14 Artists to Watch in 2014

24 January 2014 - - - The DJ List


These artists aren't household names...yet. Nonetheless, our staff editors' chose these 14 tastemakers as the talents to do big things this year. Whether you have heard their music or seen them perform, be sure to keep an eye on them!

(in alphabetical order)

1. ADAM ELLIS | Facebook

Adam Ellis is a name which has became synonymous with the global Trance fraternity in recent times, born and bred in Sheffield - Trance music's *spiritual home thanks to the original 'Superclub' - Gatecrasher One. It comes as no surprise that his early music influences* came from artists like Armin Van Buuren, *Paul Van Dyk* & *Eddie Haliwell*.

Finding a real passion for music, Adam dedicated many years to music production and made his first major impact with a remix of the seminal Planet Perfecto - 'Bullet In The Gun'. Adam reworked the classic hit into a modern peak time floorfiller, which reaped huge support by the man himself - Paul Oakenfold as well as being an exclusive* addition to 'Perfecto Records Collected - Volume Three'*. Adam is also well known for his remixes of Paul Van Dyk's 'Crush' and *Seven Lions' 'Days To Come', tracks which further showcase this instantly recognisable *signature sound*.

In the way of Original's, Adam delivers his debut single 'Napalm Poet' via Kearnage Recordings, a staple track in the sets of many artists including John O Callaghan, Bryan Kearney and Indecent Noise - it's safe to say this is a track of epic proportion judging by the immense global reaction when played at A State Of Trance 600 in Den Bosch. One of the rare breed of producers who writes 100% of their own material without the help of engineers or ghost writers, Adam has many more projects to come on Subculture, Kearnage Recording, Mental Asylum Recording, Armada Music and Future Sound of Egypt. He is without doubt one young artist to bookmark in the who's who of exciting new music producers.

2. ASTRIX | Facebook

One of the pioneering psy-trance artists of the millennium, Astrix (aka Avi Shmailov), undoubtedly rules the psy-trance roots. He has established himself as a Class A artist and it is clearly heard in his unique and melodic music style. Playing live and spinning his tunes around the world has helped him pave his way to the DJMAG top 100 DJ list and currently sitting at No. 41, Astrix is one of the few artists in the scene who really makes big waves throughout electronic dance music and gaining universal recognition.

Born in Russia in the early 80’s, he grew up in Tel-Aviv and began spinning 80’s and alternative music in 1995. Playing the European new-wave stuff and some electro, when he heard Goa trance for the first time, it seemed to him like the right combinations of both those sounds…It just made perfect sense and so ,in 1997, he started making music and in 2002, after releasing a lot of tracks on various compilations, he made his first solo psy-trance album, ‘Eye to Eye’ (HOM-mega Records), rated as one of the best albums to date for its superior music production which mirrored his unique approach of finding a fine balance between the chaos of a dance floor and the coolness of at-home listening. In 2004 Astrix headlined a huge bash at London’s Alexandra Palace to mark the launch of his second production album, ‘Artcore’ (HOM-mega Records). Psy-trance fans turned up in droves for his huge party, stating that if one man has remained true to his style, it is Astrix! Unshaken by the popular music myths every track in his live set has that special ingredient to get your hands clapping and your body moving for a standing ovation. In his upcoming third album, 'Red means distortion', Astrix clearly reiterates his distinguished music production style as he leads the way forward with his soul-shaking anthems which have been instrumental in spreading his sound worldwide.

His live and DJ Sets in high profile gigs including Skol beats (Brazil), Brixton Academy and South West 4 (UK), Gathering (Japan), Pacha and Sessions (United States) and Love Parade in Israel, which have seen him play to over 200,000 people at once, taking them into full-on journeys of the most uplifting echelons of the psy-trance world, with a heavy focus on the feelings invoked by the more traditional strains of trance music while never losing site of the groovy element. He cites the likes of Royksopp, Coldpaly, Linkin Park, and Chemical Brothers as inspirations for the non-trance elements in his music, and it’s this combination of euphoria and funk, along with his faultless, crystal-clear production technique, that sits him head and shoulders above most producers - psy or otherwise. Astrix stands out amongst many because what he makes is by no means formulaic dancefloor fodder. It’s clear listening to his music that he is more of a musician and a rare talent indeed.

3. BLASTERJAXX | Facebook

Thom Jongkind (22) and Idir Makhlaf (20), better known as producer/deejay duo Blasterjaxx in the music industry, are anything but the same. While one is often prominent and empowering, the other prefers staying quietly in the background - a fairly high contrast in character. However, there is one significant reason for the phenomenal connection between these two personalities: their passion and love of music.

