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PERFORMING ARTIST

Alison Wonderland

DJ / Producer

2015 saw her US live show debut at Coachella, her debut album Run, debuting at #1 on the US Electronic Billboard charts, a US tour taking in stops in NYC, Miami and Chicago with EDC Las Vegas, Lollapalooza, European tour and a HUGE sold out Australian Warehouse tour, 2016 is looking very bright for Alison Wonderland.

The way you hear her tell it, Alison Wonderland has wanted to name her first album Run since before she knew how to play an instrument. It’s something that she’s carried with her over a diverse career spanning multiple projects, all of which have crystallised in a record that’s a twisted looking glass into the soul of one of Australia’s most promising musician/producers.

Welcome to the contradictory world of Alison Wonderland; an Australian artist who has written an album during her time in Los Angeles, a public personality who privately obsesses over her music with near-­?maniacal intensity; an electronic producer who is equally proud of her pop songs and her festival bangers.

She’s a chemical performer who has played cello in orchestras, rocked the bass in indie bands and graced turntables in front of thousands. From Stereosonic to Splendour and Coachella, not to mention a killer ‘Diplo and Friends’ BBC radio mix and a national run of secret warehouse shows that sold out in hours, Alison Wonderland has probably racked up more air miles in the last 18 months than hours of sleep.

Thanks to the non-­?stop rotation of her breakout hit ‘I Want U’, which topped Hypemachine and its EP Calm Down, which garnered millions of plays on Soundcloud, Wonderland has become known not only as a crowd-­?pleaser, but also for her ability to craft great songs. ‘The way to be a good producer is about using your ears,’ says Wonderland. ‘If you just did what textbooks said, nothing new would ever happen.’

To help her develop this vision on her first feature-­?length, Wonderland worked with some great songwriters from both sides of the equator; Djemba Djemba, known for his work with Diplo’s MAD DECENT label and the cutting edge up and coming producers from around the world AWE, Lido, Ganz and Alexander Burnett.

Run is a record that feels like the ones Wonderland bought growing up. As a DJ, if you don’t have a direction to take an audience in, what’s the point of playing a set? I feel the same about an album, she says. With its definitive opener and closer, Run is defined by its shapeliness. “Order is so important”, says Wonderand. “Even live, it’s not always about being ‘bang bang bang’; you have to have lulls, you have to bring people up again, you have to take them to another place and do it tastefully.”

Running the gamut from electronica, future beats, trap, and dancehall to classical and pop music, Run, is a dance album with personality. Wonderland sings on almost every track, a decision she made while in Los Angeles, and also took lyrical control. “My lyrics and melodies come faster the more music I’ve written, and it’s easier to delve into my mind,” she says. “Especially these days, music that’s made from your soul is better than music that’s made from your brain.”

The record boasts a robust rolodex of guest collaborators, all of whom Wonderland describes as close family. “I’ve never dialled in someone. I only wanted to make this album with people I fucking love,” she said of Run, which features Norwegian wunderkind Lido, New York rapper Johnny Nelson, SAFIA’s Ben Woolner-­?KIrkham and even Flaming Lips impresario, Wayne Coyne. Wonderland’s approach to writing with others, like most of her life, is refreshingly unorthodox. “The first thing I say [when someone I’ve never met gets to the studio] is ‘Tell me what’s going on with your life. I want to hear the last thing that made you cry.’ And we sit for hours and talk to each other and then we get down to the music.”

Run is about striving for greatness, and never feeling like you’re quite there, which is sort of what Wonderland means she says it’s an album about her time in Los Angeles, and observations of people, love, anxiety and the industry. It’s the infectious groove of first single ‘U Don’t Know’, the crushing beats of ‘Ignore’ and the near-­?ecstatic release ‘Carry On’, the sound of the DJ who won’t leave the stage until the makeup is running down her face and she’s drenched in sweat. It’s the anthems-­?in-­?waiting, ‘Run’, ‘I Want U’ and ‘Games’, a pop number sneaking out of left field.

But what Run is really all about, what you can hear and feel when you play it, is Wonderland’s very real inability to sit still. ‘I always feel like I’m never satisfied,’ she says. ‘When I get to a certain place, I’m still not content. It’s really about pushing yourself.’

Alison Wonderland dives down all manner of audio rabbit holes with Run and emerges with something unique and personal. She drives everyone around her crazy. She drives herself crazy…But her debut album is out, she’s played Coachella had two ARIA nominations and here she is, still running.

The question is, can you keep up?

Baggi

DJ / Producer

Few have channeled their life struggles into definitive musical landmarks to the extent of Baggi Begovic; a man whose revered melodic wizardry has afforded him an extensive grasp on global club land.

Born in 1979, the story of Ajdin Begovic far exceeds musical manifestation. As a Bosnian native, the Yugoslav Civil War proved an insatiable battleground of social and physical preservation to what should have been his tender teenage years. Through the suffering, imprisonment, loss of loved ones and his eventual release from a detention camp in 1992, his earliest tests and tribulations have served as considerable drivers to the leaps and bounds now associated with his global overhaul. Times have changed. Social landmarks have come and gone. Armed only with the haunting memories of his earlier tribulations, Baggi’s club deviance has been modestly tailored, yet wholeheartedly executed to make relevant marks on the modern market.

As an industrious playground, few could argue the positive legwork made by Baggi upon his relocation to Rotterdam. Away from the constant reminders of political unrest, Baggi would staple himself amid the thriving Netherland’s circuit, immersing himself among such long serving peers as Funkerman, Hardsoul and Rene Amesz – the latter of whom he would top the progressive house charts alongside for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” With a back catalogue including collaborative duties alongside Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez and a strong presence on Defected Record’s Ibiza 09 compilation, there is no shortage of indicators of Baggi’s preserved musical aptitude.

Call it house music, EDM, or assorted Begovic charm, but this is one artist whose ever-expansive studio arsenal knows no limitations but upfront quality. A tropical groove-master by inauguration whose stints for Musical Freedom, Defected Records, Toolroom Records and Spinnin Records alike broke incessant momentum across the industry, modern times are yet to hinder his eclectic get-up. More recently, remixes for Rita Ora, Kelly Clarkson and Rod Stewart have underpinned his unwillingness to shy from the ever-expanding boundaries of popular music; yet another asset that has kept him in consistent visibility amid his craft’s undeniable renaissance.

But for the most part, Baggi remains as relevant and club-footed as ever for 2013. Tiësto, a long time provocateur and advocate of Baggi’s pursuit of solo stardom, has played a considerable part in this full-circle of musical liberation. Dropping his debut single for Musical Freedom exactly 21-years after losing his father to the atrocities of war, their new found collaborative partnership – as formally celebrated during Tiësto’s set at UMF, signals a liberating streak for Baggi and his accomplished studio persona.

Trends have taken wind, but the well-travelled artists buoyancy on the global club circuit remains evident in the sheer scope of his global presence. Between landmark stints at Mysteryland, Global Gathering, Creamfields and Space Ibiza, Baggi’s studio output and fluid turntable maneuvers continue to cater for every facet of club land without compromising on the quality that has kept the air miles racking up throughout his whirlwind career.

Baggi’s story has not always been one of plain sailing, but through music, the chimes of liberation have offered considerable redemption. Taking 2013 like a man driven only to excel the ranks of his craft, one thing remains painfully evident where the long serving Bosnian talent is concerned: music is an outright liberator when placed in heartfelt hands. 

Carnage

DJ / Producer

“Making music is about having an impact,” exclaims DJ Carnage.

It's easy to feel the impact on every track the Los Angeles-based artist produces or remixes. With a versatile mindset and deft approach, he siphons electro, hip-hop, pop, and trap into an intoxicating brew unlike anything out there. It’s dirty, defiant, and diverse.

Carnage embraced music at a very young age. Before moving to the suburbs of Maryland, he grew up in Nicaragua and Guatemala. It gave him an international consciousness and perspective at a young age that would pervade his art. In order to get through long car rides with his mom, he’d make mix CDs of everything from Kanye West to Michael Jackson, and they’d listen to them together. It was with mom’s encouragement that he began actually building his own tracks.

He recalls, “It's funny, because one day my mom was like, ‘Why don’t you make your own beats?’ I'd never thought of it before, so she bought me Fruity Loops. From there, I just got hooked.”

He carved out a sizable local following in Maryland, slinging independent mixtapes and solidifying an online presence. Niles from the Cataracs actually stumbled upon his MySpace page and immediately became a fan. Their correspondence turned into a creative partnership and led to Carnage’s signing with Indie Pop.

One of his first projects under that banner was a tripped-out and captivating remix of Yuna’s “Live Your Life.” Soon, Tiësto began spinning the cut on his popular Club Life podcast, while Paul Oakenfold inserted it into regular rotation on his radio show, Planet Perfecto. Carnage began turning heads. His “Festival Trap” remix of Hardwell’s “Spaceman” soon exceeded 100k plays on SoundCloud, and he teamed up with Theophilus London and A$AP Rocky for the 2012 single “Big Spender,” and he coproduced the Cataracs’ “All You,” featuring Waka Flocka Flame and Kaskade.

