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Electronic Artists as Vocalists
By: 🐉 Diana Lustig - 05.31.18

The new year is off to a great start for electronic music, but with a surprising twist. Alison Wonderland’s track “Church” and Mija’s new EP How to Measure the Distance Between Lovers are two of the year’s hottest releases. Not only do these comes from female producers, but these artists also sing over their own tracks.

Wait - did you say singing? In EDM? Absolutely! And this isn’t the first time. Keep reading to find a short list of Kusheen’s favorite producers and DJs who sing live on their own tracks.

Porter Robinson & Madeon Sing During the Shelter Tour

It’s hard to think of Madeon without Porter Robinson; and vice versa. Their co-produced single “Shelter” is wildly popular. The coinciding tour of the same name sold out in mere minutes in venues across the US. Those of us lucky enough to see the live act were treated to Hugo Leclercq (Madeon) singing “Shelter” or Porter Robinson singing “Finale.”

This wasn’t the first time Porter took hold of the microphone. Many of his solo shows feature live renditions of “Divinity” and “Beings.” The popular duo unfortunately only toured for a limited run. Let’s hope Coachella 2017, their last show, wasn’t their finale.

GRiZ Raps Live at Red Rocks

Are you tired of us writing about GRiZ? Well, we’re not done yet.

Last year, Griz played the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre with a slew of talented artists. During his opening song, the producer/saxaphone player rapped alongside his openers; showing off a talent we never knew he had!

Recently, his social media pages went dark. And all that was added was an empty piece of paper, followed by a spoken word video. Maybe Griz’s next chapter will show a side with less sax and more lyrics. All we can do now is wonder and wait.

The M Machine Sings “Tiny Anthem”

The year was 2011. I was on my second year of raving and going to electronic shows. A mere novice to the scene by all accounts. I was seeing Porter Robinson live for the first time; pre-Worlds if you can believe it. His opener was The M Machine, a trio who made music with unique references to silent movies (such as Metropolis) and rock-inspired drops. It was the first time I watched a DJ sing, and I was totally blown away.

They’ve since deviated from some of their earlier sound, but every once in a while, I turn on “Tiny Anthem” to pull myself back to that tiny, hot theater in Tempe, Arizona.

Zhu Sings “Faded”

If you haven’t heard of this song, you’re in for a treat (but who are we kidding, everybody has heard “Faded” by now).

Zhu burst into the limelight with his famous track “Faded” from his premiere EP The Nightday. The Chinese-American producer enjoyed anonymity during the early days of his career, but has spoken about singing in his own songs.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Steven Zhu said, “What’s cool about this project is that I’m able to write, produce and sing and pick what voice works. My voice works for some things but it doesn’t work for everything. So if I need a different texture, then I’m gonna go and get it.” He has since released a number of songs that include singing; and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Ookay Sings on “Thief”

When someone recommended Ookay to me for singing, I thought, isn’t he a trap artist? I wouldn’t have expected someone of this genre to sing. But here at Kusheen we’re all about genre mixing!

This song blends Ookay’s sultry singing with a light, bouncy beat and a great saxophone-fueled drop. This isn’t the first time Ookay has sang - you can hear his smooth singing on Getter’s “Told You.”

Are we missing your favorite producer/vocalist? There are dozens of other examples out there. So, hit us up on social media to tell us what we missed. And subscribe to Kusheen for all the best music news and reviews.

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