Ultra Singapore makes a speedy return in 2017 — taking place on June 10th and 11th at 1 Bayfront Avenue, the festival has gotten in with their line-up, and it's really no surprise that they've gotten the cream of the crop in EDM.
However, don't be fooled into thinking this is just your ordinary dance festival: the reputed brand prides themselves on eclecticism in electronic music, and you can expect techno, trance, progressive house, hip-hop, R&B and more.
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If you're more certain about genre of acts you'd like to experience, Ultra has made it easier for your discernment: the Main Stage hosts the superstar EDM DJs, the Live Stage has a cavalcade of performers, and the Resistance Stage is saved for the underground legends.
Here's who you can catch at Ultra Singapore this year.
A new kid on the block, Carta is one of a rising generation of new-wave, new-age electronic producers that's trying to make a name for themselves in the incredibly competitive world of electronic music. His first solo produced song, 'Shanghai', dropped last year through Spinnin' Records, a mecca for electronic music releases. His latest release, Love Shouldn't Be So Hard, combined with the news that the young producer is due to play Tomorrowland in July, tells us that this kid has a lot going for him.
FireFirebeatz are no strangers to producing electronic music destined for the club. They understand the ways of the dance floor and are unafraid and unapologetic in the way that they dish out club bangers with an extensive list of collaborators. Known most for their hit song 'Helicopter', a collaboration with DJ extraordinare Martin Garrix, the duo is set to bring their powerful and high energy set to delight the clubber who likes their electronic music.
The famed Dutch duo have worked with everyone and anyone in EDM — from Tiesto to David Guetta, Hardwell to Bassjackers. Their resume would be impressive enough, if not for the fact that their shows in Singapore have always been a highlight for the masses. Their set at Ultra Singapore will hit hard and elate many.
Martin Solveig brings a dash of eclecticism to the table - while most producers on the main stage are known for their brash, loud, and unapologetic delivery of the hardest hitting electronic music of our times, Solveig's mixes and tracks are manifestations of perfection in control. His rhythms controlled and his synths more measured, Solveig is a set for people to take a bit of a chill pill between what is sure to be raves delivered by Dash Berlin and Showtek.
Jeffrey Sutorius may be the face of Dash Berlin, but any dance fan worth their salt would know that Dash Berlin's efforts have been greatly collaborative — and their work has never failed to enhance most parties. The trance legends will grace the Ultra stage, and a little Dash Berlin will go a long way on a full day of partying.
Hardwell, like many of the producers here, needs no introduction. While the DJ last appeared with a spectacular concert at Gardens By The Bay, his placement on Ultra Singapore adds on to the flurry of EDM with gusto.
Any raver who's been to a Tiesto show would attest to his MixMag readers poll award for being "the Greatest DJ of All Time". One of the most important names in the world of EDM, the man is intensely prolific, and a looming veteran in the young man's game of EDM — at age 48, the man is running extremely strong in his own lane. There's very little that can stop Tiesto, and you'd do good to catch him if you're even thinking of attending Ultra.
Junior & Royal
Not to worry if these names seem to foreign to you - they are no strangers to the world of Ultra. Having played in Ultra Japan and Road to Ultra Taiwan, the Taiwanese duo is well aware of the idiosyncracies of Ultra crowds. Notwithstanding that, the duo has played a host of smaller electronic music festivals like Loopbeats and even obscure festivals such as the Škisova Tržnica Festival in Slovenia. Their extensive touring repertoire is testament to the sheer raw talent of the energetic duo as they open the festivities on the main stage on the second day.
Shortened from the supremely badass title of Primal Knowledge Chamberz, PKCZ hail from Japan and they mean business. The trio are constantly decked out in all-black, but their serious demeanor betrays their fun shows. Their roots go deeper than electronic music, with strong hip-hop influences, but don't be surprised if they drop a Rage Against The Machine track in the middle of nowhere.
Not to be confused with the MMORPG name of the same name, the duo are set to bring their 'Death to Genre' music to Singapore. Known for their general eclecticism, the duo are known to jump between the rhythmically different electronic, hiphop, R&B, and trap genres with ease. While they playfully quip that their pre-set warm ups are routinely and usually nothing more than '30 push ups and a shot of tequila', we can be assured that their set will be nothing but routine, as they take the audience on a roller coaster ride of genres.
This Don doesn't need extensive introduction. His music largely speaks for itself. Known one of the big ticket headliners for the evening, Don Diablo is one of the most prolific producers of our time. Aside from his time in the studio, he's also an Ultra stalwart, having played Ultra Miami 2017 - the mecca for electronic music fans, and one of the signature shows of the Ultra series. He knows the ways of the dance floor and will most definitely transform the Ultra Park into rave republic as he unapologetically bangs out some of his most-loved tunes.
