Last junaary we named our top 17 artists to watch in 2017. This list was curated and hand-picked by our staff. The River Beats staff selected artists that we considered to have a breakthrough 2016 and are on the rise for 2017. Lets see how our top picks have fared so far.
K?d (pronounced kid) is an elusive force to be reckoned with. With a style that is both unique and guarded, k?d saw 2016 take his brand and music to new heights. His remixes which include his unique Porter Robinson-esque sounds are articulated in each track he produces. His music has been sampled by some popular names, including Madeon and Electric Mantis. For 2017, K?d and Rezz have announced a collaboration on the way. With only one show under his belt, and his identity stiff unknown, k?d is poised to have a remarkable 2017
Staff writer: Kelsey James
Jack Stratton, Joe Dart, Woody Goss, and Theo Katzman, first got together as a rhythm section while attending the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor in 2011. They released back to back successful albums in 2015 and 2016, “Thrill of the Arts” and “The Beautiful Game,” respectively, and with each gaining more traction than the last, there’s nowhere but up to go from here for the subtly coolest group of musicians you’ll have a chance to catch on stage in 2017.
There’s a seemingly effortless charisma in every move they make. Their most infamous stunt to date being their “Sleepify” album released in 2014. Using the royalties from this 10-minute record of silence, they funded an admission free tour for fans. Their live sets are also packed with quirky details that will make you a Vulfpeck fan for life. Just watch their Bonnaroo 2016 set for example.
If you find yourself near any of their 2017 Spring/Summer tour stops, do not miss your chance to see what all the fuss is about.
Staff Writer: Halina Marie
The trio known as Sunsquabi is made up of drummer Chris Anderson, synth/bass player Josh Fairman, and Kevin Donohue on the guitar, keys, and production. They’re based out of Boulder, Colorado and bring a fresh new “Electronic Hydro-Funk Experience” to the scene as members of GRiZ’s record label, All Good Records.
2016 was a huge year for the group as they showed out at numerous festivals such as Electric Forest, Summer Camp, High Sierra, Hulaween, Summer Set, and Camp Bisco. They appeared as support for well-known artists consisting of Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, STS9, The Floozies, and more. Their All Good Records debut EP “Odyssey” and their most recent single “Pygmy Up” feat. Russ Liquid has helped set them on the national radar this past year. Sunsquabi’s non-stop come up has us anticipating what 2017 has in store for them.
Staff Writer: Allison Evans
Carl Gasbo, better known as Kasbo, is a 20-year-old Swedish music producer whose trajectory is set on overdrive. Inspired by indie, hip-hop, and R&B, Kasbo has used these influences to cultivate, and then define, his genre-bending sound. He has the ability to take a listener from a bass-laden, synth-fueled terra to airy, atmospheric heights.
Accumulating millions of plays online with his originals, reworks, and bootlegs, he has been co-signed by some of the biggest names in the industry. Poised for the next stage in his career, he has secured a coveted spot with Foreign Family Collective in 2015 and has continued to produce mind-blowing tunes.
Staff Writer: Linzi Alexandra
5) Manila Killa
Growing up in both the US and the Philippines, Manila Killa was introduced to electronic music when he was 14-years-old and soon after began focusing on production and DJing. His diverse track roster appeals to fans of various genres of music and people are paying attention. Just ask his 90,000 Soundcloud followers.
Manila Killa’s 2016 was littered with major highlights including sets at EDC Las Vegas, Coachella, and Hard Summer as well as the drops of two of the biggest songs of the year, “All That’s Left” and “Youth” featuring Satica. And as half of Hotel Garuda and a founding member of the Moving Castle Collective, the 23-year-old DJ and producer is projected to continue his upward trajectory into the new year.
Staff Writer: Lauren Blouin
John Burcham, the man behind Psymbionic, is certainly a producer that is well versed in non-traditional sound design. He also heads Houston-based label and artist collective, Gravitas Records. He has played with acts such as Bassnectar, STS9, ill.Gates, Excision and more. He has also released music with Multi Music and MalLabel and doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. His most recent release, “Vision” is a journey of experimentation and cinematic, soaring flexibility and he is currently on his nationwide Biohackers tour with CloZee.
Staff Writer: Linzi Alexandra
7) Boogie T.
Are you ready to feel the Riddim? Riddim dubstep might be the hottest genre of the upcoming year. With that being said, Boogie T. might be the hottest name on our list. Our staff overwhelmingly voted him #1. The combination of weird bass sounds and a charismatic personality, have made Boogie T. a household name in the underground bass community.
Boogie T. has found a fantastic home with Sub Carbon Records, home to fellow Riddim stars Ganja White Night. This pairing of similar sounds and audiences have taken the young New Orleans DJ to another level. The riddim star has seen his name rise to the top in 2016, and we think the possibilities are endless for Boogie in 2017
Staff Writer: Sean Schmidt
8) Luca Lush
Luca Lush, the up and coming LA based producer, is making waves in the music scene with a consistent release of killer remixes that have put him on the map in 2016. His style is too diverse to be nailed down to one genre, but future bass seems to be the best fitted. You can hear influences of trap, house, heavy bass and everything in between in varying songs and remixes of his. He creates beautiful and ‘lush’, if you will, soundscapes and gifts it to his fans for free. With this winning formula expect Luca to take it to the next level in 2017.
