With its big addictive supersaw chords, booming basslines and trap-inspired beats, future bass artists have now become major stronghold in the pop charts. Started in 2006 in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan and Korea, it is known for its “wobbly” sound, often achieved through applying modulation and low-frequency oscillation (read more about the future bass sound here!). An umbrella term encompassing many different sounds and styles is largely inspired by UK garage and dubstep as well as American trap hip-hop. The standard track is characterized by twinkly sounds, raindrops, vinyl scratches, high-pitched or modulated vocals, and arpeggiated melodies. It has been described as a Soundcloud genre because so many of these artists found fame simply from self-uploading their tracks onto the website.
As enjoyable to listen to in headphones as it is to dance to in a club, future bass peaked in 2016, receiving lots of coverage in the press. But even now, the genre is still finding new ways to innovate. In our guide to future bass, we taught you all you need to know about the genre, right from its origin to how to make your own. Now its time to dive deeper into the artists that who have helped to define this sound. Read on now to find out the 15 biggest future bass artists.
Future bass artists | an introductory list
Future bass artists | 1. Sango
American-born DJ and producer Sango is a great example of how eclectic the future bass sound can be. Pulling from R&B, hip hop, soul and broken beat and combining them with silky vocal chops, the diversity of his music was already well established on his debut album North (released in 2013). He has worked with artists as diverse as Ta-Ku, JMSN, WALDO, Atu, Brea, and Dpat. The perfect music for late nights, tracks such as “Middle of Things, Beautiful Wife” has an ambient, relaxed vibe that has had a massive influence on the development of contemporary hip-hop. His latest album “In the Comfort Of” took four years to make but was a major step up for him as a producer and beat-maker.
2. Wave Racer
With a name inspired by a Nintendo 64 Game, Wave Racer is one of the biggest future bass artists from Australia. Starting off by sampling French House tracks, the former Starbucks barista burst onto the scene in 2013 with his first single “Rock U Tonite” which feels like game music on acid, a delirious mashing together of different elements that felt perfectly tailored to the futuristic-minded time it was released. His nostalgia-tinged album Flash Drive, released in 2015, is the best place to get acquainted with his work – which blends dubstep with screwed-up soul to create something truly unique. He is also known for his remixes of artists such as Foster The People, Ryan Hemsworth
3. Louis the Child
Louis the Child, consisting of duo Frederic Kennett and Robert Hauldren, first burst onto the scene in 2015, with the release of “Strange” while they were still in High School. Blending future bass with elements of tropical bass, and catchy vocals from K.Flay, it was a breakout hit, praised by Taylor Swift and eventually featured on the FIFA 16 soundtrack. From there they have collaborated with many different female vocalists, including Icona Pop (“Weekend“), Caroline Ailin (“Last to Leave“) and Chelsea Cutler (“Slow Down Love“). One of their latest tracks, “Better Not” featuring Wafia, was a breakout hit, garnering over 3.5 million views.
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Future bass artists | 4. Hudson Mohawke
The Glaswegian DJ Hudson Mohawke, born Ross Matthew Birchard, rose to fame after becoming the youngest ever UK DMC World DJ Championships Finalist at just 15. His hip-hop music seems to know no boundaries, which makes it hard to classify him as ‘just’ a Future Bass DJ. Hudson Mohawke is best known for his work with Kanye West, especially his TNGHT track “Higher Ground” which was sampled for Yeezus’ “Blood on the Leaves“. He was signed as a producer for West’s label G.O.O.D. music and has collaborated on the rapper’s albums ever since.
Electro duo ODESZA consists of friends Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, aka. Catacomb kid and BeachesBeaches. Founded in 2012, their debut album Summer’s Gone was critically acclaimed in the underground community for creating a laid-back, chill-hop inspired vibe. They have achieved a massive amount of success since then, with Billboard Dance Chart hitting singles and even a Grammy-nominated album with A Moment Apart. Like so many artists in this genre, they found their fame through sharing their songs and remixes on SoundCloud, which remains a pivotal part of bringing this internet-inspired music to the masses.
6. Cashmere Cat
Norwegian DJ and record producer, Cashmere Cat first got people interested in his music with remixes of Drake, Lana Del Ray
7. Sam Gellaitry
Another Soundcloud sensation, Scottish DJ Sam Galliatry has a prolific work rate, moving from house to hip-hop before finally settling on redefining Future Bass. He started producing when he was only twelve, saying that he was inspired by his “love of nature” and listening to Flying Lotus to start making his uniquely strange sounds, which seem to always prioritize melody over beatmaking. With hundreds of tracks lying on his computer before he even released his first EP, he is completely bursting with musical invention. His mixtape Ideas is the perfect place to start, blending trap beats with twinkly synth sounds and classic wobbly chords. Only 21 years old, this DJ has a lot of promise ahead of him.
