Subtronics Is Our Top Breakout Artist Of 2019
For the past two years, Your EDM has aimed to highlight a few “breakout” artists of the year. The definition of a “breakout” artist is always slightly in flux, but first and foremost, it’s about moving up a level in an artist’s career. It might mean moving from opening slots to a headlining tour, or going from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of streams, or becoming an overnight viral sensation and, importantly, holding on to that virality.
No matter what way you slice it, Subtronics is without a doubt a breakout artist of 2019. And while in the past two years we’ve chosen three artists to highlight, we couldn’t think of any artist in 2019 who comes close to Subtronics.
Subtronics has been active in the scene since 2014, releasing “Citadel” with Imperium (Wa). From there, he released tracks and EPs on a number of labels such as Uplink Audio, Prime Audio, and Blacklight Audio. It wasn’t until 2016 that he developed his iconic cyclops branding on the Cyclops EP. Most of his releases that year and in 2017 were solo releases, until he was finally picked up for his Death Perception EP on Ganja White Night’s SubCarbon in January 2018.
It’s from here that his rapid rise truly began, with a follow-up EP on Disciple, then another on NSD: Black Label, then another on Kannibalen. Ending 2018, he would have collaborations with Space Jesus, Squnto, SVDDEN DEATH, and Boogie T that truly made him a household name in dubstep. But was he a “breakout” yet? Not quite.
2019 began with a massive collaboration with Ganja White Night, “Headband,” followed by the debut EP on his own label, Cyclops Recordings, Cyclops Army. He would follow this up with a collab on PhaseOne’s debut album, “Demon Hunter,” as well as collaborations with Rusko and Snails.
But it wasn’t until August that Subtronics finally broke through. We’re talking, of course, about “Griztronics” with Griz. The viral success of this song could not have been predicted, and it catapulted Subtronics outside of just the bass music world into the world of TikTok. The track would eventually spawn the #1 trend on the viral video platform thanks to its versatile vocal sample, “Oh this shit be hittin’ different.” It would then go on to net him his first Billboard Dance/Electronic Top 10 hit, as well.
After that, it’s — as they say — history. His most recent EP, Wooked On Tronics, has over 700k streams on Spotify, and then he followed it up with collaborations with Midnight Tyrannosaurus and Kayzo. And he still has another with Zeds Dead on the way.
Next year, he’ll embark on his biggest headline tour to-date, the Cyclops Invasion Tour. Spanning 47 dates and most major venues in major cities across the country, including a headline show at Red Rocks, he’ll be joined by HE$H, Chee, Bommer, and Level Up and these dates will sell out. In that case, you can get tickets here.
See our previous breakout artists above, and congratulations to Subtronics on such a meteoric rise within the span of, really, just the past couple years. But never forget that there’s a lot of years spent building your fanbase and team — success never happens overnight.
Photo via @chinghc107