With Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival about to be in full swing, it’s time to bring to your attention some talented, buzzing artists to pay attention to in the months and years to come. Billboard Dance is proud to present a tight crop of sonic adventurers for the March 2019 edition of Ones to Watch.
This international pack represents the frontier of sound from their studios in the U.K., Detroit, Sweden and Iran, Canada and Los Angeles. We’ve got lo-fi headiness, surreal tribal tech, moody vocals and effervescent dance-pop. There’s something for all taste buds to enjoy.
Swedish-Iranian electronic R&B singer Ayelle drapes her seductive vocals over spare, moody beats, altogether cultivating a dually relaxed and supremely alluring sound and vibe. Her solo releases have amassed 20 million streams across Apple Music and Spotify, and her work has earned support from Majestic Casual and BB1Xtra. A run of buzzed-about SXSW shows has Ayelle set up for a big 2019, which already saw the release of her tracks “NBDY” and “Obvious” both spare, scintillating songs laden with smart lyrical content. — KATIE BAIN
Disclosure, Virgil Abloh, Peggy Gou and Theo Parrish have all shown love for this fresh Detroit talent. Son to house vocalist Naomi Daniel, Jay has been making waves in the Motor City since co-founding the city’s monthly event Fundamentals with Kyle Hall in 2012. His debut LP Broken Knowz caught tastemaker ears for its warm, staticky mix of tribal rhythms and industrial textures. The producer turned away from drum machines, choosing instead to record experimental percussion in his mom’s basement. It gives the work a homey coziness as it crackles and pops like a lo-fi record. On 2018 follow-up TALA, Daniel’s sound elongates in dreamlike sequences and weed-haze beats. He’s been tapped to support Disclosure on the duo’s forthcoming New York City and Washington tour dates. Check out TALA released on his own label, Watusi High. — KAT BEIN
In four years of hustle, this Canadian duo produced 53 remixes, including hit reworks for Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Khalid, The Chainsmokers and more. Their sugary dance-pop sound is clean, upbeat and often bombastic, exactly the kind of summer-love vibe radio ears like to hear. It already earned them support slots on tour with The Chainsmokers, Galantis, Diplo, and Alesso. In 2019, Young Bombs ups the ante with their first original single. “Starry Eyes” is the vibe and the mantra, a future-esque, feel-good melody decorated with filtered soul samples and electronic embellishments. The debut single is out now on Astralwerks, just a couple weeks before the duo takes the main stage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. — KAT BEIN
Three years ago, a corrupted file resulted in Los Angeles producer Grant losing a track he’d been hard at work on. He was, of course, crushed. Two years later, that track was miraculously resurrected on what Grant now calls the best day of 2018 and is now “Wishes, his forthcoming release out this Friday, March 22 . The song follows the success of 2018’s “Castaway”, “The Edge” and “Fault” feat. McCall, a trinity of songs that established the bright complexity of Grant’s big, pop-oriented productions. All of these songs, including his biggest, “Weapon feat. BAUM” — which has 3.6 million Spotify streams and counting — have dropped via Monstercat where he’s become a big crowd favorite. — KATIE BAIN
This member of the Hot Creations family consistently cooks up some of the most jackin’ house beats on the modern scene. His driving beats and jungle-sweat moods have caught him a residency at Ibiza’s DC-10, collaborations with Patrick Topping, remixes for Groove Armada and Hot Since 82, and the admiration of the some of the biggest names in house and techno. He pairs each driving rhythm with a fresh strangeness, pushing his sounds just beyond the looking glass to turn expectations upside down and get crowds screaming for more. His latest two-song EP Bondage, released on Desolat, is dark, heavy, industrial and funky as hell. He’s scheduled to hit at least six parties at Miami Music Week 2019, including elrow, Jamie Jones‘ Paradise and Damian Lazarus’ Get Lost. Later this year, he’ll grace the stage at EDC Japan and Hideout Festival in Croatia. — KAT BEIN