It’s difficult to write during these times without acknowledging the events unfolding right in front of us. Some of you may not be able to support your communities in the ways you’d hoped for. If you’re not out on the streets hearing their cries, you can at least listen to their stories. Check out these black EDM artists who deserve your support not only because the Black Lives Matter movement is important, but because they make incredible electronic music.
Steven Ellison, known on stage as Flying Lotus, is a DJ, film maker, rapper and founder of his own record label Brainfeeder. From Los Angeles California, he’s definitely made a name for himself.
Flying Lotus has released six studio albums staggering from 1983 all the up until 2019. What few know is that Steven is the grand-nephew of Jazz pianist Alice Coltrane and the grandson of singer Marilyn McLeod, known for writing Dianna Ross’ Love Hangover. Music is in his DNA to say the least.
Steven started his career interning at Stone Throw Records where he released his debut self-titled album in ’83. The album was said to have helped Lotus hone in his craft leading him to his recognizable spacey, alternative, electric style. After that the rest was history.
One more thing. Did you know Flying Lotus produced most of transition music on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming book? He’s full of surprises.
Marc Kinchen, who obviously goes by his initials MK, is an American DJ, producer and iconic remixer. His music varies into house, deep house, pop and even a little R&B. After his number one hits in ’93 and 94′ on the US Billboards Hot Dance Music/Club Play, he has now become the king of remix in the latter half of his career.
Back in 2013, MK released a remix of Storm Queen’s song Look Right Through that landed him the number one spot on the UK Singles Chart. Since then he’s remixed countless other artist’s such as Celine Dion, Betty Boo and Sofia Shinas. Most made it on the charts.
Not convinced of his remix skills? MK remixed Push the Feeling On, an album by the Nightcrawlers that was used 20 years later as the foundation of Pitbull’s global hit record Hotel Room Service.
Cajmere A.K.A. Green Velvet studies chemical engineering at the University of Illinois. Better yet, he got halfway through graduate school before he finally decided to pursue a career in house music. His time in college showed Cajmere a different side of life. One of the unique, electric culture of house music.
It paid off, obviously. After working tirelessly Cajmere through with his single Coffee Pot that got attention for the house community. From here he took off on what would be a very successful and dynamic career.
After gaining some traction, Cajmere decided to open his own label – Cajual Records. This granted him the creative autonomy he needed to experiment with his own work. Eventually in ’93 Relief Records was founded.
Liam McLean, stage name Joker, is a British record producer. He’s pretty heavy even to go as far as being names ‘2009 King of Bass Music’ by XLR8R Magazine. He was also featured in the September 2009 issue of The Wire.
So, yeah, his music is intense. Paving his way through the dubstep genre Joker even helped define the subgenre ‘purple sound,’ emerging from UK’s dubstep scene in 2008. ‘Purple sound’ is known for its almost unnatural beats full of wonky tempos and blending of genres.
He now owns his own label, Kapsize Recordings. After his debut The Vision released in 2011, his LP The Mainframe was released four years later through his own imprint.
This artist is more than just another house DJ cashing in on the ever growing electronic genre. Black Coffee’s music takes on a story of its own, as recognized in his South African Music Award winning album Home Brewed. His home down in Durban in KwaZulu Natal where he ended up studying music.
His pre-existing producing skills are what led him to further his education in music, theory, and listening skills. Before completing his studies, the aspiring musician was picked up as a backup singer for Madala Kunene. Feeling courages, he and two friends decided to form a trio the eventually pushed him into his solo career.
His first big break was being selected as only one of two South African participants for Red Bull’s Music Academy skyrocketing his career. His style of music is very much his own a he has climbed to a highly respected artists and creative producer.