It's nearly a wrap for 2023 but with holidays and New Year’s celebrations on the horizon there’s still plenty to look forward to — as well as what's to come. We’ve reflected on the DJs, breakthrough DJs and producers that have made our year, and now it’s time to look ahead to the artists we’re banking on to inspire us and make us feel things through music in the next. In the list below, we pick out our top 25 artists to watch in 2024 (in alphabetical order).
1Morning is advancing the fundamental legacy of US techno. He’s based in the Golden State city of Los Angeles, but pushes a style and sound that’s more in tune with the genre’s foundational artists in the industrial Midwest, embellished by his own personal brushstrokes. His productions are rugged and driving, drawing you into layers of pulsating, scuzzy textures and upfront percussion. See 2023 EPs ‘Modus Operandi’ on Oklahoma’s Fixed Ryhthms and ‘Return to Phunk’ (and those titles) as a primer on his aim to make techno that goes hard while keeping the soul and swagger intact. As a DJ he tends to play all vinyl sets, able to lock into that peak-time flow state where he almost feels fused with the decks and mixer, pulling off blends and chops while maintaining the momentum of the groove. Having played across the US and debuted in Europe this year, he’s already planning a return tour across the pond next summer with a couple of self-released EPs due to drop beforehand. As with his music, 1Morning’s momentum keeps on building.
Under the relatively new guise of 1tbsp, known to some as GRAMMY-nominated artist Golden Vessel, Maxwell Byrne is wiping the slate. His sound, newly reformed and experimental, represents a new tide of playful club music we’re seeing more and more of in 2023. The Brisbane-born musician has released plenty of new music over the past few years, from EPs to a full-length album, spanning the breadth of indie, house-focused dance music with effortlessly clean production, and a not-so-serious touch that rides into his music videos and visuals. Recently, he’s produced a mix for Apple Music and shared a stage at Listen Out Festival with Four Tet and Jyoty among others, closing the year out with his first ever tour across the US and Canada.
3 Acid Sister
Quickly becoming a sensation, the powerful duo Acid Sister are an all-guns blazing, acid-loving pair. Made up of already well-respected DJs, Takky and Chucheewa, Acid Sister sees them unite as a force for good in Bangkok’s underground dance music scene. Beaming down pure happiness in their sets, they play tracks that guarantee a wave of movement on the dancefloor. This radiant energy has seen them travel throughout Asia with gigs including their Boiler Room at Potato Head Bali and sets at Wonderfruit Festival, Tuff Club in Singapore, and many, many more. Next year, the pair plan to travel further out for their shows and finish some of their own productions.
From dropping luscious amapiano heaters for the Boiler Room crowd in Toronto, to opening Brooklyn Mirage for Black Coffee, 2023 has put AQUTIE on the road to global stardom. Raised in Harlem, this South African-Guinean DJ often pairs up genres from the African continent - such as Afro house, AfroTech, gqom and amapiano - with the sounds she grew up around in the US such as reggae, hip hop, dancehall and soca, to create an effervescent tapestry of music from the diaspora in every set. North American clubbers will already be familiar with AQUTIE’s energetic, deep selections but this year saw her reach more crowds than ever with mixes for HalfmoonBK, onetwo.fm, Doc Martens:Presents and more. As the worldwide love affair with amapiano continues, we expect her name to be on everyone’s lips for the coming year.
5 Beatrice M.
Last year, Beatrice M. put out a flurry of releases, including ‘Fortunately’, and a subsequent VIP of the same track, on Yushh’s Pressure Dome, the speedy ‘Quarrels’ EP with no track under 152 BPM, and Egregore’s ‘Meld’ EP. Born in France to English parents, Beatrice M.’s productions reference syncopated British genres, with heavy inspiration from dubstep, and have been taking the roof off dances across Europe, most recently at Troxy during Jossy Mitsu’s ear-deafening set at HVYWGHT, perfect for its Sinai Sound rig. Next year the Rinse France resident will prepare for their live debut at Lyon’s Nuits Sonores, focus on embracing 140 culture through more 100% vinyl sets, and release two EPs, plus a collaboration with Jan Loup, on record labels they’re really hyped about. The Bait label head will also continue to rep 140, dubstep and more adjacent sounds at parties across France and wider Europe next year. Make no mistake about it, Beatrice M. means business.
