A milestone year for the growth of dance music culture, 2014 saw numerous music festivals, events, and even more artists push boundaries and propel the scene forward. Our first edition of artists to watch hit the nail on the head with Kygo and The Chainsmokers who had, arguably, the two most meteoric rises in all of electronic dance music.
Our list is about much more than just those who are making waves in the underground. The reality of the business is that economics play a huge role into who will be thrust into the main stream.
Extensive thought was put into crafting this list, which was widdled down from nearly four times the names. While we have an astounding respect for those who organically work their way into the spotlight, we did our best to compile a comprehensive list of producers who are poised to experience different levels of growth in 2015.
Looking forward to what the new year has in store, we take a peak at 20 breakout EDM artists to keep your eye on over the next 12 months.
Having been taken under the wing of Armin van Buuren, few can claim the pedigree of the classically trained Moldovan producer. Multiple endorsements from the Armada front man have continued to propel Rayel to the forefront of electronic dance music.
With the massive success of his debut EP “Find Your Harmony,” Rayel found himself jetsetting around the globe, hitting the main stages at some of the biggest music festivals in the world.
Add to the mix that Rayel was featured on CNN’s One’s to Watch and the stage is set for Andrew Rayel to situate himself among the EDM elite in the coming year, catalyzing a legacy that will be synonymous with all-time great producers.
This is one group that has us very excited. The Midwestern trio continues to breathe new life into tropical house with their signature “future tropical” sound. Just a few dudes inspired by authentic creativity, Autograf sees beyond the confines of the chart toppers.
Their sensual sound extends to remixes of Dirty South, Pharrell, and Marvin Gaye, showing their malleable sound can be applied to a diverse range of genres. Their Future Sound Tour even implemented a marimba into their live performances, elevating the experience beyond your typical set. The popularity of the tropical sound combined with their incorporation of live instrumentation will continue to propel their familiarity beyond their well deserved recognition on Hype Machine.
An expanded touring schedule will see Autograf venture outside of Chicago in 2015 with performances in the Western U.S. and Mexico with more expected to be announced.
It’s about leaving your mark on the world. It’s about leaving your Autograf.
Their soul-refreshing sounds are definitely having an impact and it’s only a matter of time before Autograf is on everyone’s lips.
As producers continue to emerge at an alarming rate, it is those that know no boundaries who are establishing themselves as forces to be reckoned with. With a diverse background that spans everything from classical music to hip-hop, the Northern California producer is careening through the universe with his self proclaimed style of “outerspace bass.”
The unique sound of Bleep Bloop gained the attention of DJ Shadow who brought him aboard his Liquid Amber record label with his latest EP. Bloop’s trippy, syncopated sounds are embodied by his moniker and have garnered honorable comparisons to Anamanguchi and Aphex Twin.
The dude is just tapped into a wavelength that resonates among all humans at the most primitive level. Now is the time to get familiar.
Having worked together on numerous collaborations in the past, the Australian duo of L D R U and Yahtzel decided to take their synergy beyond their b2b set at Splendour In The Grass for the Carmada project. Already two of the most talked about young producers in the Australian scene, together Carmada has packaged the hype and continues to deliver tracks on a silver platter.
Refusing to live inside a genre-defined box, their productions range from melodically chill to bouncy and soulful. It’s difficult not to draw comparisons to fellow Australian Flume who continues to push boundaries and change the landscape of electronic music.
With OWSLA holding the reigns to their debut EP and Sony Music in their corner, the resources are there to continue grooming their skills while captivating the masses in the process. The only variable they have no control over is time, and that is inevitable.
G Jones could very well be a Bassnectar in the making. The Santa Cruz producer has been making waves throughout the underground music festival scene, widely regarded as one of the best sets at Shambhala which included performances from Datsik, Excision, GRiZ, Moby, and The Nectar himself.
Consistent production of high-quality, original music over decades are what (among other variables) differentiate Lorin from nearly any producer in the game. Though more inclined towards filthy hip-hop beats, G Jones has procured an extensive catalog of original productions that frame up expansive, genre-defying sets. With a heavy influence of West Coast bass music and constant cross-genre experimentation, the beats of G Jones have further gained the attention of Pretty lights & Zeds Dead and earned him an appearance on BBC Radio’s Diplo & Friends guest mix series.