Mid 2010, Thom Jongkind - then operating by the name of Scalix - decided to set up a DJ duo named Blasterjaxx together with another producer at the time. Thom quickly noticed that huge steps were taken in the field of productions and that the range towards their audience was constantly increasing. Nevertheless, the personal chemistry between both producers started decreasing. Thus, it was Thom who focused more and more on music, while the other producer started having other priorities. Shortly after, they mutually agreed on ending their collaboration as a duo and decided that Thom would continue with the Blasterjaxx label.

Because Thom believed that Blasterjaxx would only be complete as a duo, he started looking for possibilities of a new, and this time around, perfect collaboration. In the meantime, Thom had been charmed by Idir Makhlaf for a while, who was operating by the name of Macosta. Only after a few collaborations it was already clear how well they hit off; a new Blasterjaxx duo was born with - what subsequently appeared - an unparalleled amount of talent and potential. Together they plan on taking over the world with their unique sound, which is best described as a crossover between electro-house, progressive and big room.

4. BRAZZABELLE | Facebook

Boots Bowles, better known as Brazzabelle, is an American DJ & producer based out of Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Cave Creek, AZ, Brazzabelle began DJing in 2010. By 2011, she released her first debut production “Break Your Body.” In just a short period of time, Brazzabelle has earned prestigious residencies with several nightclubs on the west coast, has been named one of 944 Magazines “leading woman in nightlife”, and has played alongside names such as Martin Solveig, Calvin Harris, Laidback Luke, Porter Robinson, and more.

Following the success of “Break Your Body,” Brazzabelle was asked to remix Crystal Fighters’ hit single “Wave” proving her artistry once again. Shortly after, she collaborated with supergroup gLAdiator flipping TLC’s anthem “No Scrubs”.

To say that 2013 has been a big year for Brazzabelle is an understatement. She has graced the stages of many festival including HARD Summer, Electric Zoo, and EDC Puerto Rico, was the official DJ of the 2013 Young Hollywood Awards which aired live on The CW, earned a cameo spot in Martin Solveig’s “Hey Now” music video, and continued on to support Solveig on several tour dates across the west coast. Currently Brazzabelle is preparing for an even bigger 2014 with unreleased tracks already receiving support by names like Martin Solveig, GTA, Congorock, Mightyfools, Moska, and Juyen Sebulba.

5. CASH CASH | Facebook

With international support growing from renowned DJs and producers including Tiesto, Hardwell and Nicky Romero, as well as two successful Spinnin’ Records singles under their belts ("I Like It Loud" & "Michael Jackson"), New York’s emerging electronic three-piece Cash Cash has signed with legendary dance music imprint, Big Beat Records, home to a diverse electronic roster which includes Skrillex, Icona Pop, Chuckie, Martin Solveig, Flux Pavilion, Rudimental and Walden.

The group, which consists of best friends and brothers, Jean Paul Makhlouf, Alex Makhlouf and Samuel Frisch first made their way into the hearts of core dance music enthusiasts with their vibrant remixes for the likes of Nicky Romero ("Symphonica"), Capital Cities ("Safe And Sound"), Vicetone (“Heartbeat” ft. Collin McLoughlin) and Krewella ("Alive"); as well as Bruno Mars (“Treasure”), Calvin Harris (“Let’s Go” ft. Ne-Yo) and Nervo & Hook N Sling (“Reason”), several which have reigned on the Hype Machine charts.

But the trio truly impresses with their originally produced material, including Krewella’s next single, "Live For the Night," coming just before their first official Big Beat release, "Take Me Home" ft. Bebe Rexha, dropping on July 16th along with a remix package to all digital retailers. The track recently premiered during the trio’s guest mix on Nicky Romero's ‘Protocol Radio’ Sirius/XM Radio show and officially debuted on BPM, hailed as the “best new track… heard in a long time” by host, Austin Kramer.

The groups’s fusion of captivating pop vocals and signature banging electro-house beats have already captivated dance music insiders and tastemakers like elektro magazine, Complex’s Do Androids Dance and Dancing Astronaut, who named Cash Cash one of their “five breakthrough artists for summer 2013.” Expect to hear more praise for this crowd-pleasing act from EDM and pop music fans and writers alike.

6. FLUME | Facebook

Sydney-based Harley Streten, aka Flume, got his first taste for producing at age 13 from the most unlikely of places - a music production program he found in a cereal box. Taking a no-holds-barred attitude to music creation Flume takes inspiration from a wide variety of sources and scenes distilling his sound into a melodic bass heavy style of his own.