Sure, you may already know Nicky Romero, but do you know about Protocol Recordings — his highly-successful EDM label? The man has scooped up everyone — from Calvin Harris to Nile Rodgers — to release through his imprint. Now, the man didn't get there from the get-go — he's earned his stripes through countless shows and dancefloor anthems that eventually found its way into pop music.
Known for his antics on and off stage, Steve Aoki is a trailblazer and innvoator, somehow ensuring that his shows are not just aural but visual spectacles. He is most famously known for caking audience members and for his ability to work the crowd into a frenzy with the way he himself works the stage. A household name in the world of electronic music with a long list of collaborations and music to his name, this producer is someone who'd probably deliver an extremely entertaining set in Singapore.
The former member of Swedish House Mafia has been working fine on his own since his supergroup's unexpected dissolution. The former turntablist has turned into one of modern dance music's most familiar faces. The man is reportedly working on his newest album, which is likely to feature a collaboration with The Killers' Brandon Flowers, and will be titled Almost Human. You're probably almost too stoked.
A performer through and through, DJ Yamato constantly amazes with his live sets as he lets his technical wizardry shine through the way he manipulates beats, rhythms, and synths on his Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus. The little-known but rising Japanese DJ is a symbol of the raw talent that blows audiences away on a daily basis, including the audiences at Ultra shows - which he has played in Japan since the early days - when Ultra was the Road to Ultra in 2013. Experienced with live shows and even more so with his CDJ, this promising young DJ has much to bring to Singapore.
The well-travelled DJ has much to show - while he has played many shows in his home country of Japan, the prolific DJ has also played big clubs across the United States. He is determined to bring his signature brand of DJ-ing - defined by a wide range of genres that he comfortably switches between - and the Japanese brand to the Ultra stage along with DJ Yamato.
No stranger to a dance festival, Myrne continues to ride through the year after a groundbreaking 2016. The Mad Decent signee told us in 2015 that "I've only scratched the surface of what I could do electronically. My new songs will be bigger and more of depth than whatever I've written." With his recent output fulfilling that immensely, it's interesting to see what the trajectory holds for this burgeoning Singaporean producer.
Sidney Samson presents Deadly Zoo
Sidney Samson is well known as a hard-hitting hardstyle producer who collaborates extensively with industry stalwarts (such as Far East Movement) to produce club bangers that get the party people going. This time round he partners with Deadly Zoo to deliver more of the party that he's delivered so easily before. Deadly Zoo are known for their remixes of hit songs like 'Mo Bounce' by Iggy Azalea, and Enrique Iglesias' 'Súbeme la Radio'.
Rich Chigga may be a meme-able Internet star, but his ascent to hip-hop notoriety is also an incredible success story for the 17-year-old Indonesian. Recently wrapping up a US tour, hanging out with Post Malone and recording a banger of a song with XXXTentacion and Keith Ape — seriously, 'Gospel' slaps — things are looking big for the former Vine comedian. A huge get for Ultra Singapore, in a country where international hip-hop sets are few and far between, Rich Chigga's set will be one to mark.
Tchami brings music that provides an excellent balance to the electronic hard hitting live DJ sets that'll be the talk of the stage. More known for his chill house and quasi-trance music, he'll bring another dimension of the party to the Ultra Park, as people more attuned to the electronic side of things come off of Rich Chigga's energetic and rabble rousing set. Most known for his remix of AlunaGeorge's 'You Know You Like It', the French DJ is considered the pioneer of the future house genre.
DJ L - who opens the festivities on the live stage on the second day - is a Chinese DJ, dare we say the first of his kind. He adds to the Asian mix of performers at this year's Ultra, and joins a variety of local artists on the live stage who are all proving their mettle and worth on the international stage. With a surprising lack of details on him online, his very placement on the Ultra line up speaks volumes of his talent and promise - and we'll have to go to the show to find out.
A local favourite surely on her way to becoming a household name in Singapore, Jasmine Sokko has been in the music business for quite a while now. Having been on Spotify's Early Bets playlist, she's one of a rising group of local stars who are being given more and more opportunities to hit international and festival stages. The chill producer is most famously known for her hit song '1057', and is set to bring her signature live sets to the Ultra stage.
Also making her Ultra debut this year is Sam Rui, whose sultry brand of R&B-pop was first introduced to the masses at Laneway Festival Singapore this year. As she strides confidently into 2017, who knows what will be her next move — but everyone will be watching.
Rave Republic is a local electronic DJ duo that's known for creating exactly what their name says they will do. The appropriately named duo will bring their club banger dance floor experience to the larger stage this Ultra, and are no strangers to playing music for the enjoyment of the crowd. Having an extensive repertoire of remixes which have regularly topped Spotify and iTunes charts regionally, the duo have played multiple shows across the region and have always dreamed of creating "a festival atmosphere inside a club". Not their debut at Ultra, the duo won't need to worry about a club environment as they hit up the biggest electronic music festival in the country.
