77% of Aspiring DJs Lack Industry Connections—Beatport and Miller's Ambitious Series Is Throwing a Lifeline

It’s easy to feel lost in a sea of aspiring DJs these days—but unrecognized doesn’t have to mean unheard.

That’s the core tenet of “Miller Mix,” a new initiative launched by the iconic Miller brewing company in collaboration with Beatport, who are working to cultivate the global electronic dance music community under an ambitious contest and event series.

“Industry connections,” that elusive phrase, seems like an insurmountable wall for countless DJs. After all, it’s 2024, a time when gifted artists toil in obscurity while major labels sign record deals with non-musician TikTok creators who have only used microphones to seek out men in finance.

77% of emerging creatives cite a “lack of industry connections” as a major barrier to entry into the music industry, according to a study from Youth Music. The stage lights are calling, but the path seems impossible.

The plight of the independent artist is embedded in the DNA of Beatport, who recently launched a first-of-its-kind playlist to spotlight promising dance music producers without access to the big-budget backing of a major label. By providing a platform for these hidden talents alongside Miller, they’re ensuring the future of EDM stays exciting, innovative and full of flavor—much like a perfectly chilled draft beer on a hot summer night.

“Empowering music producers and DJs worldwide has always been at the core of Beatport,” said Ed Hill, SVP of Beatport Media Services. “This collaboration with Miller will provide a nurturing space for talent to flourish, fostering connections and opportunities essential for success in today’s ever-evolving industry.”

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Initiatives like “Miller Mix” are vital for rave culture, disrupting the insular cycle of the same familiar acts that annually appear on the lineups of commercialized EDM festivals. A platform for the unheard to become the headliners, it’s a middle finger to the formulaic nature of the moth-eaten “DJ contest.”

For the winners of the inventive “Miller Mix” contest, it could prove a life-changing springboard for their careers. After DJs and producers submit their music, winners are selected by a panel comprising the tour’s headlining artists as well as members of the teams behind Miller Genuine Draft and Beatport’s curation arm. Votes from the community will also factor into the decision.

The winners will secure a coveted DJ set at one of six international events, joining influential electronic music acts like Giolì & Assia, Argy and Lilly Palmer. They’ll also receive a robust package, valued at €5,000, containing access to music production software and exclusive educational workshops in support of their career development.

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The “Miller Mix” tour spans six territories: Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Australia and South Africa. Following each local event, Miller will launch a bespoke cultural docuseries “telling the unique stories of local artists and city residents.”

YOZÉ, a blossoming techno producer out of Istanbul, recently came out on top of the Turkish leg of the competition, a triumph she called “an incredible milestone in [her] journey.” She ultimately threw down a momentous hometown set at the Volkswagen Arena before Palmer, who in 2023 was named one of EDM.com‘s best music producers of the year.

“Creating a unique techno track out of the interesting samples we were given was my goal and I’m super happy that it led me to win the competition,” YOZÉ tells EDM.com. “This was a wonderful opportunity that has fueled my passion even more, and I hope it inspires other young artists like myself to pursue their dreams with determination and creativity. And never stop believing!”

“We were thrilled to kick off the first event of the Miller series,” Hill added. “Staying true to our core aim of supporting music producers and DJs, it was inspiring to see YOZÉ, the competition winner from Turkey, perform alongside the iconic artist Lily Palmer.”

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Reflecting on Istanbul’s club culture, Asena Hayal, a DJ and member of the Turkish dance music collective Noh Radio, said the scene has transformed immensely through the years.

“When I look at the club culture process in Istanbul from the past to now, I see that it has undergone constant transformation due to political and economic conditions,” she explains. “In geographies like Turkey, where oppression prevails, clubs emerge as platforms of solidarity. I see Istanbul’s underground club culture as a platform for people who have come together through music, who stand in solidarity with each other, who can express themselves collectively, and who can be themselves in safe spaces.”

“I am discussing this by excluding mainstream clubs. Particularly in the Beyoğlu area, spaces are opening up safe areas for groups marginalized and ostracized by society. Among these, we can mention the projects Noh Radio and Noh Extended, in which I am also involved. It is a space that shows sensitivity to this balance, not only for LGBT+ producers and DJs but also regarding their teams and beyond. I also find the relationship Noh Radio has established with the street important. It can be interpreted as a democratic space where individuals from different classes can come together and communicate. It’s important to have the support of the Miller/Beatport docuseries to highlight the stories from these spaces.”

You can keep a pulse on “Miller Mix” here.

From Australia to the World, NEOTEK Has Big Plans In Bass Music

Blending gritty bass music with a distinct, cyberpunk-inspired aesthetic, NEOTEK is positioning himself as bass music’s next emerging star.

Since launching his career back in 2021 with “Losing Control,” a sinister midtempo anthem, the Australian DJ and producer has been consistently gaining momentum, receiving support from a slew of major artists and signing his tracks to key labels.

NEOTEK was already experimenting with music production by the age of 15, developing a unique sound that EDM fans would ultimately hear at massive festivals and venues such as Red Rocks, EDC, Okeechobee and Lost Lands. He’s also now amassed over four million collective streams on Spotify to date.

NEOTEK’s melodic bass cover of The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” marked his first major success just a year after he debuted, followed by “Bone Breaker” alongside Australian dubstep star SIPPY, which was released via Zeds Dead’s Deadbeats. That track exposed NEOTEK to a brand-new audience and led to releases on Excision’s Subsidia and Black Tiger Sex Machine’s Kannibalen Records.

His tunes are just as fitting for the stage, as he’s rinsed them on major festivals and venues all across Australia. NEOTEK is also a passionate educator, teaching the ins and outs of music production to roughly 15 students every week while being associated with the artist growth company Industry Set.

NEOTEK’s latest single “Virtualise” is out now via Create Music Group. Check out the track below and find it on streaming platforms here.

