Epic President Talks New Ozzy Osbourne Album, Big Boi Dishes on Phantogram Collab at L.A.'s Epic Fest
If you're feeling bummed that you didn't get into the first annual Epic Fest -- a celebration of the record label on Los Angeles' Sony Pictures Lot that featured sets by Ozzy Osbourne, Future and more -- don't be. Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone has good news for you.
"This is a run through. We're trademarking it now; there's a future for Epic Fest," Rhone tells Billboard. "It's still a work in progress, but we feel so good about the way this was organized and the response we're getting from the community. I think the demand will be great for a festival like this."
The three hour-plus show on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 29), which was a showcase for the diversity of the roster, featured some memorable sets and news, like the debut of Big Gram, a collaboration between Outkast's Big Boi and Phantogram. After the second song in their three-song set, Big Boi announced they would have a Big Gram album coming soon.
Rhone also told said Osbourne has an album on the horizon. "It's going to be a really special album," she said. "It's going to be amazing, it's something Ozzy has never done before that he's always wanted to do."
She added that it's too soon to talk details of the special project.
We definitely got excited for the album by both the tease and Osbourne's animated headlining set, which started with him coming out after 4 p.m. and asking, "Are you f---ing ready for me?" The crowd was as ready as you can be for a Saturday afternoon set that starts with the Black Sabbath classic "War Pigs" and includes Osbourne spraying foam on the audience multiple times.
Other highlights of his set included blistering renditions of the solo hits "Suicide Solution" and "I Don't Know."
Rapper Future also did an extended set leading into Osbourne, and he also lived up to his promise to turn it into a "ratchet party." At one point he exhorted the crowd to put their middle fingers in the air, yelling, "This isn't a Hollywood party." As rebellious in his own way as Osbourne, Future was every bit as entertaining and engaging and the two of them back to back worked well, which is what Rhone expected.
"This is a watershed moment for Epic -- it's the first time we have a critical mass and a roster I think represents so many different life styles and culture and taste. But at the same time all of them fit together and all of them are very homogenous," she said. "And I think that's the culture we're trying to reflect, that's the culture we live, that's the culture we love. So I think you're seeing now it's truly a festival."