There is no denying that the EDM genre has blown up in the past several decades. In the new millennia alone, EDM completely ingrained itself into the mainstream. From classic artists like Carl Cox, who have spun since the 1980s, to the new recruits like Subtronics, who have dominated just the last few years, the amount of talented artists that have emerged is downright impressive. When you then break it up into genres and sub-genres, the list becomes staggering. There is always a new artist to discover that brings innovative sound.
This year has brought some of the best of the best DJs into the limelight. We asked you, our readers, to share with us who you believed was your favorite artist in 2019. We wanted to know why you fell in love with them and why they were so special to you. Here are your answers.
Louis the Child is definitely my artist of 2019. I had always heard songs here and there but it wasn’t until early spring that I heard their single “Better Not” and it really resonated with me, just a beautiful song with a positive message that I couldn’t wait to fulfill. That was when I looked them up further and spent the rest of the year chasing them, seeing them on lineups I couldn’t attend, until finally catching their tour date in November. It was every bit as magical and energetic and dreamy as their albums. – Princess S./Facebook
My favorite artist of 2019 was definitely Taska Black. I discovered him accidentally while listening to San Holo radio on Spotify. I immediately clicked his artist profile and fell in love. His music transcends sub-genres and weaves beautiful instrumental melodies, hypnotizing vocals and hard hitting bass. I’ve had the opportunity to see him live twice now and he did not disappoint, bringing (in my opinion) the best set at Moonrise Festival. I’m excited to see what he brings in 2020. – Renee S./e-mail
I love artists that bend between genres, and as a classical music lover, Apashe stood out to me with how much of his music is heavily inspired by classical pieces, but mixed with a modern dark electronic bass take. In February 2019, he came out with his EP “The Good, the Bad, and the Fake”. There were three songs on this ep named at the album title: Good News, Bad News, and Fake News. What was so impressive about this album was that each song had the same general melody, but was spun into different subgenres of electronic music such as “Good News” with heavy electric guitars and violins mixed with future bass and “Bad News” with Dubstep/Riddim influences with demonic sounding vocals. Of course, classical music influences are seen again in each song.
On Valentine’s day weekend, the same month that this album came out, I got to see Apashe live for my first time in Richmond and it was one of the most spectacular shows I have been at solely because of how much it felt as theatrical experience and not just someone spinning a set of their songs. It felt like attending a performance of a raging opera symphony. He has a new album coming out soon and he is working even more now with live orchestras for some of his tracks and I can’t wait to see what other genres he will delve into. – Claude D./Facebook
My favorite artist of 2019 would have to be Space Jesus! All of his music tells a story for me. Through his music, I can hear his story as well as follow along my own life story in my head. His womps and wubs have a way of helping me to escape daily life, tune out, and become one with the vibrations of the music reassuring me to flow with life and that everything will be okay. His visuals are epic as well and I can tell that he puts his thoughts and heart into the visual making process with whomever he chooses to cocreate with. – Jasmine C./Facebook
I’d have to say my favorite artist of 2019 is Sullivan King. Really wasn’t hard at all for me to choose him as my favorite, reasons like he is literally a combination of my two favorite genres, EDM and metal. So I really never have to choice between what I feel like listening too. he also makes music you can just sit back and vibe with while singing your heart out. He’s overall all a amazing dude who makes amazing music. – Nina M./Facebook
I’m gonna have to say Illenium. I know everyone either loves him or downright hates him, but I’ve been a fan for a while. He opened up for The Chainsmokers when I saw them in 2017 and I had to look up some of his stuff before the show. After listening for like a week straight before the show, I got a sense of his sound. He opened up his set with “Afterlife” and I was hooked. “Sound of Walking Away” followed, and when “Awake” came out, I made an immediate (and slightly impulsive) purchase and playing it on repeat constantly. That album drew me into his unique sound and made me want to see him. Fast forward two years to the announcement of the “Ascend” tour and album. The album itself was popper than I expected, and it took me a few weeks to really appreciate it. When I saw that he was coming near me on tour, I immediately bought tickets the day they went on sale. That show was unforgettable. The production was absolutely insane, the music immersed me and I made new friends. For that reason, Illenium was my top artist of 2019. – mkwiiboss/Reddit