Everything simply laid the groundwork for the release of his proper debut, “Bang,” on Fool’s Gold. It’s an incendiary instrumental with a big hip-hop bounce and a dubstep drop at just the right moment. “It's really massive,” he enthuses. “It's a rap record with a huge drop. You never hear that kind of climax in hip-hop or trap records. It’s the perfect introduction to who I am, because it touches on so many genres.”

The single’s B-side is a grimy and guttural gem that sees him collaborate with 15-year-old Chicago underground rap sensation Katie Got Bandz. It’s bound to get the internet going crazy.

There’s nothing quite like seeing Carnage live, though. Every show explodes, based off his hyperkinetic energy and formidable presence. He’s rocked stages at Nocturnal Wonderland, Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella and more, as well as performing alongside Borgore, A-Trak, the Cataracs, and countless others.

“I'm a big black guy who loves to rage,” he chuckles. “I'm not what you expect. I feed off the crowd and go for it.”

That’s why Carnage’s impact will be felt for a long time to come.

Cookie Monsta

DJ / Producer

Cookie Monsta aka Tony Cook is a producer and DJ from Nottingham, UK who represents the loud and grimy side of dubstep. “If you crave the downright nasty dubstep then Cookie Monsta’s your guy. Packing a recipe of face-slapping snares, ground shaking bass and eye gougingly dirty synths … his sound resembles that of a demonic bass-saw that easily lacerates the ear drums of all it encounters. www.headzwillrollnyc.com

As a child Tony spent hours on his brother’s Playstation creating sounds on Music 2000, this inspired him to study music technology for real at college. Always attracted to the dirtier sides of music, whatever the genre, he was caught off guard by Rusko’s upbeat style on hearing ‘FabricLive 37’ and became instantly hooked. He began to make dubstep-style tunes, random beats with a grime sound.

After rocking the place out with his first ever performance at a college end of year gig, the buzz he got was so amazing that he began to concentrate seriously on his music – and Cookie Monsta was born. His barbaric basslines and grimy style quickly started to generate interest, and soon he had hooked up with Flux Pavilion. Intrigued by Tony’s ability to create unique and mystifying noises, Flux invited him to join Circus Records, and Cookie Monsta officially entered the world of dubstep with his first release, ‘Ginger Pubes / Blurgh!’.

Since then Cookie has gone from strength to strength, pushed the boundaries of Dubstep and moved on into many other tempos of EDM. He has toured all over the world and is constantly in demand, his DJing is energetic and his tunes are all bangers.

All Cookie Monsta wants is to have a good time and he wants you to enjoy yourself too, so with world domination on his to-do list, watch for a visit to a town near you soon, join in, have a laugh and brock out.

Cyantific

DJ / Producer

Cyantific AKA Jon Stanley, has been at the forefront of drum and bass for over a decade. Known for devotion to his decks, pinpoint accuracy in the mix and his ability to construct dance floor anthems has seen Cyantific DJ around the globe.

In 2006, Cyantific released his debut album, ‘Ghetto Blaster’ on Hospital Records, and went onto win the BBC 1Xtra Best Newcomer DJ award in 2007. Releases followed on legendary labels like Critical and Ram.

In 2010, CYN Music was established where his skills both as a talent selector and solo producer shone through.

In December 2014, Cyantific signed exclusively with Viper Recordings, and made his debut with ‘Bring You Love’, followed by his #1 single ‘High Water Mark’, alongside his remix of Brookes Brothers – ‘Anthem’ which was selected on BBC 1Xtra’s “A” playlist.

In addition to that he has done official remixes for two UK Top 10 hits with Mike Mago & Dragonette’s ‘Outlines’ & Dr Kucho! & Gregor Salt’s ‘Cant Stop Playing’ (Makes Me High).
His latest single ‘Colour In Shadows’ feat Benji was premiered on Radio1xtra with Mistajam and is looking set to be a 2015 Summer Anthem with the B side dancefloor roller ‘No More Heroes’ smashing the beatport charts once again.

Just landing back from a headline tour of South Africa and with more high profile remixes in the pipeline there is a serious buzz around Cyantific right now.

Delta Heavy

DJ / Producer

Delta Heavy are the most exciting duo to hit dancefloors since Chase & Status and Nero, although if anything, their music is even harder and heavier, darker and more multi-textured. Having conquered the clubs, however, their newer tracks are becoming more song-oriented, pointing toward a debut album that will surely be hailed as one of the year’s best, designed to satisfy bass-heads and traditional music-heads alike.

Simon James and Ben Hall met at Nottingham University in 2003. They zeroed in on the city’s drum & bass scene, spearheaded by nights such as Detonate and clubs such as Stealth.

Si was the musical one with the background playing instruments, while Ben was the one with a penchant for sound engineering and a background as a DJ. It proved the perfect combination. After graduating, they wound their way back to London, where they both acquired computer software. “And,” recalls Si, “because both of us had the same interests in music, we thought we’d align our knowledge.”

After several years of hard graft, their debut release appeared on Viper’s acclaimed Acts of Mad Men compilation in June 2009. They had a cut on the Harry Brown soundtrack, followed by the anthemic “Abort” in June 2010, which received widespread recognition from the underground, as well as support from the mainstream. They signed to drum & bass mogul Andy C’s Ram, label home of Chase & Status and Sub Focus, establishing themselves as credible newcomers with “Space Time”/”Take the Stairs.” The former was nominated as Best Track at the 2010 Drum&BassArena Awards while earning Si and Ben nominations for Best Producer and Best Newcomer DJ.

They remixed Example, Avicii, Chase & Status ft. Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora and Nero, making Delta Heavy ones to seriously watch. Their next release, “Overkill”/”Hold Me,” confirmed their reputation as bass innovators, mixing extreme electronic noise with low-end frequencies, while acknowledging the need for a commercial imperative. The video to “Hold Me” received over a million views in a little over a week and daytime radio plays from Sara Cox, as well as specialist spins from Skream & Benga, Mistajam & Kissy Sell Out.

They spent the rest of 2011 DJing around the world, from Australia to USA and Canada, and releasing a splendid EP’s worth of music in 2012’s Down the Rabbit Hole.

They have released almost two dozen tracks since their inception, but Delta Heavy don’t consider that particularly prolific.

“We’ve gone for quality over quantity,” says Si, citing as an example the year’s gap between the release of their “Empire” single and 2014’s brutally energizing Apollo EP.

Of the many Delta Heavy releases, he nominates “Space Time” as a highlight, as well as “Hold Me,” “Get By” and “Empire.” He also rates highly their remix of Nero’s “Must Be the Feeling,” which has had nearly 7 million views on YouTube, and over 100,000 downloads on SoundCloud. “It was so different to anything we’ve done, and it really struck a chord with people, especially in America,” remarks Si of the Nero refit.

Si reveals how Delta Heavy’s tracks begin as simulations of “grand soundscapes with an epic movie vibe,” their song intros “based on theatrical trailers for films.” The tune to “End of Days,” for example, came from the score to Planet of the Apes. “There’s a visual side to our sounds,” he adds. “We imagine what it would be like to provide music for that kind of context, so that we—and other people—can get it, by visualising it as opposed to it just being for the dancefloor. That gives it an added meaning, an extra something that separates it from the rest.”

He agrees that Delta Heavy are inspired by sci-fi for their song concepts and sonics.

“Our early stuff, like “Abort” and “Space Time,” was very much space-themed, about intergalactic travel and all the different aspects of space in that,” he says. “And then more recently with Apollo, that has continued.”

Delta Heavy’s music lends itself to all manner of intriguing visualizations. “End of Days” has been used on computer game Gran Turismo, and their videos—notably, the stop-motion and cartoon animation ones for “Get By” and “Hold Me”—have helped cement their appeal (the former was even nominated in the Best Budget Dance Video category of the Video Music Awards).

“That video [for “Get By”] seemed to go viral and had a million hits in two days,” marvels Ben. “That seemed to open us up to a wider audience.”

Ben—who has been DJing since he was 14, when he would pore over his decks in his Eton tails—agrees with Si about Delta Heavy’s music being appropriate for high-impact visualization.

“I always describe our stuff as melodramatic,” he says. “People respond to the grand, epic intros, and then when the track drops it has a lot more impact. What effect does it have? The crowd goes wild.”

Delta Heavy—influenced as much by UK drum & bass as the recent explosion of dance music in the US—have truly international appeal. In fact, they recently submitted a track for inclusion on a Rihanna album and have already played to 20,000-capacity crowds in the States. But Si and Ben’s dream is for Delta Heavy to eventually make the transition from purveyors of club bangers to architects of a more song-based sonic assault.

“That’s the dream for everyone, selling out the 02,” decides Ben. “We feel like we’ve taken the dancefloor tracks to the limit. The next step is to craft tunes that are more song-based.