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Regenerative Raving: Learning How to Optimize the Human Experience at the 2024 Biohacking Conference

If you’ve ever been to a conference, you know that the days are painfully long, the rooms are lackluster and there’s an overload of redundant information. Biohacking Conference, however, doesn’t fit that bill.

Presented from May 30th to June 1st by Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, who is revered as the “father of biohacking,” the conference united thousands in Dallas to explore the depths of their own longevity and human optimization.

What is biohacking, exactly?

“Biohacking is about taking control of your own biology, using science, data and technology to upgrade your health and performance,” Asprey explained matter-of-factly.

While “biohacking” may seem like a vague buzzword these days, it carries much more weight than one. Its underlying goal is to maximize the human experience by implementing long-term practices which, over time, yield positive results for our overall wellbeing—or, as Asprey puts it, “to become the CEOs” of our own health.

Whether you’re far along on your wellness journey—you wear blue light glasses, cold-plunge, utilize feedback technology—or you’re new to the biohacking movement, there’s a lot to learn.

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How does biohacking relate to raving?

Take a second to think about the last EDM show or festival you attended. Every event includes an abundance of lights, sounds and movement all melding into a breakneck, highly stimulating experience. Opting to add stimulants or depressors—as so many ravers often do—makes for a potentially straining evening on your system, leaving you depleted long-term.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. You can biohack all of the above.

Lights and Sounds

Whether you’re sweating the night away at an underground warehouse party or raving under the electric sky of the EDC Las Vegas festival, light and sound are in excess at electronic dance music events.

While you may enjoy the barrage of lasers cascading across your retinas and the bass drops rattling you to your core, exposure to these stimuli for prolonged periods of time can cause irreversible damage to your eyes and ears. But there’s a simple hack for that.

Human Connection

How does one optimize human connection while raving? To start with, energetics are everything. If you’re being negative, it’s more likely than not you’ll experience negative interactions.

Or let’s say you’re a highly-stimulated person by default. Large crowds and an excess of energy in the festival space can be overwhelming. Biohacking offers strategies to shift these frequencies.

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Stimulants and Depressors

Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk stimulants and depressors. While alcohol and substances have long been inextricably linked with the EDM scene, consumption often results in suboptimal long-term affects even though they seem desirable in the moment.

During an informative talk dubbed “The Sober Curious Revolution: Redefining the Art of Sobriety with Clarigenics and Non-Alcoholic Rituals,” Cameron George explained that whenever we choose to alter our state, we are relieving ourselves in the interim but causing negative effects to fester and take shape later on. George likened it to “putting yourself into debt.”

Not only is partying in that manner expensive, but it’s also harmful to your body and unsustainable. It’s a means of altering your emotional and mental state by masking.

Hacks for Regenerative Raving

Do you want to rave ’til the grave like this woman?

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Biohacking for ravers (of any age) is all about making conscious decisions that align you with who you strive to be in the long-term so you don’t succumb to short-term pleasures, which result in long-term pain both physically and mentally.

Hack: Lights and Sounds

When it comes to combating the effects of an excess of lights and sounds, there are simple solutions.

Whenever you attend an event with loud and potentially damaging music, just use ear protection. A study conducted by EDM.com last year indicated that 49% of concert attendees do not use ear protection at shows; it’s a simple but vital hack to prolong your hearing. And to protect yourself from lights, simply bring a pair of shades.

Hack: Human Connection

At a music festival, the potential for human connection is literally all around you. If you’re in a negative state of mind as mentioned above, there are practices you can adopt to shift your mental state naturally. One is mindfulness. Look around you and take in where you are, notice that your life indeed doesn’t suck, then express sincere gratitude.

If you require more of a physical tool to help balance your energy and boost performance, Leela Quantum Tech assists in optimizing energy levels. The WAVwatch is another unique way to shift your ability to connect, as this device biohacks our internal state using frequencies.

If you’re feeling overstimulated, one simple yet effective solution is to breathe. Taking full, deep breaths will help regulate your system and can bring you back to a calmed state. You can also use essential oils such as lavender and ylang-ylang to soothe the senses.

Meditation is another overlooked hack for optimizing your ability to connect. During his talk at the Biohacking Conference, Dr. Joe Dispenza stated that “meditation means to be familiar with.” By making space between your thoughts, you become familiar with your sense of self and connect better with others too.

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Hack: Stimulants and Depressors

“We are drawn to altered states of consciousness as a means to seek safety, clarity, pleasure and meaning in our lives,” George explained.

All things considered, it’s not our fault that we’ve been programmed to believe that after a long day of work, we deserve a beer or a glass of wine. And at social gatherings, we drink because it helps us connect. But is that really true? After all of those drinks, is that really you?

Even chart-topping artists such as Sophie Hawley-Weld, one half of the Grammy-nominated duo Sofi Tukker, speak openly about sobriety. In a conversation about their launch of Novo Fogo, a non-alcoholic Cachaça brand, she said she believes most people would be better off consuming less alcohol or knowing that they don’t have to drink.

“Some people won’t go to the concert because they’re like, ‘Well, I don’t want to drink tonight,'” Hawley-Weld said. “Figure out how to enjoy it without the alcohol… that will unlock a whole other part of yourself.”

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As you continue down the health and wellness path, you may also find a shift in the types of shows you choose to attend. Did you know there are substance-free events that feel like a rave, but wherein everyone is clear-minded? These often are devoid cellphones as well, ensuring all in attendance are fully present.

Following the Biohacking Conference, EDM.com caught up with Pavel Stuchlik, a conscious DJ, music producer and breathwork instructor at the helm of his own spiritual wellness events company, NOA|AON, which produces transformational retreats around the globe.

“What we are doing is providing an alternative route for those who are done with that [drug-centered] way of [raving],” said Stuchlik, who instead prefers to provide “a way to still socialize and experience the love for music, but without all of the side effects.”

