Dance

Billboard Dance Emerging Artists: September 2019

Holly
Oskar Theriault

Holly

It's the beginning of the month once more, and as summer winds down, we're keeping the dance floor hot with this collection of five artists on the rise.

This month we've got experimental bass out of Portugal, '80s redux via the Golden State, South American influenced grooves by way of The Netherlands and more fresh music you should get your ears on before it fully blows. 

Here are Billboard Dance's five artists to watch in September 2019. 

Devault 

Anti-heroes, step up. Devault's making theme music for everyone who lives for the neon night. Taking his cues from Depeche Mode, Flume and RL Grime, the California producer has demonstrated his predilection for dark funk with remixes for Rihanna, Lorde and DJ Snake. But his original releases are where his goth-tinged synthwave style really take cybernetic flight. His latest single, “Sapphire,” is a retro sci-fi adventure, a la Tron, Drive and Blade Runner.

“I wanted to create something that pays homage to the music that got me so excited about electronic music in the first place,” Devault is quoted in a press release. “The new wave sounds of the '80s, the French Touch, and the rave music of the '90s all influenced this record.” “Sapphire” serves as the title track for his forthcoming sophomore EP, out September 27 via Insomniac Records. -- KAT BEIN 

Tunnelvisions

Summer’s never over when you’re listening to Tunnelvisions. The Dutch duo of Emiel van den Dungen and Raynor de Groot cull inspiration from South American, Caribbean and African music to create house grooves that are slow, psychedelic and as balmy as a run through the rainforest. In just three years, they’ve produced two full-length albums and a hefty bundle of EPs. (As Billboard Dance recently learned, their talents also go beyond production, as de Groot also provided the vocals for Eagles & Butterflies’ new scene-storming single “Can’t Stop.”)

Up next is their newest EP, Channel Tropico (out September 13 via Atomnation), a technicolor six-tracker primed for open-air festival stages. Standout single “Tropical Hotline” keeps the vibe loose, lush and sweaty, with its ringtone-like synth layers adding an extra layer of quirkiness on top of heavy percussion. Tunnelvisions’ mission, they say, is to bring fun to the dance floor. Consider it brought. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Holly

Portuguese bass/hip-hop producer Holly's profile is steadily rising -- he won A-Trak's Goldie Award in 2017, has since dropped hundred of tracks on labels including Fool's Gold, Buygore and Monstercat and recently played Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival -- but the artist born Miguel Tomas Oliveira hasn't forgotten his roots. Holly paid homage to his childhood addresses via his May EP Avenal 2500, released via Deadbeats, and does so again via his upcoming Alameda 1000, out September 13 on Insomniac Records.

The music across both collections is tough, but sophisticated and often experimental bass that still often properly pummels. Alameda 1000 includes the lead single "On Me" featuring Gunplay & Okay! Kenji, along with collabs with The Bloody Beetroots, Nxsty and A$ap TyY. Holly's fall tour schedule includes dates supporting Zeds Dead in Berlin and Detroit. -- KATIE BAIN

Leftwing:Kody 

Soulful, infectious and just plain fun -- that's how we'd describe Leftwing:Kody's summer hit “I Feel It.” The burning disco-house groove has earned the UK duo more than 5.5 million streams on Spotify and just got a hella cute music video, but that ain't the only reason to love 'em. Since 2012, Jon Kong and Chris Adie have thrived “somewhere between house and techno,” capturing the hearts of club fiends with a monthly Rinse FM show, residencies at Fabric in London and Spankeys in Ibiza, as well as with hot tracks that make fans of Carl Cox, Jamie Jones, Maya Jane Coles and others.

In 2019, they've released two EPs and three singles, including “I Feel It” and blood-pumping bass thumper “Keep Pushin' On.” The duo heads its own label, Lost Records, with more than 40 releases under its belt -- but Leftwing:Kody was also just officially signed to Columbia Records. Look out for more coming soon, and check the duo out on a fall tour with stops in NYC, Chicago, LA and more. -- K. Bein

Project Pablo

Montreal DJ and producer Patrick Holland, aka Project Pablo, is at the forefront of a local scene creating hazy, carefree house for daydreaming and lazy river tubing. His releases for labels such as Magicwire, Church, 1080p and Clone Royal Oak have already been tipped by the underground, and he’s played clubs worldwide including Corsica Studios, Good Room and Berghain, but his recent remix of Amtrac’s “Formal Disco” could well be a push towards a larger audience. For now, Holland seems to be focusing on his new imprint, Verdicchio Music Publishing (he also co-heads SOBO and ASL Singles Club), with his new Sofware EP incoming tomorrow, September 6. Leading the pack is its title track, a low-key groover with sprightly keys and the softest touch of acid that can nudge any on-the-fence newcomers in the right direction. -- K. Rodriguez