Delta Heavy—their name taken from a 2001 tour by progressive house duo Sasha & Digweed—are taking what Si correctly describes as “forward-thinking, impact-based electronic music with a twist” to the next level.

We’ve definitely been known as one of the heavier hitters of the game,” admits Si. “Now we’re going to expand on what we do. Our debut album will hopefully make that happen.”

Paul Lester
May 2014

DJ Snake

DJ / Producer

William Grigahcine, better known by his stage name DJ Snake, is a French DJ and producer mixing hip-hop and electronic music. He is a Grammy-nominated producer and artist who debuted in the international scene with singles “Bird Machine” and “Turn Down for What” in 2013. Bird Machine is a collaboration with fellow French act Alesia. The single was picked up by Mad Decent, a Los Angeles-based record label run by Diplo, and released in February 2013. In June 2013, DJ Snake was invited by Diplo to do a live mix on his radio show, Diplo & Friends, which airs on BBC Radio 1. DJ Snake is working on collaborations with Dillon Francis and Diplo, due out in 2014. He and Francis released “Get Low” on DJ Snake’s official YouTube page on February 10, 2014.

Early beginnings: In 2011, DJ Snake produced for Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way. This earned him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year in February 2012. DJ Snake was co-producer for the song “Government Hooker,” which was voted best song by Lady Gaga fans after the release of the album. This song was supposed to be released as a single before Interscope Records decided to stop the marketing of the album after its release. He remixed Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It,” Duck Sauce’s “It’s You” and Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt.” Junior Senior sampled Michael Jackson for the track “Move Your Feet”; DJ Snake remixed the song in 2013. In 2013, DJ Snake produced three song with Paul “DJ White Shadow” Blair on Lady Gaga’s album ARTPOP, including “Applause,” “Sexxx Dreams,” and “Do What U Want.”

In December 2013, “Turn Down for What” was released on Columbia Records. The song was featured in a commercial for the Sol Republic DECK, a wireless speaker, which aired in October 2013. “Turn Down for What” entered the top 10 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic chart during the last week of December. In January 2014, the single entered the top 5 on the Dance/Electronic chart and debuted No. 38 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song was certified gold in February 2014. The song moved to the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in April 2014. The music video for the single was released in March 2014.

Eptic

DJ / Producer

Having established himself in the bass scene in 2012 with 2 blistering EP’s ‘Like A Boss’ and ‘Slime City’ which caused serious damage in the Beatport Dubstep charts, reaching number 1 in the releases, Eptic burst into 2013 with the promise of further world domination. Now aged 20 and signed to Never Say Die Records, the Belgian wonder kid unleashed his first EP of the year ‘Mastermind’ in May – gaining widespread critical acclaim across the board, leading to his debut 3 week tour of the US. 

He found time to remix American heavyweight Datsik on ‘8 Bit Superhero’ and clock over 5 million YouTube views. Eptic’s other passion and natural flair for illustration has seen him create all EP artwork, including his forthcoming ‘Doom’ EP. This collection is a dark exploration of Eptic’s ever-developing ideas, featuring a collaboration with label mate Must Die! and a vibey house VIP from Habstrakt. He continues to storm through 2014, gathering DJ support and increasing his global fan base – a multi-faceted artist with no signs of slowing down.

Fallen

DJ / Producer

Flux Pavilion

DJ / Producer

Flux Pavilion’s polymath-like ability to involve himself in all aspects of music cannot be understated. Known as Joshua Steele to friends and family, Flux is a singer-songwriter, record producer and label owner who plays the drums, guitar, saxophone and piano. His achievements range from releasing his first vinyl at 19 years old to selling out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado twice, notching up a UK top 10 hit with Sway and having Kanye West & Jay Z sample his dance floor anthem ‘I Can’t Stop’ in addition to featuring in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJ’s 2015. Not bad for a guy who started out replaying jingles he’d heard on TV on his Casio keyboard.

Influenced by the likes of David Bowie, The Beatles and Frank Zappa in the early years, it was when he heard The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers that Flux Pavilion knew he had found a musical direction he truly wanted to explore for himself. A deluge of musical projects followed, writing instrumental hip hop and dirty drum & bass, joining local bands and producing for other acts all while studying at university. But the major turning point for this unquestionably talented musician was a visit to London superclub Fabric:

“I never went to clubs because I didn’t feel accepted into that scene; it felt too showy, too well-groomed. Then I saw Rusko play at Fabric and it changed my perception of everything. He was jumping around wearing a big cardboard hat shaped like a bird playing the most outrageous music I had ever heard. I loved it.”

From that day forth Flux Pavilion was destined to rise, first to the top of the dubstep scene, and then to the peak of electronic music the world over. His own label, Circus Records, started alongside childhood friend Doctor P with the backing of D&B pioneer DJ Swan-e and Earl Falconer of UB40, has been responsible for unleashing some of the most successful electronic music that the underground has to offer, launching the careers of scores of new talent in the process.

Meanwhile Flux’s own output has gone from strength to strength, having worked on a diverse selection of original tracks and collaborations with Childish Gambino, Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and Turin Brakes plus remixing for the likes of Skrillex, Jamiroquai, MIA and DJ Fresh. While most students are thinking about where to go on their gap year, Flux Pavilion was celebrating ‘I Can’t Stop’ being picked as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’ when at the time he was still living in student halls. Ever since, Flux’s music can now be found regularly cropping up in the playlists of MistaJam, Fearne Cotton and Eddy Temple Morris as well as drawing attention from Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Prodigy, Fat boy Slim and Christina Aguilera to name a few. Reaching new heights, Flux has recently been the first producer ever to be officially asked to remix the Star Wars theme song in what will surely be a highlight of his career to date.

The intervening years have seen Flux notch up three headline US tours, two headline UK tours, DJ sets at every festival worth mentioning – from Glastonbury to Reading, Coachella to EDC Vegas and beyond – plus live performances with Example, Foreign Beggars and Chiddy Bang. In that time Flux has continued to develop his signature sound, retaining the all-important energy that The Prodigy and Rusko inspired him with in the early days and undoubtedly inspiring a generation of electronic music producers of his own in the process.

Flux Pavilion’s debut album, “Tesla” is out now on Circus Records. 

Fransis Derelle

DJ / Producer

My name is Antuane Walker. I enjoy sushi, Naruto, One-Punch Man, and Game of Thrones. I also really suck at sports. I was a band geek for three years and played the trombone. I have been DJing for four years and producing for two. I got into music as a way to deal with depression and anxiety. Doing music-related activities was the only way that I felt normal for the longest time. I grew up on hip-hop but got into electronic music after attending my first rave in 2008. One song I can thank for my passion for electronic music is “I Remember” by deadmau5 & Kaskade. Every time I listen to that song, it reminds me of why I love the music that I do.

//

Hometown: Hill Air Force Base, UT
Currently Living: Seattle, WA
Origin of Name: I used to go by the name Tronik. After a while, I kind of grew out the name and wanted something different. At the time, I was working at a call center, and every day felt like I just wanted freedom from working a day job that I did not like. After doing a little bit of research, I found that the name Francis gave meaning to the word “free.” I decided to roll with the name and add my middle name, Derelle. I changed the “c” in Francis to an “s” so I didn’t get too confused with Dillon Francis, lol.
Weapon of Choice: Ableton and Monster Energy Drinks.
Source of Power: Kanye West, Skrillex, RL Grime, R&B, and anime.

What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Make it personal. Enter with a song and mix that honestly displays your style and shows the talent that you have to offer. Also, don’t give up if you lose. This is my fourth time entering. I admit, just like everything else, it does suck; but keep on pushing and perfecting your craft. You will get it down eventually.

Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
Yes, the moment when I was rushing to find people to pick up my shifts at work because I couldn’t stop working on the song. I am pretty sure I spent more hours on this song than any other project I have ever made. I really wanted to put a lot of detail in it to make it unique. In return, I missed out on a lot of money at work—so worth it, though.

Do you have any memorable moments from past EDCs or any other Insomniac party?
At EDC [Vegas] 2014, I was walking to Diplo’s set from kineticFIELD. As I reached his set, he was playing “Freak” by Deorro, Steve Aoki, and himself. I remember walking over the stairs and seeing the thousands of people dancing, everyone happy. That moment forever changed me. If I ever lack motivation, I just replay that in my head 1,000 times.

What is your ultimate career dream?
I just want to be able to roll out of bed in my underwear, turn on my laptop, open Ableton, and say I am at work.

What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
My iPod headphones. I literally do all of my mixing and mastering on them.

If we pressed shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
Either ‘NSYNC or Backstreet Boys. I still have both bands on my phone, because I will forever be stuck in the ‘90s. Justin Timberlake is a legend—just saying.

What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Genres dying. How can a genre die, anyway? There will always be people who listen to that genre; therefore it is still alive. Just because it’s not as popular as other types of music does not make it dead. We are only killing the love for music with the negativity.