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There are many ways to alter your state of consciousness that don’t involve indulging in harmful substances. Strategies for hyper-sobriety include Clarigenic Elixers, Brain and Body Optimization, Mindfulness and Neural Retraining, Health-Centric Human Connection, Creative Expression and Goal-Oriented Challenges.

Implementing these hacks into your raving regime will ensure you are regenerating and not depleting with each imminent event.

Asprey’s annual Biohacking Conference returns May 28-30, 2025 in Austin, Texas. If you’re interested in learning more about the summit and its namesake, navigate here.

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WeHo's 2024 OUTLOUD Music Festival Was a Glimpse Into the Future of Pride Events

From where I stood, the crowd gathered at West Hollywood Park resembled a gentle technicolor wave emerging from a horizon. I was a part of that crowd moments prior, riding the wave, merrily singing and dancing along to one of dance-pop’s most iconic artists.

As I pulled myself away from that spirited crowd, I found myself under a multicolored tree. And it was there, beneath the twinkling lights, watching the audience so carefree and full of life, that I came to a humbling realization: it wasn’t that long ago that we as queer people were not allowed to celebrate in this fashion.

When discussing the emergence of the gay rights movement, the Stonewall Riots of 1969 are considered to be the spark that lit the fuse. The series of demonstrations against the police raiding of a New York City gay bar were a direct response to the oppression faced by LGBT citizens at the time. The anniversary of the riots was marked by marches across major American cities, thus ushering in the modern-day gay pride parades.

Half a century later, Pride events have transformed from political calls for action to utopias celebrating everything queer, from self-expression to sexual freedom. This transformation continues into the 2020s, as evidenced by the recent addition of multi-day music festivals centered around pride.

“I think that it has been an evolution,” Jeff Consoletti, CEO and Founder of OUTLOUD Music Festival, tells EDM.com. “You have to educate young people of where pride originated from, what Stonewall means, who these pioneers of LGBT history are, and why we have a Pride march.”

Cyndi Lauper performing at WeHo Pride 2024.

Jon Viscott

Consoletti created OUTLOUD in 2020 as an online platform for queer artists to showcase their talents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project has now grown into a full-fledged music festival, partnering with the city of West Hollywood as its flagship WeHo Pride event.

“We want to be the epicenter of queer music, introducing rising artists with established acts that have a track record of servicing the LGBT community,” Consoletti explains. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that every artist on our bill has to be queer, as we gladly welcome allied artists that have been championing voices in our community for years.”

As an independent producer, Consoletti emphasized the importance of embracing the diverse range of talented musicians found within queer spaces. And with electronic music having strong ties with the queer and Black communities, Consoletti knew he had to include dance music in the mix.

“You can’t do any show these days without an electronic component,” Consoletti adds. “This was one of our biggest DJ-driven lineups we’ve ever put together.”

“Big” was an understatement. Over a three-day period, West Hollywood Park transformed into a haven for dance music enthusiasts. Beginning on Friday night, audiences were transported to electro-nirvana by way of 2010’s dance party girl, Kesha.

Kesha performing at the 2024 OUTLOUD Music Festival.

Steven On The Scene

Things kicked into high gear on Saturday as Yaeji, Channel Tres, Purple Disco Machine and EDM.com Class of 2022 alumni Kaleena Zanders energized crowds across both OUTLOUD’s mainstage and the Summertramp-hosted stage.

Come Sunday, spirits were high as the post-Pride parade crowds emerged from the street party on Santa Monica Boulevard and flooded into the festival grounds.

On the mainstage, drag queen-turned-star DJ Trixie Mattel spun a mix of house music heaters, followed by Ashnikko and Big Freedia, who perfectly complimented each other with their dynamic performances.

Trixie Mattel performing at the 2024 OUTLOUD Music Festival.

Naz Massaro

Over on the sweltering Summertramp stage, Kiesza animated the dancefloor as she performed tracks off her latest album, Dancing and Crying: Vol. 1. The Canadian electro-pop songstress, who recently emerged from a hiatus after a severe car accident, emphasized how her road to recovery inspired her latest project.

“I sustained a brutal brain injury from a car crash in 2017,” Kiesza told us onsite at OUTLOUD. “I’ve turned a corner now where I’m going to be able to come back to the dance scene. I’ve been a dancer my whole life and having lost that side of myself was truly tragic.”

Kiesza’s love for dance was most apparent in the timeless music video for her 2014 debut single, “Hideaway”. The video, which sees her dancing through the busy streets of New York, was shot in a single take and has amassed over half a billion views on YouTube.

“I want my music to encourage people to be okay with who they are inside… if you know who you are, make that louder,” Kiesza says. “Express that. Throw it out into the world. Even if people don’t accept you, don’t stop being you. We will all find each other eventually.”

Kiesza wrapped up her WeHo Pride appearance with a performance of  “Hideaway” before leaving a note of encouragement to the gay community, with whom she has strong ties.

“I know we’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot left to do,” she asserts. “I want to be in the forefront to help push that in the right direction.”

The Summertramp stage was also host to another dance music diva, the house music vocal legend Crystal Waters. The iconic singer-songwriter put on a spectacle as she belted out her classic 90s hits “Gypsy Woman,” “100% Pure Love” and “Destination Calabria.”

As Waters’ dynamic performance came to a close, the pulsating beats of electronica prevailed well into the evening. DJ Holographic, Hot Chip and Josh Peace took to the stage and aided in keeping the Summertramp faithful hot and steamy all night.

Back on the mainstage, the surge of energy emanating from the crowd only grew bigger as Diplo took to the decks. Blending together gay anthems and techno hits, he activated the audience, turning them into ravers for the evening.

Diplo and Bebe Rexha performing at the 2024 OUTLOUD Music Festival.

