The rapid rise of social media in the last decade has allowed many individuals involved in the entertainment and music industries to gain massive exposure and make a name for themselves that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to; however, many individuals still fly under the radar, or aren’t as appreciated for their talents as they should be.
Today, we focus on one profession in particular- DJs. There’s no doubt that it takes a great deal of skill to master the art of being a DJ, and many have taken their fundamental skills and developed their own styles throughout the years. With a plethora of DJs out there in many different settings and venues, we’ve conducted an extensive search to bring you ten talented DJs we believe you should keep tabs on in 2021.
(Note: The following DJs are listed in random order)
Now crowned the “Prince Of Philly”, Nico Oso has solidified his reputation as the people’s choice for top DJ and entertainer in the Tri-State area. His intrinsic talent of genre-blending & energetic crowd control has sculpted him into a one-of-a-kind performer and has established his shows as a staple in Philadelphia. At the age of 23, Nico Oso has acquired an extensive resumé including his role as resident DJ for Rap Snacks and resident DJ for Philly’s #1 Award-Winning Hit Music Station Q102. He has placements with DJCity Sessions and Pitbull’s Globalization Show on Sirius XM Radio, while also representing the Senate DJs as a Reloop Artist at showcases like the NAMM Show. While 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty to the creative community, Nico Oso looks to take 2021 by storm with “Damaged Goods”, a newly founded creative collective and digital marketing agency born to push creative boundaries while promoting a positive, productive lifestyle.
2. Jason Jani
Jason Jani is trusted by some of the world’s most discerning client base and has become one of the most sought-after profile event DJs in the world. Catering to the social elite, in the VIP Event, Corporate Event and Private event space, he has toured the world providing the soundtrack for celebrities, companies, organizations, and industry professionals most sacred events. Described as the “DJ’s DJ,” he has appeared and been featured on countless television and radio programs, in magazines and industry books, as well as the headlining talent at numerous profile industry events. His resume boasts events that many DJs in the world cannot even imagine. Jason Jani has shared the stage with some impressive talent such as: Cardi B and Diplo at the Philadelphia Eagles Super bowl post game celebration, DMC of the infamous RUN DMC, Red Foo of LMFAO, Guns N Roses, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Fatman Scoop, Montell Jordan, Freedom Williams of C&C Music Factory, Vanilla Ice, Paul Oakenfold and has been the go to DJ for reality television stars Melissa & Joe Gorga, People like Martha Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel and organizations like WeddingWire, The Knot, Mobile Beat Las Vegas, and a universe of influencers in culture today. Read more about Jason Jani here.
3. John Lutchman
If you ask DJ John Lutchman (AKA “The Brooklyn Kid”) what it takes to stand out in the wildly saturated DJing world, his answer will be short and sweet: creativity. These days, it needs to apply far beyond just music too; uniqueness in style, voice, and action is vital, and John has all of the above in spades. It also doesn’t hurt to carry a vast, deep music library - with the ability to play almost any given genre at any given moment - to be one of the most versatile DJs in the game. Calling a DJ “up and coming” after he’s been honing his craft for two decades might sound strange, but it’s also oddly accurate because at his current trajectory, he’s only getting started. The proud NYC native didn’t take long to find his passion and start turning heads. Born into a musical family, he picked up his first vinyl record at age seven; a DJ savant of sorts, by age 12 his skills were in frequent use within the New York scene. He first entered the scene as JohnnyBee (JB for short), commanding floors full of partiers over twice his age. Combining his mixing skills with his B-Boy breakdancing stage presence, JB was heavily requested during his teenage years and landed him countless shows well before legally taking his first drink. During his adult years, he’s headlined various high-profile events at festivals and world-famous nightclubs, received a co-sign from the legendary Crooklyn Clan as an Editor, acquired several sponsorships, featured in a short film for the “National Hip Hop Museum”, been named “One of the Top 25 DJs of 2016 by All-Star Mixtape Awards, and released countless edits, remixes, and original singles.
TEFFLER is an electronic dance music DJ, record producer, and songwriter who has had an exciting start to his young career touring Europe and working with Afrojack’s record label, WALL Recordings. His most recent EP, “Come Closer” has been streamed over 3.5 million times on Spotify, and his music catalog has been streamed over 11 million times across all music platforms. It has also been featured on highly popular Spotify editorial playlists, New Pop Revolution, and The Pop List. TEFFLER’s production knows no boundaries, from delivering energetic club bangers to melodic future pop anthems. His signature sound of effortlessly blending future and bass house with the soulful elements of modern pop has proven to be a driver in his early streaming success. TEFFLER is clearly one to watch out for with his unique sound, business savvy mind, and distinct branding. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for 2021.
