Ricky Vaughn is the New York producer fusing hip-hop and electronic music in a fresh and eloquent new way. Drawing from Moombahton and trap, his catchy and unique drum patterns stick out to an ever-growing audience of fans.
Canadian DJ and producer, Imanos, is a talent about to break through many borders. His carefully crafted productions range from synth-heavy electro house to twerky trap, catching the ears of many musical big wigs.
Jay-Z’s Life + Times commissioned Imanos to executive produce ‘Trap Nation,’ an hour-long mix of 18 never-before-heard trap remixes of tracks by artists on the Roc Nation roster. With producing skills that rival his mixing talent, DJ Imanos is one jockey worth keeping your eyes and ears now.
2017 was an odd year for Major Lazer as their fabled fourth studio album, 'Music Is A Weapon', never materialised, and instead the group released their 'Know No Better' EP featuring a disparate selection of collaborators from Nicki Minaj to Travis Scott — as if Diplo had scrolled through his Blackberry randomly selecting artists to work with. Some critics felt that the EP was by no means the group's finest work, falling some way short of their previous output and lacking any real cohesion.
The group's fourth album may now never see the light of day after Diplo admitted he's lost faith in the album format, and recently lambasted the commercialisation of DJ culture, which he described in a recent interview as "cheesy" and "embarrassing". Hopefully, this awakening of sorts might propel the group to new heights and deliver the album we all know they can.
Elsewhere, the group delivered an eye-opening documentary, Give Me Future, about their groundbreaking concert in Cuba, which attracted 500,000 people and saw the group become one of the first US acts to play in Cuba since diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba were reset under the Obama administration.
Dutch house titan and last month’s DJ Mag cover star Chuckie is going through something of a reinvention. The Dirty Dutch superstar, real name Clyde Sergio Narain, has recently been dabbling in ‘traphall’, aka trap x dancehall — the genre he’s now spearheading.
Speaking about the last 12 months, Chuckie reveals he’s had an amazing year. “I travelled around the world many times and played some of the biggest festivals in the world,” he says.
Having always embraced a multitude of genres, he has this year debuted his Metamorphosism world tour — a mega showcase of floor-fillers spanning between five and nine hours, and an antidote to the (allegedly sometimes) pre-recorded 45-minute festival set.
Despite having encountered many corners of the globe in 2015, Chuckie’s only lament is that he wishes he “could have had more time in the studio. It was almost impossible to combine it with my hectic tour schedule.”
In our cover story, over a cup of builder’s tea, he admitted to flying 452 times last year, and he explains how “all flight attendants and pilots are allowed to fly only a certain amount of time because of safety measures. We all know that DJs fly way more than whatever is healthy”, the chameleonic producer finishes. FELICITY MARTIN
Over the past few years, the world of EDM and hip-hop have grown ever closer. Waka Flocka Flame and Lil John have featured on singles produced by Steve Aoki, Borgore and DJ Snake; while duo TNGHT, a collaboration between producers Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, inspired a whole sub-genre with their super-charged hip-hop productions.
But few have enjoyed the fruits of this cross-over more than Diamante Blackmon, better known as DJ Carnage. Blackmon, who was inspired to start producing EDM after being introduced to hardstyle by a friend, has bridged the gap between hip-hop and dance music by introducing elements of trance and EDM into hip-hop instrumentals, creating a festival-ready hybrid that picks up where TNGHT left off and runs with it.
Carnage has made beats for Theophilus London, A$AP Mob and Riff Raff but it was a trap remix of Hardwell’s ‘Spaceman’ that propelled him to EDM superstardom in 2012. He’s since become a staple of the festival circuit, despite occasionally landing himself into trouble for overrunning his sets. Blackmon drops his debut album, ‘Papi Gordo’, this month with a headline tour to follow in 2016.
What do you get when you lock Skrillex and Diplo in a studio together? A wildly successful bass child, apparently. Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock — with a very good set of earplugs — you’ve probably heard at least one of their productions as the duo Jack Ü, whether you wanted to or not.
Their debut ten-track LP, 'Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü', was a co-release between their respective OWSLA and Mad Decent labels that smashed the streams earlier this year, peaking at the #1 spot on Billboard’s US Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
Jack Ü’s second single release off the album, a hit collab with boy wonder Justin Bieber titled ‘Where Are Ü Now’, propelled them into the iPods of pre-teens and parents alike... and, predictably, launched a fair amount of fury within the electronic dance music world.
Catchy though the song may be, making nice with one of the most loathed visitors to the island of Ibiza in the past decade — after the Kardashians, obviously — is bad enough, but making music with him is a slippery slope to navigate. Unless you’re Skrillex or Diplo, of course.
Then, you can chalk it up to Jack Ü and tell the haters to jack off after your track goes platinum in the US. Which it did. It also gave both Diplo and Skrillex their first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100… and the Biebs his seventh.
The depths and channels of the world wide web are staggering, many of its areas have yet to even be truly dredged. For some, the internet is an inherent instinct. Born in the late '90s or early millennial years, the internet is not a gift, but a part of our DNA as humans. A backbone in society that some have never lived without. For countless others, the internet is a blessing. Something that has yet to depreciate in value, and because we were not born into it, we have learned to not only accept it, but appreciate it.