Billboard Dance's Ones to Watch: April 2019
It's that time of the month again, so grab your headphones and set aside some time for music discovery. Ones to Watch April 2019 is no joke.
First off, Australia definitely seems like the country to watch. This month's class of noise makers features four dance acts from Down Under, with each bringing a very unique sound. There's a bass house lover, a dance-pop dream-weaver, a smooth electric-R&B operator, and a heavenly duo with a big love of layers – but it's not just Aussie beats we're knockin'. This class also includes a Florida girl with bass-ridden melodies from out of this world.
Whatever your mood, there's some jam to be had below. Check out all five of our April favorites and get to loving something new.
Club music has many faces, and this Australian mug is carving a corner of the market all for himself. He broke out in 2015 with Go Freak collaboration “Define.” It was soulful with a smoky groove, and his slow but steady output of funk earned him support from the likes of Duke Dumont, Chris Lake, Pete Tong and more. In 2017, he earned an ARIA nomination with Torren Foot for “Be Randy.”
In 2018, he took a turn toward the strange on “Take It.” It sports a sidewinder synth serving futuristic Arabian Nights heat and a low-eyed alien vocal that lures you to the dance floor. The bass booms with a deliciously dark-acid aftertaste. It's had more than nine million streams on Spotify and has become especially popular on TikTok. Dom Dolla is riding the wave into weekend one of Coachella, performing a set at the DoLaB stage on Sunday (April 14), and a few surrounding area parties that weekend.
This Florida native makes space-themed bass music with an emphasis on melody and head-knockin' beats. She's a dichotomous creature, often blending melty psychedelics, industrial textures and dreamy atmospheres into larger quilts of sound. Part singer-songwriter, it's her own vocal transmission twisting through your speaker, and her inventive, interstellar sonics are coming to “Invade.” Her latest release “Neptune" -- via Liquid Stranger's forward-thinking bass label Wakaan -- is equal-parts ethereal and gnarled. The label boss even brought Lucii on tour in support of his spring dates, and she's opening for Figure in early May. Catch her at a club near you as the year progresses, and look out for more from Lucii to come.
Our second Aussie on the list, Feki, hails from Brisbane and we can hear the coastal sun in these songs. Dance-pop, pretty and shimmering, these melodies have their heads in the clouds, but his steady beats pull you back down to the dance floor every time. The producer's 2017 single, “Love You Better” featuring Glades, has more than seven million streams on Spotify. In 2018, he dropped his debut EP Into The Light on Lowly. Its six tracks feature sky-sweeping melodies, uplifting instrumentals, and airy vocal collaborations. He just dropped a remix of Ella Vos' “Ocean” that's sure to steal your heart. His is a youthful, synth-laden sound, and he's taken a step back from touring to focus on studio work, so look out for tons more music from Feki in the months to come.
Insert jokes about the water in Brisbane here. Young Franco is our third Australian and second to hail from the Queensland capital. Currently, Young Franco resides in Sydney, and he's making a big play to break out stateside. His pastel productions are lush and squeaky clean with an R&Beats lean and a touch of futuristic funk. His 2016 single “Miss You” has nearly nine million streams on Spotify, and 2017 follow-up “About This Thing” with English MC Scruffizer is not far behind. “Girls Don't Cry” from 2018 features silky vocals from Maribelle and some real good bass guitar, and his first single of 2019, “Otherside” with Reva DeVito and Golden Vessel, is smooth and bright like raspberry sherbet dripping from your lips. Look for him hitting the west coast of the U.S. in the months to come with a few festival looks to be announced.
Put your hands up for Adelaide, the city this Aussie duo represents with chilled-out sing-alongs and heavenly ambiance. The bedroom producers have caught a lot of attention for their shimmering synth productions. Airy moods are backed by beefy drums for that perfect one-two punch of indie aesthetics. Pines released “Tell Me” with Winter Park in 2017, and it's cool, down-tempo groove has amassed almost three millions Spotify streams. The duo's 2018 track “I've Been Waiting” was featured in a few promotional videos for the recent Ultra Australia, and Billboard Pop premiered the tune “Speak” back in October. There are plans for Pines to release its first full-length project in spring of this year, so keep a keen eye out for more coming soon.