Naz Massaro

After Diplo’s heart-pounding performance, which included a surprise appearance by Bebe Rexha), West Hollywood was treated to an unforgettable spectacle of a show by OUTLOUD’s top-billed headliner, Kylie Minogue, a dyed-in-the-wool queer icon in her own right.

Minogue’s influence on dance music is undeniable. Everywhere you turned, audience members were singing and dancing along to hits like “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” “Love at First Sight,” “Get Out of My Way” and, of course, last year’s runaway hit, “Padam Padam.”

Kylie Minogue performing at the 2024 OUTLOUD Music Festival.

Jon Viscott

Back under that rainbow-colored tree, I watched as the happy-go-lucky, free-spirited crowd abandoned the dancefloor and dissipated into the street party behind me. But the gravity of the moment wasn’t lost on me—I knew that despite all the progress for our community, the fight continues.

As for OUTLOUD Music Festival, Consoletti and his team managed to create an inclusive safe haven for music lovers of all genres. The event was the highlight of WeHo Pride and delivered on its mission to bring queer artists and allies together in celebrating the LGBT community.

“My relationship with the city of West Hollywood is incredibly important to me,” Consoletti said. “There’s no other municipality that will go all out for the queer community. So in terms of OUTLOUD at WeHo Pride, this show is not going anywhere.”

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From Predicting the Future to Reuniting With Lost Loved Ones, Zingara Channels a Life of Phenomena in “The Code of Dreamz”

If music is a lens into an artist’s mind, Zingara‘s debut album is a portal to her conscious, subconscious and what exists in between. The Code of Dreamz sonically translates a life of peculiar occurrences.

“There was a huge tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan…” Zingara tells EDM.com. “It’s one of the biggest in history. The night before it happened—I was a kid and didn’t know how to spell ‘tsunami’—I had a dream with the ocean and saw it. I basically lived through it from a woman’s perspective. I woke up and thought, ‘That felt really real. What the frick was that?'”

“I went online and a giant tsunami had just hit Japan.”

Zingara claims her vision relating to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami—the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s history and the fourth most powerful earthquake recorded in human history—was among her early foresight of future events, including the deaths of loved ones.

“I never know what to say because before it happens you sound crazy and you sound crazier when it does happen,” Zingara says. “So I just write it down and keep note of it.”

Zingara dreamed vividly from a young age. Her aunt took an interest in her vibrant relationship with her subconscious and taught her about spirits, tarot cards, oracles, astrology and witchcraft. It’s these lessons that nurtured a seed of spirituality, which later became the fabric of her haunting bass music.

“I was the weird ghost kid,” Zingara said. “…When I started to make my own music, it clicked one day that I could start telling these stories through my music. Ever since then, when it did click, that’s when my song ‘Astra’ was birthed into the world and it stuck with people. I thought, ‘Okay, maybe this is what I’m supposed to be talking about.’”

“These experiences, talking about it and relating to other people ended up helping people. At first, when I was a kid I thought me and my family were the only people who had these experiences because everyone else around me was like, ‘What the f—?’ It wasn’t until I started talking about it online that I realized how common it was.”

Zingara started her music career as a young adult in 2017 after her friend Noi encouraged her to pursue one. Noi, her friend Brandon and her grandfather affectionately called “Pop” all passed away that same year.

“I really want to do this even more for them,” Zingara says. “I felt that sometimes when I have musical ideas, they come from another voice in my head. When I write music, I can get into such a flow state where I feel their energy channeled through me.”

Zingara’s deep spirituality and dreamworld romps have shaped a distinctive relationship with loss. Grief and anxiety exist, but so does a comforting presentness. Take her new song “The Stars Are Calling Me,” for example, a track not only dedicated to her passed loved ones but also one she believes is touched by them.

“It literally felt like it was already written. It felt like it was really written from the stars,” she explains. “It’s just magical seeing it come through life in these stories and experiences actually manifest into reality. I work with grief directly and channelled and it’s magical in a weird, twisted way.”

“I sound like a lunatic when I talk about this conversation. The way I view loss and that kind of stuff is a little bit different because of my connection to spirit. It’s so weird to say but I feel closer to my loved ones—the ones that have passed—I feel their energy all the time.”

Zingara was 12 when she started writing her dreams down. It’s a common exercise among active and prospective lucid dreamers. The “Close Your Eyes” producer shared one particularly vivid dream she had the week her friend Brandon passed.

“There are experiences that genuinely do feel real and I’m self-aware in. That’s the difference,” Zingara said when comparing these dreams to more anxiety-inducted subconscious manifestations. “The emotions are nuts.”

“The week that my friend Brandon passed away, he knew that I was super involved in the spirit world and dream world. He came to me in a dream where he was standing on the edge of a cliff. There was a huge waterfall and crazy colors. I can’t even describe to you what I was looking at. He looks at me and says, ‘These are some of the places I get to go now.’ He hugged me and disappeared. I was like, ‘What the f—? Screw you first of all. I want to come. Okay, like you get to explore the universe! Cool!’ It was crazy magical.”

Zingara’s rising popularity has introduced her to countless others who’ve shared similar experiences. Many people will be skeptical of such stories, this writer among them. Zingara acknowledges and accommodates that comfortably. To each their own.

But grief and loss are universally shared experiences, something Zingara is seasoned to help others process.

“I’m very grateful for the lessons and experiences I’ve had and had to go through since they passed away because it’s led me to a way to help people dealing with their grief in a way that is new to a lot of people,” she says. “For me, I’ve been through it and I know how to go through it and deal with it and work with it in a weird way.”

Your mileage may vary on the veracity of clairvoyance and what follows death. But these spiritual winds stoke the embers and fan the flames of a bright musical journey. The Code of Dreamz is a guide through Zingara’s ethereal gears—And it’s magical.

