitar playing bands with vocalists.

I totally understand if the instrumentalist songwriter vibe just isn’t your jam anymore, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that Treefort doesn’t have what it takes to satisfy your taste. I took on the dangerous responsibility and searched far and wide through the 400+ artists to compile a list of artists that I think are capable of proving my indie-phobic friends wrong. Treefort might be hella indie but it’s also hella not. Plug in the headphones. Get yourself a comfy seat. I’ve provided a specific playlist for each group of artists, listed in the same order as in this article. So pour a stiff drink and get to know these fantastic artists that compose the rhyme, rhythms and soul of Treefort Music Festival. 

Hip-Hop / Lyricism

Kate Tempest

Sunday – 5:30pm – 6:30pm @ Mainstage

Photo by: Jenny McCambridge

A storm of poetry, Kate Tempest has quickly earned a place in my favorite artists of all time. I even purchased a vinyl of her debut album Everybody Down without even owning a record player, which makes almost no sense. Not only a rhythmic rhyme sayer, Kate Tempest is an award winning author. Her latest book, The Bricks that Build the Houses, is a continuation of the lives and stories featured in her debut album. If there is one artist that I recommend seeing over any other during Treefort, IT IS THIS ONE. Her lyrics eviscerate the modern life with such care and compassion, leaving the listener longing for a better world.

Open Mike Eagle  

Thursday – 10:15pm – 11:00pm @ El Korah Shrine

Open Mike Eagle is self-described Art Rap. This is an artist that embodies the street-suburb hybrid of internet-era America. The music is filled with obscure film references, clear social commentary, and a strong flavor of apathetic realism.


Saturday – 7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Mainstage

Photo by: Andy Moran

“classically trained flautist, and passionate advocate for feminism and black empowerment.” SAY NO MORE, YES PLEASE.


Friday – 10:15pm – 10:50pm @ The Reef

Photo by: Jacob Sternberg

Definition of Sapient [sey-pee-uh nt] : “having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment”. When it comes to sound, the judgment couldn’t be any more wise. With sharp lyricism and relevant rhythms, Sapient has established a comfortable kingdom in the Northwest.



E&J( Eleven and Jason D)  [LOCAL]  12:00am – 1:00am

Dedicated Servers  [LOCAL] 11:10pm – 11:50pm

Roo Nostalgia  [LOCAL] 9:50pm – 10:20pm


Sol   11:45pm – 1:00am

Abhi the Nomad 11:00pm – 11:35pm

Custö [LOCAL]  9:35pm – 10:05pm

Andy O & Weighn [EARTHLING]  9:00pm – 9:30pm


Kosha Dillz   1:00am – 1:45am

Fresh Kils w/ PremRock 12:10am – 12:50am

Wheelchair Sports Camp 11:15pm – 12:00am

Arthur Maddox [LOCAL]   10:20pm – 11:00pm

Zee Will  9:35pm – 10:15pm

Les Fortunate [LOCAL] 8:50pm – 9:30pm

Cauzndefx   8:10pm – 8:45pm

Zero [EARTHLING] 6:45pm – 7:10pm

Axiom the Wyze [EARTHLING] 6:15pm – 6:40pm

Zekeultra 5:40pm – 6:10pm

Illumneye Crew [LOCAL] 4:50pm – 5:30pm

Voice / Grooves / Soul

Rituals of Mine

Thursday – 9:00pm – 9:50pm @ El Korah Shrine

Previously known as Sister Crayon, Rituals of Mine impressed the Treefort crowd in 2014 and 2016 with passionate singing and subtle synth work over a live drummer that kicks out some seriously smooth west-coast influenced rhythms.

Xenia Rubinos

Friday – 11:00pm – 12:10am @ The Linen  

Photo by: Laurent Chevalier

Her voice has soul power. Catchy melodies over a high octane multi-genre band will loosen your legs as you become one with the groove.

The Seshen  

Saturday – 10:30pm – 11:30pm @ The Reef

Sunday – 2:00pm – 2:40pm @ Mainstage

“The Seshen is a San Francisco Bay Area-based six-piece led by singer/lyricist Lalin St. Juste and bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara. Their forward-thinking sound combines synthesizers, drum machines, live percussion, and entrancing harmonies to create an unmistakable fusion of R&B, synth-pop, and electronic music.”


