We are nearly halfway done with 2018 and have already seen a slew of up-and-comers bubble to the surface with breakout singles, air-tight branding and inspiring stories to tell.
Billboard Dance‘s May edition puts a variety of electronic sub-genres on display from ambient and chill to dance-pop and aggressive bass music.
Grab your headphones and dive into the crop of rising stars below.
The enigmatic electro-pop singer and producer had dance circles buzzing well before the release of her alluring eponymous album last month, but the dreamy fifteen-track debut proved the faith in her artistic potential to be well-founded. While the anonymous artist likes to avoid the limelight, she’s certain to achieve a new level of exposure this summer while hitting the road with The Glitch Mob and playing such diverse festivals as Life is Beautiful, HARD Summer and Electric Forest. — MATT MEDVED
When Zedd goes out of his way to give his stamp of approval on a song, calling it an “absolute jam” and saying it’s his “fav song right now,” you know it’s got to be good. In comes NOTD, a young Swedish duo that has struck a major chord of success with their new single “I Wanna Know” featuring Bea Miller. The record, which is under exclusive license to Universal Music, has earned 50+ million Spotify streams and radio support from SiriusXM Hits 1 and other pop stations. — DAVE RISHTY
There’s no shortage of sweeping, emotional indie dance on today’s scene, but 20-year-old French producer Kidswaste brings a certain soulful honesty to his productions that stands out in the crowd. His music plays intimate and warm, like the crackle of a campfire on a calm and lonely night. It’s tinged with folk touches, fleshed out with clear guitar cords and lots of organic textures. He released his debut EP Spleen on Next Wave and Ultra Records in 2017. Tracks “Wild,” “More Colors” and “Time” have amassed more than 6 million plays on Spotify collectively. He’s working on a full-length project for the future, though he tours North American festivals this summer in support of his hopeful single “Beautiful Life,” out on Counter Records and featuring vocals from Sophie Simmons. Catch him as he debuts a new live set up, trusty guitar in tow, at Splash House, Electric Forest and Camp Bisco. — KAT BEIN
1788-L is a fresh, yet anonymous, face to the electronic music scene but has developed somewhat of a cult following similar to that of Rezz and K?d. The super-digital, glitchy aesthetic runs in tandem with the act’s futuristic sound design and has caught the attention of breakout artists like Illenium, who recently worked with 1788-L and Kerli on a VIP edit of his “Sound of Where’d U Go” collaboration with Said The Sky. — D.R.
Polo & Pan
Want to get to Neverland? Head for the second star on the right, press play on Polo & Pan’s Caravelle, and dance straight on ’till morning. French producers and DJs Polocorp and Peter Pan met at Paris’ famous nightclub La Baron in 2012, and since 2014, they’ve made tropical-tinged tracks of electronic bliss. A series of EPs culminated in last year’s 12-track debut LP, the same one your hipster fiends can’t stop talking about. Caravelle is souped-up bossa nova for the sensual lounge and cocktail bar of your dreams. It’s magical music under whose spell your imagination can run wild. Single “Canopée” has earned more than 10 million streams on Spotify. The album’s success brings Polo & Pan over the Atlantic in June for its first US shows ever. Dates in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco are sold out, but if you hurry, you can still catch the guys in Chicago, Montreal and Quebec City. — K.B.