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.

Will Geary, who goes by the name Hi Will is a bass and dubstep producer from Port Jervis, New York, who recently moved out to  Colorado. He’s been hard at work releasing an 11 track ep titled Inverted, along with three singles in 2020. 2021 has the potential to be a break out year for the Colorado producer who just released a brand new banger called Stankface featuring Filth Collins.

The Daily Frequency caught up with Hi Will to discuss how he started making music, DJ’ing, and a whole lot more!

Check out the full interview below!

You made the big jump from New York to Colorado. What has that experience been like?

Moving to Colorado has been a dream of mine since before I could remember. I started skiing when I was four and snowboarding when I was 14 and never experienced a pow day until I moved here. It was a super easy transition for me. A ton of my friends from college also moved here around when I did so I was never really got lonely, and I had a job, and everything lined up before I got here.

How did you get into making music? Has it been something that’s always been apart of your life, or is it something you got into as you got older?

It took me a few starts. My great-grandpa was a pretty famous drummer back in the day, so I really wanted to play drums in school but was assigned trumpet, so I never really took it too seriously and quit band in middle school. I was into punk rock, so I picked up a guitar but again didn’t really make it too far. I grew out of punk music and started listening to hip hop in 9th grade. My first attempt at college didn’t go well, so when I withdrew after a couple weeks, I wanted to start making beats in garage band but was quickly discouraged. This was in 2008, so there weren’t as many resources as there are now to teach yourself. Fast forward to Sumer 2012, I was really into house and dubstep and went to my first music festival, Camp Bisco XI. This was the summer that EDM trap was first starting to emerge. When Skrillex dropped Wild for the night (going in) edit, it was the first time I heard EDM trap music, and it all kind of clicked for me that it was something I wanted to make myself. I blew my entire refund check on a MacBook when I went back to school that fall, got a bootleg version of Ableton, and dove in.

What challenges did you face as a new producer?

I had a bumpy start. I was kind of stubborn and could’ve saved a lot of time if I had a better process back then. A lot of frustrating hours spent in Ableton learning by trial and error. My one friend that was also producing at the time was also anti samples, anti preset, etc., and pushed me towards trying to make everything myself. Then my releases weren’t getting any attention, so I stopped putting music out, and would just fall in and out of Ableton for a couple of years.

When did you decide that music was something you really wanted to pursue?

 I was done with school, living in western NY, and facing a mountain of student loans. I was pursuing being a financial advisor, and the message there was you need to focus 100% on building your business if you want to be successful. I really wasn’t happy and would work all day and come home and produce all night. I don’t know who I was trying to prove wrong, but it was actually pretty motivating for making music, but I was lying to everyone. Lying to prospective clients, trying to act like I was someone I wasn’t so they would trust me to manage their money. Lying to my manager that I was 100% committed to being a financial advisor and lying to myself that I was putting enough effort into producing. I did that for a few years and was finally on my feet enough to fulfill a lifelong dream of moving to Colorado.

Would you say the move to Colorado helped you creatively?

Colorado is a lot more chill than western NY professionally. You can be yourself a lot more at an office job, and its not uncommon to have a career without giving up your interests. When I first moved, I wasn’t sure if I’d have to take a drug test for my new job or not, so the first time I smoked weed in a couple of months, I got awkwardly stoned and came home and wrote probably my darkest song, Terminated. I still had no real idea what I wanted out of producing, but I had years of projects starting to stack up.

Have the restrictions with covid allowed you to focus on your craft?

I can thank the pandemic for giving me a lot of free time alone to get my shit together. I put together a tracklist for Inverted and then wiped my computer’s hard drive. I’ve learned a lot and have been really focusing on my mixing and mastering skills to get an industry-standard sounding product and get my workflow a lot faster where I’m not spending months or years on songs. I’m about to graduate from the AMP program with KMG in Denver, which has helped a lot.

What’s your creative process? Walk us through an average day at the studio.

I still don’t have a one-off creative process to start. It’s usually trying to learn something new, or making a drum loop, or chord progression, or wanting to sample something or make a  “type beat”.  Once I get excited about the direction of a project, I try to not put it down until I sketch something out that I can finish, or at least bounce a snippet from and listen to and decide if its something I want to put more time in on or start something new. A good practice if you get stuck or aren’t feeling very creative is to try to learn something new. Usually, if I try to make a new sound or something, I get inspired for a song by the time I’m done with the tutorial.

You released a lot of music in 2020, including an 11 track ep and three singles. How do you find inspiration day in and day out?

Like I said before, Inverted is basically all my more amateur sounding stuff that I liked enough to put out, and is basically 7 years of work. The three singles I put out this year were basically sketched out, pulling an all-nighter when the inspiration struck.

Your sound seems to be heavily influenced by hip-hop. Who are your favorite rappers at the moment?

Favorite rappers seem to come and go, but Futures has been a favorite for a while, I listened to a lot of da baby and Lil baby last year.

Who are your influences in electronic music?

My biggest influences would have to be early RL Grime, Flosstradamus and Skrillex, pretty lights, and basshead era Bassnectar. Dillon Francis is also a huge influence of mine. I like how he was able to blow up without being confined to a genre, which is the producer id like to be, with some high-energy bangers for playing shows and less aggressive songs that are more universally enjoyable.