Friday – 9:00pm – 9:40pm @ The Linen

Photo by: Mujale Chisebuka

“SassyBlack is a space aged singer/songwriter & producer based in Seattle, Washington. This Goddess of “electronic psychedelic soul” & “hologram funk” explores the concepts of sound through deep compositions.”


Friday 11:00pm – 12:20am @ Hannah’s

Saturday 4:35pm – 5:20pm @ Mainstage “JMSN has built a reputation for himself through his unforgettable live performances and his trademark sounds, garnering nods from R&B legends, such as Puff Daddy and Usher.”



Sly Moon Sutra [LOCAL]  6:00pm – 6:40pm @ El Korah Shrine


Madisun Proof [LOCAL] 10:30pm – 11:00pm @ The Spacebar  

CRL CRRL 10:00pm – 10:40pm @ The Shredder


Alanna Royale 12:20am – 1:40am @ The Olympic

Bogan Via 9:00pm – 9:40pm @ The Shredder

My Body 6:00pm – 6:40pm @ Neurolux


Harriet Brown 11:30pm – 12:10am @ The Linen

Chanti Darling 1:00am – 2:00am @ Neurolux


Clap! Clap!

Friday – 12:30am – 2:00am @ The Linen Building

Clap! Clap!’s global rhythms owe as much debt to the Inuit tribes of Alaska as they do the Staccato footwork of Chicago and West African percussion. Cristiano’s music features traditional Italian folk rhythms and melodies mixed with a global harvest of found-sounds smashed through an electronic beat machine mind state.

Dimond Saints

Thursday – 11:00pm – 12:30am @ Fatty’s

Imagine if an 808 kick drum went on a Vipasanna (silent retreat) and came back to make love to your ear drums. Dimond Saints are producers An-ten-nae + Releece. Your dance moves will probably never get any lower than during a set by this duo.


Saturday – 11:00pm – 12:30am @ Fatty’s

Photo by: Forget Brennen

“With a menacing grasp on sound design and music theory, Buku combines deceptively simple and emotive melodies, laden with resounding low-end and intricate drum patterns.”


Thursday – 10:00pm – 11:00pm @ Fatty’s

Photo by Arthur Edward Ortiz / FotoMoto

“His music embodies a deep and powerful emotion. Light melodies laid over deep and heavy bass-lines create an atmosphere that is not easily replicated.”

Stylust Beats

Friday – 10:00pm – 11:30pm @ Fatty’s

“A skateboarder and hip-hop devotee, this dubstep DJ’s talent for fusing rap hooks and EDM bass beats with electronic music has earned him the rep as a creative renegade carving his own path.”



Psycache [LOCAL] 12:30am –  2:00am @ The Linen 

Jakzon [LOCAL] 12:00am – 2:00am @ Fatty’s

Mamm0th  [LOCAL] 10:30pm – 12:00am @ Fatty’s


Perfect Stranger 11:15pm – 1:15pm @ Mardi GRAS

Ryan Duley   10:00pm –  11:15pm @ Mardi Gras

Cloudest Speaker [LOCAL]  8:00pm – 8:45pm @ The Spacebar


Aaron Jackson   12:30am – 1:45am @ The Crowbar

Auzomatik  [LOCAL] 8:30pm – 10:00pm @ Fatty’s

CAMP [LOCAL] 6:00pm – 6:40pm @ The Linen


Sol Rising 12:30am – 1:45am @ The Crowbar

Michna   12:30am – 1:45am @ The Spacebar

Henry Pope 11:00pm – 12:15am @ The Crowbar

Kowta 9:30pm – 11:00pm @ The Crowbar

Evolushawn [LOCAL]  8:00pm – 9:30pm @ The Crowbar

Styles In Black [LOCAL]  7:20pm – 8:00pm @ The Shredder


WOH Club [LOCAL] 6:00pm – 9:00pm @ The Reef

Mikos Da Gawd 9:45pm – 11:00pm @ The Reef

2CG [LOCAL] 9:00pm – 9:45pm @ The Reef



Inside Music Supervision 3:00pm – 4:30pm @ Jump

Utilizing Music Data 2:00pm – 2:45pm @ Jump


This is Hip Hop 12:00pm – 1:00pm @ The Owyhee