Six Emerging Artists On Our Radar: July 2022
Six Emerging Artists On Our Radar: July 2022July 19, 2022
Close your eyes, listen to a Mark Blair track and get transported to a mid-90s rave in Vauxhall. The Belfast-born DJ and producer’s fast becoming a global name thanks to his unapologetic, charismatic, tongue-in-cheek techno that’s nostalgic and progressive all at once. Blair’s AVA 2022 Boiler Room set – complete with a topless dance-off with his dad – catapulted him into the global psyche, and Blair funnels that same energy into his productions, with his self-released Riot Squad EP and I Miss The Old Kanye single winning him a loyal fanbase. His latest EP Fast Beats & £10 Sweets is out on July 15th, with the premiere of “You Scratched My CD” at AVA sending the crowd into a frenzy. With this much talent, charisma and energy it’s safe to say Mark Blair’s Belfast’s next superstar.
In June, South African DJ and producer Desiree released her debut EP Femme Tech on Bae Electronica, the label from Zimbabwean singer/songwriter/powerhouse Jackie Queens. The EP features two powerful tracks that tread the line between afro and tech-house. “Femme” utilises builds, drops and repetitive vocals to spin the listener into a meditative state and “Psilocybin” is a euphoric electronica track that acts as a celebration of the misrepresented and marginalised. With a bio that reads “Intersexy African Interpreter of dance music,” Desiree’s on a mission to bring inclusivity to South Africa’s dance floors, and is doing just that with Boy’s Club, an event series and movement which seeks to empower marginalised femme DJs.
Singer, DJ and producer Nicky Elisabeth’s making waves with her mesmerising, deep house productions and ethereal vocal style. Born in the Netherlands and raised in Belgium, Nicky began singing when she was 16 and turned her hand to DJing at 18. Now based in Amsterdam, she’s taken full advantage of the scene on her doorstep to become a regular at ADE, Elrow, DGTL and STRAF_WERK alongside Martin Garrix, Kollectiv Turmstrasse and Michael Mayer. When Nicki turned her hand to production, things kicked off fast. Kompakt snapped up her debut EP Celeste with a remix from Roman Flügel in 2021, and Anjunadeep released her recent EP Fading / Sun in May 2022. “Sun” is a hypnotic deep-house tune, addictive in its catchiness and representative of Nicky’s talent as a singer, song-writer and producer. Her DJ sets are just as energising, with her melodic house and techno selections as charismatic as the artist herself.
Prom Night was born and raised in Aarus, Denmark after his parents fled Apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s. He grew up listening to their expansive record collection and felt so inspired by their disco, funk, jazz and R’n’B collection that he started DJing at age 14. That early influence shines through his DJ sets today, which mesmerise Scandinavia’s dance floors in institutions such as Underbron, Aarhus Volume and Jolene, as well as Culturebox in Copenhagen where SHAQ throws a house and disco night. Prom Night’s 2021 single “Heat 84” is an ‘80s Italo-disco throw-back with forward-thinking bass, and he recently teamed up with Brynjolfur to release two-track EP Freakfunk, choc-full of slow-moving disco grooves designed to make you move. For more, listen to Prom Night Records’ showcase at Hör Berlin.
Mall Grab’s Steel City Dance Discs recently welcomed Surusinghe into the fold with her debut EP GOOD GIRLS / BAD GIRLS. The Melbourne-born, London-based DJ, producer, label head and artist manager lives and breathes electronic music, and feels endlessly inspired by the sights, sounds and smells of the rave. Her debut EP is a culmination of her cultural influences, from the records her Sri Lankan father played her as a kid to the non-stop nightlife of Hackney. Surusinghe has dedicated this EP to her father, who passed away before she began working in music but influenced her every step of the way none-the-less. With pre-spins from Madam X and Or:la and a tracklist that collectively reads “GOOD GIRLS GO TO HEAVEN BAD GIRLS GO BACKSTAGE,” there’s no doubt 2022 has Surusinghe’s name on it.
Lolu Menayed’s been neck-deep in house music since she was a kid growing up in Buenos Aires. She took DJ lessons as a teen and began making the rounds in Argentina’s club circuit when she was just 17. Inspired by bassline, minimal and deep house, Menayed turned her hand to producing in 2013 and got her tracks snapped up by Music Lab, Audio B and Xima Records. Now she’s one of South America’s most prolific producers, with her recent EP Vill Bill championing minimal sounds that border on hypnotic. Since she founded vinyl label DIGHOP RECORDS in 2017, she’s released on Hermine Records, Unlock Recordings, and Smiley Fingers and played South American nightlife institutions Pacha Buenos Aires, La Boite in Tucuman, BlackSheep and Dorian Gray in Córdoba. Her recent remix of Caucasian Boy’s “Heat” on Century City Music gives further credit to Menayed’s penchant for acid, driving beats, and colorful dance floor energy.