These new artists are on the rise through the dance and electronic music scene this year.
Dance music currently has an obvious problem – clubs are empty. Savvy DJs and producers have instead been using the temporary hiatus to lay down new tracks and explore new directions for the future. Take a glance at these eight artists to watch in dance and electronic music for 2021.
Relentlessly creative, Ali put out six albums in 2020 alone. A trumpet player who studied jazz in New York, his creations combine deep house with techno and jazz, with strong elements of political commentary, Afrofuturism and beyond. He runs non-profit label CosmoFlux, giving young Black artists a platform to make music and share ideas and skills.
23-year-old Shane Codd adores the house and trance bangers of the ‘90s and ‘00s. Newly signed by Polydor, in 2021 the Irish DJ will be looking to build on the success of his Top 10 track ‘Get Out My Head’, which he created as a joyful escape from the stresses of lockdown.
The fun debut mixtape Breakfast from Manchester band Porij has stylistic touchstones that ping from electro-pop to funk, indie to trance, and back again. Hopefully 2021 unleashes them like 2020 was supposed to, spreading grins around a dancefloor.
Partial to a slice of bass-heavy UK-rave, London DJ Tailor Jae has refused to stagnate over the year of lockdowns, mixing away. With an instinctive ear she plays whatever she likes, not worrying about trends; blending ‘90s dance anthems, drill, jungle beats. 2021 will see her continue to stretch her abilities, braced for international success.
Bratři means ‘brethren’ in Czech. The twins formed an electronic duo in 2016 and are now one of Prague’s most popular live acts. Both drummers, they combine electronic dance, techno and ambient house with live drums. Currently working on a debut album, expect to hear more of their energetic sound this year.
The Indonesian producer has been a rising star on the house music scene for several years, releasing energetic beats with catchy vocal cuts. Ingeniously playing with genre and bringing a new freshness to house, Bleu Clair is ready for mainstream recognition in 2021.
A producer, singer and visual artist, Nia Archives’ honeyed vocals weave around her flowing drum and bass and jungle beats. Singles ‘Sober Feels’ and ‘Don’t Kid Urself’ offer a tantalising glimpse at what she might have in store next. London-based but shaped by the Manchester scene, her side project HIJINXX is currently in the works, showcasing DIY UK youth culture.
Debut EP Up De Flats is an experimental celebration of working-class life growing up in Dublin, with each track inspired by a different character. With a love of pop and club music and atmospheric electronica, pinned by her casual, soulful voice, Dunleavy has a clear vision and you can see it taking her anywhere, but always pinned by her love for her roots.