At the beginning of the decade, when electronic dance music was experiencing a lightning-speed growth spurt into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, commentators began to gravitate towards an economic buzz-term that had already permeated out of a number of different industries — a “bubble” was forming. EDM’s rapid global expansion was the subject of much speculation; what would happen when the proverbial “EDM bubble” inevitably popped? As the decade begins to wind to a close, the result has turned out to be considerably more positive than most of us anticipated. What would happen after the fanfare of the passing EDM fad? Well, the unremarkable would disappear, and out of the heavily diluted pool of semi-marketable talent would emerge passionate creators free to explore a lot more than just big room house and commercially viable electro-pop. The bursting of the so-called “EDM bubble” created a space where producers were able to sift through a wide chasm of influences to push electronic production to different spaces and audiences. In 2018, Medasin undoubtedly seized that opportunity, making him Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of the Year in 2018.
The Texas-native producer, lesser known as Grant Nelson, put together a rap sheet in 2018 that checks all the boxes for a breakout year — it started with a complementary remix of Portugal. The Man‘s inescapable shaker, “Feel It Still,” followed by timely reworks of Post Malone and Khalid‘s material. The high profile remixes then laid the ground work for one of the year’s most intriguing records in Irene. On Medasin’s debut LP, the producer soundtracks a coming-of-age story blurred in experimental escapism. The nine-track album isn’t packed with swelling breaks and notable collaborators — rather, it’s a personal collection of sonics that wears its emotions on its sleeve, which makes its chart-topping status atop the iTunes electronic rankings earlier this summer all the more deserved.
Beyond just proctoring one of the most noteworthy albums of the year, Medasin also proved a versatile performer that is on the cusp on graduating from the undercard and onto the billing’s top line. He helmed his first headlining tour in support of Irene, but also managed major support bookings including an appearance at ZEDD‘s LA Historic Park show this summer, and some of the country’s most in-demand festivals like HARD Summer, Lollapalooza, and Electric Forest. Beyond his own original works, Medasin expanded his catalog in 2018 with collaborations alongside fellow wave makers Ekali, Elohim, and Louis Futon.
It was a banner year in 2018 for the 20-year-old ALT:VISION recruit. In a year’s time, Medasin not only managed to find his stride and significantly hone his production capabilities, he also successfully brought electronic music in his own innovative direction and cemented himself as one of the genre’s brightest forward thinkers. Irene is only one component to Medasin’s breakout, but with the wealth of potential he’s showing at the onset of such a promising career, we’re excited to see what’s next for the burgeoning wunderkind.
Medasin is Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2018.