Update Your Playlists Now: The Governors Ball Acts We Couldn’t Get Enough Of
Burak Cingi

New York’s annual Governors Ball Music Festival has come to an end.

The weekend-long event took place June 2-4, featuring acts like Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Wu-Tang Clan, Danny Brown, Majid Jordan and Lorde.

We hit up the annual festival to check out a few new faces and turn up with some of our faves. Here are the underrated acts and non-headliners you should check out.

Michael Kiwanuka

The English musician has been compared to soul superstars like Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. The former session guitarist dropped his first solo album Home Again back in 2012, following it up with 2016’s Love & Hate. The London-based singer puts on a stellar performance, bold and enchanting. Many will instantly recognize his hit song “Cold Little Heart,” the theme song from HBO’s hit series Big Little Lies. Kiwanuka is currently on tour, his last U.S. stop being Nashville. You can also catch him at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival and AFROPUNK Festival this summer.

Saint JHN

The Brooklyn-native wowed the crowd on Sunday, performing his recently released track “3 Below” and rocking the silkiest looking outfit, backed by two flawless female DJs. The rapper has great lyrical skills, always ready to show off his wordplay, backed by a blend of genres. If you’re looking for more from the rapper, we highly suggest checking out “Roses.”

Tkay Maidza

The Zimbabwe-born Australian rapper dropped her debut album Tkay back in October 2016. Taking the stage at Gov Ball, it felt as if Maidza brought new energy to the crowd. She’s received praise from artists like Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike, who appears on her track “Carry On” and raps with the same bravado as stars like Nicki Minaj. Gov Ball wraps up the rapper’s U.S. tour, but if she ever makes another trip stateside, we highly recommend you grab tickets to see her.


It would be a mistake to call Skepta underrated, as Drake has given the grime artist numerous shout outs as well as sharing the stage with him. With the UK star making strides stateside, the crowd at his Gov Ball appearance was truly insane. Seriously. Turnt, doesn’t even begin to describe it. The grime superstar has more shows lined up this year with stops in Philadelphia, D.C., and an appearance at Bonnaroo.


Another grime act, Stormzy has earned the honor of seeing his debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, become the first grime album to reach number one on the UK album charts. Like fellow grime star and influence Skepta, Stormzy got the crowd hype Saturday, performing  hits like “Big For Your Boots.” To say that Stormzy killed it at his first ever NYC festival is not overstating things.

Jessie Reyez

You’ll quickly become obsessed with Jessie Reyez, whose Twitter bio reads, “I like to sing about s–t I don’t like to talk about.” This is evident in songs like “Figures” and “Gatekeeper,” where she calls out some of the industry’s skeeziest practices. The Canadian singer mesmerized the Gov Ball crowd with her voice and enchanting performance, instantly becoming our new crush. If you want to have your life changed, check out Reyez while she’s on tour. She’ll be making stops in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle.