Pharrell Williams coming to Colours of Ostrava

The lineup for the country’s biggest summer music festival is almost complete

Colours of Ostrava will be headlined by the band N.E.R.D, featuring singer and producer Pharrell Williams and his bandmates Chad Huge and Shay Haley.

They were among 20 new names announced for the annual music and arts festival, which takes place in the former industrial area of Dolní Vítkovice in Ostrava in northern Moravia. The festival runs from July 18 to 21 and has over 350 events on 21 indoor and outdoor stages.

“The band N.E.R.D will play for the first time in the Czech Republic and will expand the list of this year's home premieres, including Jessie J, Grace Jones, London Grammar, Ziggy Marley and Calexico,” festival director Zlata Holušová said. “We tried to make the program by combining world-famous names with a huge selection of real pearls considered abroad to be essential contemporary musical news," she added.

Previously announced names include George Ezra, famous for his song “Budapest.” Joss Stone, Cigarettes After Sex, Kaleo, Future Islands, Beth Ditto, Mura Masa, Aurora, Seasick Steve, GusGus, Jon Hopkins (live), HVOB, Slaves, Lewis Capaldi and Nick Mulvey are also in the program.

N.E.R.D formed in Virginia Beach in 1999. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo were signed as a duo called The Neptunes. Shay Haley joined later. They released two popular albums and broke up in 2005, but got back together in 2008 for two years. They became active again in 2017, working with several famous artists on their new album No-one Ever Really Dies.

Williams, though, is best known for his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and his solo album Girl.

Norwegian-born Kygo, one of the world's most successful contemporary producers, composers and DJs, is also coming. He was crowned Spotify’s Breakout Artist of 2015 and became the fastest artist to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify.

Kygo’s first album, Cloud Nine, debuted at number one on iTunes Dance Albums Chart and on Nielsen Soundscan’s Electronic Albums chart. His single “It Ain’t Me” with Selena Gomez reached Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has amassed over 608 million Spotify streams to date. The music video for his single, “First Time” with Ellie Goulding has garnered over 55 million views.

Late least year Kygo released his Stargazing EP which included “This Town,” and a collaboration with U2, All eight tracks from his second album hit Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, bringing Kygo’s total number of charted titles to 25.

Also, newly announced name was Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats from the US. Rateliff has been compared to Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Sam Cook. He records under the legendary label Stax Records, which released works by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, and the duo Sam & Dave. All of them are among Rateliff’s role models.

From the British soul and R&B scene is singer Jacob Banks, who was the first unsigned act to ever appear on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. He has since signed with Interscope Records.

The Czech group Kafka Band will present the Czech premiere of Amerika, a concert show with video projections based on the unfinished novel by Franz Kafka. It will be in Gong, which is used for more theatrical performances.

The festival will offer a wide selection of the contemporary African music scene, including Cheikh Lô, Dobet Gnahoré, Daara J Family and other big names in current international charts and polls.

The Fresh Stage will once again host upcoming artists from abroad. Emerging stars you may not have heard about include American experimental Algiers, Canadian-German songwriter Alice Merton and British group Yellow Days.

The Meltingpot discussion forum will be held again with 800 speakers from 25 countries.

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