Billboard Dance Emerging Artists: August 2019

Julia Wang
Qrion

It's that time of the month when we encourage you to grab your headphones, turn up the voume on your car stereo or just blast your home speakers as loudly as possible without the neighbors getting ornery, because we're delivering a hot collection of dance artists on the rise and worthy of your ear space. 

Let's get down to business with our five August favorites below:

Marc Rebillet

How many robes does Marc Rebillet have? About as many as he has sexy hooks up his silky sleeves... which is to say, the limit does not exist. The Dallas-bred, New York City-based improvisational artist creates all his songs from scratch in a single setting, with his productions ranging from sensual R&B burners to hip-hop-tinged funk creations. He does soul, disco, lo-fi beats, and even trap bangers when he feels silly, and records his creative sessions in hotel rooms and various other locales -- often while dressed in luxurious robes and always with a playful, if not outright hysterical, edge. Fans can catch him onstage during his so-called Comeback Tour from September to November, with stops including the Bowery Ballroom in New York, The Independent in San Francisco, The Roxy in L.A. and later dates across Europe. Check out his latest EP, Loop Daddy II, and keep a keen eye for Rebillet in your city. -- KAT BEIN

 

Qrion


Keep calm and Qrion”: That was the vibe last month (July 28) during Qrion’s back-to-back “deep set” with Spencer Brown at Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy Weekender. The Japan-raised, San Francisco-based DJ/producer has been enjoying her own steady rise since posting her cheeky breakout track “iPhone Bubbling” to SoundCloud in 2014. 

With her versatile sound design -- which ranges from the dreamy deepness of tracks like “Sapporo” to the heavier, R&B-flushed electronica of “GAF” -- Qrion has amassed a who’s who of labels for her resum√©, including Moving Castle, NEST HQ and Anjunadeep, as well as remixes for Tokimonsta, Manila Killa and Alina Baraz. Some of her best material, however, she saves for herself. Exhibit A: her latest single, “When You Want to Rave” (out now), a smooth-as-hell house tune that fizzes with foamy acid energy and rave nostalgia. It’ll make you not just want, but need to find your nearest dance floor. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

 

Ross From Friends

Already hyped up in the electronic underground, the British lo-fi house producer Ross From Friends is marching steadily towards marquee status with recent buzzy sets at festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury and Sonar. These come ahead of his forthcoming EP, Epiphany, out August 16 on Flying Lotus' venerable Brainfeeder.

Named after and dedicated to his sister, who in a press release the producer called "one of the most important role models" in his life, the three-track EP debuted with "The Revolution," a slinky afterhours jam built on insistent percusion, a slinky little guitar lick and vocal samples swiped from soul records. Epiphany is the artist born Felix Clary Weatheral's first project since his 2018 debut LP Family Portrait, and comes amidst a long run of tour dates that pushes into September with shows across the United States and into Europe. -- KATIE BAIN


Rinzen

Great songs tell stories, and Rinzen knows a thing or two about telling stories. The Los Angeles-based artist (real name: Michael Sundius) is a former music journalist who now crafts sophisticated narratives through sound instead of words, using a house and techno palette that skews melodic, cinematic and conceptual to forge portals to mystic otherworlds. (Full disclosure: Sundius has previously contributed to Billboard Dance.) His first official release was a Giorgio Moroder remix in 2017, and he also made an early fan out of deadmau5, who signed Rinzen’s first single and multiple EPs to his mau5trap label.

Since then, he’s appeared on Chapter 24 Records, Yoshitoshi and Steyoyoke, and has become a member of the extended Desert Hearts family. Next up, he joins DH co-founder Marbs and Evan Casey in launching the Desert Hearts Black imprint with their collaborative Torus EP, out Friday (August 9). -- K. Rodriguez

French 79

Hailing from the southern French city of Marseille, Simon Henner's synth-heavy style is sometimes heavy and often times dreamy. It plays like a sonic lens flare in the neon night, and while it rings evident throughout his career (he's produced French singer Kid Francescoli's recent albums and worked as a guitarist in a number of bands), it's best exemplified on his solo work as French79. His debut LP Olympic employs glorious melodies and driving house rhythms to build euphoric tunes perfect for club dance floors or nocturnal car rides.

Hits “Between The Buttons” and “Diamond Veins” with Sarah Rebecca brought him to stages across Europe, but his forthcoming album Joshua, set for release in November, is designed to launch him worldwide. His sound is fuller, brighter and more commanding on lead single “Hold On.” Look out for more from French79's bolder sound before the month is through. -- K. Bein

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