Photo Credit: Oliver Pangborn
Electronic Dance Music is spreading faster than Skrillex can drop the beat – from Deadmau5 on the cover of Rolling Stone to Kaskade’s sold-out performance at the Staples Center earlier last week, we just can’t get enough of the infectious, upbeat sound. Since bouncing to the electronic beat is one of my favorite things in the world – besides a good bottle of champagne, that is – let me share with you who I think are the top five major players in the EDM scene today.
This Swedish duo is wildly popular, partially because their high-energy live sets include big blow-up bananas and champagne bottles. Reported to have met at a chili cook-off in Sweden, the two are constantly inspiring each other, producing music that is full of trailblazing new beats as well as remixes and mashups. What inspired the dynamic duo to succeed in the world of EDM? Their own life philosophy, of course: “destroy dance music and have fun. Do the dada.” Headlining at both Ultra and Electric Daisy Carnival, Dada Life’s best advice about one of their shows? Don’t bring your brain to a rave.
Otherwise known as Lorin Ashton, the California native has exploded on the music scene with his signature dubstep sound. Known to have no formal music training and very little understanding of music theory, Ashton fell in love with the rave scene after attending his first rave in 1995 – he was touched by the sense of community and energy he felt. His music is ever-changing, some of which is infused with a socio-political sentiment advocating for free press and true media. His activism in the community has led to a cult following of “bass heads” that follow him to Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy carnival, and Cochella.
Founder of Dim Mak Records, Aoki got two college degrees – one in women’s studies and the other in sociology – before deciding to take his underground concerts into the main stream. A clothing line, signature headphones, and co-ownership in two Los Angeles restaurants add a little entrepreneurial flavor to his electro-house beats. Watch for Aoki at North Coast Music Festival and Ultra, and stand in the front row if you want a sheet cake thrown in your face, one of the defining aspects of his live sets.
Collaborating with Calvin Harris, Nero, Flux Pavillion, Zedd, and Kill the Noise, Francis is American-born DJ that takes EDM back to its roots. With a larger-than-life Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram personality, his Wet and Reckless tour propelled him to the top of the EDM charts, placing his music in high demand both in the UK and the US. Despite his increasing popularity, Francis is known to tell fans, “I.D.G.A.F.O.S.” Want to know what it means? Google it!
Joey Youngman, singed with both Ultra Records and Ministry of Sound in the United Kingdom is another of EDM’s key players. Watch for Gartner at the Sasquatch! Music Festival, Cochella, and the Global Dance Festival. Although his music is considered electro-house, he has collaborated with Deadmau5, Skrillex, and will.i.am, giving him unique sound with a far-reaching fan base.