Winners of the Beatport Producer Challenge Announced
After receiving over 4,000 track submissions, our expert curation team has spent the past three weeks meticulously sifting through a wide variety of original productions — zeroing in on the top contenders for our Beatport Producer Challenge.
Teaming up top-of-the-line music gear companies like Loopmasters, Plugin Boutique, LANDR, iZotope, Roland Cloud, and we’re giving away $100,000 in software subscriptions to the top 50 entrants, crowning five winners for each of Beatport’s top 10 genres. Each winner is set to receive thousands of dollars in software, and their tracks will be released and promoted via Beatport.
Paying particular attention to each track’s vibe, mixdown, emotional elements, and potential dancefloor impact, the curation team listened to every submission at least once during the jury process. After filtering the list down to 15-20 tracks in each genre and heartily debating each composition’s merit, Beatport reached out to several respected labels* for input on the tunes that align with their preferred sound. These include Terminal M, Glasgow Underground, Suara PIV, Critical Music, Armada Music, SPINNIN’ RECORDS, Dim Mak, RADIANT., and Night Bass, among others.
After analyzing the best tracks from our final list of 50, we’re proud to present some of the winners that stood out to us below.
*Please Note: The labels have only committed to listening to the tracks and giving feedback if needed, and not to signing the artist, releasing their music, or any more action with the winners.
Born in Germany and currently a resident in Spain’s Canary Islands, Luttgenau got his start behind the decks and in the studio at an early age. A lover of harmonies, deep sounds, and timeless UK grooves, here we find him pouring uplifting, organic energy to his winning track “Take Me ’90s,” which pays homage to the classic era of house music.
Artist: Cultural Blending
Defined by his simple mission of “making music for people to enjoy life,” Portuguese DJ/producer Cultural Blending makes no distinction between his passion for both underground and mainstream dance music. The straightforward drum programming and effective chord layering in his winning track “Sunrise” shows us an artist who hits the mark when it comes to maintaining a proper dancefloor vibe.
MELODIC HOUSE & TECHNO
Artist: Igor Bartyuk
Hailing from Russia, Igor Bartyuk claims that he’s felt an affinity for nonconforming music from an early age. Over time, his passion for techno has grown into a budding career as a producer, releasing music on labels such as Sudam, WHATIPLAY, and Motek. His dazzling track “Through The Thorns” is a true success, bringing listeners on a twisted, trippy, and rolling journey that won’t disappoint.
Artist: Martin Covill
Country: United Kingdom
Coming at us from Peterborough, UK, Martin Covill cut his teeth in the rapturous and hedonistic rave culture of his native country throughout the ’90s. Getting hooked on trance after hearing classic anthems such as “Café Del Mar” by Energy 52, “1998” by Binary Finary, and “Cream” by Blank & Jones, Covill now cites artists Giuseppe Ottaviani, Armin Van Buuren, Aly & Fila, and Paul Van Dyk and his main influences. With its fantastic build and catchy uplifting hookline, his track submission “Iconic” is a well-deserved winner.
Artist: Elias Kazais
Born and raised on the historic and energetic island of Samos in Greece, Elias Kazais has always been keen to express his emotions through the medium of music. With releases on imprints such as Defected, Sunclock, Obenmusik, SP Recordings, and more, his “deep net of rhythm and grooves” touch on a multitude of styles. His prize-winning afro house submission, “Alaya,” is a tight-knit tune with impressive instrumentation that keeps in line with the gyrating standards of the genre.
A recent alum from the Point Blank Music School, where he completed a mixing and mastering program, Argentinian artist Tusca’s knocks it out of the park with his winning submission, “We All Complete.” The track is a genuine, dubby delight with it’s shuffling kick, beautiful sub-bass pattern, crisp hats, and ear-worm melody. A faithful student of music in all its forms, Tusca’s ability to blend organic elements with electronic compositions are bound to take this artist far.
MINIMAL / DEEP TECH
Country: United Kingdom
Always on the hunt for vitalizing, groove-based tracks, UK DJ-producer Latrans has locked on to a unique and deep sound of his own after spending hours upon hours fine-tuning his production game. After releasing his well-received debut Future EP last year, his track “Stations” is an energetic low-end groover with sweet harmonies and finely crafted pads and FX.
DRUM & BASS
Artist: Massive Zebra
Hailing from the Austrian capital of Vienna, Michael Plank and Pascal Obermayer of the D&B duo Massive Zebra are all about creating epic, punchy, and highly dynamic music. Both with a background in drumming, they’ve combined their furious beat-making skills to come up with a neck-snapping production formula that is sure to impress. Their track “Schlepper” shows fantastic harmonization with large pads and arpeggios that create a superb tension throughout the arrangement. The result? A serious banger!
Coming at us from the island of Sicily, 22-year-old DJ-producer Gabriele Domicolo (AKA InfamouZ) has been steadily making headway as a talent to watch in Southern Italy. In his young career thus far, the artist has put out groovy releases on labels such as Flashmob, Low Groove, and Claw Records. His winning track, “The O.G.,” shows us every component of what it takes to get a dancefloor going. With great drums, a killer sub-bassline, sporadic fx, and a catchy vocal, InfamouZ brought his A-game with this original production and came out on top.
DANCE / FUTURE / BASS HOUSE
27-year-old Polish DJ-producer Michał Kołodziejczyk, better known by his stage name Meywenz, has been experimenting with music production for over a decade. It was five years ago that he first decided to concentrate on making house music, which eventually evolved into his impressive bass house output. After being signed to FRKNTN for his single “Konnichiwa,” his subsequent remixes have been supported by artists like Marshmello, Jauz, Krewella, Firebeatz, and Timmy Trumpet. After listening to his track submission, “No More,” our panel of judges couldn’t get over the power of this track’s distortion and raw energy. Despite tackling a popular new genre, Meywenz made this track all his own and is fully deserving of this top spot in the competition.