Watch the full interview below.

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Tove Lo and SG Lewis' Guide to Sexual Tension on the Dancefloor

Eventually we all become imprisoned in the pressure cooker of our own lives, our jobs, relationships, health, finances and friendships simmering beneath the surface but always at risk of a messy boil-over. Tove Lo and SG Lewis want to provide the pressure valve.

The duo moments ago dropped their new EP, HEAT, a pulsing soundtrack for stolen glances and whispered promises. Speaking with EDM.com, it’s clear they believe that confidence and true inner peace aren’t achieved in the absence of noise, but in the places where it’s loudest: dancefloors.

Lewis’ recent transformation to a rave revivalist has been fascinating to watch. Ditching the velvet-lined corridors of future-disco, the renowned producer and singer-songwriter launched his own record label, which he tells us provides a refuge to create club-focused records “without any commercial ambition.”

HEAT is a meeting of two brilliantly creative minds united by a shared devotion to making sweat-drenched memories on the dancefloor. The sensual slink of Lewis’ music has been dumped like sour milk for the brazen badassery of Tove Lo, who has always created songs for the bold and uninhibited.

The Swedish pop iconoclast is also transforming; she’s still the “cool girl,” but she’s no longer ice-cold, nor rolling her eyes at you. That stoic bravado melts away atop the coals of Lewis’ fiery club production in HEAT, turning into something more fluid and free.

View the original article to see embedded media.

As Tove Lo herself describes it, the connection with Lewis is one “that rarely happens,” a confluence of artistic visions that crackles like flint meeting tinder. Their prior collaborations, scattered like embers across their own albums, hinted at this potential—but the fire is now raging.

“It needs to be a situation where you feel like you can be completely vulnerable and just show whatever comes to mind, but still want to impress the person,” Tove Lo explains before turning to Lewis. “I feel very comfortable in the room with you and at the same time, want to impress you.”

“In the same way, I know that I have to bring my A-game in the studio with Tove,” adds Lewis, who said he’s indebted to his collaborator for learning how to “maximize the potential of a song.”

“I know that if I tee her up with something great, every single time she’s going to deliver something that betters what I did. So it’s that kind of back-and-forth I think creates this instant studio chemistry. It’s crazy how effective the results are. We’ve rarely been in the studio without leaving with something that we’re very excited about.”

One of the project’s undeniable highlights is its smoldering titular track, “HEAT,” which seethes with the unspoken language of the dancefloor. Wrapped in a palpitating house beat, Tove Lo’s come-hither lyrics paint a picture of sexual tension as a flickering flame—alluring from afar, but scorching to those who touch. “Staring is free” becomes a cruel invitation, a reminder that some can only handle the sizzle, not the inferno.

“HEAT” is a radiant display of bravura from Lewis and Lo, who said it best encapsulates the unapologetically hedonistic ethos of its namesake EP. “It’s sweaty, high-energy, confident, flirty, corny music,” she says with a laugh.

The track arrives alongside a steamy NSFW music video filmed at London’s iconic Electrowerkz club, a linchpin of the UK’s queer nightlife scene. The duo recently debuted their “CLUB HEAT” concept at an intimate party in the city and are now set to take a giant leap to the hallowed grounds of Glastonbury on June 28th.

Just like that wild night, HEAT is meant to be experienced in a packed space, disengaged from the bothersome burdens of the external world. From the Eurodance euphoria of “Desire” to the house-fueled braggadocio of “Busy Girl,” its an exercise in reckless abandon—the kind where you wake up with a hangover and plenty of mistakes made, but no regrets.

What tangible steps can you take to conjure this cathartic dancefloor release promised by the “CLUB HEAT” experience?

“Call your most unhinged friend,” Tove Lo says. “And don’t bring a jacket, don’t bring a big bag—the smallest bag, if any bag, so your hands are free. Put on your best dancing, comfortable shoes but then a really sexy look.”

“And then just find the sweatiest dancefloor you can find. Not a bottle service club, not some dive bar. You need to find the rave.”

You can listen to HEAT below and find the new EP on streaming platforms here.

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“Music We Truly Believe In”: 1,000 Releases Later, Hardwell's Vision for Revealed Label Remains the Same

When it comes to Hardwell‘s Revealed Recordings, it’s all in the name. Over a decade since its inception, the label’s legacy is crystallizing not only for its deeply influential music, but also what it’s since revealed about the EDM community.

Revealed launched back in 2010, a time when the relentless kickdrums of big room house uprooted tooth fillings at every major EDM festival. Its 22-year-old founder, Hardwell, emerged at the time as a buccaneering beatsmith intent on changing the fabric of the genre with unconventional mainstage anthems like “Spaceman.”

Hardwell.

c/o Press

But the heyday of big room house disintegrated by 2018, the genre’s popularity cratering due to rampant saturation. Citing the pressures of a grueling tour schedule, Hardwell’s shocking indefinite hiatus threw another wrench into the Revealed rotor.

The label, however, flourished. It continued to act as a magnifying glass on the dance music zeitgeist, highlighting the importance of fresh talent and strong branding. If you frequented EDM blogs at that time, odds are a large portion of the music releases bore the iconic Revealed Recordings triangle.

The brand became a beacon of resilience as its proprietors refocused, signing young, hungry producers who were channeling the euphoria of electro and progressive house to mutate the genres into sounds all their own. Transformative Revealed anthems from Dyro, Paris Blohm, Thomas Newson and countless others continued to decimate every festival mainstage.

A thousand releases later, there’s perhaps no one better with whom Hardwell can savor the milestone than KAAZE, a Revealed ride-or-die who now counts a staggering 102 releases on the imprint. That means the Swedish producer is responsible for roughly a tenth of the label’s entire catalog.

