Rippling with a mesmerizing, melodic intro, a huge future-bass crescendo and their signature distorted synth sound, Toronto’s Zeds Dead are back with “Stars Tonight,” a monster collab with Dutch production duo DROELOE. This lush track’s slow-building majesty is the perfect marriage of grit and grandeur.
Having established herself with four memorable sets at this year’s EDC, house music maven VNSSA (a.k.a. Vanessa Barns) is continuing to make serious waves with her latest single. Co-written with longtime collaborator Eric Mark and released on Australian label Box of Cats, “This and That” pairs a distorted vocal sample from the 90’s with seriously gritty drums for an energetic romp to be enjoyed on dancefloors around the world.
House-music legend and Dirty Bird founder Claude Vonstroke joins forces with Barcelona-based Eddy M to forge this spicy banger for the summer. Rife with piercing hi-hats, a pumping bassline and some suitably scalding synths, “Getting Hot” is ideal for turning up the sizzle at your next weekend barbeque.
Fresh off an amazing couple of set at EDC in Las Vegas, Insomniac-affiliated producer/DJ/songwriter Chris Lake continues to impress with this stunning new single, released through his own label imprint, Black Book. Brimming with Lake’s signature tech house style, infectious synths and massive vocals courtesy of Lake’s own spouse, Gita Lake, “Stay With Me” is perfect for the main stage.
Time and again, Los Angeles-based DJ/producer/songwriter Slushii demonstrates that he can tackle any style he sets his mind to. On this latest release on Big Beat Records, Slushii goes fully tropical in collaboration with Latin GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Sofia Reyes for a sun-kissed slice of steel-drum-buffered dance-pop that’s as sweet as a frozen cocktail on a sultry summer night.
Pair the soulful swoon of Alec Chambers with the sparkling, propulsive production of Stavros, and you’re bound to get something truly special. Sure enough, their latest collaboration, “Starting Fires” has been making consistent waves since its February release as a seamless fusion of romantic, melodic pop with an undeniable EDM pulse.
After releasing a slew of memorable dance singles since 2011, NYC singer/songwriter Alicia Madison has joined forces with production duo, The Golden Pony. Bolstered by an warm, inviting melody and Madison’s honeyed vocals, the track also boasts a secret weapon in the form of a deeply infectious, whistled hook that will cement itself in your head.
When NYC-based producer/DJ KANDY and Denmark-based production trio, Nonsens, collaborate, good things are bound to happen, and their newest creation “Like This” is a very good thing. Released on the Mad Decent sub-label, Good Enuff, “Like This” is a huge, propulsive track that is bound to see some heavy rotation in clubs and festivals around the world.
Known for his amazing remixes for high-profile artists like Cher, Jason Derülo, John Mayer, and Smallpools, L.A.- based DJ and producer Zookëper has released a succession of impressive singles throughout 2018. His latest release on Spinnin’ Records, “From Me,” is just as impactful, featuring strong vocals and huge synth melodies that are sure to get stuck in your head for the next twenty-four hours.
As the first single from the full album Nova, “Pressure” is an audacious opening shot for Los Angeles-based DJ/producer RL Grime. While the album is filled with a variety of musical styles ranging from Dance to Pop to R&B, featuring the likes of Miguel, Julia Michaels, Ty Dolla $ign, Daya, Jeremih, & Tory Lanez, “Pressure” is a callback to his classic signature brand of distorted synth-based dance music. With the song first appearing in his Halloween mix released last year and later featured in a 2018 Apple iMac Pro ad campaign, it’s release last week has been highly anticipated.
In anticipation of Whethan’s Life of A Wallflower Tour kicking off this fall, the highly-touted producer has released the amazing “Superlove” with the London-based Alt-Pop masterminds Oh Wonder. According to Josephine and Anthony of Oh Wonder, the song was written in just 30 minutes by the three of them while in a Los Angeles Studio session. The fun energy of the production and catchy vocals of Superlove makes it the perfect soundtrack to any sunny afternoon by the pool.
As the fourth single from their much-anticipated third album, See Without Eyes, “Go Light” by The Glitch Mob is almost the perfect distillation of the L.A. trio’s sound, fusing infectious, glitched-out synths, booming chords and anthemic chord progressions. As a final warning shot prior to the high-impact arrival of the full-length album, four years in the making, “Go Light” ushers in a new phase the electro band’s already formidable journey.
Originally hailing from Washington, DC, but now based in Los Angeles, Shallou is an artist and producer specializing in atmospheric electronic music. On this latest single, he’s teamed up with indie-pop vocalist Riah and the effect is mesmerizing. By pairing minimalist synths and pulsing beats with a light, winsome melody, Shallou’s signature happy/sad production aesthetic strikes the perfect balance with Riah’s lilting voice to create a truly unique dance song, ideal for a rainy day. Be sure to keep an eye out for Shallou’s impressive live show, which seamlessly blends dreamy electronics, loops, and live instrumentation.
