Hailing from Dripping Springs Texas, Midland, made up of singer Mark Wystrach, lead guitarist Jess Carson and bass player Cameron Duddy is the embodiment of Seventies California country, all smooth Eagles harmonies, and heart- on-your-sleeve lyrics. Their songs are intoxicating country sung with the twang of George Strait.
Recently signed to Big Machine Records, Midland has been in the studio with ace songwriters and producers like Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Dann Huff. The sessions have yielded some of the most traditional-sounding country music to come out of Nashville in a decade. Lead single “Drinkin’ Problem” evokes Gary Stewart and Merle Haggard two of Midland’s biggest inspirations. Their self-titled EP was released on October 28th.
Since she made her debut on the British charts in 2013 with a deconstruction of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody,” London-born singer-songwriter Jasmine Thompson has become a muse to a host of DJs and EDM producers. Felix Jaehn was so inspired by her version of the classic R&B hit that he created a remix, which climbed charts internationally reaching number one in many countries and amassing nearly 400M streams world-wide, resulting in one of the biggest hits of 2015. Jaehn has called her “a talented and rising superstar.” Thompson’s crystalline vocals have also captured the attention of other stars such as Avicii, Naughty Boy, Passenger, Meghan Trainor and Hozier. In 2014, Thompson was also featured on “Sun Goes Down” from Robin Schulz which hit number one in over 20 countries. Jasmine is positioned to be the next UK superstar following the footsteps of many of her idols, including Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Sam Smith.
“The main aim is to up my game at every possible turn without compromise” – Nicky Romero
Strike up a conversation about the current state of electronic music and it won’t be long before Nicky Romero gets an emphatic mention. And quite rightly so—because at the age of just twenty-seven and in the space of only a few prolific years, the Amsterdam-based superstar has managed to build nothing short of a remarkable musical empire. Celebrated the world over for countless chart-topping records and his electrifying energy in front of hundreds of thousands on the world’ s most distinguished stages, the loveable Dutch performer, producer, Protocol Recordings chief and global brand ambassador has already carved an international reputation for himself as one of the most exciting and industrious artists of his generation. Perpetually dedicated to growing and maturing the Nicky Romero brand at every turn the Protocol don continues to vindicate his position as one in just a handful of the most influential and venerated forces in the international music arena today.
Real name Nick Rotteveel, Nicky Romero was born January 6, 1989, in the small city of Amerongen, Holland. A keen interest in the drums and an early career spinning house and R&B quickly evolved into an unbridled passion for music production, with early releases (picked up by boutique outfit Once Records) catching the attention of some of the more established house music labels, such as Spinnin’, Fly Eye, Toolroom and Flamingo Recordings. As Nicky worked on honing his own exclusive sound—a seductive blend of progressive house tinged with electro and acid— 2010 saw him release an unofficial bootleg of David Guetta’ s smash hit ‘ When Love Takes Over’ to the online world; a move which would shape his entire career. The track’ s viral success piqued the interest of David Guetta himself and in that moment Romero found his mentor and champion. They have since collaborated on multiple projects including ‘ Metropolis’ and ‘ Wild One Two,’ and in the summer of 2012 Nicky Romero accepted a yearly residency at David Guetta’ s infamous FMIF club nights at Pacha and Ushuaia in Ibiza.
Fast-forward to today and Nicky Romero is now paying forward this experience as a youngster through his own burgeoning Protocol brand—one that has quickly established itself as one of the industry’ s leading independent dance music platforms and a go-to outlet for forward-thinking dance music. Championing up and coming artists like Deniz Koyu, Arno Cost, John Dahlback, Vicetone, Kryder, Michael Calfan and Volt & State, Romero now extends his own influence to help develop the next generation of artists, while also supporting more established acts. With the label’ s releases consistently charting in the Beatport Top 10, International Protocol Reboot events selling out some of the world’ s most iconic venues, and with Protocol Radio (weekly show syndicated to more than 60 radio stations on FM) boasting an impressive 55 million listeners tuning in every week, the impact his carefully nurtured Protocol brand has around the world continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Cutting edge Back in the studio and whether it’ s his own original song, a star-studded collaboration, or an inventive remix he’ s conjuring, Nicky Romero’ s productions consistently receive massive support from both fans and a veritable ‘ who’ s who’ of dance music aristocracy. With early notable output including ‘ S.O.T.U.,’ a single released on Steve Angello’ s label Size Records, Nicky is now most widely appreciated for worldwide hit ‘ Legacy’ with Krewella; solo singles ‘ Symphonica’ and ‘
Back in the studio and whether it’ s his own original song, a star-studded collaboration, or an inventive remix he’ s conjuring, Nicky Romero’ s productions consistently receive massive support from both fans and a veritable ‘ who’ s who’ of dance music aristocracy. With early notable output including ‘ S.O.T.U.,’ a single released on Steve Angello’ s label Size Records, Nicky is now most widely appreciated for worldwide hit ‘ Legacy’ with Krewella; solo singles ‘ Symphonica’ and ‘ Toulouse’ ; his UK#1 collaboration with Avicii ‘ I Could Be The One’ ; smash hit ‘ Feet On The Ground’ featuring Dutch superstar Anouk and most recently ‘ Lighthouse’ –the first in a musical trifecta which has already reached double platinum status, amassing over 13 million streams on Spotify alone. Further testament to his production prowess, Romero has remixed for pop royalty Madonna, One Direction and Ellie Goulding, as well as producing music for Rihanna (‘ Right Now’ ) as well as two tracks for Britney Spears.