Sleepless was soft released in August 2011 and has been #1 on the iTunes Australia Electronic Chart for several weeks and in the top 10 for several months. Flume has also featured on a vinyl co-release with Anna Lunoe and has released remixes for Hermitude, Junior Boys, Onra, The Aston Shuffle and Ta-ku.

Flume’s live shows have now come into full effect after two sold out Australian national headline tours of 300-500 capacity rooms, Sydney and Melbourne supports for The XX and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (forthcoming).

Internationally, Flume was confirmed to perform at CMJ in New York in October 2012 and was signed for UK and European booking by Elastic Artists (Flying Lotus, Major Lazer) with plans for both a European and North American tour last year.

7. K THEORY | Facebook

K Theory is the trio of Malcolm Anthony (vocals), Dylan Lewman (sampling, live conducting), and Dustin Musser (Keys, sampling). This San Francisco based group has made serious waves and played shows all over the continent. With chart topping singles and major label released remixes, they are heavily respected amongst the intelligent bass and hip hop scenes.

With an unbelievably unique live show, the act has sold an astounding number of tickets in 2013 and played many major festivals. With top releases on OWSLA, Simplify and their own homegrown K Theory Music label, they have spread their music to all corners of the globe and created an impenetrable brand.

8. KRISTINA SKY | Kristina Sky

With records out on Armin Van Buuren’s Armada, Paul Van Dyk’s Vandit and U.S. mega-label Ultra, while holding a coveted residency with West Coast power-house promoter Giant at Avalon Hollywood, it’s easy to see why Kristina Sky is one of America’s brightest rising stars. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she’s been DJing to thousands of enthusiastic clubbers since 2002, coast-to-coast in the U.S. and around the world—from China to the Philippines, Ecuador to Guatemala and Canada to Costa Rica.

Handpicked to play Armin’s ASOT550 in the Netherlands, Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival and North America’s biggest music festival, Coachella—sharing the stage with legendary acts like Madonna and Daft Punk—Kristina is undoubtedly one of America’s most beloved EDM ambassadors. Her live set recordings, guest mixes and popular radio show, TRANCELATE, generate tremendous support from her ever-growing fanbase—broadcasting worldwide via satellite, FM and the internet.

It’s really no wonder that Kristina’s uber-dedicated fans voted her #39 in America's Best DJ Poll 2013 and have kept her in the top ranks of the highly regarded Tranceaddict Top 250 DJ Poll for six consecutive years (#74 in 2012)! Her DJ sets are unforgettable and energetic journeys through the best of dance music and her production sound ranges from warm and groovy progressive-house to emotional, melodic and uplifting trance. Playing alongside many of the world’s top DJs, while also gaining their support on her tracks, it’s only natural that she's made quite a name for herself in the global dance scene.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience one of Kristina’s live sets yet, anyone who has will tell you that you’re missing out. Her passion and love for the music is undeniable and her ultimate goal is clear—to move you on that dancefloor and leave you with a memorable soundtrack to the night!


Mario Basanov has risen to the forefront of electronic music over recent years, delivering a host stunning remixes and productions along the way.

His debut solo long player ‘Journey’ released last year on London’s Needwant was a breakout success and displayed a style that is both elegant and yet enigmatic, winning him thousands of fans across the dance music spectrum. Together with a host of top class productions, sterling remixes and talked about DJ sets; you have an electronic artist currently making serious waves across the globe.

After early releases on respected Australian imprint Future Classic and UK label Under The Shade it was his string of EP releases on Needwant that created the real turning points in Mario’s elevation. ‘Up’, ‘We Are Child Of Love’ and more recently the darker sounds of ‘Bill’, have cemented Mario as a producer with a fresh and exciting approach to electronic music. Not to mention the recent releases on the faultless Innervisions imprint and fellow respected German music stable Mood Music.

His reputation has also continued to balloon through his in demand remix services, having created reworks for bands such as Metronomy, Flight Facilities and Crazy P. Then of course, there is Mario Basanov the DJ, who has been crafting exhilarating DJ sets all over the world. If it’s Sydney, Singapore or Seattle, the chances are Mario has been there, demonstrating his unique take on House.

It is not only Mario’s outstanding technical production that makes people take note but his scope and versatility. His musicality is clear; he is just as comfortable working on a pop-infused vocal track (check his Mario & Vidis project and their worldwide hit ‘Changed’), as creating tasteful underground House and Techno (check ‘Redline’ on Innvervisions). If there is one thing we can be sure of when it comes to Mario’s music, it’s that he will always surprise and innovate.

As a producer, DJ and musician we have only witnessed a fraction of what Mario has to offer. We wait in anticipation to see what is yet to come.