The mighty song that opened the floodgates of Revealed’s next era? “Move,” a mainstage banger from Hardwell and Kaaze that turns the clock back to the label’s golden era.

We caught up with Hardwell to pull the yarn of his storied record label and discuss what the future holds.

EDM.com: Revealed has been a powerhouse in shaping the sound of EDM since its inception in 2010. Looking back at its incredible journey, is there one specific release that stands out as a defining moment for the label?

Hardwell: A great question but it’s also a tough one, because as you can imagine, the label’s had so many. So, 2012 was a colossal leap for the label because not only did that year start with “Spaceman” being released, but it also closed with “Apollo.”—both of which grew into entities all of their own. Together they drew so much attention for the label that everything skyrocketed with Revealed from then onwards.

EDM.com: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in leading such an influential label for so long?

Hardwell: Not getting pulled into focusing purely on established acts. Running a label is a challenging undertaking for any person or team. Everybody wants the big wins—it’s part of the game—and in some ways it’s a safer bet to go with established acts in order to achieve big wins.

But I started Revealed to be a home for my music, as well as a platform for new talent. As a label we of course do sign and work with established acts, but we’re also highly driven to championing new talent.

EDM.com: “Move” feels like a perfect anthem for this milestone. What made this song the right choice to mark such a momentous occasion?

Hardwell: KAAZE has been a part of the label for so many years now and he is such an inspiring figure within our family. To see him rise through the ranks of the industry and grow is pleasing to see.

We’ve always had good chemistry when it comes to music and “Move” is the perfect example of that. The moment we nailed that melody, we both felt this track was going to be something special. The timing of the 1,000th release and “Move” being finished felt like the perfect synergy for having KAAZE join me in celebrating this key moment.

Swedish DJ and electronic music producer KAAZE has now released 102 records on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings.

KAAZE/Instagram

EDM.com: Did you feel any extra pressure to deliver something truly special for this landmark release?

Hardwell: Of course. I try not to, but I can’t help putting the pressure on myself when it comes to things like this. It’s unavoidable. But I want these moments to be special because they are a marker in the timeline.

EDM.com: EDM has evolved significantly since Revealed’s humble beginnings. How does “Move” bridge the gap between the genre’s past, present and what’s to come for dance music?

Hardwell: Well, there’s big room elements in there of course, but the track steers much more into our current mainstage sound with the hard-hitting kicks and bass elements, leaning on that techno soundspace. It’s high-energy stuff.

The bridge between it all is a driver to keep pushing boundaries, to make music that makes the fans want to “move.” It’s called dance music for a reason and this song hopefully embodies that.

EDM.com: This milestone arrives ahead of your long-awaited headlining set at Ultra Europe next month. Can you discuss the differences between performing at that festival and Ultra Miami, where you’re considered a legend?

Hardwell: Ha, thanks. I’ve always felt a great connection with the Ultra crowd over the years. The festival in Miami has of course been played its part in some really key moments in my career, so it’s a unique place for me to play.

But that said, Ultra Europe has equally given me a platform to spread my music with the fans on this side of the world. Both festivals have their own unique energy and vibe, with very individual settings, but I’d say the passion of the fans never changes.

What is it about the Ultra brand that makes it so special?

Hardwell: Ultra is one of the festivals where it all started for me; it’s a place with a lot of history and memories. I and many other acts have a deep connection with the festival because it has been a platform to help break us, share new music and most of all connect with a crowd of likeminded music loving fans.

Hardwell performing at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival in 2023.

Kelly Knisel/EDM.com

EDM.com: Revealed has become more than just a label; it’s a brand and a movement. What are your hopes for the label’s future impact?

Hardwell: To continue supporting new talent and releasing music we truly believe in. Also, the vision is to further involve our community.

Our core is a record label, but through our events, academy, pop-ups and other social gatherings, we want to be able to bring everyone closer together as a community. We’re constantly looking at ways to do this, both on and offline. So I’m looking forward to implementing new projects and concepts in the future with this in mind.

EDM.com: What excites you most about the next 1,000 releases on Revealed?

Hardwell: The possibilities that lie ahead. The talent that will come through and the exciting new music that will be released. When I look back, we’ve evolved so much as a label over these past 1,000 releases. It excites me with a huge amount of wonder at what the future will bring.

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10 Amapiano DJs You Need to Have On Your Radar

Amapiano, the infectious South African house music genre, has come a long way.

While debates swirl about its origins, the consensus is clear: Amapiano is South African house music. Not everyone, however, discovered this mesmerizing and compelling sound at the same time.

For some, their first introduction to the genre was the viral “Whistle Girl” video, wherein Reneiloe Seemane vibes to “Jebson” by Kabza De Small and Thebelebe. For EDM.com readers, the Amapiano wave washed over in the latter half of 2020, when we highlighted its swelling influence on TikTok.

That was before Uncle Waffles ignited a new surge with her “People are burning” post, which not only transformed her career, but also amplified the genre’s global reach. Today, Amapiano resonates worldwide, with TitoM & Yuppe’s “Tshwala Bam” echoing through clubs and social media.

It would be difficult—and unconvincing—to attribute the success of Amapiano to a single moment. Instead, the world is witnessing a remarkable domino effect of moments, platforms and artists that have collectively championed the Amapiano sound.

Since 2020, there’s been an immeasurable amount of totemic moments for the genre. The 2021 BET HipHop Awards featured an Amapiano cypher, Beatport officially recognized Amapiano as a genre the following year and Uncle Waffles in 2023 became the first Amapiano DJ to perform on Coachella’s legendary mainstage. These milestones, alongside niche festivals, labels and agencies catering to the genre, have further fueled the genre’s rise.

The Amapiano sound, a cocktail of sultry synths, euphoric keys and infectious percussion, has infiltrated clubs worldwide and every corner of the internet, thanks to the DJs behind the decks. Their performances, social media posts, dance moves, mixes and tracks have helped the genre skyrocket in popularity around the world.