6 Colored Craig
A true stalwart of Los Angeles’ burgeoning house scene, Colored Craig is already a familiar figure for Californian’s in-the-know. Inspired by their work as a choreographer by day, Craig has taken to getting crowds dancing with their movement-focused sets all over their home city and beyond. Their velvety mixture of house and disco deep cuts has seen them share the decks with the likes of Eris Drew, Dee Diggs, Derrick Carter, Yaeji, Octo Octa, Space Ghost and more, while they have continued to treat audiences on the airwaves by bringing that same blissed out NRG on mixes for NTS, RA, Club Quarantane and their own show on LA’s dublab on the first Wednesday of every month (titled: Club Craig). In 2024, Colored Craig will be “LA’s best kept secret” no more.
We’ll be shocked if Cristale isn’t regarded among the very best in UK rap in the not so distant future. She grew up in a Caribbean household in South London with influences spanning Buju Banton to Stormzy, and scored her breakthrough hit in 2022 collaborating with Jamaican dancehall artist Laa Lee on ‘Bong Bing’, which spread like wildfire around the internet, pairing his upbeat energy with her UK-inflected tenacity. That came to the fore on the debut EP ‘What It’s Like To Be Young’ that followed, folding hard-hitting, confessional bars into raw drill beats. Cristale has been levelling up across 2023, keeping up her unflinching storytelling and social commentary while honing a mastery of flow and wordplay that’s truly something to behold — as her standout contributions to GRM’s Daily Duppy and Mixtape Madness’ Plugged In series attest. She also made her acting debut in the final season of Top Boy where she rapped her soundtrack contribution ‘Roadents’, no doubt welcoming swathes of the show’s huge fanbase into her own in the process. And that’s only going to get bigger, with a new musical project in the works for 2024, as well as more appearances on screen with roles in the Kano-starring Netflix film The Kitchen and the TV adaptation of Candice Carty-Williams’ best-selling novel Queenie.
Destrata, real name Eli Hollett, is already making a splash as one half of Energy Boyz, but his solo venture is really starting to pick up pace. The Vancouver-born-and-bred DJ and producer - who now also flaunts a sound design qualification as he emerges fresh out of college - has been on everyone’s lips (and USBs) this year. With releases on Scuffed Recordings, Intercept, and a contribution to Maloca’s star-studded compilation this month, Destrata is having a blast with his mutated and club-focused style of bass music, picking up gigs all over Vancouver, following a slot on the line-up at Berlin’s Mensch Meier at the back-end of 2022. Mixes on Untitled 909, NTS, and The Lot Radio show you where this DJ and producer is headed in 2024 - only greater things to come.
9 DJ CO.KR
Seoul’s DJ CO.KR is a long-time local favourite who has been demonstrating his knack for taking the blossoming Korean underground sound to global audiences of late. This year has seen him play everywhere from London to Los Angeles, all the while maintaining his regular slots at hometown venues such as Bolero, Cake Shop and AB. Known for his speedy sets packed with his own tailored edits, that reference UK hardcore and hip hop, DJ CO.KR can regularly be seen surrounded by hand-waving dancers, phone flashlights firmly in his face, as he prepares to drop a world-ending bassline. We predict it will be difficult to go the entirety of 2024 without hearing the words “DEE JAY COH KAH” booming from a soundsystem near you.
10 Esteban Desigual
There’s an instinctive flutter that goes off in our chests whenever we come across a masked, Paris-based DJ with a penchant for fizzling kick drums. Enter: Esteban Desigual. Little is known about this blue-faced dancefloor alien with a Dali moustache, but his artist bio details that he was born “during a rave on the planet Krypton, long before the birth of Superman.” Intricately blending disco, techno and psytrance, Esteban has dropped some serious rave material this year such as his recent ‘Vaisseau Magique’ EP and his trance-inspired edit of Shania Twain’s ‘Man I Feel Like A Woman’ — all alongside mixes for Boiler Room, Club Shumacher and Technopol. With a truly out-of-this-world persona, and a love of all things space-age rave — Esteban Desigual already has all the makings to become a galactic superstar in 2024.
