No matter what, there are always going to be producers who are underrated. That’s just how it is. Surely, the list we have formed today will have its naysayers or people saying that I missed someone or six. Good, because I’d like for you to talk about producers you really enjoy with other people, especially the ones who aren’t necessarily at the top of the food chain. That’s how the music spreads!
Generally, talent level and fanbase are what are compared when these lists are put together. If you want to get a little more fancy, you can throw the third variable of momentum in the mix. For example, many of you may have heard of the artist Prince Fox, who’s one of the brightest stars on the rise coming into 2015. He’s not in this list, because I don’t feel that Sam is necessarily underrated by the scene with where he’s at; he’s on track and his time is coming to take things to the top. Momentum, in this case, has to do with timing, location, and *buzz* factor, which is why there are bigger artists with more fans that have made it onto our list. In our list we will talk about ten acts who are underrated, and then at the beginning of next month I’ll have ten more for you. Lastly, just to be clear, this list is in no particular order. Except for maybe Haywyre first, because I always have to do that.
Haywyre: I think until Haywyre is headlining every festival, and everyone in the world is madly in love with his music, will he not be underrated. This cat is pure musical genius; that’s something that can’t really be debated. His fanbase is loyal for a reason, because he’s an insane creative talent who should be right up there at the top, but his bubble hasn’t exactly burst yet. Dance music needs an act like Haywyre. His musicality is borderline wizardry, and there’s never a dull moment in his versatile works. He’s dropped a bunch of albums, and his last, Two Fold Pt. 1, was one of the best electronic albums of last year.
Said The Sky: Said The Sky is a newer act who has been gaining a lot of speed quickly. His steady flow of next level singles started from an EP that was KOAN Sound-esque that took many by surprise, including myself. Since then, he’s dropped massive tunes like “Ares” and “Espy” and he played at Decadence in Denver over New Year’s Eve. His technical mastery and hybrid style has shocked the scene, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to have a huge 2015 once word spreads around about this dude. It’s already started in a big way. He’s fresh on the spot, and he’s full of beautiful beats. Check out his newest one that just dropped January 20th.
Dani Deahl: I think pretty much all women producers are underrated by the scene. Dani Deahl is one of them, and her talents run further than with just producing music and slaying crowds when she’s on the decks. She’s an accomplished journalist who contributes to Insomniac, and she’s given a TED Talk, as well as contributed to conference panels. Dani has been in the scene for a while now, with her most recent feats being official remixes for Pegboard Nerds and Armin Van Buuren, which accompany many other releases on strong labels. There’s a handful of people in the industry that, without a doubt, deserve much more than they have, and she is one of them.
Manic Focus: Manic Focus is a straight G. His style of music is catching on thanks to GRiZ, Gramatik, and others, but he’s been a guy who’s humbly chuggin’ along. His recent, last album Cerebral Eclipse was an absolute masterpiece. He’s aligned with All Good Records, for good reason; his distinct sound is basically bass and magic mixed together. I have a lot of respect for artists who put out albums, because it’s become a somewhat ballsy maneuver if you are not more established, but he’s kept it real and dished out awesome ones, as well as singles and remixes that will blow your mind. He’s another dude who has a lot coming his way in the next few years once people really get behind him.
Harikiri: Harikiri is a guy who has been producing dope records for a long time now, but he’s yet to gain exposure in the United States, and elsewhere he’s yet to really establish fanbase strongholds. He’s a lone ranger whose creative ability cannot be restricted. His usually darker, more underground style has a rawness that is hard to contend with. For fans of future, and trap, he’s been putting out a ton of cool stuff, but he’s done everything from dubstep to moombahton. Expect a big push from him this year as he is one of the producers looking to bridge the gap between the East and West in a legitimate way.
Our Time: Our Time is just two dudes from Oklahoma City who straight kick ass. It baffles me the play count on some of their tracks, because they should be multiplied by about one hundred. They continue to release astonishing records that seem to get better and better each time. They’re a smaller act who is deservedly booked to Warpath, so expect their faces to make the rounds in 2015. They never release a boring tune, so if you have yet to experience them, please do go through their discography. You won’t be disappointed.
Live City: Ethan & Jake are about as cool as it gets. Their Live City project has had releases on major labels like Atlantic Records, Columbia Records, and Universal Music, among other releases on notable labels more geared towards dance music specifically. As far as house acts go, these guys are one of my favorites and they have yet to break 20,000 Facebook fans. They have continued to grind, and all that work is likely to pay off soon. As long as the world doesn’t run out of tequila, expect these two to make a dash for the top. With all their accolades and talent, it feels like it can happen at any moment.
Apashe: Apashe is one of those mid-tier guys who has more chops than most. He works for Sonart, who has worked on games like Assassin’s Creed, and he’s had a steady flow of top quality, forward thinking productions. One of which landed him a feature on an international ad campaign for adidas, and another was an official remix for Iggy Azalea he did with Dabin. His live shows? Check out the footage of the atomic bomb being dropped; it’s pretty much the same but with music. Apashe has been dishing out huge tracks for years now, but hasn’t really broke through to that superstar level, where he deservedly should be, in my opinion. I would say 2015 is the year he will break through the ceiling, but I’m afraid he is likely to just blow the entire establishment up.
Kastra: House music is incredibly saturated, which is why it has been hard for someone like Kastra to really hit the jackpot. Good house music is all this dude puts out, no matter what sub-genre he chooses to use or morph together with another. Back when I was blogging for Moombroton, I found this dude and was iffy, because he had some records that were insane and some that I wasn’t so sold on. Now, it’s all changed and he can’t put out anything without my mouth watering over it. If you like to party with four-to-the-floor beats pounding out of the speakers, then Kastra is your guy. Festivals would love him, but he just hasn’t made it there yet. Will we see him there soon? Only time will tell.
Anna Yvette: One of the most underrated people in dance music is Anna Yvette. You probably know of her as the vocalist who has done work with people like MUST DIE!, Aero Chord, Popeska, Bro Safari and even Chris Webby. What you probably don’t know is that she produces too. Not only her own records, but she has produced a B-side to RiFF RAFF’s Neon Icon album that came out last year, as well as other tracks. It’s crazy that someone who has had releases on Big Beat, Interscope, Universal, Republic, Monstercat, OWSLA, Play Me, SONY, Ultra, Firepower and Kannibalen Records can be out there and people are unaware of the fact that she produces music. If that is not underrated, then I don’t know what is.
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