Amelie Lens has cemented herself as one of techno’s most indomitable forces today. The Belgian DJ has experienced a meteoric rise to success, primarily fueled by her pummeling live performances and predilection for acid-tinged techno. It’s no coincidence Lens has found herself associated among the underground elite -- names like Adam Beyer, Pan-Pot and Richie Hawtin -- as she’s cultivated one of the most insatiable fan bases around. However, where others have taken decades to get to such respective heights, the 28-year-old has done it in a matter of years. In 2018, Lens’ career hit new heights. Performing around the globe week in and week out, she embarked on a rigorous international tour schedule, selling out nearly every venue she played. -- MICHAEL SUNDIUS
House music saw a resurgence in 2018, and its crossover into the limelight was thanks to none other than Calvin Harris. “One Kiss” featuring Dua Lipa ruled the airwaves for most of the year. The thumping single, with its distant horn hook, reached No. 2 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and No. 26 on the Hot 100, then grew more legs with high-profile remixes from ZHU, R3hab, Jauz, Oliver Heldens and more. He rounded out the year with another smash, this time alongside Sam Smith on a song called “Promises.” It peaked at No. 4 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart and No. 65 on the Hot 100 -- but strong originals weren't all the gold Harris struck in 2018.
Harris started the year by announcing his residency extension with Hakkasan Group in Las Vegas through 2020. It's an exclusive deal, meaning he didn’t have to worry about festival dates or hectic tour schedules, and he still topped the Forbes’ highest-paid DJ list for a sixth year in a row. He furthered his house sound with fat, rumbling horns on a bombastic remix of Halsey and Stefflon Don’s “Alone.” He was immortalized with a wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s in New York City, then followed that news with a smokin’ set of production for Normani’s two-song debut solo EP, “Checklist” and “Slow Down.” He finished the year by singing on fellow producer Benny Blanco’s original “I Found You.” We honored “One Kiss” with the top spot on our Best Dance/Electronic Songs of the year list earlier this month, and we’re on edge to see what new horizons Harris will explore in the years to come. -- KAT BEIN