It feels like Ghoulish has been popping up everywhere across 2023, with a slew of killer tracks and sets, although he only released his first EP proper this December. In his own words the four-tracker ‘Weekends Goodwill’ on Skream’s IFEEL label marked “a huge turning point” for the Manchester-based DJ and producer, showcasing a more UKG-influenced sound he’s been gravitating towards since lockdown, which also incorporates house, funky, bass, trance and more into hybrids that hit emotional notes as well as floor-primed peaks. There’s even a collaboration with Irish poet Natalya O’Flaherty on ‘Comedown Chorus’. Skream is a big fan, not just picking him for the first release by another artist on IFEEL but also rinsing his tracks all year and booking him for the Skreamizm fabric takeover. Seth Troxler is too, launching his Slacker 85 imprint in September with a V/A EP featuring Ghoulish’s serene house cut ‘Forever Ugly’. Having played all over the UK with some hops over to Europe this year, there’s already plenty in the pipeline for 2024, with Ghoulsh revealing he’s “remixing some really exciting artists and pushing (in my opinion) some of the best music I have made!” Don’t sleep on it — although if you’re anywhere near a dancefloor, we expect it’ll be hard to miss.
With inspirations not limited by the dancefloor, spanning everything from architecture to fine art, Cape Town-born artist Gonubie has already set hearts-a-flutter this year with her debut album ‘Signals At Both Ears’ on Métron Records. Having already made a name for herself as a DJ around South Africa under her moniker raresoftware, this new project — which is named after the River Gonubie — has seen his transition into a more ambient sphere, creating immersive music that communicates serenity and joy in nature and space.
13 Goth Jafar
Goth Jafar has been everywhere in the last 12 months, playing across North America and Europe for numerous standout shows. Joining Evian Christ for the Barcelona and London legs of his seminal Trance Party event series, as well as performances at De School, Panorama Bar, Nowadays and SLIT Festival, have seen the Berlin-by-New York artist one of the most exciting new DJs on the block. The selector is set to make her production debut next year with a four track EP that “almost feels like it’s my destiny.”
“I was scared for so long but I’m now ready for the world to see what a fraction of the chaos in my brain is like,” revealed Goth Jafar to Mixmag. She will also release her Berghain Barbie mix, a re-recording of her P-Bar debut complete with an especially made Chloe Sevigny monologue intro for her performance, and merch to coincide with raising funds for her gender-affirming surgeries. While already a fixture of both US and European clubbing scenes, Goth Jafar will make her Australia debut during a tour of the country with River Moon. There’s no doubt about it, this DJ’s going worldwide.
KAVARI is the type of artist who can fully rewire your brain. 2023 album ‘Against The Wood, Opposed To Flesh’ is music that totally consumes you, whether that’s through the anxious bass distortion that grips you like a horror soundtrack or eerie textures that provoke your deepest feelings of introspection. Growing up in a town in rural North Scotland, it’s a style that often sounds best coming from artists from remote regions, as if their minds have been less boxed in by the limits of urban geography and society. See Cornish countryside-hailing Aphex Twin on the opposite end of the UK for another example. AFX has become an admirer of KAVARI, hitting her up for unreleased beats and playing them in his headfuck DJ sets this year. Now based in Glasgow, she’s embedded into the city’s diverse queer and experiemental scenes, while picking up more live and DJ bookings from further afield with her idiosyncratic sets, where you may be blasted with some of the most intense, industrial sounds you’ve ever heard or the warmth of a cat purring. KAVARI’s music may be unpredictable, but her trajectory feels easier to forecast: heading towards increasing recognition as one of experimental music’s most inventive minds. She plans to travel more and play more shows abroad next year, mainly in Berlin, and has teased some “secret society things I can't say too much about yet”. Don’t try and guess, just submit to the chaos when it comes.
Keyrah has caught the eye with her knack to create mind-bending blends which combine two songs which shouldn’t work at all, but really do. Playing everything from Daft Punk to the sweetest garage and R&B, it has been irresistible to dance at Keyrah’s sets at fabric, KOKO, and more. As a curator and party-thrower, Keyrah puts an impetus on spotlighting local talent from her native Birmingham, enlisting selectors such as Jack Bagshaw, Kojay and Sharnie as well as superstar singer-songwriter Jorja Smith to join her at events, hosted by the likes of Lab11 Warehouse, Phonox and Night Tales. The Rinse FM resident has also played multiple Soulection parties worldwide, including a radio takeover and a Boiler Room debut during the party series' main stage takeover at the Burgess Park day festival. Next year will see the Brum powerhouse continue to shine a light on her contemporaries through her party series Misc; and spin crowds into a frenzy as the demand for her selections continues to grow. While in the last year she has supported the likes of Kaytranada, Sampha, Casisdead and Loyle Carner, this DJ is primed to take centre stage in 2024. Keep an eye on this one.