5. Tai V
“Architect of deep, infectious grooves, and feel good vibes”- That’s how Tai (Taiwan Veney) describes himself as a DJ. Never afraid to go deep, his impassioned musical selections are his own therapy. Having grown up on synth-infused funk music (Fat Boys), rhythmic 90s tracks (Mobb Deep, Jeru the Damaja), cadenced Baltimore music… all which became infused with his own affection for hip-hop music, Tai ended up with quite a mixed spectrum of musical influence. Today, this translates into sets where he picks apart and infuses together all the pieces of music that he loves best: mellifluous kick drums and snare combinations, ethereal backdrops, brooding basslines, and occasional vocal hooks…orchestrated around a little scratching. A very active member of his local community, Tai is no stranger to the ups-and-downs of the music scene. Though he loves playing music for family gatherings, special events, and local establishments, his love for music goes beyond the spectrum of mixing tunes. As music composer for the web series Opportunity Knocks and documentary Conviction, actor in I Think I May, I Think I Might, he has found plenty of ways to express himself creatively. “For me, it’s all about the vibe and a deep, hypnotic groove… blending and cutting on tracks that make you nod your head without realizing it- regardless of genre, tempo, style, or year,” Tai V passionately stated.
6. Kevin Sihwan
Hyeseong Park (Kevin Sihwan) is a 24 year-old DJ, EDM producer and multi-instrumentalist from Seoul, South Korea and based out of Philadelphia, PA. Beginning at the age of six, Kevin began mastering the piano and after 10 years perfecting his craft he set his sights on becoming a producer. Kevin recently produced K-pop and Japanese City Pop in Seoul, South Korea and has garnered an international reputation within the electronic dance music scene. Sihwan is recognized for his stellar production quality and he has performed with some of the biggest names in the industry. In addition, Kevin brought his high energy DJ set to “Tomorrowland USA” where he performed as the headlining artist in 2020. He currently has over 10 releases within the U.S. and his music has been supported by artists such as Nick Romero, Cheat Codes, Loud Luxury, Lucas & Steve, Firebeatz, Ookay, Dannic, Ricky Retro and more. Kevin’s fans can expect to see an avalanche of solo releases throughout the rest of the year as live entertainment begins to return to normal in 2021 and beyond.
7. DJ Yung Nas
Naseem Johnson, professionally known as DJ Yung Nas, is a 22 year-old American Disc Jockey and Music Producer from Wilkes Barre, PA. He is known for his DJ performances on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. DJ Yung Nas was born March 4, 1999. Before becoming a DJ, Nas was just a regular person who graduated from Coughlin High School in 2017, and is now attending Penn State University to pursue his career as a TV/ Radio personality. During his high school years, he listened to the radio every day. His favorite stations to listen to were Power 99 & Hot 97. His inspiration for DJing came from listening to those radio DJs like DJ Diamond Kutz and DJ Camilo. Nas began DJing at the age of 17. His first DJ controller was the Pioneer SB2. He started off with house parties and regular events, and then moved up to college parties and nightclubs where his name soon sparked. As a beginner DJ, Nas practiced his DJing skills every day until he felt his craft was ready to post. He watched a lot of YouTube videos and read many articles which helped him progress with his scratching. DJ Yung Nas now DJ’s for The Lion 90.7 FM WKPS every Friday from 11PM to 1AM. The Lion is a Penn State student-run radio station based in State College, Pennsylvania. DJ Yung Nas also makes DJ performance videos on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. He does scratching videos as well as mixes and mashups. His DJ mixes are available on Soundcloud, AudioMack, YouTube and Mixcloud. Nas continues to learn new techniques and often posts his craft to social media. Keep an eye out for the talented DJ Yung Nas.