The Australian producer has an illustrious record behind him - declared the best DJ in Australia, the DJ has come from strength to strength from his initial breakthrough song, 'Bring It Back', in collaboration with Joel Fletcher.
Pronounced just like "kashmir" — in case you didn't know — the DJ hit hard with the appropriately-titled 'Megalodon'. Three years since its release, KSHMR has been a big draw around the world, and his set at Ultra Singapore will be best experienced with a good spot in the crowd — simply, come early.
This band may be coming back to a wholly different landscape for electronic music, but there's always room for the intense, punk-like antics of Pendulum. The Australian drum & bass group reigned supreme back in their day, and they're back to reclaim the throne. Catch Pendulum, is all we're saying. They will be worth the wait alone.
This man is known to live, and breathe music. It's rare, apparently, that we don't find him behind the turntables, be it a weekday or a weekend. Aside from a string of residencies in clubs such as Volar in Hong Kong, Man One has collaborated with one third of Major Lazer as well as Porter Robinson - big names in the electronic music scene today. He also writes for a music and lifestyle blog, and manages his own record label, Open Sauce records. What we can be certain of is that his passion for music will shine through his set as he plays it at the Resistance stage.
Jonny Vicious is a quirky guy - and this quirkiness is sure to come out as he performs his first set at Ultra. The Malaysian DJ, based in KL, has played in multiple clubs and bars throughout the region and is well known for his ability to get the dance floor going through his commitment to make the crowd dance "spastically". This is the same commitment that he'll bring to the Resistance stage come June - something that the audience can enjoy from the home grown regional talent that will be on display.
All Eyes To The Front during his set, because Oliver Osborne never fails to deliver every time. His set at Bandwagon Riverboat last year was hypnotic and liberating, and his placement at the Resistance stage is apt, to say the least — his blend of tribal-like rhythms and vivid melodies are in contrast to the dynamism of EDM, but all the more it makes for a variety at Ultra.
Henry Saiz's influences are all over the place, but in a good way. He describes his influences to span a wide range of rhythmically different genres as - electronic, lo fi, indie - but he aims to dumb it down. His aim is to bring all these rhythms together to produce something great for the audience, something that even the layperson can enjoy. From watching quick sections of his performance in Barcelona, it is clear that he caters to a wide range of audiences, whether it be for the party or just for the chill.
Nic Fanciulli is an Ultra favourite, and with good reason. A legend on the island of Ibiza, the man has time and time again proved his worth as a live performer and as a producer. It's not the first time that this legend has performed at Ultra either - he's played the Resistance stage at Ultra Miami, the mecca of Ultra. Given his experience playing to the club or playing to a festival, we can be assured of an energetic and memorable set from this DJ.
Sasha & John Digweed
The progressive house duo are emblematic of the Resistance brand — uncompromising and unrelenting. Sasha & John Digweed have the immense honour of performing with an eight-week residency at the party central of the world, Ibiza, so their appearance in Singapore is a huge deal.
Damian Saint is a well known and respected regional DJ - he currently holds a residency in the Doublesix Rooftop in Bali, among others. He's also the music director for W Hotel, Bali. The electronic music trailblazer is known to mix various strains of house music to make his own unique blend of Damian Saint house. Committed to delivering a great party, Saint is slated to deliver a set that oozes experience, comfort, and chill.
A man of a peculiar make up, the Berliner has declared himself the reason for the spread of techno music in Bangkok. Of course, these two unique locations have had an impact on his music making. While his German roots have imbued within him the melodic soundscapes that brood and leave the audience heavy, his Thai experiences lighten the mood, making the DJ and in turn the music more lighthearted. This peculiar cultural mix is what will set him aside from the others as he brings his experiences to the turntables at the Ultra Park come June.
The Brazil born Anna will be joining the illustrious line-up of the Resistance stage DJs as she brings her experience as a DJ who has been highly tuned to the ways of the club life since she was 14, growing up behind her father as he took to the decks as a DJ. All about the hard work, she brings her commitment to and passion for the craft - burning as strongly as it was when she was 14 - to the stage. Perhaps our best understanding of Anna can be through Mixmag: "let's get one thing straight: we fucking love Anna and her beats".
The man shapeshifts his mixes from tech-house to minimal, and he believe music is "a means of connectivity, intimacy, and communication." So what can you expect from Carlo Lio? Just a gospel of repetition, which spells like gold for any discerning dance music lover.
The Iranian-American producer is a perfect fit for the Resistance stage, and don't let his name fool you: his glacial and brooding brand of minimal techno may not spell anything fiery, but the relentless power of his sets are worth witnessing live.