Staff Writer: James Antin
9) Soul Clap
Hailing from Boston, Soul Clap (Eli “Elyte” Goldstein and Charles “Cynce” Levine) have been in the underground circuit since 2001 playing a range from house to funk to techno to disco and running a record shop and record label. In 2016 they killed it from playing an all Prince tribute set at Coachella and releasing a soulful self-titled EP, Soul Clap is primed to continue to keep it funky in 2017!
Staff writer: Tyler Kraften
10) Chet Porter
2016 was pretty good to Chet Porter. He played nearly 70 shows compared to just 2 in 2015, opening for Jai Wolf, Big Wild, and ODESZA just to name a few, and his Foreign Family Collective single, “Stay” feat. Chelsea Cutler hit over 3 million streams and counting on Spotify.
If you had the chance to see any of his live performances last year, then you’d agree it’s a no brainer that Chet will be an artist to watch really take flight in 2017. Right now you can catch him on the 2017 BUKU and Euphoria lineups, but as more festivals continue to be announced, keep him in mind as you plan your 2017 festie season.
P.S. Don’t confuse him for Chet Faker or a homeless man.
Staff Writer: Halina Marie
11, 12, 13) Wakaan Label (Liquid Stranger, Space Jesus & Bleep Bloop)
Lurking in the shadows with his deep and full bass music has been Liquid Stranger. His foray into the forefront began with a mix called “Sounds of Wakaan Vol.1”. While this mix alone was enough to get a whole tour booked for Liquid Stranger, it became clear very quickly that his Wakaan was to be an entire label of contributing artists. With assistance from Space Jesus and AU5, the aptly named “Rise of Wakaan” toured the country in early 2016 to much success.
Then came the label project, which told of the labels true intentions, which are to be dark, heavy, wonky, and well produced. Featuring an extremely heavy hitting lineup of Liquid Stranger, Space Jesus, Bleep Bloop, Yheti, Jade Cicada, Mr. Bill, Sayer, Freddy Todd (who has a project with SJ called Guccimen as well), and many more, the project quickly fell into the rotations of countless touring DJs and listeners. Space Jesus’ Look Out Tour also saw great success nationwide and featured many artists. By the end of 2017, you can expect all of the artists on the project to be household names.
Some of the lesser known artists on the project such as, Of The Trees, Proko, Spankalicious, Esseks, and Toadface are all seeing a rise in popularity as a result of the project. 2017 is sure to be huge for these guys.
Staff Writer: Stephen Ridgeway
14) Big Wild
Big Wild, aka Jackson Stell, entered the 2016 festival scene at a rapid pace, and he plans to continue this wave into 2017 with a “lot of new music and a big push”. Big Wild began his music career in high school creating hip hop beats; however, his sound has evolved throughout the years. Under the Foreign Family Collective Label (created by electronic duo Odesza), Big Wild has been given opportunities unlike no other. 2017 is sure to be a fantastic year for Jackson.
Staff Writer: Kelsey James
Nick Chiari aka Grabbitz has had a very interesting 2016. Described as the poster boy for the new term “Post-EDM”, Chiari is set to conquer 2017. Post EDM represents a break with the intro-build-drop-breakdown-rinse-repeat dance music formula mainstream consumers have grown accustomed to. Grabbitz claims his music is a response to musicians who’ve been involved with or influenced by EDM and are breaking out of it for one reason or another. From touring to producing, he’s on the rise in the industry and being recognized by all. His music is fresh, unique, and provides that dose of “outside of the box” creativity.
Staff Writer: Sean Schmidt
16) Mura Masa
Mura Masa is truly a young superstar in the making. Born 5 April 1996, 20-year-old Alex Crossan, better known by the stage name Mura Masa is a British electronic music producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. At only the age of 17, Alex released one of his first tracks, Lotus Eater, to SoundCloud. The track went on to commercial success in England. Since Lotus Eater, Alex, has gone on to release his debut EP Someday Somewhere. The EP was a massive success, especially the track “Lovesick” which reached number 1 on the Spotify viral charts in the UK and USA. With almost no shows to date in the States, 2017 looks like the year Mura Masa makes a huge move on the festival circuit
Staff Writer: Sean Schmidt
17) Justin Jay
Justin Jay has made 2016 his b*****. As the youngest member on the Dirtybird roster, this producer has shown fans he is only going up from here. He has been on a spectacular rise with several successful EPs and releases such as “What Do You Want” and “You Give Me Butterflies”, as well as making appearances at some of the biggest festivals like Holy Ship, HARD Summer, and of course, Dirtybird Campout. Beginning his first week of college signed to the largest growing techno label in America, Justin Jay has made his name known through his bubbly, light-hearted beats. Be sure to look out for Justin Jay in 2017, who has just announced a full-length North American & Austrailian tour for his
Beginning his first week of college signed to the largest growing techno label in America, Justin Jay has made his name known through his bubbly, light-hearted beats. Be sure to look out for Justin Jay in 2017, who has just announced a full-length North American & Australian tour for his Fantastic Voyages album, and is already booked for both weekends of Holy Ship and for a b2b with Shiba San at BUKU Music + Art Project.
Staff Writer: Megan Robinson
Listen to all of the artists featured here in our #RB17in17 Playlist