As technology and music production tools continue to develop each year, we see more independent music with an explosion of creativity and inspiration on the rise–but this also poses a challenge for artists to be able to stand out and distinguish themselves from so many others out there. We believe this year has been an incredible one for the underground and independent scene, and it will continue to grow as time passes.
Today the barriers of entry that only large record labels knew about are now out there in the open for everyone to access. Artists today are lucky to have a window of opportunity literally at their fingertips for thousands of music fans to discover them.
We wanted to highlight and recognize some of the artists who have continuously pushed boundaries and independently succeeded at it. We will admit though, this was not an easy task. There are so many talented artists out there today, but here are our top picks for Artists to Watch in 2016.
Hailing from Cadiz, Spain, Mutantbreakz is a Spanish electronic music group formed by a group of three DJs and composers, Ruben Bernal, Angel Tocino, and Marcos Cisneros. They were recognized quickly in the breakbeat scene from the performances in one of the biggest clubs of breakbeat music such as club VISITORS. Not content with where they were at in their careers, they formed their own radio show and were later nominated for the Spanish Breaks Awards.
From Belo Horizonte, Brasil, the charming Devochka brings Minimal beats from Brazil that have made her rise quickly in the growing electronic scene. Devochka has a direct identification with the public, allowing listeners to wander free during her sets.
// Spag Heddy
Hailing from the Netherlands comes the grimy and distinctive sounds of Spag Heddy. Since 2011, Mischa Reining has been well-known for his constant flow of both heavy and melodic tunes in the dubstep and drumstep genres. Now, after two top three Beatport hits, numerous shows in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and a USA tour, Spag Heddy is aiming for the biggest and best. Expect tons of new ferocious, monstrous, neck-breaking anthems.
Major producers and DJs like Skrillex, Datsik, Excision, Cookie Monsta, MUST DIE!, xKore, Megalodon and AFK have picked up bolognese bass, and Spag Heddy’s official releases and remixes have been released on Firepower, NSD Black Label, Play Me, Monstercat and Disciple, have made sure you won’t be able to ignore this Dutch producer anymore.
Hailing from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil, Fabrício Peçanha has secured himself the accolade of one of Brazil’s biggest DJs and is now primed to develop an already burgeoning reputation across the rest of the globe.
// J Trick
This Australian producer has been cutting through the masses of young electronic music producers all around the globe. J-Trick has quickly risen to the top with a consistent flow of quality productions, DJ sets and stage presence. With a support base that includes Tiesto, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Hardwell, Zedd, Steve Aoki & Martin Garrix (to name a few), it is very apparent that this young gun has the skills.
From Toronto, Demuir’s eclectic house exudes funky, sexy, and soulful beats that is consistently recognized and sought after by artists and house fans around the world. His career as a DJ and producer has propelled him into a range of various house based genres (jacking/funky house, techno, tech-house), which has led to his music being featured on many respectable labels. Named as one of Traxsource’s house music talents for 2015, we see nothing but great things to come from this rising producer.
Talented Canadian producer OVERWERK’s sound is undeniably unique in itself as it blends the heavy complexities of electro with the orchestral feel of a cinematic score. What stands out the most, however, is the distinct quality and technicality of his music which firmly sets him apart from the electro community. It is this unique sound that has been sought after and licensed to such companies as Gucci, Prada, Vogue, Lamborghini, GoPro, EA, FOX and Fortune.
// Pablo Fierro
Pablo Fierro is a producer, musician, DJ, born and raised in the Canary Islands, Spain. His music is defined as tropical, electromagnetic, and powerful. Pablo is the founder of Vida Records, one of the prominent Global Club Music record labels, releasing the best of tropical sounds. Moreover, his music has been featured on compilations such as Bar Grooves, Defected’s Most Rated and Buddha Bar.
Cresting the modern wave of electronic producers, from Austin, TX., is Psymbionic. Psymbionic creates aural experiences that explore the range of multi-tempo bass music within an influential and dynamic culture. With an ear for situational relevance, Psymbionic enjoys turning non-traditional sound design and infectious rhythms into dance floor heat, while also maintaining his history in the downtempo, emotive side of the electronic sound. Psymbionic has been moving bodies and turning heads as Psymbionic for several years in all corners of the USA, playing with acts such as Bassnectar, STS9, Big Gigantic, ill.Gates, Excision, EOTO, and Tipper.
And last on our list, but certainly not least, is the Parisian trap-infused guru Tomsize. Tomsize’s productions quickly received heavy support from Diplo, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, UZ and more. In 2013, Tomsize collaborated with Simeon to remix New World Sound & Thomas Newson’s hit “Flute.” Released on Spinnin’ Records, the remix smashed the festival trap scene and had more than 1 million plays. Six months later, he released an original track with New World Sound called “Spoon” on Big Beat Records that has been played in big festivals by major artists such as Tiesto, Nicky Romero, Chuckie, Blasterjaxx, and VINAI.