Do you have a secret passion?
Final Fantasy. I think Final Fantasy 9 is one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Do you have a favorite all-time mix CD or series?
It’s a tie between Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor and Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon 2. These are some of the only albums I can listen to till this day and vibe with every song, start to finish.

FuntCase

DJ / Producer

FuntCase aka James Hazell is a producer and DJ from Bournemouth, UK. He is known for his raw and dirty sound, forging the way with his controversial ‘filthy’ style. “FuntCase produces sensory overload bass music that wobbles, womps and machine guns through your body, making you dance whether you want to or not.” www.brightonsource.co.uk

James first expressed his love of music through jamming with his schoolmates, taking his energetic and aggressive drumming style from death metal as well as being heavily influenced by happy hardcore and jungle, growing up to a background of Helter Skelter and Dreamscape mixtapes.

After hearing ‘Bandwagon Blues’ by Twisted Individual, James fell in love with the drum and bass sound and began to focus his talents on producing. Sharing his tracks with D&B radio stations led to the first recognition of his foot-thumping talents, under the alias DJ Dose he released for the first time in 2007.

In 2009 James began to dabble with producing dubstep, giving his tunes a big energy by incorporating the drum and bass layering technique into his dubstep sound. His first track ‘Make Our Day’ was quickly signed to 4:20 Records. And so began the raw sound that is FuntCase.

It wasn't long before FuntCase began trading tracks with Doctor P, and an offer soon followed to bring James into the Circus Records camp with the release of his famed track ‘So Vexed', with ‘Mattress Punch' on the flip, in 2010.

Since then the phenomenon has grown, FuntCase has become a legend of the DJ world. With an incredibly loyal fan base Funty is known world wide for working hard, playing hard, travelling hard - and DJing hard. Claw 4 Life yo.

G Jones

DJ / Producer

Habstrakt

DJ / Producer

Hailing from South of France, Adam a.k.a Habstrakt was a guitar and keys player before turning his mind onto samplers and grooveboxes. He first got into Trip-Hop and also wrote music for movies & theater, but in 2008 he discovered dubstep and drum n bass music, and immediately got involved in producing and DJing.

Three years later his tracks are welcomed by many established labels such as Dubsaw, Chateau Bruyant, Buygore or Never Say Die. The releases have instantly gained him huge support from some of the biggest names on the scene such as Flux Pavilion, Rusko & Datsik, amongst others. He’s now among those to follow closely with his long-awaited EP to be released on Never Say Die. It’s been a year now since he began touring as a DJ throughout Europe, always smashing the dancefloor with a tight and precise, yet energetic mix. So far in 2012, he seems unstoppable.

InsideInfo

DJ / Producer

One of the most unique producers in the game, InsideInfo ranks alongside some of the most respected producers in the drum & bass scene. With a back catalogue featuring releases on the most prestigious labels in DnB, such as Viper, Virus, Metro, Critical, Blu Mar Ten, Hospital, Renegade Hardware and Ganja-Tek, InsideInfo has built up an enviable reputation for delivering the most distinctive, twisted funk in all of bass music.

Kaskade

DJ / Producer

Having been through the trenches as an original recording artist, producer and in-demand DJ for more than a decade, American juggernaut Kaskade continues to be at the forefront of the dance music scene. Breaking down barriers and shattering records, he’s created a career of unprecedented milestones for himself and the industry: the first U.S. DJ to secure a Las Vegas residency, the first solo electronic dance artist to sell-out Barclays Center, as well as the first dance artist to sell-out Navy Pier and the Staples Center during his Freaks of Nature Tour, which was deemed “the only successful national stadium tour undertaken by a solo ‘EDM’ artist” by Billboard.

Most recently Kaskade returned to the iconic two-weekend Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth time, where he was the only electronic artist to take the main stage. In a historic achievement, Kaskade drew the two largest crowds the festival had ever seen in its storied sixteen-year existence.

Prior to kicking off Coachella, Kaskade released his much anticipated single, “Never Sleep Alone,” which premiered at #1 on Billboard's Trending 140 chart and is currently on iTunes Top 10 dance chart. Poised to become this year’s summer anthem, it’s rooted in contemporary house music fused with an explosive energy fit for any massive arena or festival.

Crowned by The New York Times as “the new face of electronic dance music,” Kaskade has laid the groundwork for a titanic musical and cultural shift: a post-rock electronic music revolution that has captured the imagination of a new generation of fans across North America. He received his fourth consecutive Grammy nomination for Best Remixed Recording for his edit of Galantis’ “Smile.” Previously, his eighth studio album Atmosphere scored him his second and third Grammy nominations for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica album. He received his first nomination for his double-album Fire & Ice, which debuted No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Album chart. With his unique creative prowess, the two-time “America’s Best DJ” title holder has created chart-topping remixes for everyone from Lana Del Rey to Beyoncé.

Along with taking the festival-circuit by storm, Kaskade performs to jam packed crowds all over the world at Wynn Las Vegas daylife and nightlife venues – Encore Beach Cub and XS Nightclub, where he has a multi-year exclusive residency deal. Wynn Las Vegas served as his first exclusive residency in Las Vegas at Encore Beach Club in 2010.

While he cut his teeth in nightclubs, today Kaskade’s live shows are arena-sized; a jaw-dropping spectacle that finds him performing in front of massive LED screens broadcasting evocative images synced with the music in meaning and tone, while strobe lights scan the crowd. “I'm trying to create an environment where you can lose yourself in these really big, grand, euphoric moments and to do that, there has to be a certain intensity.  We’re barraged with so much information in modern-day culture, and I want people to forget their worries and cares and be able to come together and celebrate life by hearing these songs that they love, with words that have touched them in a certain way. That’s what I’m trying to do at each and every show.”

The veteran superstar’s fan base speaks for itself with more than 1.5 million fans on Facebook, nearly 820,000 followers on Twitter and more than 26 million views combined on his YouTube channel. Kaskade continues to prove his dedication and loyalty to his fans by catering to them through his infamous Tumblr page, including #Askade, a Q&A that allows Kaskade lovers to ask him anything on a one-on-one level.   He made headlines during the premiere of the docu-film “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience” in Los Angeles after tweeting fans to join an intimate block-party festivity.  The “Kaskade effect” took thousands by storm; fans ignited the streets filling every inch of Hollywood Blvd in hopes to see and hear the icon perform. Due to the overwhelming turnout, Kaskade urged fans to peacefully clear the streets and they did so almost immediately. It was a true testament to the dance music guru’s far reaching influence.

Always evolving, he’s expanded his resume into the world of health and well-being. In May 2014, he kicked-off a series of fun-runs called The Spark Run, the ultimate high energy, family friendly nighttime 5K run/walk, which celebrates fun, health and originality. At its core, The Spark Run sets out to give back to the community by partnering with local charities and providing a portion of the events proceeds to the individual organizations. 

The former skateboarder has been known to show up at gigs in flip-flops, but that no way indicates how seriously he takes his music. “The first thing I think about when I make music is the melody and the lyrics. Production styles come and go, but good songs can stand the test of time.”

Kayoh

DJ / Producer

I think music has always been my biggest passion for as long as I can remember. It started with burning mix CDs, to stacking my iPod at max capacity, to learning to play guitar, bass and piano. I was taking a piano class in high school when I started experimenting with track-on-track recording and using the keyboard drum kit. I thought that this was something I could do; so my mom took me to Guitar Center, where I bought a copy of FL Studio, and I was instantly hooked. Making music, for me, is an everyday escape. It is kind of therapeutic. For me, it is a way to transfer my emotions and energy into something that lasts forever. My favorite is when people tell me that my music evoked a certain feeling or emotion within them. That is pretty special.

//

Hometown: Baltimore          
Currently Living: Baltimore
Origin of Name: Nothing too crazy behind it. My initials are K.O., and that was my producer name for quite some time until people were telling me that they could never find my tracks. There are a dozen other producers out there with the name K.O., so I decided to switch it up and make it my own!
Weapon of Choice: FL Studio 11, Sylenth, and some nice drum samples. I’m a drum kit hoarder.
Source of Power: ‘90s hip-hop and any weird electronic music that pushes boundaries!

What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
DO IT! JUST DO IT! DON’T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS! I entered two other Discovery Project competitions before winning this one. If you don’t win, don’t get discouraged. Keep at it, and hopefully you will get chosen for this amazing opportunity!

Are there any dots that connect where/how you grew up to your musical output?
Baltimore has a pretty awesome skateboarding scene, despite the harsh extremes of the summer and winter. Skateboarding grew my passion for hip-hop, and I discovered some legendary producers from that—J Dilla, 9th Wonder and Pete Rock, just to name a few. My musical productions started with sampling and hip-hop beats influenced by those guys.

What do your parents think of what you are doing?
I guess there is nothing really conventional about making a career out of music, and it will always hold a certain doubt. It still scares the hell out of me, but they have been extremely supportive, and they have realized that this is what I love and it is possible to make something out of it.

