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Billboard Dance Emerging Artists: March 2020

Speaker Honey
Ryeo Lee

Speaker Honey

As the coronavirus shuts down festivals around the globe, your headphones and at-home speakers are still safe places in which to delve into fresh sounds by new artists. This month, there are plenty of them, with sounds on deck from a quadruple threat of up-and-coming producers making waves in the worlds of techno, disco and more.

These are Billboard Dance's emerging artists for March 2020.

Speaker Honey

Deadmau5's seminal Mau5trap label has a strong track record of bolstering some of the best Canadian artists in electronic music -- including Rezz and the label boss himself -- and its latest rising star is a firecracker addition known as Speaker Honey.

The freshly released Night Visions EP is her debut release and a persuasive showing of her ability to make a room move with syrupy bass lines and bouncy rhythms. Her sound dances across the spectrum of the underground, flitting from bass house to techno and creating a new blend of sounds that feel entirely her own.

Speaker Honey is currently on tour alongside label mate No Mana and will head to Miami Music Week for an appearance at the Mau5trap pool party with Deadmau5.  -- VALERIE LEE

Franc Moody

What do hot-sauce bottles, Febreze containers and radiators have in common? The sounds they make all helped create some of the funkiest music out of Tottenham, London, courtesy of Franc Moody. Officially, the outfit comprises Ned Franc and Jon Moody, but they often refer to it as a “collective” of musicians and vocalists who altogether create catchy, cosmic disco-pop that sounds like a hybrid of Daft Punk, Chic, Jamiroquai and Jungle.

Franc and Moody, though both working musicians when they first met in 2014, initially teamed up to promote warehouse parties, then to write songs. “Once we started,” they told Outline, “it was pretty evident that the music was best served in front of an audience and played live.”

On a small but solid platform of singles and EPs over the last four years, they’ve performed at festivals including Lovebox, Lost Village and Glastonbury, and clubs from Dublin’s Button Factory to Brooklyn’s Elsewhere. Late in February, Franc Moody released their debut album, Dream in Colour. They’re currently touring the LP in the U.K. and Europe, but they head Stateside in May with stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn and more. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Hana

What do Grimes, Anamanaguchi, Tchami and Durante all have in common? Their sonic palettes run the gamut from neon hooks to twilight moods, and yet Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and producer Hana fits right into each quirky corner and haunting house groove.

The multitalented artist got her start singing over somber piano chords and acoustic guitar strums, but a friendship with famed producer BloodPop (Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga) inspired her to try her hand at digital production. It sparked a creative evolution that's made her a go-to collaborator for some of the scene's most experimental music makers. Hana just appeared on Tchami's “Ghosts” and Durante's “Days Pass,” with a couple more Durante collabs to come via Anjunadeep.

She's currently opening for Mija's Desert Trash tour and finishing edits on an otherworldly music video for solo original “Anxious Alien,” off her 2019 LP Hanadriel. The album's mood shifts from colorfully energetic to deep warehouse rhythms to midnight blues and still carries a touch of that acoustic soul. An avid gamer and Twitch streamer, Hana often plays with digital imagery in a sci-fi vein, and she's got a couple nods to the anime fans in the audience. With a wide breadth of influences and a lot more planned for 2020, including another EP, don't be surprised if Hana keeps popping up on your playlists. -- KAT BEIN

Camea

Camea is a Seattle native with a classical and jazz piano background who found her calling in clubland, where she cut her teeth as a ferocious techno DJ in warehouses from the West Coast to New York, finally landing in her current home base of Berlin. Though hardly a newcomer with her extensive background both behind the decks and in the studio, Camea has yet to lay claim to a full-length debut album -- until now.

Set to release on her own Neverwhere imprint this Friday (March 13), Dystopian Love is the result of a six month studio period of exploration. Her nine-track LP is poignant and melancholic, unafraid to lean into minimal, melodic moments before ramping up to higher intensity tracks such as "Insomnia" and "Sunrise." The album moves much like a soundtrack to a mystical film, and it's no wonder -- initially, the album was inspired by Camea's own coming-of-age experiences, but transformed into a more conceptual narrative following the journey of emotions felt by a feminine being as she walks through a post-human Earth. A novel step away from her signature acid-tinged DJ sets, Dystopian Love takes Camea to new heights... and maybe even galaxies. -- V.L.

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