EDM.com proudly publishes four installments of annual year-end coverage: Industry Leaders, Performances & DJ Sets, Music Producers and Songs.
More often than not, end-of-year coverage published by the music industry's vast pool of outlets is limited to its artists and performers.
In order to honor the extraordinary work of the industry's unsung people and brands, we've recognized a group of leaders whose contributions helped shape the future of electronic music in 2022.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, music festivals, event organizers and promoters were eager to make up for lost time. While the return of live events has been a blessing for both artists and fans alike, Brownies & Lemonade were not simply keen on returning to the status quo.
In fact, the beloved events brand was arguably in the best position to remain on the cutting-edge—by curating niche, creator-driven experiences. Aside from working with artists to celebrate their biggest career moments, Brownies & Lemonade increasingly began scaling to new heights, from taking Class of 2022 star ISOxo on a multi-stop U.S. tour to launching a branded pop-up in Fiji.
And what other events company can say they threw raves in an eerie laundromat with Alison Wonderland, an elevator with San Holo, an abandoned zoo with Whethan and a train yard with Moore Kismet, all in the same year? It's been a 10th anniversary to remember for Brownies & Lemonade.
End Overdose is leading the charge for opioid overdose awareness and hard reduction at EDM events.
Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the non-profit organization has also worked with Boiler Room, Subculture Party, iHeartRaves, Team Takedown and more to organize benefit concerts and online fundraisers, all while offering fentanyl test strips and free anti-overdose kits and training online.
End Overdose announced in October a monumental partnership with Insomniac to distribute free anti-overdose kits, fentanyl test strips and educational resources at all of the promoter's music festivals for the indefinite future. With lethal levels of fentanyl found in nearly half of street pills, Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella wrote in a press release that this initiative will "help spread awareness and education on what you can do to potentially save someone’s life."
Dominique Casimir has been integral to BMG’s expansion since its founding in 2008, the year the Berlin-based executive joined the organization. This year, Casimir became the company’s Chief Content Officer as the seeds she's helped plant for years continue to harvest.
Today Casimir oversees BMG’s publishing and recorded music operations in 17 territories worldwide, an area which effectively represented nearly half of the company's revenues in 2021. The first half of 2022 remained another impressive period of growth for BMG, but they curiously achieved a 25% uplift in revenue despite no new hits. The company, which owns the rights to music from Fatboy Slim, Jean-Michel Jarre, Carl Cox, Pink Floyd and more, did it by focusing outside the charts—thinking boldly and globally.
Amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, Casimir led the effort to acquire Undercover, a local German promoter, leading to BMG's foray into live events where they’ve since emerged as a competitive force. She also identified the opportunity to expand BMG’s end-to-end services to Latin America. The company launched operations in México, where they remain laser-focused on building a local repertoire of artists with the ability to maximize the full scope of what the music industry has to offer them, including brand deals, merchandising, sync licensing and much more.
Thanks to his signature digital art style, a latticework of raw emotion and whimsical, crystalline imagery, Fvckrender has cemented himself as one of the most renowned creators of the Web3 epoch.
The Vancouver-based visual artist made his foray into the NFT community last year with his FVCKRENDERVERSE project—and his dominance was only just beginning. A coveted collaborator, Fvckrender has worked alongside Lil Nas X, LeBron James, Steve Aoki, Christian Dior, Puma, OVO and Supreme, among many others. Earlier in 2022, he sold 47 NFTs to The Weeknd, who scooped up the visionary's work for a cool 25 ETH, valued at over $70,000.
This year, Fvckrender launched his own metaverse concept, LVCIDIA, an influential "exploratory art experience" that champions emerging artists in the NFT space. He also revealed plans to launch a skatepark funded entirely by NFTs.
Fvckrender's ambitious work in 2022 paints a picture of someone who's determined to trigger a paradigm shift in the public's adoption of NFTs. Leading a wave of hungry artists into a new era of the creator economy, he embodies the spirit of a modernist vanguard.
Google's Freakish AI Text-to-Music Program Is the Most Advanced of Its Kind
MusicLM can navigate nuanced text prompts and generate higher-quality sonic output compared to its competitors, but Google isn't ready to release it.
"The Signal": Ushuaïa and Hï Ibiza Broadcast Massive 2023 Opening Day Party Plans
Black Coffee, Eric Prydz and more are joining the opening day festivities on the White Isle, the clubbing capital of the world.
Lane 8 Announces Limited 2023 Series of Open-Air "Summer Gatherings"
The return of This Never Happened's summer series has been long in the works.
