After a mesmerizing year for electronic dance music , it almost goes without saying that the genre will continue to blaze a trail Stateside in 2012. Acts from Skrillex to Kaskade enjoyed crossover success in 2011, and now fans are hungry for more new releases, killer albums and massive festivals.
But while it may be clear who’s leading the charge, there are more than a few EDM upstarts who’ve been making noise, and if one thing is for certain, it’s that they’ll be shaping the musical landscape in the months to come. In MTV News’ Rookie Roll Call, we break down exactly which acts (some greener than others) we’ve got our eye on as the dance scene gets locked and loaded for another killer year.
Groomed by Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso was without a doubt one of 2011’s hottest new names. Now, with no fewer than six hit releases and remixes under his belt, the young Swede has all of the necessary weapons to crush it in 2012.
Expect big things from U.K. label Anjunabeats’ young Russian phenom. Arty burst onto the scene with hits “Around the World” and “Kate,” as well as killer collabs with Mat Zo and Matisse & Sadko. 2012 promises to be a marquee year.
A blazing new talent, Deniz Koyu shocked the scene last year with numbers like “Tung!” and a collabo with Johan Wedel on a remix of James Blunt’s “Dangerous.” Koyu kicks off 2012 with a “tri-laboration” that roped in Fedde le Grand and Wedel on the track “New Day,” and he’s set to keep heating things up.
The 23-year-old DJ/producer has been tickling the decks since the age of 13, and 2011 proved to be his breakout year. Hardwell smashed it early on in ’11 with Tiësto on the megahit “Zero 76,” but he also knocked out solo cuts “Cobra (Official Energy Anthem 2012)” and “Encoded.” He’s one of the hottest talents in the game, and certainly worth tagging as one to watch in 2012.
Under their dubstep-inspired production moniker Knife Party, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen of Pendulum hit big on the Swedish House Mafia collabo “Antidote.” And although Knife Party are just getting started, their stellar re-warbles for Porter Robinson and Nero, and original current hits like “Internet Friends” and “Firehive,” prove there’s much more in store from the Aussie duo.
With David Guetta and Fedde Le Grand in his corner, Nicky Romero had a DJ set staple early in ’11 with his remix of Green Velvet’s “Flash.” Romero also hit home runs with solo singles “Camorra” and “Toulouse.” Fans can expect a banger or two to drop this year with assists from Monsieur Guetta.
A member of the Afrojack camp, Dutch newbie R3hab chain-sawed killer re-works for Rihanna and Katy Perry. He also put his special touch on Sander van Doorn’s “Koko.” And R3hab’s monster pairings with Swanky Tunes and Max C on “Sending My Love,” and with Afrojack on “Prutataaa,” support our conviction that he’s got a huge year to come on his hands.
Ok so maybe he’s not a rookie in the purest sense, but after years of cranking out grimey, loopey, textured tunes, Tommy Trash broke though and rattled everyone’s eardrums in ’11 with original heaters ’Future Folk,’ and, ’The End’ capping off the year with a 4th quarter remix bomb of John Dahlback’s “One Last Ride.”
With tunes like “Shave It” and a collab credit on “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” not to mention his remix of SHM’s “Save the World,” Zedd’s production foundation is rock solid. And you know what else is cool? He’s edgy enough to totally reinvent a song like Edvaard Grieg’s classical composition “In the Hall of the Mountain King” — or “Doveregubben,” the theme to video game “Zelda” — and make it work in the club! For Zedd, things are looking good in 2012.
Sound off on MTV News’ 2012 EDM Rookie Roll Call on our Facebook page!