Kiimi can do it all. This year, they’ve grown from one of London’s best kept secrets to a formidable and world-trotting DJ, producer, multi instrumentalist and singer, recently debuting their live show to a sold-out audience at The Social in the capital. Amongst their “unconventional output” of music has come remixes for the likes of Giulia Tess, Mano Le Tough, and Jacques Greene, reworking each release into a euphoric and feel-good club banger, and multiple solo productions including a more introspective dote on heartbreak that won the hearts of many this year, ‘Serotonin’. Kiimi has received endless support from BBC radio channels with multiple spins on Radio 1 in 2023, and was named BBC Introducing Dance Graduate by Jaguar with the chance to open the station’s Ibiza Weekender in July. From playing Body Movements, Junction 2, and Printworks, to making their debut across international waters, to swapping out their residency on foundation.fm for a new monthly show on Rinse, Kiimi is only just getting started.
With influence from artists including Grimes, SOPHIE, and Two Shell, Chinese-Scottish artist LVRA is taking their ambitious sound global. With the release of their latest EP ‘soft like steel’ earlier this year, which uses samples of traditional Chinese instruments to a gothic effect, the singer, producer and DJ has found acclaim all over the world. From their first headline gig at London’s Colour Factory to a stint of 15 shows in 30 days for Eastern Margins’ Road 2 Redline tour in East Asia, and picking up the Sound of Young Scotland Award at the Scottish Album of the Year ceremony in Edinburgh, LVRA’s career is quickly picking up pace with promise of a bright future ahead.
A veteran of the 140 and garage scene, the last 12 months has seen the London-based producer evolve his sound to thread the lines between dubstep, grime and techno. MJK’s eye-catching DJ style where he combines techniques like chopping, rapid mixing and the consistent use of three decks at once with tunes that range from groovy four-four techno, deadly dubstep and dubs from MCs like Emz create a truly unique performance. The Obligated Records producer has also caught the eye with his first collaborative project with Skee Mask, a four-track EP which includes a feature from none other than MC Riko Dan. German connections have been further cemented through his enrollment as the 94th contributor to Ilian Tape’s outstanding mix series and his performances at the Zenker Brothers’ party at RSO.Berlin. Next year looks to be bigger and better for the Rinse FM resident, with solo EPs lined up on some of the biggest labels in electronic dance music plus the second edition of ‘Patchworks’, the Obligated Records collaborative series between himself and Skee, and a flurry of exciting shows set to be announced in the future.
Mumbai-based DJ, producer and label owner Rafiki has been a linchpin of the local dance music culture for a while, pushing fellow artists from under the radar to sonar detected, and we suspect his own stature is about to hit new heights. His label, Krunk Kulture has become a definitive space for Indian DJs and artists and is a new wing of his company Krunk which has been working on a long line of events for 14 years such as Bass Camp Festival, Hotbox and more, as well as its own residency on Rinse FM. This year alone his label has worked with a huge host of artists on releasing music, alongside nights with the likes of international acts including Giant Swan, Nabihah Iqbal, Surusinghe, and a Boiler Room takeover. On top of this, 2023 saw Rafiki release two EPs. Debut EP 'The Source' on Portuguese based Welt Discos released March 23 which was played out by the likes of Ben UFO, The Blessed Madonna, Solid Blake and DJ Voices. Followed by the release of his sophomore EP ‘New Shifts’ via his own label imprint, Krunk Kulture in July 2023. This melodic house & broken beat EP has made an impact on the dancefloor worldwide. When he isn’t working hard on new music, his label, his event series or DJing, Rafiki somehow finds time to work on India’s greenest music festival, Echoes of Earth. The festival travels around India promoting sustainability through workshops and music, with 80% of its production is made up of recycled materials. Ultimately, Rafiki is a man of the people.
20 Rosey Gold
Amapiano has taken the world by storm with the sound of that thumping beat making us all punch the air. Rosey Gold may seem like a newcomer but her encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre is blowing people away as she flawlessly blends it with house and gqom. The London-based South African dropped her debut EP ‘Deep Rooted’ this year, which has seen support ranging from a premiere on national radio station Kiss FM to being played out by legends in the game including Uncle Waffles. The release has seen her fly into the limelight as she has since bagged herself a monthly residency on Foundation FM, played alongside Black Coffee, and appeared on the line-ups for Piano People events. In addition to her EP, Rosey has launched an event series of the same name. These new parties curated by herself share an insight into South African culture through conversation, music and visual art, with more to come in 2024.