10. MATT LANGE | Facebook

American producer Matt Lange has become known for his deep, dark tracks that entrance each listener into a world of unique precision. After his release on the Anjunadeep label, his self titled album was Lange's first big impact on the scene. Since then, he has released a number of remixes including "Black Boots- Sex Cult (Matt Lange Remix)

Out on Ultra Records, and many others. Lange has also tickled fans with a few dabblings of his own including a new record called "So Cliche" that drops on January 20th.

Lange is hoping to further his career not only as a producer, but as a DJ as well and will be popping up playing more shows in the near future. Whatever is next for Lange, it is clear from the support of established labels and noted artists that it will make waves and he is one to watch in the upcoming year of 2014.

11. PEGBOARD NERDS | Facebook

On trajectory from Denmark and Norway, the Pegboard Nerds have crash landed on the global electronic music landscape with meteoric force. The impact of their genre-bending music has been felt by peers and industry mainstays alike. With a string of hit singles on independent Canadian label “Monstercat” gaining millions of plays and the attention of fans over the world, it’s no coincidence that the hottest names in the game have begun to pay attention. From collaborating and remixing the likes of Krewella to Infected Mushroom, to being hand selected by Knife Party as show support, Pegboard Nerds’ ticket to international acclaim has been stamped.

In just the past year Pegboard Nerds have lead a conquest over the worldwide festival circuit, with explosive sets at the UK’s Global Gathering, Creamfields, Leeds Festival and Reading Festival, Canada’s SummersEND, and Paradiso and SMF in the US. The buzz proceeding every performance has afforded them invitations to every place imaginable, from Ibiza fixture Amnesia to the Moscow Arena, right back to top clubs across the States – no one and no where is safe from the Nerds.

12. RYAN HEMSWORTH | Facebook

Ryan Hemsworth is a young producer from Canada with a remarkably productive output in the past two years and a totally unique approach to hip hop and R&B production.

With an early background as a singer and guitarist, he quickly weaned off rock into hip hop and more software oriented music, diving whole-heartedly into drum loops and samples. In 2011, his first release No Plans was featured on SPIN magazine’s Top 20 R&B albums of 2011 and he quickly followed up with A Way and Kitsch Genius, which got him increasingly noticed for a singular sound attracting a number of music critics and artists from across the country. He soon began cultivating relationships online and became a go-to producer for MCs like Main Attrakionz, Shady Blaze, and Deniro Farrar, helping craft a sound sitting somewhere between chill wave and trap rap. Hyperbolic Chamber Music, a collaborative project with NYC clothing brand Mishka, saw him at the helm of a 22-minute posse cut featuring 26 different rapper from across America, and his remix treatment of Grimes, Frank Ocean, and Danny Brown have kept his name spreading in the past year.

With his first label release, the Last Words EP released through Wedidit Collective, Ryan Hemsworth continues his sonic collages and explorations, digging even deeper into unexplored genres and delivering his finest work to date.

13. LUSH & SIMON | Facebook

Lush & Simon are one of the most promising young talents in today’s EDM scene. Their distinctive sound is created from unique and catchy melodies surrounded by a pure energetic vibe making each song a memorable one.

With international support growing from the world’s most renowned DJs and producers including Tiesto, Hardwell, David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Martin Garrix as well as two successful bootlegs under their belts (OneRepublic – ‘If I Lose Myself’ and Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash – ‘Reload’). Italian’s emerging electronic duo Lush & Simon have signed with legendary dance music imprint Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings. Following their hit ‘Adrenaline’ which became one of the most supported tracks of 2013 with supports from Tiesto, Hardwell, David Guetta, Axwell, Steve Angello, Alesso, Nicky Romero, Martin Garrix, Thomas Gold, Quintino, Dyro, Dannic to name a few and ranked at #1 in the DMC Buzz Chart. The duo truly impressed with their originally produced material, including Armada's 'City Of Lights'. Premiered by Tiesto and supported by the world most famous Djs, 'City Of Lights' entered the Beatport main chart and has even been played on the legendary American electronic dance radio station SiriusXM BPM.. This time, Lush & Simon are going to release their new massive tune 'Drag Me To The Ground' feat. Rico & Miella coming january 6th on Zouk Recordings / Armada Music

14. TWOLOUD | Facebook

Brand new artists of Tiesto's Musical Freedom Label. Their first single Big Bang is already supported by Hardwell, W&W and legendary Tiesto himself. Watch out for more....

About the Author

Caleb Lau
astrix k theory kristina sky mario basanov matt lange adam ellis blasterjaxx brazzabelle lush & simon pegboard nerds flume ryan hemsworth cash cash ten walls twoloud