During the 2010’s you might remember that Dance Music (particularly EDM) had its time under the sun for a few years. At this point in time, a shadow is cast over its reign however its influence on the 2010s and the decade to come feels impossible to overstate. At the time, genres such as Progressive House, Melodic House, and a plethora of others associated with Electronic music also ascended to prominence too alongside the overall rise of Dance music. Although we might not know what the future holds, there is a range of producers who are fairly early in their careers yet still have managed to give us a glimpse through their unorthodox aesthetic and one-of-a-kind performances.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the next generation of female producers who are pushing Electronic music forward whether it be culturally or sonically. Even though the list is diversified with a mixture of well-known artists and rising stars, one thing they all have in common (apart from their gender) is the fact that they all started releasing music 5 years ago. As part of our Women in Music initiative, this list will usher into your awareness some brilliant producers who deserve much more attention and reverence.
Through our initiative and record label, we’ve also released Beat Queens – a compilation that is meant to help spread the word and make female producers more visible, thus inspiring more women/non-binary individuals to follow their passion for music. If this is something you’re interested in hearing, the link below will provide you with all the info. Now… Let’s continue the discourse on the female producers that are changing our perception of Electronic music.
ODESZA, The Chemical Brothers, Kelly Lee Owens, Jon Hopkins, George Fitzgerald, Daniel Avery… I could literally go on. Australia’s very own HAAi boasts a long list of iconic artists she’s worked with and remixed over the span of just 5 years. She broke into the scene in 2017 with the captivating single “Be Good”, and upped the ante with her 2019 EP via MUTE Records System’s Up, Windows Down.
There is no way you can ignore the sound of HAAi. Generally speaking, she has a more “in your face” approach when it comes to her production as Techno and hard Electronica not only run through her veins, but their influence flows through her music too. Her latest album Baby, We’re Ascending (out via MUTE) brazenly pushes the boundary of our perception of Electronic music to the point where it’s borderline unsettling at times – thus highlighting the polarizing nature of great art.
The sonic aesthetic of Sassy 009 I’d say sounds like a flirtation with darkness and mystique. When we enter their discog it feels like we’ve entered an eerie world decorated with dreamy, sensual voices and imaginative production. Sassy 009 is the pseudonym of Sunniva Lindgård, a producer, and songwriter from Oslo.
According to Receiptify, Sassy’s “Maybe In the Summer” (out via Luft Recordings) is actually in the top 3 of my most played tracks OF ALL TIME, and that was my introduction to her work. Like robust lego, pieces of Garage, House, Electronica, Pop, and R&B (sometimes) are fitted together in her production while themes of romance and personal struggles make a regular appearance in her songwriting. This versatility coupled with her moody sound and left-field production is among the reasons I can boldly state that there is no other artist like her – her sound is the embodiment of what it means to be in your own lane.
I feel like one day I just woke up, and I started seeing the name Sofia Kourtesis ever so frequently last year. Well, considering the success of Sofia’s Fresia Magdalena, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her name came into sight often, even on Pitchfork’s Best Electronic Music of 2021 article.
There is a sort of spiritual undertone that casts over Fresia Magdalena (out via Technicolour) and this has opened the flood gates for listeners to connect deeper with Sofia’s story, and her music. The Peru-born, Berlin-based producer rose to the spotlight in 2019 when she released her first EP. The self-titled EP emerged as a cult hit and since then her popularity has steadily grown as well as her prowess in production. Her Latina roots are seamlessly entangled in her work and this is evident, along with the emotions her music is able to tug on while we dance away.
Much like Sofia Kourtesis, the Australian artist Pretty Girl released her first work in 2019 and began to really turn heads in 2021 with her Middle Ground EP (out via Gallery Recordings). Although in the case of Pretty Girl, electronic music wasn’t always her medium of expression. In her teen years, Pretty Girl was firmly rooted in the world of Bedroom Pop. Slowly but surely the club scene of her home city began pulling her towards Electronic music during her early 20s. From this, an aesthetic characterized by lush, glittery synths and hard-hitting drums was born.
I can honestly imagine a track like “Arc” setting the scene for anyone crying on the dance floor. Generally speaking, there is a somewhat melancholic aura we hear from the work on Pretty Girl and this is juxtaposed by vibrant upbeat drums and blinding synths – thus creating this unexplainable mood that invokes feelings we’re unable to define.
