Five local artists you need to catch at Mad Cool Festival 2023

Some of the most exciting new Spanish artists will be sharing the stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sam Smith, Lizzo and more

In partnership with Mad Cool Festival

The 2023 instalment of Mad Cool is set to be the most star-studded yet, however, few realise that the festival is just as devoted to introducing local artists as it is to hosting some of the biggest names.

Alongside booking sets from international stars such as Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Sam Smith and Queens Of The Stone Age, Mad Cool also places an emphasis on booking exciting new talent, and creating a platform for local artists.


Just one of the ways in which it does this is through Mad Cool Talent, a platform that helps uncover the ‘next big thing’ from Spain. Previous artists highlighted by the festival include Madrid’s local pop star Irenegarry, who was hailed as one of NME’s Top 100 essential emerging artists for 2022, and Barcelona-based multi-instrumentalist Bikôkô, who ignited last year’s stage with her modern approach to soul.

Other standout local artists supported by Mad Cool include the experimental Barcelona duo N1n0, who performed at the 2022 edition of the festival, as well as the indie-rock singer-songwriter St Woods, who learnt his trade as a busker on the streets of Madrid, and captivated his audience by delivering his emotive sound to the festival stage.

Now, here are the local artists you need to keep an eye out for at the 2023 edition of the festival.


From: Mungia, Biscay
Why You Should Care: Previously highlighted by NME as one to watch at this year’s festival, indie four-piece Belako are a band upholding the Spanish rock scene, with their intricate blend of punk and thrash. Named after the Belako suburb, the members hold the anti-establishment message of the ’80s Basque Radical Rock scene close to their hearts, and have already been celebrated on the NME Radar for their energetic performances — which will no doubt be showcased during their set.
Festival Anthem: ‘Tie Me Up’


From: Madrid
Why You Should Care: Formed by frontman Pimp Flaco, five-piece Cupido have already firmly established themselves across Madrid for their unwavering loyalty to the feel-good pop scene. From their debut album ‘Préstame Un Sentimiento’ in 2019 to their latest effort ‘Sobredosis De Amor’ in 2022, whatever the boyband choose to play during their Mad Cool set, one thing is for sure: it is guaranteed to contain a song that will, without doubt, become your next summer anthem.
Festival Anthem: ‘Santa’



From: Madrid
Why You Should Care: While little known across the rest of the world, DORA has become somewhat of a pop icon across Spain for her abilities as a singer, actress and model. Having already graced the cover of Spanish Vogue and appeared on the Netflix series, Élite, by the time she was just 16, the singer is now set to bring her enchanting blend of bubblegum pop, EDM and indie rock to Mad Cool, and prove to international audiences why she has come quite so far in her native Spain.
Festival Anthem: ‘Saving Star’

Ralphie Choo

From: Madrid
Why You Should Care: At just 24 years old, Ralphie Choo — real name Juan Casado — made his musical debut back in 2019 and has already established himself for his intriguing, genre-defying approach to music. Taking his moniker from a character on The Simpsons, Choo has already turned heads for his unorthodox hybrid of electronics, R&B, indie Flamenco and rap, as well as his ability to recreate songs like Rosalía’s ‘Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi’ in his signature style.
Festival Anthem: ‘Dolores’ (ft. Rusowsky)

Sila Lua

From: Vigo, Galicia
Why you should care: Another artist already named as one of NME’s top ten acts to catch at this year’s Mad Cool, Sila Lua has established herself as one of the most exciting electronic artists and producers of 2023. Since moving to Madrid and emerging onto the scene in 2017 with her debut single ‘The Black Door’, the singer-songwriter has gone on to refine her signature style of alt-urban-electronica — last year releasing her strongest work to date in her first LP, ‘Rompe’.
Festival Anthem: ‘Eres Para Mí’

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