Written by Ariana Assaf
This one goes out to all our festie friends headed to Miami in JUST SEVEN DAYS! With the countdown now in high gear, we want to share some thoughts you may or may not have already thought yourself.
Ultra is known for booking huge, internationally recognizable acts. No one gets on the bill unless they’ve got a major following. And while we’re super pumped to see the likes of Hardwell, Avicii, and Zedd take the stage, we’re also interested in seeing those who haven’t yet been ranked in DJ Mag’s Top 100.
- Take Marshmello, for example. Success never happens overnight, but this mysterious figure certainly ascended to stardom quickly upon the release of his original mix WaVeZ just a year ago. Between hanging out with Skrillex and making appearances on stage with Jauz (also on Ultra’s lineup) he’s been a busy man—or woman. Festival Squad has yet to experience Marshmello live, and the associated hype is making the seven-day countdown seem almost unbearably long.
- Gryffin, a baby-faced producer with a mature style, is also on the lineup for Sunday at the Live Stage. Though he started out as many up-and-comers do, remixing artists like Tove Lo, Maroon 5, and Years & Years, he has since returned to his pianist/guitarist roots and made the transition to performing a live, multi-instrumental set. In the context of a heavily electronic-based festival, we’re excited to see how Gryffin’s style contributes a different sound.
- Another artist we’d like to highlight is Alunageorge. The mainstream success of this singer/producer duo, made up of Aluna Francis and George Reid, is associated with their Jack Ü collaboration on To Ü, though that’s not to say their solo projects aren’t worth noting. Their debut album Body Music was released in 2013, and with 19 tracks, is a massive endeavor that showcases Alunageorge’s range and pure talent. The recent success of their single I’m In Control only suggests more wonderful work to come.
- In the midst of all these exciting new acts is an amazing showcase of veteran artists. Perhaps the best example of this is the Carl Cox and Friends stage, a recurring element of the festival since 2005. Ultra stands out as an enduring festival in a world of new events that fizzle out sometimes as soon as they pop up, and the presence of seminal artists including Cox and second wave Detroit techno producer Richie Hawtin help to keep the origins of electronic music involved in the festival environment.
- Of course, the Carl Cox and Friends stage also welcomes budding talent, and has helped progress the careers of game-changing artists in their own right. Take Lebanese-Nigerian producer Nicole Moudaber, who will take the stage on Saturday. She is largely credited with bringing dance music to Beirut, and stands out as one of the many eye-catching artists that makes attending Ultra such a well-rounded experience where new discoveries are always being made.
See you there!