2015 signaled a new creative direction in Nicky’ s career as he silenced critics with the release of the heart-wrenching video accompaniment to‘ LetMe Feel’ – his collaboration with Dutch duo Vicetone. Demonstrating that when it comes to pushing the envelope, Romero is one to beat, in the latter half of the year Nicky set the bar high once again with the critically acclaimed ‘ Lighthouse’ and hotly anticipated collaboration with Nile Rodgers on‘ Future Funk’ . Pairing these perfectly with an aesthetically pleasing music video, there’ s truly no stopping Nicky’ s return to the creative forefront.
Of course, Nicky Romero wouldn’t be where he is now if he wasn’ t also a serious force to be reckoned with outside the walls of his studio. A natural born performer, his tenacity behind the decks and his innate ability to read and work a crowd of any size has seen him electrify some of the most revered festival stages on the planet, including those at Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Lollapalooza, Tomorrowland, Coachella, Stereosonic and countless others.
Add to these his intense ‘ Nothing Toulouse’ North American headline tour, road- blocking ‘ Protocol Events’ in Miami, New York, London, Manchester and Amsterdam, multiple headline slots at ID&T’ s Sensation events, a residency atOmnia in Las Vegas, and a non-stop touring schedule of the world’ s most iconic nightclubs, and you begin to understand why this breakthrough star with a bulletproof work ethic is credited as a driving force behind the fantastic health the scene currently enjoys. In every aspect of his life—as DJ, producer and label head—heis a tireless advocate for his art. Couple this with his distinctive signature sound and compelling output, and it is no surprise that he exploded into the DJ Mag Top 100 chart at number 17in2012, the highest new entry that year, and rose up to number 7 in 2013—the year which also saw him receive a nomination at the MTV EMA awards for Best Dutch Act.
Building upon these accolades in 2015, whilst simultaneously furthering the Protocol brand and his own individual solo career, Nicky Romero continues to make his indelible mark on the music industry; a mark that is increasingly felt in the hearts of his devoted fans. Pushing relentlessly forward with the wind at his back, Nicky now looks to the next chapter of his already highlight-studded career and has big plans for all facets of the Protocol brand on the horizon. Having made early waves by collaborating with and producing tracks for some of the most iconic names in music (Rihanna, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Avicii), it’ s Nicky’ s sheer determination, combined with an incredible raw natural talent, that now sees him stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these superstars, perpetually striving to be the very best he can possibly be. “ The main aim is to up my game at every possible turn without compromise” he says—a holistic life motto which now manifests itself in a truly remarkable career. Long may it continue.
Brother – sister duo XYLØ is a Southern California indie pop group comprised of producer/drummer/songwriter Chase Duddy (31) and his younger sister, vocalist/songwriter Paige Duddy (21). Chase and Paige were raised in a musical family; notably, their grandfather Joe Porcaro, a prominent jazz drummer and studio percussionist. Perhaps growing up in this environment led Chase and Paige to share a musical bond, although their 10 year age difference initially created a difficult barrier both personally and musically. Mixing melodic, dark, lustful vocals with an atmospheric blend of indie rock, electronica, and dirty hip-hop beats, XYLØ has drawn early comparisons to the likes of Lorde and Lana Del Rey. Their songs have critical praise from Zane Lowe, Complex Magazine, LA Weekly and The Guardian. At the end of 2015, XYLØ finally decided to sign a major label deal with Sony’s Disruptor Records. Their debut EP, titled America, was released on February 26, 2016. With 6 songs released and 11 million streams on Spotify it’s safe to say you can expect big things from XYLØ in 2016.
