Wango Tango, the annual one-day, Los Angeles pop-a-thon held by 102.7 KIIS FM, is raring and ready to go this year with big-gun fashion designer Kanye West headlining. Joining the rapper will be Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, Meghan Trainor, Nick Jonas, David Guetta, Jason Derulo, Sia, and Ne-Yo. The big story of course is Kanye returning to the Wango Tango stage for the first time since 2006. It’s fascinating to think back to ‘06, the year of a bright and fetching Kanye, a cherubic face revealing fewer lines, ready to embark on an escalator trip to the heights of pop stardom. The rapper has reached such an ubiquity that we can perhaps guess what he will bring to the table for the concert, as well as the other bigger names in the lineup. More intriguing is the undercard, a supporting group of acts that includes LunchMoney Lewis, Tori Kelly, Natalie La Rose, and Echosmith. Here’s a small primer and glimpse into what each bring to Wango Tango 2015.
Little is known about LunchMoney Lewis. It’s even difficult to discern what exactly he is or what he does. Rapper? Singer? Guy who wears robes? But perhaps that is all part of the mystery, like seeing a movie without watching the trailer, going on a blind date. Well, it’s not exactly the same, there are a few tidbits of information about LunchMoney Lewis. The songwriter was pottering around in Miami for some time before he showed up in the credits for Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint album, LunchMoney contributing to the song “Trini Dem Girls.” Since then, he has found a way under the wings of producer Dr. Luke. Under Luke's guidance Lewis released his debut single, “Bills,” a lighthearted and upbeat candy-gospel tune about, y'know, paying bills. That single is likely a taste of what Lewis will bring to the stage at Wango Tango.
Natalie La Rose
If you want to snag a record contract you should take notes from Natalie La Rose. The 26-year-old singer, model, and dancer moved to Los Angeles when she was 20 to pursue her dreams. It sounds like the beginning lines of everyone’s story out in Los Angeles. But in a remarkable twist, one night in 2011 La Rose found herself at an ESPY Awards after party. There La Rose spotted Flo Rida and approached the rapper to inform him that she was going to work with him soon. Taken aback by her confidence, Flo Rida invited her into the studio the next day and took her on tour with him, eventually signing La Rose to his International Music Group label. La Rose has only released one single thus far, “Somebody.” It’s a swing-for-the-fences song that features Jeremih, is a reinterpretation of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” borrows from LMFAO’s “Shots,” and was co-produced by DJ Mustard.
Tori Kelly took a slightly different route to break into the music industry, honing her skills through YouTube videos and bedroom recordings. The singer racked up thousands of views and took her talents to “American Idol.” There Kelly was unfortunately cut but she bounced back and wrote, produced, recorded, and self-released her debut EP Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly that was released in 2012. The singer eventually signed to Capitol Records and released a second EP, 2013’s Foreward. Kelly has been hard on work at her debut album, an album that will feature Kelly’s newest single, “Nobody Love.” It’s a fair guess that Kelly will have plenty of new material to share for her upcoming concert date.
Oddly, Echosmith are the youngest performers out of this group, yet are the furthest along in their careers. The band consists of four siblings, Graham, Sydney, Noah, and Jamie Sirota, who range in age from 16 to 21. The group released their debut album Talking Dreams back in 2013, an album that featured the band’s breakout hit, “Cool Kids,” an infectious slice of pop-rock that peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Echosmith has toured extensively since hitting pay dirt, meaning that a promising and finely-tuned live show will be in store for the band’s Wango Tango appearance.
This year's Wango Tango will take place at the StubHub Center out in Carson, California on May 9. Tickets go on sale on April 4. For more information on Wango Tango, check out KIIS FM's official website.
Update: Justin Bieber has just been added to the Wango Tango lineup. Click here for more info.