The relationship between Bella Boo the artist, and Bella Boo the person is one that is rather fascinating. While her ordinary mood she’d define as ‘emo’, Bella’s music actually has a lighthearted and somewhat playful tone to it.
Diving into the Swede’s discog is like continuously opening a range of mystery boxes… “What is this?” you’ll frequently ponder. And that’s because she’s well acquainted with experimentalism and this protrudes beautifully throughout her catalog, especially on her 2018 LP Once Upon a Passion (out via Studio Barnhus) and 2020s Let’s Go Out.
Even though Xyla creates Electronic music which pulls from Breakbeat, House, and Footwork, it’s intriguing how her R&B and Jazz background find a way to pierce through. Out of the artist on the list, Xyla is possibly the youngest plus she started putting out music in 2020. By the end of the year, “Feel” from her debut album Ways (out via Leaving Records) landed on Spotify’s Best of Electronica 2020 playlist and she played alongside Flying Lotus. To even label her future as “bright” feels like an understatement. The distinct ambiance we get from her work paired with her mystique and ability to weave unlikely genres makes her an artist to watch for years to come.
In 2021 UK based producer Anz gifted us a project brimming with the kind of energy that could have listeners moving all day – literally – I’m talking about her EP All Hours which was crafted to be a soundtrack for 24 hours.
Not only was it released under the highly esteemed Ninja Tune, but the smash hit “You Could Be” with George Riley was birthed from All Hours. Even though she has been releasing music since 2017, with this single she began piercing into mainstream consciousness and launched her career to the next level. Her ability to blur Jungle, Garage, and House makes for the kind of style that is unpredictable… However Anz’s knack for genre-bending is frequently glued together by glossy synth textures and off-kilter rhythms.
Imagine you’re an artist and you drop your first EP, and suddenly - Four Tet is not only playing your music in his sets but he eventually invites you on lineups alongside him. This might sound like a fairy tale but this is what happened to Logic1000. The EP I’m talking about is her minimal self-titled release which showed off a flagrantly unorthodox style. Her 2021EPs You’ve Got The Whole Night and Sweetness of You presented her fans with a more fleshed-out and polished approach, and it was during this year her music and fandom reached new heights. Her music is energizing but strangely enough, in a manner that’s introspective too thanks to the atmosphere and textures, we’re acquainted with in her music, particularly on gems such as “I Won’t Forget”.
Before she even started producing and releasing music, Han had already claimed her position as a star in the making. She leaped from her flourishing background in Fashion into the world of DJing and from here, her talents behind the decks have been astonishing crowds beyond her hometown of Seoul – especially after her Boiler Room debut in 2017. When she started releasing music in 2019, listeners were welcome to a multi-colored house sound bursting with good vibes all around. She boasts releases from the iconic Headroom Records and French imprint Roche Musique through her debut EP Wake Up. Honestly, if she keeps at it, it wouldn’t be a surprise whatsoever when she breaks commercially especially since her sound holds mass appeal.
Wow! The blossom of TSHA’s career has been an absolute extravaganza to watch. Within 4 years she’s become the “talk of the town” with everyone from the likes of Bonobo and Gorillaz, to platforms such as DJ Mag, Billboard, Mixmag, and BBC Radio 1 praising her multi-colored brand of electronica.
While her Moonlight EP put her on the map, Flowers and OnlyL shot her to stardom along with infectious energy behind the decks. Pieces of Downtempo, Acid house, Electronica, and Organica are used to compile what we know of TSHA’s ever-morphing sound and I'm looking forward to seeing how she continues to push the envelope. She releases her debut album in October this year and you can dive into her latest single below:
If you're compelled to discover more female artists and the voices of minorities within the realm of Electronic music, the UK based DJ and Radio host Jaguar is a tastemaker that should definitely be on your radar. Apart from hosting BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 1, and throwing events under the UTOPIA banner, she also stands among the most trusted voices regarding Electronic music and its future, to the point where DJ Mag had dubbed her “UK radio’s next-gen champion”.
Today The Jaguar Foundation is born, & I‘m so proud to bring you our debut report ‘Progressing Gender Representation in UK Dance Music’ with our friends from the @SonyMusicUK— JAGUAR (@JaguarWorldwide) August 3, 2022
Read at: https://t.co/GYS811rpSD pic.twitter.com/rRWVE04kDr
A great start would be UTOPIA TALKS, a podcast celebrating the world of dance music and tackling issues faced by our generation.
cover photo credit - TSHA by Anna Reid.