One of my favorite artists of 2019 would be SIHanatsuka. They never fail to make me feel sentimental; they get me in my feels. I’ve discovered them in 2018 through Cytus ll, but in 2019 I’ve started loving them a whole lot more. The first song I’ve loved from SIHanatsuka was, “Luolimasi,” it may sound odd to others, but I came to love it. Then I found their song “EMber,” I remember listening to it non-stop during the summer and I never felt so in love with a song before. It made me feel nostalgic and melancholic, it always does, especially towards the end of the song, the last minute. SIHanatsuka means so much to me, so underrated, though I know many adore him as well, that makes me happy. – Hollo_wood/Reddit
For me, it’s Oliver Heldens because I love a lot his releases this year. It started off with “This Groove” which was not my favorite of that year but still great, “Cucumba” and “Summer Lover” were kinda forgettable but not the worst. I liked the stuff from the second half of the year a lot, “Turn Me On” is quite poppy but it felt like forever since both Oliver Heldens and Riton released something and I just loved it, especially the bassline. “Lift Me Up” and “Aquarius” were pretty great too but my favorite was “Poseidon”, which he released under his HI-LO alias and I love everything about it, the melody, the bass, all of it. – Superteletubbies64/Reddit
For me it’s GRiZ. After wiping out his social media and teasing a ton of new music in 2018, his “Ride Waves” album dropped in April with such a unique sound and lots of great features. He has elevated his craft and there aren’t a lot of artists who are original as he is. Then he dropped four EPs after his album and somehow one of those songs blew up on social media unexpectedly. His live shows are not to be missed; he’s a pioneer of blending genres like funk and soul into EDM and bringing those live instrument elements into his shows. – pistermibb/Reddit
GRiZ is mine and my boyfriend’s favorite artist to see. He tells me it was during GRiZ’s set at Moonrise 2018 that he realized for the first time that he loves me. “It Gets Better” became my anthem, I tear up whenever it comes on because it finally got better for me. I got meet and greet tickets for my boyfriend for GRiZ’s “Ride Waves” tour in North Carolina for his birthday. We met the man and he was nothing but joy and kindness. We grooved out in the warm early summer rain as he played all our favorite songs. The moments he made possible for us will always move me to tears. – Autumn V./Facebook
Big Wild! I’ve been following him for a while but he released his album “Superdream” this year and it is perfection. It’s very rare I like every single song on an album but that’s the case with this one. I also saw him for the 4th time this year but it was his first headlining show and it was amazing. He makes a lot of his own music on stage plus he had 2 female singers that were awesome. Highly recommend seeing him and listening to “Superdream” if you haven’t. – lilgemini420/Reddit
For me it’s Seven Lions. When I first got into raves in 2016-17, I didn’t really like his sets or his music, but what a turnaround it’s been! I don’t know what caused it but I just love his music now. It’s the perfect blend of the melodic, Anjuna side of EDM and the harder, Dubstep side of it and the overall vibe is very uplifting. Every track he released this year has been a straight banger and a great exploration of different genres. His Ophelia Label is up and running and his Psytrance side project, Abraxis, looks very promising. I saw him five times this year and Spotify told me I listened to 40 hours of his music. I’m excited to see what he does in the coming years. – nalgas4497/Reddit
Lizzy Jane is a Tampa based artist that blends amazing musicality with grimey and filthy drops. Her XO mix series highlights up and comers as well as established artists. She’s closed out this year being support for Snails alongside Kompany and Hi I’m Ghost in Florida and her most recent release “My Heart” shows off her distinctive style. She is a major force to watch in 2020. – Kirk J./Facebook
Klaas is my favorite artist of 2019. His productions are absolutely of the chart. His music is really full, unique, inspiring and he writes the best melodies! His DJ sets are full of energy and unpredictable. – Robin B./Facebook
My favorite artist for 2019 is Vastive. Over the summer, I saw that Later Tonight Entertainment had added him to the list of talented artists they were going to be sponsoring. I was intrigued and wanted to know more so I looked him up on SoundCloud. After listening to his song “Darknight,” my mind was blown! That track is amazing; I knew then, I was hooked. Vastive is a mix of Hip-Hop, Drum and Bass, and Dubstep. His ability to mix these three styles together is incredible. I love his music because I find it to be unique and one of a kind. The melodies he creates always get my attention. When the beat drops, I just can’t help but bob my head to the rhythm. It’s not uncommon for me to have Vastive playing while I’m working out or doing work around the house. I truly believe that Vastive will be a big name in this industry one day. His newly released tracks with “Kliptic” and “Svynx” on SoundCloud are amazing. They are a perfect example of what he will continue to bring to the table throughout his career. – Patrick W./Twitter
For me it’s probably Gryffin. Didn’t really know much about him until I saw him live in Vegas over the Summer and he killed it. Made a fan out of me since then. Been listening to his new and old stuff since then. – turnvknup/Reddit