With great pain comes great art. In times of struggle, creativity seems to blossom, especially when it comes to music. In the 60s and 70s, as the world was ridden with racial injustice, political assassinations, police brutality, and an unjust war, rock and roll flourished as bands used the harsh realities imposed on their generation to fuel creativity and push musical boundaries. In the 80s and 90s, as police brutality, poverty, drugs, and violence continued to rage against society, hip-hop and punk became the new rock and roll as bands and artists used these new genres and creative outlets to combat the establishment. In 2020 the coronavirus swept through the globe causing lockdowns and disrupting life as we know it. Mix that with more police brutality, racism, protests, riots, and a divided America can only mean one thing. 2021 will be filled with great music.


What better way to pull ourselves out of these historically absurd times than with the power of music? Our generation craves, peace, love, and unity as we long for change and our own path. When the world looks back on our time they will see a generation that chose love over hate. A generation that pushed for an insurgence in consciousness through the power of music and festivals.

Despite what mainstream media may imply the music of this generation is without a doubt electronic and to say the best has yet to come would be an understatement. We are currently in the midst of a musical revolution. No festivals, tours, or shows means DJs are stuck home honing their craft and sitting on a bunch of unreleased music. Without the pressures and time restraints that come with being a touring DJ, artists have had the opportunity to commit all of their energy to producing and songwriting. Mix in the frustrations and tribulations caused by the lockdown and the state of our world, artists can muster up the inspiration to really push their creative limits.


Now, as the vaccine continues to circulate and festivals and shows seems more likely to happen , artists are beginning to release new music and announce upcoming albums. Here are the top 10 electronic records either rumored or announced we are looking forward to the most!

Kaskade – Reset- Release Date : 3/5/21

Although, only four songs, Kaskade goes back to his roots as his newest EP most resembles his Automatic and Atmosphere projects rather than his previous Redux releases. There is a common message through each track. With all that happened in 2020, Kaskade suggests we need a reset to get back to love and optimism.

Charles the First – Solus- Release Date : 3/5/21

If there is one artist truly pushing the boundaries of what electronic music can be, it would be Charles the First as he ingeniously meshes lo fi down tempo hip-hop with dance and dubstep inspired sounds creating a musical journey like no other.

Porter Robinson- Nurture- Release Date: 4/23/21

Arguably the most anticipated album of the year, Porter is set to release his first LP since his critically acclaimed Worlds album in 2014. Based off the four singles released in the past few months, Nurture has the potential to spark another creative revolution in dance music and will surely be talked about for years to come.

San Holo- BB u ok? – Release date- 5/21/21

San Holo is set to release his most diverse and personal record of his career thus far. Featuring artists such as Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, American Football, Mija and more, BB u ok? will be right up there with the best electronic albums in 2021.

Mersiv- Pretty Dark Loud – Release Date- TBA

After releasing his single Talkin Bout in January, Mersiv announced his debut album is in the works via Instagram in early February. Mersiv has been quickly rising to stardom in the past few years and is set to take the bass scene by storm once this highly anticipated album finally drops.

Illenium- Album title and release date TBA

Along with releasing his massive single Nightlight featuring vocals by Annika Wells, Illenium has teased an album coming sometime in the near future. Known for his heavy hitting, melodic dubstep and his emotional song content, Illenium will have you headbanging into your feels.

Flume- Album title and release date TBA

After releasing a remix of Eiffel 65’s Blue, the legendary Australian producer Flume announced he’s working a new album on George Breakfast’s Bangers & Bants radio show. “I’ve just kind of been sending demos out and trying to get as much music together before the lockdown finishes and hopefully come out of it with something to show for myself,” Flume said in the interview. “And we’ll see what happens, but yeah, I’m hoping to have a record done before the end of the year.”

Lsdream- Album title and release date TBA

After just celebrating the 3-year anniversary of the Lsdream project, trap lord turned spiritual bass shaman Sami Damient has announced his second single High Vibrations will be released as a follow up to the Follow the Vibe single released at the end of 2020. One can only speculate Lsdream has more music on the way.

Ganja White Night- Album title and release date TBA

Although no singles have been released, Ganja White Night recently took to Instagram to announce the postponement of Wobble Rocks, their 3 day concert series at Red Rocks, Colorado for not only safety concerns but to allow them the chance to release new music as they hinted at an upcoming album.

Alison Wonderland – Album title and release date TBA

Even without touring, Alison Wonderland has been hard at work throughout 2020, releasing singles like Bad Things and Anything featuring Valentino Kahn as well as teasing her 3rd Studio album set to release in the spring of 2021. With her producing skills combined with her ability to sing and play musical instruments, the EDM scene will be in for quite a treat once her album drops.