Aside from hip-hop and electronic music, what other genres do you resonate with and draw inspiration from?

I listen to a ton of different music. As far as inspiration goes, id have to say I usually get inspired by indie tracks. Video Game by Sufjan Stevens is a good example. I should drop a remix to that, actually, haha.

You spend a lot of your free time outside. Do you believe taking time out of the studio to hike or snowboard benefits your creative process?

It’s always good to take a break, but if anything, it’s detrimental to producing. Snowboarding is probably my #1 distraction, and I feel bad about using my limited free time, not in the studio.

You play vinyl when you DJ. Do you believe that’s becoming a lost art?

I came across an offer I couldn’t refuse when I bought my vinyl set up. It still runs through Serato. It’s just timecoded vinyls. I really like the vinyl set up because, with the spinning records, you actually feel the music moving underneath your fingers. Plus, if you can spin and beat match on technics, you can pretty much use anything. Personally, I’m not a big fan of turntablism. A few tricks in a DJ set can take it up a notch, but other than that, it’s just not a sound I think is desirable. As far as straight vinyl djing, it seems like more of a novelty. Someone can do a lot more with a controller these days, and being limited to the tracks you have on actual records seems like it just limits the DJ for no good reason.

Do you listen to any music on vinyl?

I got my girlfriend an Odesza vinyl for Christmas, and it sounded amazing. I think id like to start an actual vinyl collection and buy some of my favorites. Two that come to mind would be Anderson Paaks Malibu and Post Malones Stoney.

What’s the last show you saw, and who are you most excited to see when live music comes back?

The last show I saw was NGHTMRE at the Amplitude drive-in. It was pretty sick! I don’t really have any tickets for anything coming up, but I just pray we get red rocks back this summer.

You just released your new single featuring Filth Collins; what should fans expect from you as the year goes on?

I have a ton of projects I’m working on. Stankface is my first track with original vocals, and Filth and I work pretty well together, so we’ll be releasing a lot more high energy tracks this year. I have some more melodic tunes coming out with my homie Astro Piano that we just have to wrap up and some hip hop joints. I pretty much have a hip hop instrumental tape I want to drop as well. I have a remix dropping for Subbspaced next month and a few other remixes I might put out on Soundcloud. Most of my fans know me from Inverted, so anyone whose been following me will notice that I stepped my game up and will just keep getting better. So this year, I’m holding myself to a higher standard, a lot of collabs, and just bigger and better records. I hope to play out in Denver a good amount this year, too, if we can get past covid. I’ll be putting out a mix with all originals at some point this year.

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.

As coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, the music festival industry is stuck in limbo as uncertainty takes a firm grip on the fate of live music.

Uncertainty was pushed even further this morning as Glastonbury, the world’s biggest music festival, held in England, announced its cancelation for 2021 and has decided to set its sights on the 2022 festival season. If a festival this large has already been canceled, the odds of a festival season happening this summer are slim.

Official Glastonbury Announcement

Yet, strangely enough, this afternoon, The Rothbury Village Council approved dates in June 2021 for Electric forest as well as two alternate weekends in August. This by no means guarantees that the festival will happen but offers a slight sense of optimism towards the possibility of Electric Forrest making a comeback in 2021.

Regardless of today’s events, the fate of live music and festivals are still very much in limbo for the upcoming season, but music fans can remain hopeful.

Continue to tune in to The Daily Frequency for music festival updates.

The Universe has a peculiar way of speaking to you, especially when your judgments are closed and your heart and mind are open. When you are tuned into the right frequency, it becomes obvious that there is another force guiding us through this existence. You just have to trust that energy, and once you do, you recognize that the answers are often right in front of you and have been this whole time. Everything that happens in life has a purpose. It may not be what you want, expect, or understand, but as time goes on, you will realize that it was exactly what you needed.
It was the beginning of October, and my friends and I finally copped tickets to a drive-in rave. Not just any show but the Wakaan Halloween takeover in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Liquid Stranger, Champagne Drip, and Mize were set to throw down on top of Montage Mountain. We couldn’t think of a better first show back since the pandemic and were hyped as fuck, to say the least. Not just for the fact that we were going to see Liquid Stranger, or that we were finally going to see live music, but that we could ultimately rage together. We haven’t danced and headbanged through the night since Okeechobee, and we were all itching for an evening of good vibes, good music, and debauchery.
As Halloween approached, Liquid Stranger announced that each night of the three-day takeover would be unique. Night one would be dedicated to throwback jams, night two would be a tripped set, and night three would be full of bangers. Each night was sold out, and we were going to night two.
As much as I love downtempo tripped out music, I was skeptical of the tripped-out theme. It was my first show in 8 months, and I wanted to party. I had all this pent up energy from quarantine that I needed to release. How can I do that during a slow trippy show? But the Universe doesn’t always give you what you want but what you need.
Aside from my reserves, we were ready to be back in our element. We missed the crowd, the atmosphere, and of course, the people. Before we knew it, it was Friday morning, and we were finally on our 2 hour Journey to Montage Mountain Resorts to check in our hotel before the show. The only problem was it was not only freezing but raining. Not the greatest weather for an outdoor show, but the gray clouds wouldn’t stop our shine. After sitting in line for almost two hours, with flashbacks to Bonnaroo 2019, we finally made it in just in time for Mize to hit the stage.
Strangely enough, the sky opened up, and all the clouds disappeared. A full moon lit up the heavens above with Mars in the background. It was still cold, but it was perfect. As the night went on, Mize changed to DMVU, which switched to Champagne Drip, and then finally Liquid Stranger. The entire time I could not take my eyes off the moon. All I kept thinking that this is what humans have been doing for thousands of years. Dancing under the full moon, losing ourselves in the moment.

