Infinite x MTV K First Showcase

The 9 Best Up-and-Coming Cities for Music

By Lauren Zupkus
February 28, 2013

  1. The 9 Best Up-and-Coming Cities for Music
  2. #9
    Lagos, Nigeria
  3. #8
    Santiago, Chile
  4. #7
    Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
  5. #6
    Athens, Greece
  6. #5
    Johannesburg, South Africa
  7. #4
    Barcelona, Spain
  8. #3
    Belem, Brazil
  9. #2
    Omaha, Nebraska
  10. #1
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • The 9 Best Up-and-Coming Cities for Music
    Those of us who are coming down with spring fever know the best remedy is to head somewhere-- anywhere -- far, far away. But where to? South by By Southwest is already sold out, and you're probably trying to steer clear of any beach trips that sound remotely enticing to the frat bros and sorority sisters let out of their cages for spring break. And since you're reading this on Iggy, you clearly have an exquisite taste in music. So, in return for being so damn awesome, we've become your travel guides to these 9 international cities with blossoming music scenes. They're a bit off the beaten path, but that will give you all the more bragging rights when you come back from your vaca with a jealousy-inducing playlist. Go ahead, click through! Let's start with #9 Lagos, Nigeria
  • #9 Lagos, Nigeria
    Even the heartless android known as Kanye West has an affinity for this Nigerian city. Original sound from hip-hop stars like D'banj are spreading across hemispheres with a little help from the Internet, but this stellar city is where it really all goes down. Next #8 Santiago, Chile
  • #8 Santiago, Chile
    Back in 2011, Lollapalooza brought the likes of Kanye, Fatboy Slim, and the Flaming Lips to Chile's capital as part of the fest's South American expansion. But Santiago's got music swag on its own, with tropical electropop bands like Astro and minimalist electro meets folk singer Gepe. Chile's own Maquinaria Festival brings together everything from alt rock to dubstep with a lineup that included everyone from Gogol Bordello to Marilyn Manson to Knife Party. Next #7 Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
  • #7 Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
    If the afterlife was a place on earth, it'd probably look something like Carnival. But the Trinidad and Tobago capital is practically dripping with culture year round, particularly the calypso style Soca music that's got everybody lovedrunk on the dutty wine. Particularly awesome music stems from the Soca Monarch competition, when groups participate a la battle of the bands in an effort to be crowned Soca Monarch of the year. Next #6 Athens, Greece
  • #6 Athens, Greece
    Where have all the rock gods gone? Obviously to the most badass ancient city there ever was. Aside from the Parthenon there's probably nothing more hardcore than up and coming rock bands on the Grecian scene like Bazooka or psychedelic rockers Acid Baby Jesus. With huge shows like the annual Rockwave Festival pictured above, Athens is serving up in-your-face rock, often with a political message. Next #5 Johannesburg, South Africa
  • #5 Johannesburg, South Africa
    It's only fitting that Die Antwoord's insanely 'freeky' sound was honed in the South African, anything goes music scene. From screamo bands to drum and bass and some nasty psychedelic trance, the largest city in South Africa has got something for everybody-- except boring people. Next #4 Barcelona, Spain
  • #4 Barcelona, Spain
    You know we couldn't leave our Catalans hanging. The beachy city that's practically a synonym for party is also home to the annual Sonar festival with headliners including Skrillex and Pet Shop Boys to name a few. Not to mention it's the best place in our galaxy to get a taste of space age electro. Viva la musica! Next #3 Belem, Brazil
  • #3 Belem, Brazil
    Home to mango trees, rainforests, and the Amazon River, this Brazilian city also happens to be lush in the lively, tropical electro known as tecnobrega. While the scene is not as big as its neighboring San Paulo, it's slowly gaining fun lovin' followers. So find your damn passport, find your best and brightest Hawaiian print anything, and jam to Ace of Base-esque casio beats. Now that's vegetation. Next #2 Omaha, Nebraska
  • #2 Omaha, Nebraska
    We know it seems random, but the music scene in Omaha, Nebraska has been poppin’ ever since the likes of Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole hit its speakeasies and jazz clubs back in the 1920s. And it hasn’t really slowed down since, with thriving indie labels like Saddle Creek Records boasting the likes of Bright Eyes and Tokyo Police Club. The quintessential Omaha sound blends the college radio lover’s alt rock with peppered with small doses of country twang. Next #1 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • #1 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    You’d have to be pretty brave to cover an untouchable megahit like Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin About You” but soul singer/our personal girl crush Yuna did just that. Even more unthinkable, she totally pulled it off and made the cover song her own barenaked lullaby. This fearless, experimental style stems from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, home to other unapologetically awesome artists like budding indie pop band the Impatient Sisters and Darren Ashley. Simply known as KL to locals, we have a feeling the budding metropolis won’t be off the music radar for much longer. More Lists