Dance music has always loved a bit of mystery. So when a masked producer going by the name GOLDEN FEATURES arrived out of nowhere to deliver one of the biggest debut EPs of the decade, people paid attention. Two years later, Sydney producer Tom Stell isn’t afraid to reveal who’s behind the mask — and with an album on the way, he’s about to reach new heights.
It was only February 2014 when Golden Features first took the Australian dance scene by storm, after triple j host Lewi McKirdy dropped the dark, driving four-track EP on his primetime show. Hype quickly kicked into overdrive, with tens of thousands listening to the EP on SoundCloud and tastemaker media jumping on board, dubbing Golden Features Australia’s next dance superstar.
Even huge international artists like Porter Robinson were fast fans of the Golden Features sound — the U.S. star declared the debut EP “awesome” and tapped Stell for an official remix of his track “Years of War,” which clocked up over 1 million plays in just a fortnight. Then inthemix chose Golden Features as one of their top 25 producers of the season, MTV named him a top artist to watch and international media from the United States to South Africa featured him in pieces.
But no one was a bigger fan than triple j. By the end of 2014, lead single “Tell Me” had become the station’s 25th most played track of the year.
In mid-2015 Golden Features kept the magic coming with his second EP XXIV, led by the haunting single “No One” with Thelma Plum on vocals. “No One” was quickly put on high rotation by triple j and later placed in the station’s coveted Hottest 100, while over on the iTunes charts, the EP went all the way to #1.
From there, Golden Features was on the fast-track to the top: his sold-out Australian tour saw him sell over 10,500 hard tickets across six shows and bring internationals The M Machine to the country as headline support. He then flew over to the North America to play leading festivals HARD Summer, CRSSD and Holy Ship, before joining Alison Wonderland on her bus tour across the U.S. No wonder, then, Spotify named him one of their “Artists to Watch” for 2016.
With a big international profile and his huge fanbase hanging out for more, this year is all about getting in the studio. After he plays his biggest show yet at Splendour in the Grass in July, Golden Features will be devoting the remainder of 2016 to finishing his debut album, a release certain to be an earth-shaker.