Having opened for Bassnectar’s 360 New Year’s Eve experience, G Jones has already earned Lorin’s stamp of approval. 2014 could very well have been a catalyzing year that will soon make G Jones a household name.
With a sound centered on deep bass lines, pianic melodies and chromatic guitar riffs, Big Apple-based producer Gryffin consistently puts forth upbeat dance floor anthems that earned him one of the strongest finishes to 2014 of any producer.
His remix of BANKS’ “Beggin’ For Thread” was widely regarded as one of the best dance tracks of the year and has music lovers attentively tuned in as his popularity continues to rise. Having accompanied Insomniac Records poster child Arty on his Up All Night Tour, there is no doubt that the talent of Gryffin has earned him a place on the map.
As long as he remains consistent there is no ceiling for what heights Gryffin can reach.
After stringing together a massively successful run of remixes that topped the Hype Machine charts, Elephante grabbed the attention of everyone with his first original release “Shake The Earth.”
Though the big room genre seems to be suffering as of late, the sound of the Los Angeles-based producer is far from your cookie cutter festival anthems. His high energy creations emphasize emotional melodies that perfectly complement powerful vocals found throughout many of his song selections.
Don’t be surprised if a nationwide tour is right around the corner.
Fabich & Ferdinand Weber
The German deep house duo continue to inject good natured grooves into their productions with a modern, often tropical, spin.
As the dance music masses develop a more mature palate, Fabich & Ferdinand Weber are ready to bring their massive European success state-side, providing abundant melody in the process.
With endorsements from Pete Tong and Tiësto and numerous appearances on Majestic Casual, their arrival is increasingly imminent.
Gorgon City has been taking the dance music scene by storm since the October 7 release of their debut album Sirens. The English duo continues to climb the UK Singles Chart with each release and it seems that everybody wants a piece.
With a nationwide tour announced for 2015 and performances at Governor’s Ball, Holy Ship!, Ultra, Coachella, and BPM Festival, you can expect to continue hearing a lot from Gorgon City.
The trend continues. With the tropical house movement absolutely ablaze, hidden gems are emerging from the cracks with fresh derivatives of the genre. Blurring the line between deep and tropical house, Hotel Garuda continues to turn heads.
Named as one of our 20 favorite tracks of 2014 with their remix of “Beggin’ For Thread,” the duo comprised of Manila Killa and Candle Weather has become an every day staple.
Landing the only official remix duties of Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” is a testament to the silky smooth production skills of Hotel Garuda. 2015 is already off to a solid start with their remix of Full Crate & Mar’s “Nobody Else.”
There is just something addicting about the ambient remixes dished out by Matoma.
The Norwegian producer has a knack for taking pop sensations and flipping them into a jazz fueled, soulful dance ballad that arouses images of sunbathing on a Caribbean island.
Having just announced his first ever North American schedule, Matoma is set to warm up the U.S. with his Midnight Sun Tour.
Anybody keen on the underground hip-hop scene will know that the Hawaiian producer needs no introduction within the music industry. However his selection for 7UP’s stage at Electric Daisy Carnival opened the eyes of a whole bunch of EDM enthusiasts who had not yet been exposed to his sound. Carmack showed his musical diversity, laying down an intricate set that was as smooth as butter.
Unanimously regarded as one of the most talented trap/hip-hop producers in the game, Mr Carmack has continued to make serious moves, releasing two albums within the past year.
With backers like Insomniac Events and 7UP, who have had such a profound impact on the electronic dance music community, don’t be surprised if this combination provides the necessary exposure for Mr Carmack to emerge into the spotlight.
Having just joined forces in 2012, the talent of the Seattle duo was quickly apparent.
Pretty Lights wasted no time bringing them aboard for his 2013 Analog Future Tour which generated murmurs of Odesza throughout the music community. With people demanding for more of the relatively unknown duo, Odesza began framing up their second album In Return which saw them blast onto the scene essentially overnight.