Future bass artists | 8. Lido
Norwegian-born DJ Lido began as a drummer before he started writing songs and learning piano. This ear for melody combined with his love of hip-hop helped him create his unique sound. He is quite unique among DJ’s on this list as he sings over his own tracks. He first became a star in his native Norway with “Different” in 2011 which became one of the most played songs on the radio that year. He released his pop-friendly debut Pretty Girls & Grey Sweaters in 2012, which helped to put his name on the scene as an international artist. As a remixer, he has worked with artists as diverse as alt-J, Bastille, The Weeknd, Disclosure, Bill Withers and Banks.
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9. Mura Masa
Mura Masa, born Alex Crossan, was inspired to DJ after listening to Hudson Mohawke. Growing up on the small island of Guernsey, he discovered Ableton Live at 16 years old and tried to make trap for himself. At only the age of 17, he uploaded his tracks onto Soundcloud, with “Lotus Eater” – featuring bouncy drums and a highly catchy flute line – being picked up by UK Radio 1. He is best known for his viral track Love$ick – featuring vocals by A$AP Rocky, its a classic love track that shows off the best that future bass and tropical house can do to be innovative while still staying poppy.
Named after a breed of hunting dog, Australian electronic musician Basenji, is a key part of the future bass movement. He broke out with the piano and screwed-up vocals heavy, multilayered “Speak with A Dofflin” in 2013 before signing to record label Future Classic in 2014. Perhaps he is best known for the harp and horn prominent tune “Can’t Get Enough“, which was chosen as part of the soundtrack to the thriller movie Nerve. He has only released one EP so far, Trackpad, but it has left both fans and critics alike curious as to what he will conjure up next.
11. Porter Robinson
Hailing from North Carolina, Porter Robinson is one of the hottest DJ’s around. Producing from the age of 12, he defined his early music as “Complextro” – a combination of glitchy intricate basslines, analog synth music and video game sounds. His debut EP, released after he signed to Skrillex’s record label OWSLA, was so anticipated it managed to crash Beatport’s servers, where it debuted at number one. His debut album Worlds, released at the very young age of 20, was also very well received, a welcome departure from a lot of the formulaic EDM being released around that time. In recent singles, under his new alias Virtual Self, he has moved towards more trance and deep house oriented singles.
No guide to Future Bass artists is complete without Flume, who is seen by many as a Godfather of the genre. Yet another Australian DJ to help create the genre, he was born in Sydney and started producing music from 13 years old. Crucial to his success was Triple J Unearned, a project by the National Radio station to find new music; when he uploaded his song “Possum“, he suddenly got lots of radio play and was signed by Future Classic. As a result of his fam,e he has worked with artists such as Lorde, Sam Smith, Hermitude, Disclosure and even Arcade Fire. To learn more about the acclaimed Aussie producer, read our in-depth Flume guide here.
By far the oldest producer on this list, French rapper, DJ and producer Sylvian Richard, better known as 20syl, has been around in the scene for years, releasing his first mixtape all the way back in 1995. In recent years he has become more involved in future bass, especially in his EPs Motifs and Motifs II. Some of his most popular remixes have been of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ed Sheehan, Kyla La Grange and more. He has also produced for artists such as Diam’s, Johndo, Slum Village, Fabe and Scred Connexion.
Buying his first decks at 15, Rustie’s name has become synonymous with a genre known as “laser hip hop” – which features slowed down beats, strange electronic sounds and heavily modulated basslines. HIs debut album Glass Swords was described as unclassifiable by many, and was picked as best New Album of the year by The Guardian. Many people found it hard to pin down the genre, referencing Detroit techno, game music, tropical house and sci-fi trance – now it is easier to see how it was a classic precursor to the future bass sound that we all recognise today. In subsequent albums he has worked with rapper Danny Brown.
Future bass artists | 15. Marshmello
American DJ Marshmello is instantly recognizable by the custom helmet shaped like a marshmallow he wears on his head. He rose to fame releasing songs on Soundcloud, including “Find Me” which was reposted by Skrillex. At first, his identity was a mystery but was soon revealed with the release of his debut album Joytime, which reached number five on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. His follow up album Joytime II, continued this theme. His sound is very malleable, firmly future bass but also flirtatious with other genres – often within the same track. For his best, most anthemic track, we would recommend listening to 2016’s “Alone”.
Where can I listen to other future bass artists?
If you are looking for good places to listen to this innovative new genre, we would recommend subscribing to channels such as ,
Redmond Bacon is a film obsessive and amateur music producer who can easily spend all day either at the cinema or making fresh beats. Catch his writing over at redmondbacon.co.uk.