Three EDM Artists to Watch This Summer
EDM is a tough genre to stay on top of, even for the most devout kandi kid. The explosion of festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, the abundance of DJ residencies and tours around the world and the mammoth popularity of sites like Beatport, its not always easy to decipher between the next big star and the flavor of the month. Many change their musical styles and every popular DJ has their own world tour now. Not to mention the slew of young new producers dominating YouTube views and the Beatport charts.
Matt Oliver / OC Weekly Sander Van Doorn
In an effort to make things easy for you, we've scouted out a few of the names you should definitely keep track of during the summer so you can stalk their Sound Cloud pages, learn their backgrounds and memorize their tour schedules. Once festival season took off, we traveled to Miami for Ultra and then came back to town for Coachella and interviewed the top three EDM artists you should definitely start paying attention to right now.
3. Justin Jay
In 2010, when Justin Jay won a live DJ contest for DJ Mag, he got invited to play the magazine's massive Top 100 party in London alongside Afrojack, Fedde Le Grand and others but he was unable to because he wasn't even 18 years-old yet! Now at age 20, Jay--a student at USC-- is part of the elite crew of artists at San Francisco's Dirtybird crew. Not sure how we missed him at Focus Tuesdays and La Cave Wednesdays in Newport Beach (our underground house music hot spots), but we got to see him at the Saguaro Hotel week two of Coachella weekend alongside his label mates Ardalan, J. Phlip and of course Claude VonStroke. Considering he's not even old enough to drink yet, his maturity as a DJ and complex sound actually blew us away.
"When I first really got into EDM it was the more progressive styles that peaked my interest, but after time and going to a lot of those shows I kind of got desensitized to the craziness and found what I really liked dancing to the most," says Justin. He found his home in the classic deep house grooves known mostly in the underground scene. Justin was reeled into dance music with the likes of Justice, MSTRKRFT and Daft Punk whom were touring to a popular audience in the LA area in 2007. Coming from a classical piano background, Jay sent in a demo to VonStroke via Soundcloud and he was immediately handpicked to join his label. Not a bad way to get some real world experience for the special music industry courses he's taking in college, only offered at USC and NYU.
"My program at USC is a very interdisciplinary department with the business side, legal side and some technical stuff," he says. "It's definitely not the stereotypical college experience dipping off to random places on weekends to play gigs, but I'm grateful to be doing it." We can only hope more aspiring producers dive into music as deep as Justin, so they too can find there's more to electronic music than bass drops and untz untz untz. Justin's current release Static made Beatport's track of the day with the B-side hit "Waves." Justin explains, "the contrast between both sides really represents why I think this scene is so fun. You can have a wide range of energy and sounds and it still works."