Crowned “Sound of 2019” by the BBC and racking up millions of plays on Spotify, this Irish troubadour never forgets his start: alone, guitar in hand, playing in the streets of Dublin. This foundational experience, which also revealed his local heroes Glen Hansard and Damien Rice, can still be felt today in his songs. Augmented with electronic sounds and inspiration from hip-hop, Dermot Kennedy’s music is always steeped in a formidable authenticity. At once powerful and scratchy, his voice audaciously explores the contrasts between urban modernity and rustic lamentations. His self-titled debut album, rich with raw emotion, will resonate at the Montreux Jazz Lab alongside Jessie Reyez and Lewis Capaldi, both of whom are also at the early stages of promising careers.