When music industry veteran Wez Saunders acquired Defected Records this year, he had big plans for the U.K. label, one of the most revered tastemakers in the dance music scene. The imprint's iconic founder, Simon Dunmore, stepped down from his role as CEO back in August before passing the torch to Saunders—and his impact was immediate.
Defected Records quickly established a transformative 30% minimum royalty rate for any recording artist or producer within the label's ecosystem, with the goal to help them "build longer lasting, more impactful and more profitable careers." Defected's vision for artists has the potential to be adopted by many others on a global scale, ultimately serving as a harbinger influencing the mechanics of how labels compensate producers and songwriters.
The proof is in the pudding—Jamie Jones, Claptone, John Summit, Vintage Culture and many more electronic music superstars signed records to Defected this year. Now, a return to Croatia awaits in 2023 as the label gears up for its beloved house music festival in the land of a thousand islands.
Owned and led by women, Atlanta-based media collective DEF uses their YouTube channel to showcase the sights and sounds of the electronic underground.
Focusing on storytelling and electronic music that often flies under the radar, DEF TV brings together artists and fans who want to break the mold of the traditional show and take in authentic, intimate concert experiences. In 2022, the channel grew into one of the bass music community's crown jewels, thanks to its "you had to be there" DJ sets from the likes of The Glitch Mob, Deadcrow, UZ, Khiva and many more.
DEF's purpose is crystal clear, rooted in a mission to "elevate industry standards by providing clean, safe and conscious spaces for fans to gather and create unforgettable nights." Rest assured, there's many more to come.
What a year it was for Andrea Roberts, an audio engineer, mixer and keyboardist based in Los Angeles. You may not have heard of Roberts until this very moment, but her name is one you won't forget.
After graduating with a degree in piano performance in 2010, she cut her in teeth in Argentina, where she produced music and studied audio engineering for six years. She ultimately landed at North Hollywood's illustrious NRG Recording Studios, where she worked as an assistant engineer on Chloe x Halle's Ungodly Hour LP and Beyoncé's chart-topping soundtrack album, The Lion King: The Gift, among other high-profile projects.
But this year gave rise to an opportunity the likes of which Roberts couldn't have even dreamt up. She found herself engineering every single track from Queen Bey's record-breaking dance album, Renaissance, a deeply impactful record that reimagined the rave with its disco and house music influences.
Next up for Roberts? Probably a Grammy Award.
Artist Management Firm
2022 saw Three Six Zero twist the knife into its reputation as a global label and management powerhouse.
Founded by Mark Gillespie back in 2007, the company has long been a power player, but it grew exponentially this year. Back in May, Three Six Zero acquired New York-based talent company Frontline Entertainment before purchasing a 50% stake in U.K. management firm Palm Artists, the home of dance music superstars Gorgon City and Sonny Fodera.
Three Six Zero also acquired a stake in Forward Motion Artists (Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, AMÉMÉ and more) while continuing to cultivate the careers of its many high-profile clients, including Calvin Harris, BURNS, Disciples, FKA twigs, Jaden Smith and WILLOW. Additionally, the company’s label arm, Three Six Zero Recordings, released music by house music luminaries Dom Dolla, Shermanology, Eats Everything and more after inking a joint venture with Sony Music.
Music Publicity Firm
With the current boom cycle in techno and house music, Los Angeles-based PR firm Infamous has been working overtime in 2022 to share what’s new and breaking from both established industry legends and relative newcomers alike.
After the full-fledged return of live events in 2022, Infamous played an integral role in helping a slew of major electronic music events to reconnect with their fanbases and forge a new chapter after one of the toughest eras in the history of the live music industry. Los Angeles' HARD Summer, Chicago's Arc, Palm Springs' Splash House and Fiji's Your Paradise are just a few of the music festivals to place their trust in Infamous.
On the track's 20th anniversary, Infamous reminded us of the greatness of DJ Minx’s “A Walk In The Park,” which Resident Advisor suggested may contain "the greatest minimal house loop of all time." The company also led the charge to bring Fire Hell And Holy Water, the third album from EDM.com Class of 2021 inductees Giolì & Assia, to mainstream consciousness.
Comprising a team of attentive and diligent representatives, Infamous PR embodies the very best in the world of music public relations. Their impressive roster of clients ranges from established electronic artists to acclaimed events brands. In 2022 they oversaw the press efforts for the American debut of European festival Primavera Sound, navigated new creative frontiers as they helped celebrate Desert Hearts' 10-year anniversary and advanced new music from the likes of GRiZ, Claude VonStroke and Zeds Dead.