What’s the strangest part of your job? What makes you shake your head in wonderment about being a DJ and producer?
Having an aspiring producer message me and say that they look up to me or my productions is always the best feeling. I still fanboy over so many of my favorite producers, so to have someone message me and say that I’m an influence to them is pretty incredible!

What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ? Or what would people be surprised to find out about the profession?
DJs are often shunned by people outside of the electronic music scene, because they are believed to be replacing live musicians. A DJ, in my opinion, is a conductor of vibes, where the musical aspect goes back to the studio. A producer is 100 percent a musician and often does more, in the sense that they are not only writing their own chord progressions, laying down drums, and laying out a whole song, but they are also mixing and mastering (for the most part) their own music.

Do you have any memorable moments from past EDCs or any other Insomniac party?
Yes! Electric Forest the past two years has been incredible! Not only just the music, but walking around the forest at night is pretty much the coolest thing ever.

What is your ultimate career dream?
To be in a position to give back and to help aspiring producers—kind of like what Discovery Project is doing! So many amazing producers get swept under the radar, and SoundCloud reposts can only do so much.

What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
Yankee Candle. It sets the vibes and makes my studio space smell like winter pine. Always keep a scented candle on deck when making music—trust me.

Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with (from musicians to lighting and visual artists) in the future? Why specifically would you like to collaborate with them?
I could go on forever with producers I want to collaborate with, but my top three would probably be Porter Robinson, Skrillex and Mr. Carmack. They are kind of all on different ends of the spectrum, but they all have been able to develop a distinct sound while still venturing into different genres. When you hear a Skrillex production, you know it’s him right away, and I think that’s pretty cool.

If we pressed shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
“Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle—although I shouldn’t be embarrassed; it is one of the greatest songs ever made. I should start playing it out.

What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
Oh God, it was in a really weird, grungy warehouse in downtown Baltimore. There were maybe 30 people there, and close to half of them were my friends. I was nervous, but my friends danced their asses off, and we still had a great time.

What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
Work for yourself, and good things will come. Many people will promise you that they can do great things for you, but you can’t always rely on that. Keep working hard for yourself, and you will eventually catch a break!

Do you have a favorite all-time mix CD or series?
The Eric Prydz Beats One mixes have been on repeat since they started, and Soulection Radio is always great to listen to, as well. Shout-out to Eric Prydz; he’s a genius.

Have something you’d like to get off your chest that we didn’t ask you about?
People often ask me for advice for getting into DJing/electronic music productions. The best advice I can give is to focus on original productions and make music every single day. Just keep making music. There is no secret VST or DAW that can turn you into RL Grime. Just keep at it, and eventually things will click. It can get frustrating if you are not where you want to be as an artist, but you just have to keep working to break through that barrier. Don’t get lost in the sauce. 

MC Dino

Vocalist / MC

Colorado junglists know him as MC Dino, the infamous 8-year resident of Breakdown Thursdays at the Snake Pit, the nation's #1 Drum and Bass club night. The rock star emcee most notorious for his poetic genius with a microphone has commanded crowds at such well known and respected events as Cyberfest, Bassrush, Electric Daisy Carnival and countless other raves and festivals across the United States. Recognized for his high-energy lyrical prowess on the microphone, MC Dino is a crowd favorite on the mic and is an asset to any DJ he rhymes alongside.

Although Dino is not his given name, it is his preference and insists that the other is irrelevant. Though born in a small farming community in Northern Colorado, Dino spent time growing up in Mexico and various parts of California before returning to Colorado well over a decade ago. In high school he spent more time writing lyrics, songs, and practicing with bands in backyards than on his schoolwork. He began going to raves when he was 14, a time when raves were new and entirely underground. This exposure had great influence on him; electronic music provided a new medium and mode of tampering with instrumental sound. In this scene he also discovered jungle music and emceeing. Besides the obvious electronic movement that so dramatically shaped his personal musical efforts, Dino's other prominent influences include Prince, Roni Size and Santana. Exposure to these along with an upbringing encouraging all music is especially evident in his individual work, emceeing, and collaborations with Urban Aboriginee.

In 1997 he set out as an emcee and, inspired by the aggressive new sound jungle provided, used it as an outlet for the poetry streaming through his head. By this time he had already taught himself to dj and moved between rhyming and spinning, while continuing to write his own music. 1998 proved a year of reckoning and direction. He started performing regularly at the Snake Pit on a night then called Plastic Thursdays that offered techno one half of the night and jungle the other. During this period Dino gathered his musically-inclined cohorts and formed a solid group called Urban Aboriginee. The idea behind Urban Aboriginee was to promote the various but sometimes neglected talents (emceeing, DJing, producing, etc) of his intimate circle. The name alludes to modern day tribesmen surviving the streets of a concrete jungle (the city). Urban Aboriginee was recognized throughout Denver for its dedication to Jungle music. For five years, UA sponsored Kombat Battle, a party that allows young deejays and MC's to showcase their talent and provided an opportunity for up-and-comers to perform live in an actual party atmosphere. 

In 2004 Dino was introduced to Divine Elements through the drum n bass scene when he moved to Los Angeles. Fast forward 6 years of non stop MCing for some of the biggest names in the business and the biggest festivals and night clubs across the United States and we find Dino falling into the front man position with D.E. He ended up filling the void Divine Elements had long been waiting to fulfill with a front man MC. Dino was a fluid fit in the dynamic super group. He now is a consistent, positive force in an already solid musical group, touring and writing music with them all the time . 

During the for mentioned 6 year fast forward between 2004 and 2010, MC Dino has emceed for the greatest names in Drum and Bass, and Dubstep including Andy C, Shimon, Pendulum, Nero, Skrillex, Diesel Boy, AK1200, Dara, Bad Company, Mampi Swift, Teach Itch, and Craze, to name a few. Of course, he performs weekly and nationally as well as being featured on tracks produced by the likes of DJ Icee, Gridlok, Breakdown, Reidspeed, Divine Elements, and DJ Swamp. Other such accomplishments include co-creating Urban Aboriginee Records with his Partner Casey Bonse. Current works include on going production and live performance with Divine Elements, solo projects and audio engineering for various artists in the music community.

Megalodon

DJ / Producer

With millions of Soundcloud & YouTube plays, not to mention a string of Beatport Number 1's, Megalodon is no stranger to the dubstep scene.

Since 2008, the San Francisco based producer has seen ever growing demand, touring both North & South America, Australasia and Europe on a regular basis. Megalodon has collaborated with some of biggest and best names in bass music around today such as Zeds Dead, Skism, Habstrakt, 12th Planet, Virtual Riot, Bar9, Antiserum and has gained regular DJ support from major players like Skrillex, Datsik, Excision, Borgore, Skream, Benga and Hatcha to name a few.

No stranger to the spotlight, his music can often be found featured on some of the biggest music platforms around such as UKF, EDM.com, This Song Is Sick Rinse FM and the infamous BBC Radio1.

Now signed to the world-leading Never Say Die records, responsible for building the careers of A-list acts such as Zomboy, Skism, MUST DIE! and others, few can deny the momentum Megalodon has gained in recent years. His technical mixing style, alongside his dedication to making forward-thinking tracks with a hint of Dubstep's roots has helped to define him as a standout act, and definitely one to watch over the next year.

Mercer

DJ / Producer

There is a new generation of French DJs/Producers with international fame, Mercer is one of them. Hardwell first sensed a massive record in “Welcome to the Jungle” and signed it on his label.

Track produced with ALVARO featuring Lil Jon, that reached a Top 3 on Beatport and had 3 million views on YouTube. Renowned Spinnin Records spotted the talent and released two tracks: “Supreme” and “Turn It Up”.

Steve Aoki signed “Drop” straight away on DIM MAK, and the ball is rolling. Mercer has built up a proper image that suits him and obtains, in less than a year, full respect and support from Hardwell, Nicky Romero, ZEDD, David Guetta, Tommy Trash, Martin Garrix, Chuckie, Tiesto, Avicii, and Steve Angello, to name a few. You know the bet paid off when you get your tracks dropped in front of huge crowds in the middle of heavy sets at Ultra or Tomorrowland! In recent news, ZEDD just asked him for a remix of “Stay The Night”. Mercer’s dazzling ascent promises an impressive 2014! WATCH OUT!

Metrik

DJ / Producer

Tom Mundell a.k.a Metrik is a London based DJ / producer who has been blowing the scene to pieces with his euphoric, rave-inspired productions. Already clocking up a sizeable back catalogue of releases on labels such as Viper Recordings, Spearhead and Shogun Audio, he signed exclusively to Hospital Records in October 2012.

Known for impressing crowds across the UK, Europe and across the world with his peaktime dancefloor tunes featuring big hooks and catchy melodies, Metrik has certainly captured the imagination of many fans already and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the coming months and years. With diverse tastes ranging from Pryda to Incubus, Pink Floyd to The Prodigy, Metrik’s love of music doesn’t stop there. An avid fan of 80s music, film music as well as dance music across the board, his influences span house, techno, trance, rock, soul and classical.

