By Dominic Wren
Escapade Music Festival seemed to have come out of nowhere to become one of Canada’s largest electronic music festival with one of it’s strongest lineups for their 10th year of bringing EDM to Ottawa. They’re headliners are only one part of the festival but what really makes EMF unique is their attention to the smaller things that really make this festival unique, such as placing a side stage in a historical building and a second side stage on the turf of the new football stadium. But ravers buy EMF passes to see their favourite artists so EDM Canada has made a top 5 list of DJs we think you should keep an eye on.
Mercer is a French DJ/producer that has hit the big time only in the last couple of years. Representing the Pardon My French crew, he constructs his music with influence from his disco and house music he grew up with. In 2018, he released “Satisfy” featuring the legendary Ron Carroll and “Let’s get ill” with DJ Snake. His 2014 release “Lunatic”, also with DJ Snake, really put him on the map. His shows are something to experience though. His sets composing of house, bounce, hip hop, and some techno, Mercer is an incredibly talented DJ that will make you think about his set for weeks.
2. Zeds Dead B2B Jauz
This B2B is one to look out for. This iconic mash up of the Canadian duo Zeds Dead and the Californian DJ Jauz have both gained major success in the music industry with their own talent. Both as heavy dubstep and bass house artists, you probably know Zeds Dead best from their massive releases such as “On Fire” (Zeds Dead remix) and “Frontlines” which hit a combined of about 50 million streams on Spotify only. Jauz released his very first album studio album in 2018 but has been recognized as a talent since his 2014 and 2015 releases of “Feel the Volume” and “Rock the Party.” These two acts have played B2B sets before at Holy Ship and Hard Summer Music Festival so they have experience together which makes a much smoother live collab that will make you headbang until your nose bleeds.
3. DJ Snake
From humble beginnings in Parisian clubs to closing some of the biggest festivals in the world, DJ Snake has rightfully earned his spot on top of the EDM world. Being one of the only world class “mainstream” DJs using turn tables and performing hundreds of shows a year, the DJ/Producer has a “me, myself and I” attitude where he produces the music he wants with no outside influences. He even expressed in a 2018 interview on the Now We Feast series that he “doesn’t like his own name” because he chose it 15 minutes before playing his first club set. This attitude translates to his music where he pulls off the biggest radio/club tracks, such as “Taki Taki” and “Lean on” or some crazy hip hop bangers like “Enzo.” His talent is so diverse that he even recently released a brand new pop/ragathon type song that he calls “the track of the summer” named “Loco Contigo” featuring J. Balvin and Tyga. His sets are nothing less than an experience. Pulling off emotional songs at the right time to some crazy bass drops to bouncy house segments, DJ Snake will appeal to everyone that catches his music.
I don’t want to write to much on him. You just have to experience him. I can’t find words to describe his music but it’s dark and different. He’s only recently hit the big stage with his debut releases in early 2018 like “Replica” and releasing his remix of Virtual Self’s “Practical Arts” less then a month later. Today, 1788-L has collaborated with artists like Rezz, Totto, Illenium, Said the Sky, and Ekali. His sets are as dark and different as his music but you’ll have to go check it out for yourself.
This Sydney born DJ has been around making music and DJing since 2008 where he quickly gained a solid reputation and getting praise from Diplo, A-Track, Major Lazor, GTA, Jauz, Tommy Trash, and Oliver Heldens. He’s best known for his massive contribution to the G-House movement and collaborating with Destructo on his 2014 album featuring west coast hip hop heroes, such as TY Dolla Sign, YG, Young Thug, Problem, and Warren G. His sets incorporate this style into his mixing with a incredible mix of intensity, vibes, and house music and hip-hop. Wax Motif isn’t the biggest act in the world but he rightfully earns the title of “legend.” He should be a “must see” for everyone attending Escapade Music Festival.
There are many more artist I would want to recommend but here are some honourable mentions: Jeffrey Sutorius, Ghastly, Quix, Keys n Krates, and Niles Baxter B2B Open Solaris. Of course this is only our top 5 picks but you make your own festival. From the whole EDM Canada team, we hope you are as excited as we are for the 10th edition of Escapade Music Festival and remember to PARTY SAFELY.