Corey Harper is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon. He began playing guitar at an early age when he came across a Fender Stratocaster at his uncle’s house in Kansas City. With help from his uncle and father, Corey learned simple chords and furthered his skills from watching videos of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton. Corey went on to study music and history at the University of Oregon before dropping out to pursue his career in Los Angeles. As a guitar player and songwriter, Harper crafted his sound around 60s & 70s rock and soul music, and artists such as John Mayer and Ben Howard. Harper‘s debut EP “On The Run“ ambitiously showcases his lyricism and melodic guitar playing that has caught the attention of many.
Long before he became a multi-platinum songwriter and producer, 16 year old Nick Furlong transformed his high school bedroom into a makeshift sound factory, fueled by keyboards, drum machines, and the family computer he frequently hijacked. He worshipped music, and the world recognized his passion from the get-go. It wasn’t long until that passion landed him an opportunity composing original music for video games. “I remember my mom came into my room one day and handed me a box with a ton of free video games.” he smiles. “I can still see her face when I said, ‘I want to do this for the rest of my life.’”
He made good on that promise. By 2017, Furlong cemented himself as one of the industry’s most sought-after writers and producers, and his impact would permeate rock, electronic dance music, pop, hip-hop, and beyond. Developed by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder from 2011 until 2013, he familiarized himself with the DNA of a hit song early in his career while vocal producing for the likes Jordin Sparks, Colbie Caillat, and Leona Lewis. “I try to bring a pop sensibility to most of the songs I make,” he says. “I learned that from working with Ryan, and I consider it a major blessing. A good song will resonate no matter what genre it’s in.”His first commercial breakthrough came from the Big Time Rush and Jordin Sparks duet “Count On You.” He went on to co-write Diplo’s “No Problem,” in addition to writing and lending his vocals on Steve Aoki’s “Bring You To Life.” Soon after, Furlong teamed up with GRAMMY® Award-nominated John Feldmann. Together, they contributed songs to 5 Seconds of Summer’s Billboard Top 200 dominating Self-Titled debut. Sleeping with Sirens’ “Kick Me” (which went on to win ‘Song of the Year’ at the 2015 Alternative Press Music Awards), and co-wrote with All Time Low on their chart topping album Future Hearts, co-writing “Runaways” and “Don’t You Go” with frontman Alex Gaskarth.
SoKo, born Stephanie Sokolinski, is a singer-songwriter, actress, and model. Born in Bordeaux, France she left her hometown at the age of 16 and moved to Paris to study acting. She went on to appear in many films and is well known for her roles in The Stopover (2016), The Dancer (2016), Her (2013), Augustine (2012), and In The Beginning (2009). In 2010, she was nominated for a César Award for Most Promising Actress for her role in À l’origine (2009). Her role in Augustine (2012) landed her Best Actress at the Mar del Plata Film Festival and a Lumiere Award nomination for Most Promising Young Actress. SoKo is also represented by IMG Models in New York, Paris, and London.
In 2007, she scored a support slot on M.I.A.’s Kala tour and collaborated with The Go! Team and Cornershop. SoKo founded her own label, Babycat Records, and released her debut EP, Not Sokute. In 2009, she announced on MySpace that she was quitting the music industry. Six months later, she declared that she was “reborn” which resulted in her debut album, I Thought I Was an Alien (2012). A European tour immediately followed that album’s release, and by September SoKo was playing shows in the U.S. In 2015, she released her second album, My Dreams Dictate My Reality.
Cameron Duddy is a prominent music video director with nearly 10 billion views on his work. Most notably, Cameron directed the music video for Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, winning an EMA, VMA, and topping charts as the 3rd most viewed video on YouTube. Cameron has also worked with Fifth Harmony, Jenifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, One Republic & more. Cameron is also a member of trio band and Big Machine’s latest signee, Midland.
Music is a powerful thing. And in the eyes of singer, songwriter Desure, it can be the riff that rid you of that bad mood, or the chords that steer you through a smile. Born and bred in Los Angeles surrounded by a big, close family, Desure stumbled upon Neil Young and Bob Dylan at an early age, and his life would forever be changed.
A writer of deeply moving songs that’ll smack you in the face with emotion, Desure believes in the power of pure transparency in his music. “It builds a stronger connection,” he says of his affinity for raw, unbridled performances. That’s how the light gets in, to borrow a line from the great Leonard Cohen.