Six Emerging Artists On Our Radar: June 2022
Six Emerging Artists On Our Radar: June 2022June 17, 2022
Sister Zo, AKA Zoey Shopmaker, has spent the last five years changing the cultural landscape of the midwest and simultaneously amplifying marginalised voices. A founding member of Kansas-based trans collective UN/TUCK, Sister Zo’s embedded her breaks and bass-filled DJ sets into the hearts and souls of crowds from New York to North Carolina. Sister Zo made good use of lockdown, perfecting her production skills and releasing her debut EP Screw Cheek on Scuffed Recordings in February 2022. Her club-ready, percussion-heavy tracks have won approval from Surgeon, Nene H, Mosca, Huerco S, Eris Drew, and she’ll no doubt gather more fans with her latest EP Freak Shift, released on 3024. Now residing in New York, Sister Zo’s been busy busting out irresistible bangers for Nowadays, Slingshot Festival and NYC-based queer collective XOXA.
OLAN’s musical catalog’s as unique as she is. Real name Luzana Flores, the Columbus-based multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer and DJ stopped trying to fit in a long time ago and it’s working out for her. Born to Puerto Rican and Dominican parents, OLAN says her musical education began at church and accelerated in college when she taught herself how to produce electronic music. In 2020 she collaborated with Mat Zo on his Illusion of Depth album, and since then has released a cascade of tracks and EPs on Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep. Her music’s often described as mesmeric – it’s soothing, emotive, unexpected, and impossible to categorise. This month OLAN releases her long-awaited debut album Contra on Anjunadeep, inspired by an eclectic melting pot of influences ranging from R&B to Christian rock to drum ’n’ bass.
A key figure of the Dutch underground, Lupe draws inspiration from acid house, disco and everything else in between. Since 2004 Lupe’s thrown monthly events in Amsterdam where he’s invited the likes of Honey Dijon, Cormac, DJ T, Andy Butler and many more. He has a residency on globally renowned Red Light Radio as well as Parish, a queer nightclub in The Hague. His extensive catalog of releases includes “Only Sinners Survive” on Pets Recordings and “Daddy” on Love Child Records, both hypnotic, hedonistic tracks made for close-eyed dancers on sweaty dance floors. On June 10th, Lupe releases his latest EP, Come Through on Sous Music, full of sci-fi synths, hypnotic vocals and a hefty dose of sass. “The dance floor’s always been a place of self-development, safety and fun for me,” Lupe says. “I dedicate my life to that timeless energy.”
DJ, producer and label boss Baby Weight loves a chunky banger. Real name Cara Eser, she founded the label Chub Rub in 2017 to showcase emerging sounds from her hometown Washington DC and beyond. Since then, both Baby Weight and the label have amassed a cult following, with an ethos based around genre-bending beats and advocacy for inclusivity within dance music. Baby Weight released her debut album Phases in 2019, which topped Beatport’s charts in multiple genres, including tech house, indie dance and electronica. Since coming out as trans in 2020, Baby Weight has addressed her transition within her artistry to create dialogue and build safe spaces for other trans artists. Baby Weight’s latest release, “O Sweet Baby Jesus” is out on HE.SHE.THEY on June 22nd and no doubt will further cement her reputation as one of the most exciting, diverse, genre-bending and unapologetic producers out there.
Montreal’s Maara is on a mission to change the face of dance music with her euphoric, celebratory, breakbeat energy. Her 2021 breakout EP Ultimate Reward on NAFF Recordings slides between industrial, progressive and electro and her track “Forbidden Plum” on her subsequent EP Potion Activated was nominated Best Song of 2021 by Resident Advisor. Her recent EP Goddess Within on Radiant Love is a celebration of queerness and divine femininity. It’s packed with white-hot energy and treads the line between minimal and club, with tracks that are simultaneously tongue-in-cheeky and sincere. Maara’s mixing skills have caught the attention of bookers all around the world, so catch her at a club near you in the very close future.
If MPHD sounds familiar that’s because he is. Also known as Bradley Exum, The San Francisco-based DJ and producer came up in the blog house era, producing nu-rave electro bangers back when Daft Punk reigned supreme and neon was the new black. Although blog house has come and gone, MPHD hasn’t – in 2018 he released tech house anthem “Repetition” on Text Me Records and in 2019 teamed up with Minimal Kids to release his MK30 EP. MPHD’s remix of Starfari’s “The Weekend” featured on POPGANG Records’ recent Soul Purpose EP and he also heads up rave label Rave New World alongside Tiffany Tyson. Catch them B2B-ing at Outside Lands on August 7th. This Pride, MPHD’s throwing his My, Oh My! party at Monarch in San Francisco on June 24th and is playing alongside DJ Harvey, Octo Octa and Eris Drew at Polyglamorous Pink Block on June 25th. For more MPHD, check out his live opening set for Mika at The Fillmore.