In a scene as saturated as that of electronic music, there will always be an identifiable collection of industry heavyweights who lead a dedicated clan of fans and followers across the globe. These are the artists who have carved out their own space within the genre that they represent, and in turn, these are the artists who have set a standard for all of those who follow in their wake.
But who will fill these shoes when our current heavyweights are no longer active? Who will prevail when the only way to truly make headway in an overpopulated genre is to bring something new to the table? Below are a list of five artists who we think are doing just that.
As founder of the Rhythm Section institution - the label, party, and radio show that’s all about the music and nothing about any of the inorganic stuff - Bradley Zero is a true torchbearer for his generation. Hailing from Leeds but currently residing in London, the DJ has been chipping away at the pretensions and trivialities surrounding electronic music since his arrival on the scene back in 2009. Rhythm Section champions a passion for music and dancing rather than lineups and set times, and Zero’s sets are accordingly representative of an artist who has founded his career on appreciation, independence, and community.
“Funny and cool” reads the Twitter bio of London based DJ, anu. She’s definitely right there. When she’s not playing alongside the likes of DJ Sprinkles and Jayda G, anu is busy providing content for Equaliser, a music blog that she co-founded, and producing quirky illustrations of men in their underpants. Just watching her Boiler Room set - a performance that’s packed full of charm, humour, and of course, great music - is enough to put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.
Since playing at the very first Boiler Room broadcast back in 2010, Josey Rebelle has gone from strength to strength in the industry. A regular at venues such as Fabric, Panorama Bar, and Corsica Studios, the Rinse FM selector’s impressive repertoire spans across house, techno, and disco, making every set a goldmine of exciting tracks both old and new.
As a member of the 22a collective, Henry Wu is part of a group of young London-based musicians bringing new life to soul, jazz, and hip hop. Since retiring from his role in Jazz duo Yussef Kamaal just one week after winning the ‘Breakthrough Act’ category at the Jazz FM Awards earlier this year, Wu has only gone on to further convince the world of his talent, and has even been championed by fellow DJ and founder of Brownswood Recordings, Gilles Peterson.
Proving that house doesn’t have to be taken seriously in order to gain a following is DJ Boring. Since exploding onto the scene with his track “Winona” - a fuzzy mashup of beats layered over an old Winona Ryder interview - DJ Boring has toured throughout Australia, Europe, and Asia, and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.