As Amapiano continues to extend far beyond the confines of South Africa, here are 10 DJs you need on your radar.

TxC

What’s better than one Amapiano DJ? Two. Most people swear Tarryn Reid and Clairise Hefke are twins. The truth is, they’re not. But like peanut butter and jelly, they harmonize effortlessly, enhancing each other’s essence.

Their onstage chemistry together has inspired countless female DJs to adopt the “TxC formula” by joining forces as a duo. While many have sprung up in their wake, TxC have stood out internationally as trailblazers. When they aren’t touring the US and Europe or lighting up clubs in Dubai, they craft Amapiano bangers in the studio.

TxC is of those Amapiano acts everyone simply needs to see live at least once in their life. What sets their live performances apart from the rest is the entertaining and energetic way they commandeer all stages, both big and small.

TENOCEANS

TENOCEANS is the rising star redefining South African house music. Her experimental sounds and eclectic mixes cut across Amapiano, Gqom, Afro-house and Afro-tech and dance music.

Effortlessly blending various genres, TENOCEANS turns heads with unexpected sonic twists. Her innovative style and fearless approach to DJing has caught the attention of music executives and fans within the Amapiano community.

Yumbs

In the vast pool of talented Amapiano DJs, Yumbs stands out as one of the most versatile. Striking a fine balance between DJing and producing, he is a collaborator extraordinaire.

When Yumbs isn’t putting his special touch on remixes (like Ciara and Chris Brown’s “How We Roll”), he’s busy getting crowds moving to Amapiano beats in clubs both at home and abroad.

Musa Keys

A favorite among partygoers and house music fans, Musa Keys brings a unique flair to Amapiano. From DJing and production to songwriting and singing, he’s a true jack of all trades. His charismatic sets and catchy tunes have earned him widespread acclaim, including a Grammy nomination in 2023 for the Amapiano-infused track “Available” with Davido.

Kelvin Momo

Kelvin Momo’s approach to Amapiano is deeply soulful. His tracks often feature lush, atmospheric soundscapes that transport listeners to another realm. He’s the kind of DJ you want at an Amapiano brunch party, but make no mistake—he can also have the club jumping in seconds.

Shakes & Les

One word that comes to mind when most South Africans hear the name Shakes & Les is “funk.” They are best known for their debut EP, Funk Series, a colorful collection of various Amapiano flavors. Although relatively new in the Amapiano scene, Shakes & Les are quickly taking over the streets and clubs of South Africa.

Justin99

Justin99 began his journey as a DJ in 2019 and has recently been achieving the success he deserves. This young, energetic DJ puts the fun in Amapiano. He and Uncle Waffles are the reason the world couldn’t get the song “Yahyuppiyah” out of their heads in 2023.

KMAT

KMAT serves Amapiano with a side of Afro-tech. It’s been four years since she took a leap of faith to start her career as a DJ, but today, she’s a staple in many local clubs and has been releasing records of her own. Watching KMAT’s set closely, you’ll see a DJ who genuinely loves and enjoys the craft.

DJ Tshegu

On stage, DJ Tshegu is a genre-defying sensation, captivating audiences with her dynamic performances. Online, she’s a viral Amapiano hitmaker, intuitively attuned to what her listeners crave. Her sets are ever-evolving, predominantly featuring Amapiano and house music with a touch of old-school vibes. This versatile style allows her to unite audiences of all ages, fostering a shared appreciation for Amapiano.

Pearl Thusi

Some people have the ability to be one thing and be good at only one thing. Not immensely talented multipotentialites like Idris Elba, Shaq and Pearl Thusi. Although Thusi is widely known as an actor and media personality, her foray into Amapiano has been nothing short of spectacular.

After spending years honing her craft and practicing until she couldn’t stand anymore, Thusi made her debut at Soweto’s Makhelwane Festival. Since then, she has been performing in venues across South Africa, delivering sets characterized by high-energy South African house music and incredibly smooth transitions.

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The LGBTQ Artists Who Inspire Wreckno, EDM's Glitter-Dipped Disruptor-in-Chief

In today’s world, where authenticity often takes a backseat to mirror-maze social media manipulation, Wreckno‘s unapologetic embrace of their identity has helped carve out a space for LGBTQ artists to thrive.

An outspoken advocate of LGBTQ rights, the EDM.com Class of 2022 star is going scorched earth—like they do every Pride Month—after releasing a new single, “Party Girl.”

Wreckno’s braggadocious bars flow like honey down a spoon, providing the rhythmic intravenous drip for this slice of dancefloor euphoria. A Pride anthem through and through, the audacious hip-house banger will appear on a new EP this summer by way of the venerable Helix Records.

The triple-threat DJ, producer and rapper is now gearing up to debut their very own Pride event, “Wreckno’s Big Gay Soirée,” in Denver. Scheduled for June 20th, the summer bash will feature performances by Wreckno, Kaleena Zanders, So Sus, Ava Sparks and a special guest as well as drag performances from Aja and LaLa Ri of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Tickets are on sale now. But before then, read on to discover the songs and artists that continue to inspire Wreckno, in their own words.

Brooke Candy — “Das Me”

Brooke Candy was the first artist I discovered that was reclaiming homophobic slurs and making them badass to identify with. This song awakened something in me as a teenager that told me, “You can be a badass out loud and proud queer person without shame!”

Mykki Blanco — “Haze.Boogie.Life”

Mykki Blanco is another artist from my teen Tumblr years that really helped shape what I wanted to exude as an artist. Mykki’s sharp lyricism and wit always spoke to me as well as their iconic fashion sense.

Ashnikko — “Working Bitch”

I discovered Ashnikko through the Internet just before she popped off in 2020. I remember feeling so enamored with the cadence of her voice and her cheeky punchlines. She is everything!