A lush amalgam of sparkling synths, sweet vocal harmonies, Caribbean flourishes and an irrepressible Latin rhythm, “No Love” by Ultra Music’s Salt Cathedral is a breezy tribute to the power of love and dancing over hate and violence. As a NYC-based duo of native Colombians, Salt Cathedral has been making waves in the dance community with their uniquely distinctive blend of sumptuous, tropical pop.
A seamless mix of crystalline pop and cutting edge production, “I Need You” is the infectious brainchild of super-producers and DJ’s Fernando Garibay and Armin van Buuren. Concentrating on their considerable strengths, while van Buuren’s more renowned for his trance work, Garibay’s midas touch as a versatile producer and songwriter, having worked extensively with everyone from Lady Gaga through U2, shines through on this track. Paring the soulful vocals of Olaf Blackwood with a compelling pulse, haunting chorus and wide-screen sonic expanse, “I Need You” is a genre-straddling confection that transcends the dance floor.
L.A.-based producer, APEK, closes out an eventful year of chart success, streaming achievements, high-profile collabs, and a Tritonal tour with his new song, “Traces.” A richly melodic new track, “Traces” pairs broken-beat innovation with soaring synths and ethereal vocals, courtesy of the incredible Karra. It offers a seamless dance-floor experience that reinforces APEK’s name as one to keep an ear out for.
Buffalo natives and self-proclaimed “taco aficionados,” Solidisco have been lighting up dancefloors and festivals around the globe with an arsenal of originals and remixes out via big player labels, Universal Music & Big Beat/Atlantic, Ultra Records and taste-makers A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold & Laidback Luke’s Mixmash Records. Playing homage to the roots of house music, Solidisco reps the culture, while keeping the dancefloor rocking in the current landscape of dance music.
As co-founder of the Soda Island collective, 18-year-old Canadian producer/DJ Ramzoid established himself as a fresh new force in electronic dance music with a distinctive sound that has garnered the support from acts such as Jauz, Jack U, and Baauer. Breaking away from the DJ standard, his live show is augmented with launch pads, midi-controllers, and a drum kit, so make sure to check the dates for his upcoming tour with Jai Wolf. Blazing ahead with an EP of his own, Universe, Ramzoid is continuing to put his own spin on Future bass.
Unlike Pluto is an Atlanta-born/L.A.-based DJ/producer who infuses his obsession with electronic dance music with influences and instrumentation from well beyond the conventional realm of the dancefloor. Rightly celebrated as one of Billboard’s Dance Artists to Watch, this multifaceted music creator has only started to reveal his capabilities. “Show Me Love” arrives with vocalist Michelle Buzz’s silky cooing before the track bursts open with spiraling synths, a soulful chorus and a big, expansive drop.
Initially meeting as students at music school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mexico-born artists Americo Garcia and Jorge Medina recognized the potential of their collective chemistry and pooled their musical resources as Boombox Cartel to swiftly drive their informed, innovative sound to the height of the Minneapolis DJ scene. A quick succession of self-releases proved them a force to be reckoned with.
Abandoning chilly Minnesota for the sun and scene of Southern California, the duo has continued to crank out influential singles, catching the ears and accolades of names like Diplo, Skrillex, DJ Snake and Martin Garrix. Their most recent effort, “Supernatural,” finds Boombox Cartel merging with the bass power of QUIX and the sinewy voice of Canadian singer/songwriter Anjulie for a cinematic dancefloor epic.
DJ/producer No Way Back (a.k.a. Anthony Pisano) has earned a reputation for a style that deftly fuses house, hip-hop and soul, as evidenced on his acclaimed debut single “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” which stormed the Top 10 of the UK Music Week Club Chart. This latest track, meanwhile, finds him putting a cutting-edge spin on the sound of the hedonistic 90’s via a collaboration with fellow Los Angeleno DJ/producer Le Youth (a.k.a. Wes James), himself renowned for filling dance floors with a cool blend of house and R&B. Keep your eyes and ears out for more of this blissful brand of dance music from both Now Way Back and Le Youth.
Having already established himself as a globally recognized force on the turntables, L.A.-based producer Jayceeoh has earned the respect from celebrated fellow DJ/producers like A-trak, Bassnectar, Boregore and Flosstradamus, and released original trap and bass-driven remixes on influential labels like Dim Mak, Fool’s Gold, Ultra Records, Buygore and more. His latest track, “Elevate,” is poised to only push him further forward, featuring a head-turning vocal performance by Nevve over Jayceeoh’s lush, synth-laden production and propulsive beats.
Not just an accomplished DJ and producer, Goldroom (a.k.a. Josh Legg) makes sparklingly lush electronic dance music, but the soul of a bona fide songwriter lurks just beneath the beats. Layered under the sweeping synths, soaring vocals and “nostalgic production tones” of his new single “Silhouette,” Goldroom dreamily hearkens to another age. Straying from the DJ norm, Goldroom’s been known to bring his music to festivals around the world with a full live band. Could crossover success be far behind? Stay tuned.
A strong contender for song of the summer, “Wheels in Motion” pairs New York City’s TWRK with Amsterdam’s Lady Bee. Initially an anonymous duo, TWRK were already cranking out dance floor hits for Diplo’s Mad Decent imprint when the influential DJ/producer revealed their true identities on his BBC Radio program as Benzi and Esentrik. “Wheels in Motion” is a haunting, mid-tempo jam that will only further their growing reputation.