Metrik’s first big break was in 2008, when he debuted with Your World (Instrinsic) which became an overnight liquid funk anthem although it wasn’t until the next release that he was catapulted into the spotlight when his track “Technicolour” gained Radio One support from Annie Mac and Zane Lowe and was also used as a sound bed for Barack Obama’s victory speech on Radio One. Following this came a slew of singles and EPs with notable releases including the sci-fi inspired “Between Worlds EP” (Viper, 2011) and notably the smash hit “Freefall” (Viper, 2012) as well as remixes of Prydz, John B, Camo & Krooked, Ayah Marar, Rockwell, DJ Fresh, Dirtyphonics and many more.

2013 was literally a non-stop year for Metrik with worldwide tours and the release of his self titled debut EP. This went on to be heavily supported by key players of the scene including Sub Focus, Mistajam, High Contrast & DJ Hype. The success of the EP led to great radio opportunities as he was asked to do the prestigious Radio One Essential Mix as part of the "future stars" series, took on a BBC Radio 1Xtra residency, covered for Crissy Criss and joined the BBC Introducing projects at Maida Vale studios.

Minnesota

DJ / Producer

Minnesota is one of the most innovative and proficient electronic producers to come out of the West Coast bass music movement. His sound breaks aways from the various subgenres of EDM but holds onto origins of dubstep and hip-hop, creating a truly authentic experience for his audience. Early on in his career Minnesota said, “My goal is to make bass heavy dubstep/glitch-hop music that’ll get you dancing, but it is not the same old three note transformer step… I try to focus more on the melodic side of dubstep, and hopefully, make quality songwriting a more relevant factor in the genre.” For the past four years Minnesota has followed through on his word and designed smooth, melodic, uplifting sounds, which fans have celebrated nationwide.

Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Christian Bauhofer moved to Santa Cruz, CA when he was 18 years old. Fresh out of the Midwest, his newfound California friends gave him the nickname ‘Minnesota,’ and unknowingly created his soon-to-be party crushing alter ego. He learned the guitar at age 12 and made numerous attempts to form a band, but it wasn’t until he attended Symbiosis Gathering for the first time in 2009 that his career in music became clear. The festival drew him into the emerging EDM culture with performances by Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and the Glitch Mob. Shortly after Symbiosis, Minnesota purchased Ableton Live and his first midi controller, and within a few months was making hip-hop remixes that his friends couldn’t stop playing. Around the same time, Minnesota teamed up with a couple friends and started a production company called Vital SC (now Vital Events). The company had a successful start, hosting a string shows around the Bay Area with big name artists. But Minnesota eventually split off from the promoting side of the industry in pursuit of his musical career—and today he couldn’t be happier with his decision.

Minnesota’s first EP, Panda Snatching Tycoon, came out on Tycho Records in January 2011. It received critical acclaim from a national audience, prompting Minnesota to drop his second official album, Ancient Machines EP, just months after. Released on Mal Label, Ancient Machines hit number nine on the Addictech.com best seller’s list for 2011 and every track appeared on the Beatport.com glitch-hop charts. During this time, Minnesota also managed to put out a free EP with MartyParty called Ultraviolet Halo that was released in July 2011. His fourth EP, Astral Projection, came out the following year and showcased his affinity for downtempo melodic ethereal sounds, which diversified his fan-base through hits like “Stardust,” and “Relax.” Minnesota’s fifth album, Altered States EP, has since been his most popular with tracks being played by DJs across the country. He describes the album as, “big room, melodic bangers,” with some, “faster tempo hip hop influenced stuff on it.” Minnesota’s most recent release Voyager EP resonates as a culmination of these projects, balancing his identifiable melodic synths with the bounce of 808’s. The album, fine-tuned with experience and precision, plays naturally in the evolution of Minnesota’s signature sound.

Now in his fourth year of touring, Minnesota has traveled to over 50 cities and performed at nearly every major festival nationwide. Last year he headlined his first two tours, and performed with the likes of STS9, Big Gigantic, MiMOSA and Gramatik. His music has been lauded by the likes of Bassnectar, Adventure Club, Paper Diamond and many others in his genre. Discussing Minnesota’s track “Push It,” Bassnectar once commented, “[It’s] quickly becoming a staple in my sets,” and “perfect for when I need a track that is epic and churning but also melodically hyped.” The support of Minnesota’s management team, agency, and some of the world’s greatest artists can only attribute to his hunger for more time spent on the road and in the studio. To those that haven’t had the opportunity to see Minnesota perform, make sure to be on the lookout for the next time he rolls into your city. To put it lightly, Minnesota is a name to watch.

Mob Tactics

DJ / Producer

Mob Tactics seem to be a name on people’s lips more and more of late. Already renowned for their inimitable style of techy – yet very funky, dancefloor orientated Drum & Bass, the duo appear to be going from strength-to-strength with each release. Their tunes are already firm staples in the sets of Andy C, Friction, Matrix & Futurebound, DJ Hype and Audio, to name but a few, and the demand for them on the DJ circuit is rapidly gaining momentum. Heavily influenced by the likes of Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company, Konflict and Total Science, you can always guarantee a Mob Tactics release or DJ set will be nothing short of high octane.

Luke and Mark first met in 2009, when Luke, who was running the music department at Chemical Records, signed some of Mark’s tunes to their in-house imprint: RUN DNB. After instantly hitting it off and realising their musical tastes were so similar, the two decided to hit the studio in early 2010. The first weekend at Mark’s studio they managed to create ‘Gunjack’ and the following weekend at Luke’s, they knocked out ‘Stick-up Kid’ – both of which went on to garner support from DJ Hype, Bailey & Crissy Criss, and were subsequently released a few months later on Traffic Music. Mob Tactics was born.

Fast forward a few years and the boys are in full swing. 2011/2012 saw several releases on the duos own imprint: Tactical Recordings – including the critically acclaimed ‘Kansas’ and a track for BTK’s Dutty Audio label entitled ‘Prang’. But it was 2013 that proved to be the most successful year to date. The dancehall tinged hit: ‘Crazy Hype’, featuring ragga legend, Elephant Man, was snapped up by Playaz. Their remix of Cause4Concern’s early 2000 anthem: ‘Soul’ went on to feature in the sets of just about every man and his dog! Prolix snatched up ‘Grotbags’ for his Trendkill imprint, and legendary Andy C signed up ‘Wolf Trap’ exclusively for the sixth installment of his hugely successful ‘Nightlife’ compilations. 

2014 saw no sign of slowing down with releases on Chase & Status’ MTA Records, including ‘The Answer EP’ and the single ‘Gasp For Breath’, along with tracks featured on UKF Bass Culture, Ram Records ‘Ram Miami’ and ‘Ram Life: Audio’ compilations. 

Now moving into the next chapter of their careers, Mob Tactics have signed exclusively to Futurebound’s Viper Recordings label with their debut single ‘Neon God’. Walking the fine line between uplifting and underground, ‘Neon God’ signals the exclusive and triumphant pairing of Viper Recordings and Mob Tactics which is going make a lot of noise, both figuratively and literally.

Nightstalker

DJ / Producer

With his flawless technique and signature style behind the decks, DJ Nightstalker is a name that has become synonymous with dancefloor mayhem and West Coast junglism. Having earned his stripes in the underground drum & bass scene of Los Angeles in the late 1990s, DJ Nightstalker’s role as a journalist and editor-at-large for Bassrush and Insomniac's ever-expanding empire continues to earn him immeasurable recognition and respect worldwide.

It was his early success as a music journalist for legendary mags like Knowledge (UK), URB, XLR8R, Rinse, ATM, Lotus, and even Vice that DJ Nightstalker credits with helping launch his own career as a heavy-hitting DJ in his own right. In the same way that the name Chris Muniz came to be seen as an expert in global bass culture, his pseudonym as DJ Nightstalker soon came to represent an unparalleled dancefloor experience that would soon propel him onto the national and international stage.

Originally paying his dues in the Los Angeles rave scene, DJ Nightstalker has fond memories of legendary L.A. underground venues like the Masterdome, La Casa, Shaolin Temple and the Stillwater Hotel. Even more important during these early years was the creation of his infamous Thursday night rinse-out Primordial on the now-defunct vibeflow.com. While it was definitely a space for local talent to represent, most heads tuned in to catch sets from the all-start cast of VIP players who would often drop by unannounced. Heavy-hitters like Pendulum, Klute, Photek, Panacea, DJ Rap, E-Sassin, and even non-d&b artists like John Tejada, Ron D. Core and Omar Santana would regularly roll through and flex their skills for the internet massive.

It wasn’t long until DJ Nightstalker found his own skills as a DJ in high demand, unleashing his infectious energy and signature blend of high intensity drum & bass on dancefloors as varied as the legendary Desert Sound Coalition parties in the Mojave Desert on through to Club Yellow in Tokyo, Japan. Having headlined all across the United States as well as rocked crowds alongside the likes of Goldie, Ed Rush & Optical, Tech Itch, Dylan, SS, Dillinja, Lemon D, Roni Size, Marcus Intalex, Trace, Paradox, Jumping Jack Frost, Black Sun Empire, Mampi Swift, Friction, Hive, and Gridlok, DJ Nightstalker continues to be remembered for pushing audiences to the breaking point and transforming an average night out into a high-energy, mind-bending journey.