8. DJ Exile
DJ Exile is a notable DJ who has significantly helped open the doors for Latin music in Las Vegas nightlife. From being an official DJ on JLO's “It’s My Party” tour, to opening up and working with major Reggaeton acts such as Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Ozuna, and many other prominent artists at major nightclubs in Las Vegas (Drais, Omnia, Marquee, Kaos, etc), Exile holds quite an impressive resume. Bad Bunny and J Balvin were amongst the top 5 most streamed artists on Spotify in 2020, so it's safe to say Reggaeton has made a major impact in today's music. DJ Exile is a Las Vegas native with a large following in the Vegas Valley, and keeps pushing that culture of Reggaeton and “La Cultura'' (Culture) onto the Las Vegas scene- whether he's throwing the event, show, festival, or just DJing. “I've been DJing for over 15 years and I remember first beginning at house parties playing all of the old school Daddy Yankee and Wisin & Yandel songs. Nowadays, nightclubs book me to work with these same artists. It’s a dream come true, and it'll only continue to expand,” Exile stated. DJ Exile is definitely a talent to keep your eyes on in 2021.
9. DJ LiTEBRiTE
What do Snoop Dogg, TroyBoi, and the Oklahoma City Thunder have in common? They’ve all been accompanied on stage by DJ LiTEBRiTE, an electrifying 27-year-old American disc jockey, emcee, husband, father, business owner, influencer, and non-profit CEO of the Quanah Economic Development Corporation. As many know him, Jalen Dorsey, or ‘LiTEBRiTE,’ inked the flamboyant nickname in high school from a friend who appreciated his positive, bright energy and light complexion. When Dorsey toted the LiTEBRiTE moniker to Southwestern Oklahoma State University, he added DJ as a prefix and threw unparalleled parties for the next five years as a suffix. Upon completing a degree in Communication in 2016, Dorsey transitioned to Oklahoma City with the intent to evolve his college party business model into one of corporate events and festivals. In 2016, dots began to connect when RadioDJs invited the 23-year-old to the international team of open format disc jockeys, boasting collaborations with professional sports teams, television shows, and entertainment concepts like Topgolf. The following two years yielded more growth as LiTEBRiTE became an official entertainment partner with Torchy’s Tacos and McNellie’s Group, which manages the concept Fassler Hall where LiTEBRiTE is a resident DJ. Dorsey’s vibrant style-of-play and global business-savviness keep the decade-old brand at the forefront of entertainment conversations in Oklahoma. That popularity sent fans flocking to the 405 Magazine polls, proclaiming DJ LiTEBRiTE as “2019’s Party DJ of the Year.” This award followed the DJ’s record-breaking 2019 season where LiTEBRiTE made a headline debut at Ales 4 Trails in Fort Smith, AR, provided direct support for Troyboi and Snoop Dogg in OKC, and grossed a six-figure income in just over 150 events. The interactive, attention-commanding entertainer wants you to follow his brand through 2021 and beyond. As the event industry bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic, look for entertainers like LiTEBRiTE to make noise as on Top 10 DJ to watch this year.
Disco never dies– What happens when young and charismatic meets an old soul with a mean groove? Boulevard, stylized as BLVD, is a disco, funk and soulful house music DJ and producer hailing from New York, New York, and uses his unique virtual DJing approach and experience to bring the party to your living no matter where you are. 2020 brought an abundance of DJs and musicians shifting toward social networking platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitch due to COVID restrictions on the nightlife industry. The newly uprising avenue quickly became an oversaturated hit among many. BLVD promptly noticed this cluster and decided to create his lane via another rising and untapped platform, Reddit Public Access Network. “I saw a lot of DJs hopping on the live-streaming wave when it gained popularity, but what I didn’t see were many DJs jumping on the bandwagon with intention. I saw a hot mess of music with no plan of action,” BLVD boldly stated. With a disco light, a microphone and his favorite wine, BLVD began his DJ streaming journey within the early stages of the platform in October of 2020 and has amassed a family of 10,000+ followers, racked up over 1.5 million views to date and has touched the homes and hearts of folks from New York to Australia. “Winter of 2020 was harsh; emotionally, physically and mentally. With COVID still trailing, I had to think of a way to remind people that brighter days are ahead, and how important it is to remain positive,” BLVD expressed. A 5-year professional DJ, BLVD’s underlying magic lies within his ability to make events, virtual or in- person, much more than enjoyable- memorable, above all. From bedroom DJing to spinning tunes for some of your favorite brands such as Equinox Gyms and Hotels, Nike, SiriusXM and more, it won’t be long before he touches down in your city, physically or via a screen.
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