The 67-year-long ‘no dancing’ ban on Japan’s late-night dancefloors, eventually repealed in 2016, is a distant memory when SAMO is on the decks. A favourite in the Japanese club scene, her full throttle sets push dancefloors to a state that can only be described as delirium. She was born in New York to parents who went to Paradise Garage but grew up across the Pacific in Akashi, starting a DJ residency at the FULL HOUSE night at CIRCUS in neighbouring Osaka in 2019 and quickly marking herself out among the best in the country for frenetic, bass-loaded sets. She fires through jungle, garage, grime, amapiano, euphoric house and anything else primed to send a club crazy, with unrivalled mixing skills that stoke the mania. Now based in Tokyo, she’s a regular at the likes of VENT, CIRCUS Tokyo and Enter Shibuya, often playing alongside international touring acts who returned home with wide-eyed tales of her talent. It’s only a matter of time until the wider world catches on.
22 Sarra Wild
Sarra Wild is the polymath of creativity. A curator, sound designer, event organiser and DJ, what can’t they do? Already performing at some of the world’s most iconic stages such as closing Panorama Bar to Uganda’s Nyege Festival, Sarra is becoming high in demand. Enjoying the sounds of drum ‘n’ bass to R&B edits, they throw curveballs in every direction. The Glasgow-based artist also runs OH141, a space for working-class women, BPOC and LGBTQ+ artists to express themselves and support each other. A proud advocate for emerging talent Sarra goes above and beyond to showcase the next new acts with forward-thinking music. Sarra also regularly appears on a huge host of stations such as Rinse FM, NTS and Kiosk Radio, so keep an eye out for their latest sets or catch them in the flesh during their busy tour schedule.
Southampton-based producer and selector Skeptic has enjoyed a steady rise over the past 12 months, with his tunes receiving support from Ben UFO, Call Super, Girls Don’t Sync and speed garage sensations Dr Dubplate, Interplanetary Criminal and Main Phase. The ec2a affiliate, while known for his 2-step and four-four garage productions, has also delved into his amen bag with ‘Escapism Dub (Junglism Mix)’ and, more recently, combined the funky, moving genre of dabke with a hard-hitting log drum for ‘Dabke Falastini’, with all proceeds going towards humanitarian aid for the people of Palestine. As a selector, Skeptic joined IPC on the London leg of his Most Wanted tour, performed at the ec2a x Keep Hush Love Saves The Day festival stage and completed his first London headline show last year. The next 12 months is set to be even bigger with the young DJ and producer’s first Boiler Room lined up at the end of January, where Skeptic will be joined by Ahadadream, Benga, Skream and fellow rising stars Bakey and SILVA BUMPA, numerous sought-after productions on the way, and a slot at the 2024 edition of Outlook Origins in Tisno.
24 Van Boom
Recently relocating from Kuwait to Berlin, Van Boom melds sonic influence from the Middle East and his new home through his productions and DJ sets, putting a gnarly twist on industrial techno that never seems to go amiss. His debut album, ‘Prosthetics’, is a hauntingly hardcore project that landed on Cease2Exist at the back end of 2022, receiving plenty of love from the outset and bolstered by reworks this year from the likes of VTSS, Deena Abdelwahed and Slikback. And while he might not gig quite as relentlessly as other DJs on this list, his performances have taken him global: Estonia, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Prague, you name it. In just the last few years alone, Van Boom has gone from strength to strength with mixes for Rinse France, FACT, and NTS, and even made his debut appearance at Berghain at the beginning of 2023 as part of the line-up for CTM Festival.
Vancouver local Venetta has been hypnotising the dancefloor with non-stop bangers, from singalong pop edits to experimenting with some naughty high-octane drum patterns. As a well-known name in the city, Venetta is now becoming internationally recognised. Putting her tour on pause back in 2020, she is finally travelling across the globe with her infectious sets. This year saw her start off in Mexico City before multiple months in Berlin where she even played the iconic PAN party at Panorama Bar before going off to Manchester, Sicily and more. Serving up some spicy sets, her unparalleled energy has seen her score a solo show for Germany’s esteemed Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Berlin’s Electronic Beats Festival. For the final stretch of the year, Venetta made her Asian debut with a tour around the continent's hottest clubs from Space in Tokyo to Heim in Shanghai. Reflecting on this tour she shares that it ushered an “transformative reset” so keep an eye on Venetta as we’re sure there is some exciting news to come…