Ethel Cain — “Hard Times”

In the last year I have become absolutely obsessed with Ethel Cain. While you don’t normally hear soft and beautiful sad songs from the Wreckno project, I am beyond inspired by her work and others that exist in that realm of music.

Lady Gaga — “Alice”

What can I say about Gaga. She is everything to me. She is why I wanted to become a performer! I lost touch with the Little Monster in me while I focused on EDM for a long time. When she released her album Chromatica, I found my way back. This opening track of the album took me back to that teenager that was jumping around my bedroom doing her choreography, and reminded me why I got into music. I love her so much!

FLETCHER — “Forever (SOPHIE Remix)”

SOPHIE is such an inspiration to me when it comes to production. I have a photo of her hanging in my studio to remind me of the LGBTQ trailblazers that have come before me, that left such a special impact on music. I think of her whenever I feel like I’m not good enough to make memorable music. We love and miss you SOPHIE.

Moore Kismet & Pauline Herr — “You Should Run”

Moore Kismet is one of my favorite LGBTQ+ acts in music. Not only do they make incredible tunes, but they’re an angel of a human. I’m stoked to say we have a track dropping at the end of Pride Month too!

Cakes da Killa — “Don Dada”

Cakes da Killa is another queer rapper I grew up adoring. His flow, wit, cadence and style speak for themselves. I got to be on a track with him and Mija last year and it was a dream come true!

Chase Icon — “Like Me”

What can I say about Chase Icon. She’s just that girl! I’ve been obsessed with her witty lyrics and smooth glossy vocals ever since she went from Twitter celeb to pop girlie. Chase Iconic SuperSonic!

Chappel Roan — “Femininomenon”

Last but definitely not least, it’s 2024’s IT GIRL, Chappel Roan! I first heard her debut album at the beginning of this year, and as soon as this track started I was hooked. “Hit it like Rumpapapum, get it hot like papa John!” I was obsessed with that lyric! I would rap that. She is everything. Superstar.

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Ray Volpe's Recipe to Cooking Up Bangers Like “SONG REQUEST” and “Laserbeam”

Ray Volpe is cooking again.

For months, bass music fans lined around the block waiting for a taste of his aptly titled banger, “SONG REQUEST.” Well, opening day is here and Chef Volpe is ready to share his latest creation with the world.

“I think bass music is such a sound design-first genre compared to others,” Volpe tells EDM.com. “There’s a massive emphasis on sound design and creation but not as much on songwriting. I try to emphasize that by making these cooler, catchy ideas that feel easier to remember. I think that’s the recipe for me.”

Bass is Volpe’s specialty but he draws from post-hardcore, metalcore, rock and pop-punk influences. He has an appetite for catchy choruses and hooks. It’s something he leans into when producing a genre of music that’s often light on good singalongs.

“I just want to have the same feeling. I just want that catchiness,” Volpe explains. “So I try to make things that are short, sweet and to the point. I think it’s easy to get really convoluted and very overwhelming with ideas and try to get really complex.”

A viral video and spins from world-famous DJs like Steve Aoki elevated “SONG REQUEST” to one of 2024’s most anticipated electronic music releases. Even Busta Rhymes busted out a filthy bass face when hearing the song. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then his face on video is a priceless co-sign.

The overwhelming excitement for “SONG REQUEST” is drawing comparisons to Volpe’s career-making 2022 hit “Laserbeam,” a song that graduated from an overnight trend to a pantry staple. But he’s much more comfortable these days with the suspense.

A quiet confidence is filling in for where nerves used to take the reigns. Volpe welcomes the ambitious comparisons between his new song and his biggest hit as he works towards his second musical Michelin star.

“‘SONG REQUEST’ feels like the first real sequel,” Volpe says. “It feels like the first really big one. The main difference at the beginning when I made ‘Laserbeam’ is that I thought it was a really cool song. I didn’t know it would do as well as it did.”

“But when I thought of the idea and I put it down on paper for ‘SONG REQUEST,’ I think I knew. Not to say I was cocky, but I remember telling my team and my immediates around me that, ‘This is it. This is the song.’ I felt like there was something special going on here.”

An inclination that a song will perform well doesn’t guarantee it will resonate with the wider public. The same is true for any creative endeavor or business opportunity.

Volpe debuted “SONG REQUEST” while ringing in the new year with Crankdat at Countdown NYE’s “midnight moment” before sharing a clip on social media in February. The response, he said, was overwhelming.

“Social media changed my career. It hands-down did,” Volpe said. “I started off making music in 2010. I started getting on people’s radar in 2016. That’s when I started playing shows. I was doing alright. I had a cool thing going and then things went very stagnant very quickly. I had nothing to really excel.”

Volpe’s knack for social media marketing and love for catchy tunes is serendipitous. There’s a misconception that producing viral moments requires insincerity. Sure, there are best practices and replicable formulas, but there is infinite room for creativity. It’s more cooking than baking.

Take professional wrestling, for example, something of which Volpe is a major fan. There’s a common belief that the most successful characters are extensions of the performers dialed to 11. Volpe encourages other musicians to accept that social media and music have intertwined, shed their stubbornness and figure out how to extenuate their real personalities.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been cringe in my social media approach,” Volpe said. “I think a lot of people look at doing social media with their music career as cringe. The thing is you don’t need to jump around with a funny face in front of the camera to do it. I’ve never done that. I’m not knocking people who have done that, it’s an approach. But a lot of people hate on that. I see a lot of my peers in EDM and very much specifically in bass.”

“You don’t have to. Think of another idea. They just don’t want to think of another idea. They just don’t want to think of another idea because a lot of people—this is kind of a rant—want to do this with a hobby amount of effort and get a full-time career result. It’s not gonna work.”

Watch the full interview below and find “SONG REQUEST” on streaming platforms here.

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