By Jackson Sorensen
Public Relations Major
What’s up Wildcat?! Happy Winter Break! For those looking to explore some new music genres over the break, I’m breaking down my top 10 favorite DJs and artists taking over the EDM scene. I’ve had multiple people tell me that they want to start exploring EDM but they don’t know where to start! Hopefully I can help offer a starting point to this incredible genre and culture.
While these are MY favorite, they do not need to be yours! That’s the best thing about EDM culture. We can like whomever we want! Feel free to take a listen to any of the artists listed below or explore some new ones, and check out our ever-changing EDM Spotify playlist.
10) Barely Alive
Barely Alive is a musical duo out of Massachusetts, whose sound combines dubstep, trap, and drum & bass. They released their first debut EP in early 2014 and were quickly hitting the number one spot across four different genre spots in just under 24 hours. The duo utilizes square head helmets when they perform to have a unique brand. I’ve seen the duo perform live and the square heads are a sight to see.
9) The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers are an American electronic DJ and production duo. They started their musical journey by remixing songs from indie artists. The EDM-pop duo made their debut with their hit song “#Selfie” in 2014. I describe The Chainsmokers as a gentler way to start to understand the EDM culture. Since they are more mainstream, their electronic style is more heavily influenced by current pop trends, thus making them a great option for an introduction to EDM.
This Dutch DJ is based out of Breda, North Brabant. He was voted “the Greatest DJ of All Time” by Mix magazine in a 2010/2011 poll amongst fans and was officially named the “best DJ of the last 20 years” in 2013. His music changes every set that he creates. Some of the more common genres include techno, deep house, and dance. Tiësto is considered one of the oldest EDM DJs as he has been creating and performing music since before 2010. I have yet to see him live, but he is on my “Must Watch” list.
Slander, not to be confused with the defamation definition, is an American duo based out of LA. They are best known for their explosive live sets and their own unique subgenre known as “heaven trap.” Their most popular live sets involve multiple genres like future bass, dubstep, house, and heaven trap. Some of their sets involve evoking all types of emotions. Their most recent set at EDC Las Vegas did such a thing. The beginning of the set involved some hard music that got people up on their feet, then shifted to headbanging. Suddenly, they slow down the BPM and give off a “crying on the dancefloor” vibe, until they end the set with more hardstyle. They are on my “Must Watch” list!
Zomboy is an English dubstep music producer, songwriter, and DJ. His music is very high energy. If you see Zomboy live, make sure that your neck and body is ready because his music makes you want to move and rage. His music combines dubstep, drumstep, electro-house, glitch hop, and hybrid trap. For those music listeners like music that makes the speakers pop, Zomboy will do that! I was supposed to see him live in Seattle but, unfortunately, life happens, and I was unable. I am counting down the days until I can see him live again.
Illenium might be one, if not the most, known DJs in the world. His music is very mainstream and well known in pop culture. He has released four studio albums and his most recent, Fallen Embers, landed him a Grammy nomination. His music combines dubstep with trap and future bass. Along with The Chainsmokers, Illenium is very good place to start if someone is looking to be introduced into the EDM culture. His newer music makes me feel that “crying on the dance floor” vibe, which can be a thrill if you experience it live.
Gryffin is an American musician, DJ, songwriter, and record producer. He is a new obsession of mine. The way his music makes me feel is a little hard to explain. When I listen to his music, the songs all speak to me in a way as if the words came out of my own brain. It’s almost like I’ve had the experiences that the songs are describing. While I have experienced some of the song lyrics personally, it makes me feel like I’m reliving those moments over again. His music is meant to uplift the listeners. The lyrics might bring you down, but the beats bring you right back up!
3) Seven Lions
Seven Lions is an American DJ, record producer, instrumentalist, and remixer from Santa Barbara who is currently residing in Washington State! He has been creating and performing music since 2010 and his music combines trance, melodic dubstep, drum and bass, glitch hop, and electro house. Seven Lions was the first EDM show that I went to. I saw him at the Gorge and it was such a magical experience that I believe that everyone should experience at least once in their life.
Nghtmre is an American DJ and music producer based out of LA. His music will make you get up on your feet and dance. I have seen Nghtmre perform twice and both times I felt a range of emotions. At first, I was just in awe of the moment, and then I started to feel some bottled up anger that I didn’t even know that I had. I wasn’t angry at anything of anyone, it was just the music releasing all that bottled up tension and it felt amazing. The whole time I was dancing and listening to the music, I could feel myself getting lighter and lighter.
My queens Yasmine and Jahan! I love these girls with all my heart! They were the first artist that I listened to when I started listening to EDM. I have been a follow, or Krew, for over 5 years. I have met them but have not been to a show yet. They were born and raised in Pakistan and came to the States when they were young. They’ve been making music since 2010. Their music has been described as “contagious energy and good vibes.” They have moved around genres. They are typically involved in the Dance/Electronic genre.
There you go Wildcats! My top 10 DJs and artists that are taking over the EDM scene! Hopefully this list helps you find some new musical inspiration. Enjoy your winter break and your holiday season Wildcats! We earned it! See you all next year!