Thanks to the steep decline in the music industry's barrier to entry and the rise of digital audio workstations, more original music has been recorded in the past month than the entire 20th century. The line between indie and mainstream has never been blurrier as the most creatively groundbreaking producers and artists are also some of the most popular among young audiences. High-quality music production nowadays is nearly costless relative to the hulking capital investment required during the pre-Ableton era. Artists are now capable of spending just a few hundred dollars on mass-market production software and equipment and producing sounds that were simply impossible to fabricate before. MacBook-wielding teens are now capable of somehow conjuring some of the lushest and most colorful tracks you've ever heard, all from the comfort of their bedroom. It's an unbelievable time for music.
Along with this revolution in digital audio production comes the mish-mashing of songs and sounds, old and new. These days, it's not hard to find the voice of Notorious B.I.G. resurrected in a young producer's remix. Or the legendary croon of Marvin Gaye weaved into a futuristic house mix. Or the spirit of a played-out chart topper finding new life through a talented DJ's mashup.
These producers aren't just churning out remixes and mashups, though. They're inventing entirely new genres. Tropical House. Dubstep. Trap. Industrial Tech. Moombahton. Glitch. The list goes on and on. It can be daunting to sift through this eclectic diversity of genres and wealth of young hopefuls, but I hope the following playlist will make your life a little easier.
I've compiled fifteen of the best up-and-coming (and fewer than 100k followers) producers you can find today on SoundCloud (roughly sorted by genre) and hand picked two songs from each artist. I predict a huge 2015 from each of them.
- Autograf (CHICAGO, USA) Futuristic tropical house
- Elephante (LOS ANGELES, USA) High-powered, lyrical progressive anthems
- Gryffin (NEW YORK, USA) Sunny tropical and deep tunes
- Sam Feldt (AMSTERDAM, NL) Melodic deep and tropical house
- Dr. Fresch (LOS ANGELES, USA) Dark, futuristic sexy remixes
- SNBRN (LOS ANGELES, USA) Same vibe as Dr. Fresch
- Felix Jaehn (HAMBURG, DE) Sunniest melodic house you'll find
- MetroBoomin (ATLANTA, USA) Grimy, industrial subwoofer-blowing, chart-topping jams
- Falcons (LOS ANGELES, USA) Groovy, futuristic, experimental beats
- Lido (OSLO, NO) Sexy, genre-bending, rhythmically mind-blowing remixes and originals
- London On Da Track (ATLANTA, USA) Minimalist, head-bob-conducing audio magic