HITS Daily Double


In recent years, electronic dance music has secured its cred in the mainstream pop spectrum, as talented producers like Calvin Harris, Diplo, Zedd, DJ Snake, Kygo, David Guetta, Skrillex and Avicii have fused their sonic authenticity with expert topline songwriting to create a steady stream of Top 40 smashes.

In addition to the club-to-crossover radio play and a healthy chunk of the streaming market, these elite DJ/producers are also notable for their ability to headline massive tours and festivals worldwide. According to Forbes, Calvin Harris leads the pack of earners, raking in $63m in 2016 and reportedly getting paid more than 400k per gig for his Las Vegas dates. Guetta’s steady job at the Wynn Las Vegas helped him earn more than $28m the same year. Although some predict that the bubble has already burst in terms of critical mass—“You can see it in the Vegas DJ landscape alone,” Steve Aoki has pointed out—there is still a huge appetite among music fans for electronic dance vibes.

Label A&Rs have scooped up both the scouting and producing skills from this group to power current pop records by everyone from Selena Gomez to Demi Lovato, as well as the brilliant rebooting of Justin Bieber by Jack Ü. That leads us to ask about the next generation of electronica superstars floating up from the ether of SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music. Here’s my top three to keep an eye on:

Mura Masa: This 21-year-old (real name: Alex Crossan) is best known for “Lovesick” f/ASAP Rocky, which hit #1 on the U.S. and U.K. Spotify Viral charts earlier this year. His debut album (released in July via Downtown/Geffen) is filled with future pop gems like “Firefly” f/Nao, “What if I Go” f/Bonzai and the current single, "1 Night” f/Charlie XCX. Look for him to follow in the footsteps of Zedd and Calvin Harris and craft a future #1 pop smash.

Michelle Santosuosso

Lido: Arguably the most underrated EDM producer in the business right now, Lido is “your favorite producer’s favorite producer.” Writers and song pitchers already know and respect the 25-year-old Norwegian (real name: Peder Losnegard). Lido wrote “Angels” and “Same Drugs” for Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, “Heaven Only Knows” for Towkio f/Chance and the single “Better” by Banks, but his current collaboration, “Not Enough,” featuring up-and-coming alt-R&B group THEY. (Mind of a Genius/Warner Bros.) really has people talking with its spot-on New Jack Swing swagger (and awesome viral video to match). As a remixer, Lido is absolutely masterful; for reference, seek out his reimagining of Portugal. The Man’s monstrous “Feel It Still,” a version so banging it is currently helping that song cross all the way over from Modern Rock to Rhythmic radio.

Cashmere Cat: The 30-year-old Norwegian producer, musician and DJ (pictured at left) is also an accomplished turntablist—he’s gotten all the way to the finals in the DMC World DJ Championship three times—no easy feat. But it’s his evolution into a mesmerizing musical force as a producer that puts him on this list. His forthcoming debut album (Mad Love/Interscope) boasts a list of collaborators that rivals Calvin Harris, reportedly including Selena Gomez, Tory Lanez, Camilla Cabello, Kehlani, Ariana Grande, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jhené Aiko. Songs like “Trust Nobody” and “Love Incredible” are already radio-ready secret weapon jams that programmers need to be seeking out from Spotify with a quickness.