EDM is all the rage and Robert DeLong could be its next big star. But he isn't your typical EDM artist.
One of Billboard's 13 Artists to Watch in 2013, DeLong brings the mentality of a rock drummer and the tech-crazed mindset of a gamer to his unique brand of festival-ready dance music. In an exclusive performance for Billboard, DeLong put his eccentric live show on full display -- singing, drumming, and even manipulating sound via video game controllers.
Watch Robert DeLong perform "Happy":
"Becoming a one man band is just a natural progression," DeLong (a jazz drummer since age 10) tells Billboard. "I was always playing drums in bands… recording and writing songs… I'd written so many songs and then I wanted to perform them. And then as it developed, I realized it was a cool thing and people really loved it."
All that multitasking sure looks tough, though the 26-year old musician has it down to a science. "I practice a lot," he says. "If you get to the point where it's so automatic -- even when there's madness out there, it's just automatic, the things you're doing."
Watch Robert DeLong perform "Global Concepts":
Audiences will get a big taste of DeLong on this summer's festival circuit, with performances at Coachella, Governors Ball, and Sasquatch on his to-do list. On March 23, he'll play Miami's Ultra Music Festival alongside EDM big shots like David Gueta, Avicii, and Calvin Harris.
He'll have plenty of music to road-test, as he just dropped his debut LP "Just Movement" on Feb. 5 through Glassnote, the label known for breaking acts like Mumford & Sons and Temper Trap. Both songs he performed for Billboard -- "Happy" and "Global Concepts" -- appear on the full length, which reached No. 18 on Dance/Electronic Albums. This week, "Global Concepts" made its debut on Alternative Songs.
"2013 is going to be a pretty crazy year," he says. "Everything's going to be awesome. Hopefully, I'll make it through and not die!"