With the new decade upon us, now is a great time to take a look at some artists who we think you’ll want to keep an eye on. We’ve got some great new artists in this list, as well as some who are coming back from a long hiatus.
As DJs, it’s good practice to stay up to date with a variety of genres, so this list spans a wide range from heavy techno, to aggressive hip-hop, to R&B ballads.
Get familiar with them because there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be seeing a lot of them throughout 2020.
1. Duck Sauce
The duo of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak formed in 2009 as a side project to refresh the classic French style filter house of the 1990s. Duck Sauce found major success with their single Barbara Streisand and lesser success with other singles like Anyway. They began teasing new Duck Sauce tracks at the end of 2019 and it looks like they’ll be releasing new music for the first time in a decade. If you love funky and fun-sounding house music, you’ll want to keep an eye on them.
2. Dog Blood
Dog Blood is a duo of DJs from two completely different ends of the dance music world: Boys Noize and Skrillex. While Skrillex may be the bigger name to most people, Boys Noize has consistently been a prolific producer in his genre for years. First uniting as Dog Blood in 2013, the duo released new music last year and should be making their presence felt on the festival circuit in 2020. If you are looking for aggressive sounding techno or tech house, Dog Blood should be on your radar.
3. Ivy Lab
Ivy Lab’s sound is a bit hard to define. It’s a blend of hip-hop and post-dubstep bass music. Being championed by world-class DJs like DJ Craze has brought more attention to Ivy Lab and his genre that he calls “beats”. If you are a fan of boom bap hip hop beats in the vein of J Dilla but are looking for a modern twist, take a listen to what Ivy Lab has to offer.
This North Carolina rapper had a breakout year in 2019. Arguably the biggest rap artist of last year, DaBaby shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year. The cadence of his raps over simplistic but catchy beats has proven to be a winning formula.
5. Roddy Ricch
Much like DaBaby, Roddy Ricch made a huge splash in 2019. The Los Angeles-bred rapper has a sound more akin to rappers from the south making him somewhat of a standout. Ricch’s 2020 is already off to a great start, his tour to support his album which was released late 2019 has already sold out for all dates. Roddy Ricch’s blend of west coast and southern hip-hop makes him a sought after feature for the industry’s hottest rappers and will help ensure Ricch will be an even more recognisable name in this coming year.
One of the hottest hip-hop artists from the UK, Stormzy ended 2019 with his first new album in two years. He has already made quite a name for himself as one of the most respected MCs from the UK and his latest release “Heavy Is The Head” is sure to be in constant rotation for his fans throughout 2020. If you are a fan of the UK sound you will definitely want to keep an eye on Stormzy this year.
7. Burna Boy
His single “Ye” was a part of the Afrobeats explosion of 2019. His vocal tone is a bit deeper which gives him a little different sound than other popular Afrobeats artists. With the genre of music is gaining even more popularity and more artists asking for Burna Boy to feature on their songs, you are sure to be hearing more of him in 2020.
Koffee had arguably the biggest Afrobeats hit in 2019 with the song “Toast”. Much like Burna Boy, we’re sure to see more of Koffee with the explosion in Afrobeats popularity. With a wonderful female voice and a great sense of melody, Koffee is likely to pump out more hits in the coming years.
9. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber was one of the biggest artists in the world when he released his last album in 2015. While not releasing any original music since then, any song that Bieber guested on usually resulted in a hit record. At the beginning of this year, Justin released his first single and it’s already gaining traction. It’s more than likely that we will see even more music from him during the remainder of the year, and chances are they will be some of the biggest songs too.
10. Summer Walker
Her album “Over It” was one of the most highly anticipated R&B releases of 2019 after her critically acclaimed mixtape “Last Day Of Summer”, and when it arrived it did not disappoint. She cemented herself as one of the hottest R&B artists at the moment and she shows no signs of slowing down. While already getting co-signs from legendary artists such as Usher, she is in a prime position to have a great 2020.
While you may not be a fan of all of these artists of different genres, but as a DJ it is our job to know what’s going on in music. With more and more popular songs getting remixed into other completely different genres it’s becoming an even better idea to know which artists people are interested in. Keep an eye out for these artists because there is a good chance some of their tunes will end up in your DJ library this year.