Their immersive lighting design, bone chilling beats, ambient vocal useage, and soul touching instrumentation combines for a live musical meditation that has everybody wanting a taste. Their 2014 In Return Tour saw 25 of 29 dates sell out making them a must book act for major music festivals.
With performances already announced for Ultra Music Festival, Buku, Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Hangout, it seems that plenty of people will have their chance to experience what Odesza is all about.
Being endorsed by Tiësto brought Oliver Heldens into the limelight but the Dutch producer is looking to cement his legacy among the electronic elite in 2015.
The release of “Gecko” blasted towards the top of dance charts, earning praise from Pete Tong as an “Essential New Tune.” His follow up “Koala” grew to one of Shazam’s most searched dance records of 2014 all while getting a year of his Heldeep Radio Series under his belt.
With performances scheduled at Ultra Music Festival and Coachella, those who are unaware of Oliver Heldens are about to be introduced to the next big name in EDM.
There is a popular saying that luck is defined as the moment when preparation meets opportunity. When Nicky Romero was late for his main stage performance at Nocturnal Wonderland, Slander stepped up to the plate and left everyone making the “Not Bad Obama” face.
Their melodic spin on traditional trap music led to the term “heaven trap” being coined, which has differentiated them from the pack and left fans wanting more. The recent release of their debut original track “Ascension” leaves us to expect that much more is right around the corner.
If “sunset house” was not a thing before, it definitely is now.
After attention grabbing remixes of 90’s classics by Mack Morrison and Ace of Base, the Los Angeles producer has continued to push the needle, not only for tropical house, but for dance music in general.
Having been announced for the inaugural CRSSD Festival in San Diego and released his first official remix in the past few weeks, it seems that SNBRN is continuing to gain momentum with no slow down in sight.
Thomas Jack is the epitome of all things tropical. No one is hitting the festival circuit as hard as the Australian in 2015 while simultaneously creeping his way towards headliner status. After kick starting the tropical house movement early in 2014, Thomas Jack has been steadily increasing in popularity with his feel-good summer sound that has no problem inducing dance moves.
After visa issues prevented him from performing various shows last year, including Electric Forest, Jack has since squared around his travel documents. His first U.S. festival performance saw him tear up the stage at Hard Day of the Dead while earning praise from Pete Tong Himself.
With the ability to navigate the country, exposing eager ears to his masterpieces, you best believe the Australian producer is taking full advantage of the opportunity. Look out for Thomas Jack this year at Ultra, CounterPoint, CRSSD, BUKU, and Wakarusa.
People, not just music lovers, have an affinity for bass and this is backed by tangible, scientific data. This in itself inclines any self-admitted bassaholic to gravitate towards the increasingly popular future bass movement. His uncanny ability to mesh complex melodies with juicy bass classify him in a league that is well beyond the disposable big room sounds.
A spin off of his previous alias Lido, Trippy Turtle is riding the front of the bus. In addition to seeping into the music festival scene, the Norwegian producer has crafted a guest mix on Diplo & Friends and has a North American tour on the horizon.
Be on the look out for performances at Ultra Music Festival, Wakarusa, and potentially more music festivals in the coming year.
An endorsement by Skrillex on Reddit was all that was needed for the legend of Trollphace to begin to unfold.
Regarded by the OWSLA Founder as the next big name in the dubstep scene, Trollphace has lived up to the hype. His collaborative remix of Yogi’s “Burial” with Skrillex left all curious fans with a satisfied taste in their mouth.
With the OWSLA family continuing to back him, the ceiling is limitless.
Some might say ZHU has already arrived. But with so much momentum generated in under one year, expect the mystery producer explode in the coming months.
His management’s anonymous approach to marketing saw hype explode around what was initially presumed to be a collaboration between Disclosure and Usher. Since catching the attention of the masses, the anonymous producer leaked details about a New York show that quickly sold out once tickets were on sale. From here, ZHU shot straight to headliner status at Hard Day of the Dead and continues to gain traction. Maybe it has something to do with his Grammy nomination.
With strategically planned moves leading to an unprecedented rise to the top, it can only be assumed that more surprises are in store during 2015 that will continue the social media frenzy.