Since our inception in 2016, we strived to stray away from nominating or selecting an artist of the year. I think the main reason why we have strayed away from that topic is that it’s hard to track throughout the year. What are the qualifications? Do you award someone that title based on total streams? Growth in social media numbers? Or something completely different?
For us, the answer is all of the above. The artist of the year should reflect someone who has generally made a major difference in dance music: through their music, their social presence, and their attitude. This person should exemplify the daily spirit that makes dance music so amazing.
For 2019, we feel the artist that best captured these traits and easily came out as our artist of the year was: Subtronics.
A lot went into this decision, but ultimately, there was no other name who seemed to take over dance music as Subtronics did in 2019. And we aren’t the only ones who fill this way. Our friends over at Your EDM have selected Subtronics as their 2019 “Breakthrough Artist of The Year.”
In 2019, Subtronics collaborated with the likes of Rusko, SNAILS, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Kayzo, PhaseOne, Zeds Dead, Ganja White Night and several other dance music staples. There’s even some unreleased tunes, like one with Excision, that Subtronics is currently sitting on.
Even with all those major collabs, Subtronics’ breakthrough moment came from the viral sensation “GRiZtronics” with the funky man himself: GRiZ. Easily one of the biggest dance songs of the year, the single saw amazing growth from outside of the dance world through TikTok; at one point, being the top song on the social platform. Along with the massive numbers on TikTok, the song went on to net Subtronics with his first Billboard Dance top ten hit.
In terms of actual streaming numbers, he racked up over 16 million streams and over 2 million unique listeners on Spotify alone. “GRiZtronics” was his most played song of the year, bringing in a whopping 2 million plays.
River Beats x Subtronics
It wasn’t even two years ago that the team here at River Beats booked Subtronics in our home town of New Orleans, selling out one of the deep South’s top dance music venue: Republic NOLA. Through the past two years, our support of his music and his mutual love back for our brand has been well documented.
We couldn’t think of a more well-deserving artist to take home our first annual artist of the year award, and we’re glad to see his star rise even more in 2020. 2020 looks to be even bigger, as Subtronics’ Cyclops Invasion Tour is set to span 47 dates including a headline show at Red Rocks.
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Featured Image: Tessa