Fast-forward to 2015 and DJ Nightstalker is in top form even as he balances his alter-ego as a doctoral candidate in a demanding PhD program. While he continues to seek out and profile the most talented artists across the planet in his role as scholar, writer, editor and journalist, the time has come for DJ Nightstalker to once again transform into that dark figure of the night, ready to unleash the beats that will have crowds bouncing off the walls and climbing up the speakers begging for more...

Oliver Heldens

DJ / Producer

At the mere age of 17, Oliver Heldens was signed to Spinnin’ Records, the most renowned label in dance music.  After years of practicing his passion, creating music in his own bedroom studio, his dreams became a reality when his track “Gecko” caught the attention of living legend Tiësto. He immediately fell in love with Oliver’s sound and decided to release it on his very own label, Musical Freedom. Now, several releases, remixes and #1 chart positions later, Oliver has become one of the most desired DJ’s in the world.

Oliver is praised for his innovation – his ability to create original ideas and melodies. His best melodies came to fruition while cycling home from school or while he was bored in the classroom; he always stood out from the rest.  With the release of his hit single “Gecko” in 2013, Oliver quickly attracted the biggest names in dance music including Tiësto, Hardwell and Sander van Doorn to name a few. These legends not only became his biggest supporters, but some have grown to be mentors as well. This endless support stimulated the young DJ to work extra hard in the studio and gave him the courage to persevere, to keep doing what he loves the most: creating new music.

“Gecko” reached the #1 spot in the UK chart and remained top 5 for six consecutive weeks.  With a #2 spot in Beatport’s top 100, it was one way of making a grand entrance. After six weeks, ‘Gecko’ remained top 5 in Beatport’s Main Chart and it held the #1 spot on the Deep House chart for over a month.  And his success story continues. After the success of ‘Gecko’ Oliver hit the top 5 of the UK Chart with the release of ‘Koala’ followed by collaborations with Sander van Doorn on “This” and Zeds Dead on “You Know” that claimed the #1 spot on Beatport’s Top 100 chart. After that he released solo productions, like “Melody” and “Bunnydance”, that have amassed well over 1 million plays on Soundcloud and YouTube.  With the release of “Shades of Grey” with Shaun Frank featuring Delaney Jane, he is on his way to achieving similar success as well. 

Heldens has an impressive list of venues and festivals he has performed the last few years. The list contains clubs like Amnesia Ibiza and Hakkasan Las Vegas and festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, Ultra Miami, Coachella, and Creamfields.  He has even established residencies at two of the most prestigious nightclubs in the world - Omnia in Las Vegas and Ushuaïa in Ibiza.  

Now just a few years after his first record deal, Heldens who was already named ‘Artist to Watch’ by Rolling Stone and is acclaimed for his funny social media accounts is more than just a hit maker. Beside the success of his releases and his charismatic shows he is also responsible for the success of Heldeep Radio. And if that’s not enough, he even added a new chapter to his story. Not only did he launch his own record label Heldeep Records, but he also revealed himself as the mystery producer HI-LO, who released his debut track ‘Crank It Up’ on Mad Decent. HI-LO is also responsible for the first release on Heldeep Records, with his second track ‘Renegade Mastah’. We can reinsure you that this 20-year-old has a long music career ahead of him and he will continue to bring a unique, refreshing sound that bridges the gap between EDM and the underground.

Pierce Fulton

DJ / Producer

There's not much to do in Vermont...Though the combination of cold weather and small isolated towns do force an extremely bored kid to get creative.

Now it's 1998, picture Pierce at 6 years old, sitting on a tiny guitar amp with similarly tiny guitar in hand, begging his parents and family friends for song requests. Long before his time as a DJ, he was pleasing crowds (though much older) with covers of all 60s-70s era classic rock, having no idea what kind of impact this would have later.

Fast forward a few years and those song requests turned suggestions of various genres and eventually different instruments. A quick ear helped him in first picking up the guitar as a child and later moving onto drums, piano, trombone and more. Pierce has always had this fascination for taking a concept from one instrument or genre and applying it to something new, an activity that would later define the core of his music.

Now with 15 years of classic rock, reggae, blues and even a bit of metal and classical music under his belt, you can imagine how strange Pierce’s first interaction with electronic music was. Somehow this small high school in Vermont was blessed with an incredible music department entirely run by two teachers, a husband and wife. One semester of Pierce's senior year involved back to back music theory and electronic music production classes and another course in music history. The electronic music course taught students the fundamentals of production programs, basic synthesis/sound design, and sampling in addition to studying the history of iconic electronic music from the likes of Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Frankie Knuckles, and more. It was a revelation having had no real exposure to this world, growing up in such seclusion, so far away from club culture.

Pierce made his first real breakthrough at the age of 18 with his first 3 track EP titled "Pardon My French". You may have seen the "making of" video where some pretty unconventional sounds were sampled and definitely turned some heads. With breakout singles including Where We Were, Runaway, Old Man & The Sea and most recently Kuaga as well as official remixes for artists ranging from The Killers to Above & Beyond, his style continues to evolve and love of experimentations doesn’t diminish. You may have also heard his downtempo and experimental productions such as 10/6 (That Should Do It), West Egg, As You Were, his remix for Mutemath and more recently his live version of Kuaga. 

Now 22 years old and based in Brooklyn, Pierce is still subject to the habits of his youth; bouncing between genres and instruments while simultaneously bringing all of these influences into the dance music he's known for. When he isn't out on the road, playing shows around the world, not too much has changed about those quiet, cozy nights spent in the studio.

Planet Rock

DJ / Producer

PLANET ROCK is the collaboration of Los Angeles' Dom Corleone & ASAA (aka NEOTOKYO). The turntablists-turned-beatsmiths explore the entire macrocosm of club music, from Jersey club drum patterns and Trillville-esque bed creaks to acidfueled, afterhours drum and bass. Each no stranger to the LA electronic music scene-they've received radio airplay from Diplo and have steadily increased both creativity and notoriety enough to win grand prize in Insomniac’s Discovery Contest, sending the duo to perform in Las Vegas at Electric Daisy Carnival. The two have played alongside acts such as Diplo, Dillon Francis, UZ, Huglife, Vindata, gLAdiator, GTA, CRNKN, Harvard Bass and more.

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We absolutely love hip hop and anything with heavy bass and that's why we came together as a duo. As solo artists you could hear different influences in our sound. Dom specializes in making high energy hip hop influenced 808 bass and Arthur (aka Neo Tokyo) specializes in making an inspirational future R&B 808 bass sound, so we were able to combine our powers together to bring people something that they can be really excited about. We really like making music because we are able to bring something to the world that makes us and our audience happy.

Home Town: Los Angeles
Currently Living: Los Angeles
Origin Of Name: From the popular song by Afrika Bambaataa, "Planet Rock" that pioneered the 808 bass dance music scene
Weapon of Choice: Internet
Source of Power: 2 Live Crew, DJ Premier, Buraka Som Sistema, Shy FX, DJ Qbert and A-Trak

What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
We can give people one piece of advice: just do your best and stay true to you.

Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
We felt that our track was starting to become really inspirational which inspired us to submit it because after all, EDC has been a very inspiring experience for anyone we’ve ever met whose gone.

Are there any dots to connect with where or how you grew up to your musical output?
We both grew up surrounded by hip hop whether it be a rapper with a DJ on stage, a DMC champion and everything in between. It also helps having parents involved in the funk generation.

What’s the strangest part of your job? What makes you shake your head in wonderment about being a DJ and producer?
A really weird thing about being a producer is that lots of people will really enjoy a song you’ve made that you don't particularly like. Even though you may not like the song, it’s really inspiring to hear words of encouragement on something you are questionable about.

Tell me about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
The most memorable would have to be playing at EDC this year. It was great seeing friends perform and when it was our time to shine seeing our crowd continuously grow over time. Looking at our friends genuinely happy for us made it such a dream come true.

Do you have any memorable moments from past EDC's or any other Insomniac party?
We were glad we were able to see DJ AM one last time in 2009. It was really amazing seeing him and Boys Noize doing their Michael Jackson tribute.

What is your ultimate career dream?
A Grammy would be awesome!

Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
It all depends on the vibe when producing. For DJing we always have something in mind but we usually look to see what the crowd is responding well to.

How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
You will never be able to live out your dreams if you can’t bring yourself to doing that, plain and simple.

Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
We would really love to collaborate with some like Feed Me because we really appreciate the artistry of sound design and we strive to one day becoming master Jedi in that field.

If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
We are very proud of our music collection, thank you.

What sound or noise do you love?
808 booms and chords

What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
The fact that popular music and electronic music are starting to go hand in hand. It has invited a whole new fusion of sounds that excites us about what we have in store for the future.