James Flanders, known musically as James, is an upcoming music producer coming out of Philadelphia. After recently quitting his job to pursue his passion, James is dialed in and ready to establish a name for himself in the future bass and electronic music scene. Riding the wave of his massive single titled ‘One More Night’ and his remix of Zedd’s ‘Clarity’, James has his sights set high as he rolls into 2021.

We sat down with James to discuss his inspirations, career goals, and more.

Check out the full interview below!

How did you get into making music?

I’ve loved music for a long, long time. I always had an interest in making it myself in high school and college but never dove in and learned. It seemed overwhelming, and I never thought it was something I could do. In my last year of college, I finally began messing around with Ableton. As college was winding down, I realized I needed to take finding a job and starting a career seriously. Since music was something I was always passionate about, I figured it was time to explore that avenue.

What drew you to electronic music?

 A few things. The big sell is the passion and energy that come with the music. There’s something about EDM music that really makes me feel. It’s a beautiful thing. Apart from that, though, I love the community. When I started going to these concerts, I was blown away by how friendly everyone was.

What’s your creative process? Do you have a specific routine, or does it vary depending on the day?

 When I’m starting a song, I always begin with the chord progression. The progression sets the mood for the entire song, so it’s a great place to start. From there, it’s kind of random. I build off the progression in no particular order, letting whatever ideas I’m hearing flow naturally. This way, I don’t confine myself to thinking, “I need to do the beat next” or “Now I have to do the melody.” I feel like that would be limiting and damper ideas coming naturally.

You recently took some time off from producing to sharpen your DJ skills. What was the most challenging part of that process?

Honestly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was lucky to have a few friends who knew how to DJ already that walked me through it. That and some YouTube videos. If you want to learn how to DJ, you can learn in a week if you put in an hour a day. The hardest part was having opportunities actually to put the skill to use! Nothing like learning how to DJ for a crowd during a quarantine when there can’t be crowds.

Your first-ever show was a live stream, which is becoming a great tool for new and established DJs alike. Do you believe live streams will be a new normal even when live music comes back?

I don’t think so. While they have been a great substitute for live music during quarantine, it really is just that – a substitute. You will never be able to match the real thing through a tv screen. Something I could see happening is putting live in-person concerts (when they come back) up to stream for people who can’t make the concert. I think that would be pretty cool.

You announced you quit your job to pursue music full time, which I applaud. Do you believe having that do-or-die attitude will push you further than having a plan b to fall back on?

 Thank you! I think it will. I think quitting the job made it real for me. While it was always in the back of my mind I wanted to make this music thing happen, I never really believed it WOULD happen while working. My job was my plan A and my career, so it’s where a lot of my energy went (even though I hated it). To anyone reading this who hates their job – IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. It might take some hard work to make your passions your career, but it is undoubtedly worth it.

I love your clarity remix, and your live set was very euphoric and nostalgic. Who would you say are your biggest inspirations for your sound?

Thank you! That’s what I go for. I try to take inspiration from anyone I’m listening to, but I do take more from a few artists specifically. Illenium, Nurko, and Porter Robinson are a few to note. Like I said earlier, I like EDM music because it really makes me feel. These artists, in particular, drive that home for me. I want to give that amazing feeling I get from those artists to the people listening to my music.

Would you say there are any other genres aside from EDM that have an impact on your creative process?

 For sure! I grew up listening to rap and alternative. I always listened to a decent amount of classic rock as well (thanks, dad!!). I’m lucky to have parents who LOVE music and love a wide range of it too. I have no doubt that the exposure to so much good music over the years has impacted how I produce.

Who are your favorite artists at the moment?

Nurko, Illenium, Elderbrook, and Rüfüs Du Sol.

What was the best concert or festival you’ve been to and why?

 This is a tough one! I’ve been to so many amazing shows and festivals, which I feel very lucky for. If we’re talking specific concert, I’d say Flume at Firefly 2017. Flume’s music is so damn cool and different. Seeing that live was like no concert I’d been to before. So unique. Festival wise I’d say Ultra 2019. The lineup was an absolute beauty, and the setting was just magical in general. I also went with an amazing group of people.

If you could work with any artist from any genre, who would it be?

 I’m sounding like a broken record here but probably Illenium. He’s one of my bigger influences and also unbelievably talented. I could learn so much from him.

If you could accomplish one goal in your musical career, what would it be?

 When my adventure into making music is all said and done, whenever that may be, I just hope that it brought some positivity, love, and connection into this world. That’s what music is all about. If my music is able to do that, I’d be the happiest guy in the world.