This New Jersey-native-turned-LA-transplant may be a new face in the DJ world, but he’s no stranger to the stage. As a former member of pop/rock-gone-EDM trio, Cash Cash, Zookёper spent more time touring the globe before his 21st birthday than some acts do in a lifetime. Released by Hysteria Records, “Gunz” has already received support from some of the top DJs around the world, including Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Morgan Page.
As manager of artists ranging from Rancid, The Interrupters and Blink-182 through to Dirt Nasty, The Glitch Mob and Elohim, Kevin Wolff has shrewdly overseen a diverse stable of music creators and helped each push the envelope and establish themselves in the competitive music marketplace. First via Deckstar and then through the YMU Group, Wolff has applied a do-it-yourself approach to artist management that he honed through his experiences and years in the music business. BMI’s Associate Director, Creative, Los Angeles David Streit recently sat down with the man to pick his brain, glean some advice and find out how it all works. Here’s what he had to say.
Going all the way back to the beginning, what initially made you decide to get into artist management?
First and foremost, I have always been fascinated with music and the music business. Going back to being a young kid and reading the liner notes in albums, wondering what every person credited did. Second, I didn’t go to college and was terrible in school. I started DJ’ing in high school, which led to a relatively successful DJ career at a young age that opened up a lot of doors. After five years of working for someone else, learning as much as I could about the ins and outs of the business, I discovered an artist by the name of Mickey Avalon, took a leap and started my own record label and management company. I believed in that artist so much, and I knew I was going to do anything I could to make it work. And fortunately for me,…it did. From there, I built and managed a small stable of acts, whose albums I also released.
In my experience, artist managers wear a lot of hats, these days. Do you think the roll of artist manager has changed at all since you first started? Has the roll become easier or harder?
In my opinion, I have watched management and managers become more well-rounded and independent. When I started in this business, the idea of putting out a record independently, as a manager, was a bit of a head-scratcher for a lot of people. I think a wave of managers who grew up loving independent punk rock, hip-hop and electronic music that emerged from the CD era, saw the power of giving away music for free as a means to market their artist. These managers also used the power of the internet, for the first time, and adapted to early digital marketing and social media platforms. These managers recognized the future was going digital when others may not have – or weren’t ready to – accept what was coming. I think with that, the modern manager was born. In my opinion, the modern day manager is now responsible for wearing many more hats and now has to work through a much more competitive and saturated music economy than in previous eras.
What led you to create a management firm like Deckstar (now YMU) with co-founders and fellow managers, LV & Matt? What are the advantages of managing artists in a bigger firm?
It started as three young managers, who each had a client. We all got along and all of our clients got along. One day, it was just kind of like “let’s get an office together.” From there, we naturally began supporting and helping each other out and putting profits into resources for our artists. Cut to ten years later, and we’re still really trying to practice that same approach, but obviously on a bit larger of a scale. We are working to create an environment of shared knowledge and resources to help each other and each other’s clients out as best we can with a team mentality, instead of being siloed off somewhere. I personally prefer being around like-minded people to bounce ideas off of, get advice and inspiration and learn from. I find that to work to both mine and my clients’ advantage.
You have a pretty amazing roster of clients which spans genres from electronic to pop to rock. Is there a difference in the way you approach managing an electronic artist versus a rock artist? Or is it all in the same realm from a management perspective?
Generally speaking, every artist is different. Learning the subtleties of those artists and understanding and respecting the cultures and fans of those artists you represent is important. However, you would be surprised how something we learn from and do for Rancid can work for an artist like The Glitch Mob, …or vice versa.
As long as I’ve known you, you’ve been a huge advocate of releasing music independently. You have your own record label, Shoot To Kill Music, and seem to always support the D.I.Y. mentality. Are there any situations where you think a major label deal would make sense in the current state of the industry?
I would have answered this question differently two or three years ago, honestly. I think we are seeing major labels, for the first time, operate with more of a non-traditional, independent, D.I.Y. mentality, which is good. There is no denying the leverage major labels have. Major labels do indeed make sense for some artists. There are a lot of variables in deciding what is the route to go.
If you were to sign a new client, what types of qualities would you be looking for? Are there certain traits which stand out?
Talent, drive, determination, self-awareness, trust.
All the time, artists and songwriters I speak with are looking for management to help them with their careers in various ways. In your opinion, when is the right time for an artist to start working with a manager?
The short answer is ASAP. The long answer is there are only so many managers to service so many artists. And there are only so many artists that actually cut through the chatter of all the music being created and released. In a funny way, we all seem to find each other, one way or another.
Speaking directly to our readers who may be looking for management, do you think it makes sense for them to reach out to managers and management firms with bios and links to their music for consideration, or is that pretty much a waste of time? Should managers be approaching clients first?
By any means necessary. Just make sure it’s a stream and not a download.
Any last-minute thoughts, tips, shout-outs or soapbox rants you’d like to share with the readers?
If you get the art right, the commerce works itself out.