Do you have a secret passion?
Dom likes making pasta sauce and Arthur likes building speakers.

How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
We would show them a nuclear explosion going off.

What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
Our first DJ gig as Planet Rock was at the Key Club for a sold-out Dillon Francis show. We were a bit nervous because we had never played a show of that caliber. Despite our nervousness, the excitement had us pumped. The show was packed from wall to wall with everyone going nuts. This was the first time we were able to play out our first productions together and we were glad the crowd loved it.

Do you have a favorite all-time mixed CD or series?
Goldie's FabricLive 58

Winning Mix:

 
 

EDC Las Vegas set:

TC

DJ / Producer

There are few figures in electronic music who manage to combine commercial success with underground respectability. The Bristol-based producer and DJ known as TC is one such individual, utilising his talents to comfortably flit between remixing Number One artists and unleashing rave-razing bass-driven monsters pitched straight at the underground.

Sitting atop of an anthem-packed discography that includes some of the most memorable dancefloor tracks of modern times, and with remixes for the likes of Rihanna, Damian Marley & Nas and Tinie Tempah behind him, TC should need little introduction to any fan of bass-driven music.

First emerging with tracks for one of jungle/D&B’s most legendary labels, Dillinja’s Valve Recordings, it was the release of TC’s debut album ‘Evolution’ in 2007 that propelled the young producer to D&B’s top table. 

Packed with anthems such as the utterly unique ‘Deep’ featuring MC Jakes, ‘Jump’, ‘Rockstar’ and the enormous ‘Where’s My Money’ (famously remixed by Caspa), ‘Evolution’ earned TC the titles of ‘Breakthrough Producer’ and ‘Producer Of The Year’ at the BBC Radio 1Xtra Drum & Bass Awards, while catapulting him to the top of Radio One’s National Dance Chart and earning unprecedented radio support from everyone from Pete Tong and Jo Whiley to MAH and Zane Lowe, with the latter bestowing TC with highly regarded ‘Record Of The Week’ title on more than one occasion.

More than just another faceless DJ or studio-confined producer, early on TC broke convention by singing on many of his own tracks, and provided vocals for Pendulum’s debut album ‘Hold Your Colour’, a habit he continues to this day, having recently supplied vocals for Hospital starlets Camo & Krooked’s debut LP and the mighty Subfocus’ forthcoming second album.

After taking a short break from the spotlight, 2011 saw TC return to the raves and the airwaves in style, dropping one of the year’s biggest D&B bangers ‘Tap Ho’ Released through his own freshly launched record label, Don’t Play, the artistic freedom offered by being his own boss is already clearly paying dividends for TC.

“I’m not playing around anymore; I don’t want to do things by halves,” TC stated in a recent interview. “I think I’m at a stage now where I can choose my own path.” And with Don’t Play firing on all cylinders, a packed global DJ schedule and more massive tracks up his sleeve, TC is quite clearly on the right path.

Sleepy Tom

DJ / Producer

Sleepy Tom is Canada's latest homegrown talent putting a unique stamp on modern day dance music. After the Vancouver-based producer dropped The Currency, his firecracker of a debut EP on Fool's Gold, he became an in-demand remixer adding stomping club muscle to official releases for Diplo, Zeds Dead, Martin Solveig & other festival favourites. Sleepy Tom has since left an indelible mark on dance music with a string of highly anticipated releases, not to mention a non-stop stream of DJ mixes, bootlegs, and gigs worldwide. Stay woke!

TJR

DJ / Producer

TJR (real name TJ Rozdilsky) has built a formidable catalogue of original tracks and remixes since exploding on the scene in 2008. He’s the consummate DJ’s DJ and its clear that the mixing skills he’s honed over his career have never been more relevant; spinning, rolling and scratching live, TJR is a sight to behold behind the decks, especially in an era of pre-programmed playlists.

Known for his three Beatport overall #1’s with ‘Funky Vodka,’ ‘What’s Up Suckaz,’ and ‘Bounce Generation,’ his monstrous hit ‘Ode to Oi’ and the certified Platinum smash, ‘Don’t Stop The Party’ with Pitbull; TJR has become the master of the dance floor anthem. 

Moving to LA from Connecticut as a last ditch effort to avoid the corporate grind, he honed his skills behind the decks by constantly working at his craft. The hard work paid off and he found success in LA and San Diego, and from there the best parties and dance floors of the world beckoned.

Trippy Turtle

DJ / Producer

Trippy was born on a cold beach somewhere in northern europe. From an early age he was exposed to beautiful skinnydipping scandinavian women and rnb-music on wack boomblasters, influences you can still hear in his music today. And the charming young tortoise quickly became a true ladies turtle.

One warm summer night in the middle of mating season, Trippy was caught in a fishing net and came aboard a fishing boat from Jersey. Talking his way out of becoming a part of today’s stew, he became friends with the crazy chef Molly which fed him with all sorts of crazy things for her entertainment. It is widely believed that this caused the trippyness of young Trippy.

After many weeks, the fishing boat arrived in Jersey and our hero started his long journey to the other side of the street. On his journey he met many other cool party-animals and together they formed the infamous gang “FoFoFadi Foodchain”. Rumors are that our trippy turtle had terrible pronounciation and the gang was originally called “No More Sardines”.

One day it all changed… Trippy got into a fight with Disco Duck and Disco tossed him into a wall. The sounds the shell made shocked the whole crew. Turtle immediatly called his mother and she confessed his long lost father Roland was indeed… an 808. With his new found roots, Trippy told his friends and family that he wanted to do music. And so he did.

The gang scraped together all the sardines they could get their hands on and traded them for an old squeeky macbook. They now take turns throwing Trippy at the macbook and record the outcome.

Truth

DJ / Producer

Sonic architects of songs with an emotional heft as heavy as the subwoofer rupturing basslines that underpin their work, Truth are one of New Zealand's finest creative exports. Respected across the globe, since inception several years ago, Truth (Andre Fernandez and Tristan Roake) have, as both world-class producers and party-rocking DJs, cut a clear pathway through the international dubstep scene.

On the nightclub and festival circuits, the fruits of their labor have included, several European tours, countless shows across the USA, New Zealand and Australia, a massive South American tour, and shows in Asia. Truth has built this performance presence through DJ support from Mala, Skream, Youngsta, Hatcha and N-Type, to name a few, giving their music an advance presence at key club nights like DMZ in London, Club Love in New York and through seminal radio stations such as BBC Radio One, Kiss Fm and Rinse FM.

Through keynote DJ support, they have been rewarded with single releases via Deep Medi Muzik, Tempa Records, Wheel and Deal, Blackbox Recs, Aquatic Lab, Disfigured Dubz, Argon and Boka Records. Through these, including critically 'The Fatman' (as released via Deep Medi Muzik) and their acclaimed Aquatic Lab released album Puppets, Truth have seen their stock rise, placing them as in-demand remixers and collaborators to The Nextmen, Miss Dynamite, Shapeshifter, The Black Seeds, Silkie, Kromestar, Tunndige, Datsik and countless figures of note within the international dubstep community.

Acclaimed by critics both within and outside the dubstep scene, their momentum is undeniable and impossible to ignore. Face the truth or get well outta the way.

What So Not

DJ / Producer

Yellow Claw

DJ / Producer

What started as a way of exploring the gap between Hip Hop and EDM turned out to be a successful concept at the night club Jimmy Woo in Amsterdam and developed into one of the most surprisingly refreshing DJ projects the world has seen in a while. A big part of the Yellow Claw success are their all round trademark skills, interaction with the audience, their music video’s, a clothing line, their own record label and a sound that crosses boundaries and mixes up genres.

With several hits in the Dutch Top 40 and a number one ranking with their remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Jah No Partial’ on Hype Machine they were set to conquer the rest of the world. Yellow Claw’s humongous number of followers on Soundcloud, 250K, and their track give-aways have led into two EP releases on Mad Decent and one EP release on Steve Aoki’s label Dim Mak. Beside these successful EP releases they released several singles on Spinnin’ Records including ‘Shotgun’ which raised over 40 million views within a year and gained the gold status. Quite some impressive collabs with their favorite artists followed, they have worked with Diplo, DJ Snake, Flosstradamus and Skrillex, just to name a few. Yellow Claw also produced several official remixes for artists such as Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Showtek and Iggy Azalea.

The past twelve months Yellow Claw toured all around the globe, playing primetime gigs on the biggest stages like EDC Vegas, Tomorrowland and mainstage Mysteryland. In between this exploding gig schedule they also managed to set up their own highly popular clothing line in cooperation with streetwear label Daily Paper, ‘Blood for Mercy’. In May 2014, they inaugurated their own record label, called Barong Family. Playing alongside Diplo and Skrillex at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve has probably been the best way to end 2014.

With that being said, 2015 will definitely turn out even more successful with a highly anticipated album scheduled and lots of tours and festivals already confirmed. 

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