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5 Emerging Artists Pushing Electronic Music Forward: Moore Kismet, TSHA, Doechii & Others
Clockwise from left: Moore Kismet, Doechii , Shygirl, TSHA, PinkPantheress

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5 Emerging Artists Pushing Electronic Music Forward: Moore Kismet, TSHA, Doechii & Others

Incorporating multiple genres and styles, these five emerging artists are not afraid to push the boundaries in electronic and dance music.

GRAMMYs/Jun 22, 2022 - 05:23 pm

Contemporary dance and electronic music has dramatically changed from its origins. Major cities around the world — including Belgium, Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago — have capitalized on the genre’s popularity within the last decade to hold large electronic music festivals like Tomorrowland, Spring Awakening, Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival, each of which gather  tens of thousands of fans.

But while electronic music continues to serve as a destination experience for many young listeners, electronic music’s origins actually begin within the Black community. Evolving in the 1980s from the cultural decline of disco (another Black genre of music), electronic genres like house (born in Chicago) and techno (born in Detroit) gained footing with a multicultural collection of fans interested in progressing the sounds of the dance floor. 

Although some of the biggest contemporary stars in dance music may be young white men, some of the genre’s most interesting — and diverse — performers are only just emerging right now.

Black artists have continued to push the sound forward, incorporating other genres and elements while staying true to dance music’s roots. In celebration of Black Music Appreciation Month, here are five emerging artists pushing electronic and dance music forward. 

Moore Kismet

Born Omar Davis, Southern California native Moore Kismet is a non-binary and pansexual superstar in-the-making with a progressive sound and message. A musical prodigy, Kismet’s artistic journey began at just 7 years old with a family laptop, a copy of the production software Fruity Loops and a self-taught practice.

Since then, Kismet has released multiple singles and EPs, including "Character" in 2019 and Vendetta for Cupid and Flourish) in 2021. Kismet has racked up major festival appearances, including Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, making them the youngest performer at both events. Earlier this year, Kismet collaborated with celebrated singer/songer Tate McRae on the downtempo pseudo-ballad "Parallel Heartbreak." Featuring vocals by singer Pauline Herr, the track is illustrative of Kismet’s unique, pop-leaning sound. Now, at 17 years old, Kismet is set to release their debut album, UNIVERSE, on June 24. 

TSHA

A lot can change in four years. Just look at London-based DJ and producer TSHA (aka Teisha Matthews), who has grown from fledgling musician to celebrated artist since her debut EP, 2018’s Dawn, was released. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to most listeners.

Matthews’ love of electronic music (and creative drive) began at a young age, with a mother who loved Carl Cox and Skrillex and an older brother who DJed house, garage and jungle. 

As she got older, TSHA began to experiment on her own, eventually creating the moniker TSHA for her charismatic blend of '90s deep house and techno. 

It’s only been up since then, with shoutouts from media darlings like Annie Mac and Zane Lowe, and fellow electronic artists like Bonobo. Last month, Matthews released fabric presents TSHA, a 25-track, house-leaning DJ mix featuring fellow emerging and established artists. Her new single "Boyz," included on the mix is a pleasant tune sure to please most listeners. 

PinkPantheress

London-based musician PinkPantheress is unafraid to blend genres as disparate as house, garage, R&B and pop. The 22-year-old born Vicky Beverly Walker has made a name for herself, especially on social media, among young fans who’ve taken to using her surprisingly hefty and heartfelt songs as the perfect soundtrack to the minutiae of their lives. Early singles "Just a Waste," "Break it Off," and "Pain" went viral on TikTok, with the latter crossing over to the UK Singles Chart, reaching  No. 35. That’s no small feat for a then-unsigned artist.

Since that early success, she’s also released her super-short debut mixtape, To Hell With It, which has garnered critical acclaim for its abundance of memorable melodies and Walker’s singular, breathy vocals. As an artist on the rise, PinkPantheress is not afraid to stand out from her fellow artists, mixing moods, harmonies and genres with an ease that illuminates her love of electronic music. 

Shygirl

Few artists can "do it all" quite like Shygirl. Born Blane Muise, this English rapper, DJ, singer/songwriter and Nuxxe record label head has quietly worked in the underground, experimental electronic music world establishing her singular brand of music.

Blending elements of house, grime, club and hyperpop, Muise first gained recognition for collaborations with artists such as Arca, Sega Bodega and the late genius Sophie. Since then, she has released two EPs, 2018’s Cruel Practice and 2020’s Alias. This September, she’ll drop her first full-length, Nymph. "Firefly," the first single from the album, is a glitchy yet catchy wonder, perfectly capturing Shygirl’s enduring appeal and a perfect complement for those dreamy long days of summer. 

Doechii

It can take a lot for a musician to break through amongst the glut of distractions, stimuli and content available online. And yet Tampa-born Doechii (a.k.a. Jaylah Hickmon) — who raps and sings — did just that earlier this year with her provocative, groundbreaking music video for the frenetic yet brilliant single "Crazy."

The 3-minute stunner, filled with nudity and violence was a perfect introduction to Doechii’s music, which crosses genres and boundaries with ease. Immediately garnering controversy, the video was banned by YouTube from trending and monetization. "Crazy is about un-contained power, creativity and confidence. People call you crazy when they fear you or they don’t understand you," she said about the track and video on Instagram. "So when I use it in the song, I’m reflecting that energy back on them to show them themselves." 

However, not all of the Top Dawg Entertainment (home of Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Isaiah Rashad) artist’s music is so controversial. Another 2022 single, "Persuasive," has gone viral on TikTok for its uplifting, empowering message. Although she’s already independently released two collections of music, Doechii didn’t garner mainstream attention until the last two years or so, making her forthcoming debut record all the more exciting. 

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GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.

In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.

 

Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

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Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

 GRAMMY.com

 Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. 

"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list. 

At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself  but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the album release of that concert, Juan Gabriel En Vivo Desde El Palacio De Bellas Artes, broke sales records and established his iconic status. 

After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.   

In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.   

Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized. 

For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or ticketing@grammy.com.

Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Grizzled Mighty perform at Bumbershoot on Sept. 1

Photo: The Recording Academy

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Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Alexa Zaske
Seattle

This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.

The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.

Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."

Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.

Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed. 

Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.

My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.

For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.

(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)

Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

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Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Feb 11, 2019 - 10:58 am

As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.

Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.

"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."

Full Winners List: 61st GRAMMY Awards