As Liquid Stranger finished his set, he spoke about his decision to perform a tripped set under the full moon. That he never gets a chance to play the music that he played that night. That every song he played from Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin to Forever Young by Rod Stewart had an impact on his life and his career. He spoke on how the world was going through a transition and that we need to treat each other with love.
It is then I realized that the Universe was speaking to me through Liquid Stranger. The world is going through a transition, but so am I. I realized that the tripped set was exactly what I needed. Instead of giving me a night full of bangers for my first show back, I got music that opens your mind and soothes the soul. I’ve been going to shows for ten years now, and I’ve partied as hard as anyone. I kept having this thought that part of my life is over. Not that I’ll stop going to shows or festivals, but my intentions will change. That I will be motivated by spirituality instead of just getting fucked up. It was as if the Universe was pushing me in a new direction.

Since then, I’ve been meditating, reading, and positively focusing on my goals, and things are suddenly falling into place. I’m starting to get opportunities I’ve never had before, I feel better mentally and physically, and I have a newfound excitement for the future.
I felt this story was important to share as we head into 2020’s winter solstice coming early next week. On December 21, for the first time in 800 years, Saturn and Jupiter will align, creating what’s called the great conjunction allowing the Christmas star to be visible. This extraordinary event is said to be a sign of powerful change and spiritual transformation as we transition to a new age.
The fact that this will happen in 2020 is pretty remarkable considering what’s going on in the world. 2020 isn’t the year we asked for, but it is the year we needed. A year that acted as a wake-up call to say that this way of existence, full of hate, neglect for the earth, carelessness for our health, and need for material pleasures, is not sustainable. Our way of life has been taken from us. We have been forced to stay inside with no restaurants, no bars, no concerts, festivals, weddings, or parties. We can’t go to work, kids can’t go to school, and some of us have lost loved ones. But through all the tragedy, there is a silver lining. 2020 has forced us to find happiness from within and think in different ways. It taught us not to take life for granted because you never know when life will abruptly change. People are finally beginning to wake up. Everyone has grown in someway through quarantine. Whether it’s finding a new hobby, a new passion, or realizing you can survive on much less than you thought.
We’ve seen worldwide protests in the name of peace and equality. Governments are being exposed, the powers are shifting, and the world is learning that love trumps all. As Bob Dylan famously put it, “The times are a changin!” 2020 was not the year we wanted, but the year we needed. We struggled and survived together. New beginnings are ahead of us. It’s time to stop saying fuck 2020 and start being grateful that it happened. 2020 will be known as the year we woke up, and 2021 will not only be our year but a promising start to our greater purpose.

It is no secret that the music industry is getting hit harder than any other industry in America, and unfortunately, it is not getting any better. With no end to the pandemic in sight, major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella are already forgoing the 2021 summer season and preparing for fall festivals once again. We all are in disarray as we desperately wait for live music to return to the way it was. We have made the best of the cards we’ve been dealt with and found creative, safe ways to enjoy live music, but everyone knows it is not the same. Drive-in raves and socially distant concerts, as fun, as they may be, are not sustainable and certainly won’t save the dying music industry.

I wish it were as simple as snapping our fingers to get live music back once the pandemic is over, but it’s not. The hard pill to swallow is that without venues, our favorite artists can’t perform. One may think that just because festivals are announcing dates that everything will be okay, but the truth is that touring and small venues are the backbone of the music industry. If they fall, everything else falls with it.

Without government funding and financial support, 90 percent of independent music venues could close its doors for good. It would be a devastating blow to the music industry and a steep climb back up.

Recently the House passed the “Heros Act.” which included provisions of the Save Our Stages Act, which would give 10 billion in funding to independent venues. The bad news is that the republican controlled senate is unlikely to pass the bill unless a deal is reached with the Democrats, leaving the “Cares Act’ in limbo.

The good news there is something we can do. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is partnering with YouTube for a 3-day virtual music festival called Save Our Stages to raise awareness and donations for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund to support our most vulnerable venues.

The festival will kick off Friday, October 16, at 8 pm on youtube and end on Sunday the 18th. The festival will host performances by Miley Cyrus, The Foo Fighters, Major Lazer, and more.

You can subscribe on youtube to watch #SOSfest for free and donate at Save Our Stages.

It’s also not too late to take action, by sending a message to your local representatives to drive support for government assistance. NIVA has a letter made up to send if you wish to lend your support.