It’s a very spooky edition of Ones to Watch this October, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. We’ve got jams that’ll thrill, chill and give you shivers, but they’re all ghoulishly good. Some of these artists make horror sounds, but even when they go pop, their names haunt all the up-and-coming lists.
There’s plenty of bass on this roster. We’ve got a big Excision co-sign and a Rezz friend in the group. Someone’s going on tour with Zeds Dead, and another one is hitting the road with RÜFÜS DU SOL. We’ve also got a David Guetta collaborator in our midst. Big things, for sure.
Which of these emergent voices speaks to you? Listen below and find out.
Mystery artists are nothing new in dance music. For every Marshmello and ZHU who rise to prominence, the blogosphere is littered with enigmatic artists who couldn’t keep fans’ attention. Standout productions, star co-signs and memorable marketing tend to make the difference, and Deathpact checks all those boxes. Introduced to the scene via a cryptic website and a collaborative album track with REZZ — Billboard Dance’s breakthrough artist of 2017 — Deathpact is now turning heads with a series of strong solo releases. Foreboding debut single, “Danger,” presaged his well-received Cipher One EP, which he followed with his Cipher Two EP release last week. Boasting dark and dissonant offerings like “Formality” and “Suspect,” the release could easily double as haunted house soundtrack. Expect plenty more noise from the prolific producer in 2019. — MATT MEDVED
Aiden Morgan is 17 years old, but his infectious bass-pop stylings as DNMO have already caught some serious attention from festival players, including Zeds Dead, who he recently collaborated with. This fall and winter, he’ll be going on select tour dates with the Deadbeats duo, as well as Ghastly and Ookay. Fans have already had the pleasure of seeing the electronic upstart live at Red Rocks, Electric Zoo and several other supersized stages. Don’t sleep on DNMO, as his co-signs and records are getting bigger by the day. — DAVE RISHTY
Imagine being 14 and asking your mom if Excision can come over, because he wants to work on some tracks. That’s Dutch DJ and producer Dion Timmer’s life story. The best friends have collaborated enough to have their own greatest hits, three of which appear on Excision’s latest album Apex. But don’t be distracted by the star power of his pall Timmer shines bright on his own. His is a neon mix of happy hardcore, future bass, dubstep, d’n’b, r&b, classic house and straight game-play sounds. It’s a fresh perspective on familiar sounds exemplified on 2017’s Textacy EP. Earlier this month, he released “Leave” featuring Luma, his most pop-forward release to date, via Monstercat — perhaps a play for more mainstream audiences. — KAT BEIN
All signs are pointing up for Ava Max, the pop singer who has recently struck global success with her “Sweet but Psycho” single. Max’s past work includes cuts with David Guetta, Le Youth and Witt Lowry. The talented upstart now has a dream team around her, signed to Atlantic Records and Artist Publishing Group on the label side and now Full Stop Management on the management front. (Other Full Stop clients include Harry Styles, Mark Ronson, Meghan Trainor and several A-list acts.) Max also just hopped on Vice and Jason Derulo‘s collaboration, “Make Up.” Get familiar with Ava Max, because her name is about to be everywhere. — D.R.
If you’re ready to have your brain popped, listen to these Bristol brothers’ remix of Pendulum‘s blistering drum’n’bass classic “Tarantula.” Taken from the band’s recent catalog-spanning album The Reworks, Icarus deftly shifts its brawl-ready mood into a smooth and steamy house dream. It’s that kind of handle on groove and concept that makes Annie Mac and Above & Beyond big fans. RÜFÜS DU SOL is even bringing the duo on tour. Icarus blends disco’s playful nature with soulful, introverted house moods, striking a perfect balance between dance floor vibes and bedroom reveries. Head to the duo’s latest single “Echoes” for the perfect example. — K.B.