2015

10 Canadian Electronic Artists to Watch in 2016

From British Columbia to Nova Scotia, these acts will dominate your playlists next year.

by Max Mertens
Dec 16 2015, 4:55pm

From British Columbia to Nova Scotia, there's so much great music coming out of Canada right now, it's almost impossible to keep track of it all. Luckily, THUMP Canada's got you covered. While these artists draw on electronic influences, they encompass a wide spectrum of genres, from hip-hop to jungle to techno. Some of them have only a handful of songs; others put out great EPs or albums in 2015. Some of these names we've written about before, but many are making their first appearance on THUMP.

Here, in no particular order, are ten artists we think should be on your radar in 2016. Who did we miss? Leave a comment and let us know!

1) a l l i e

Photo courtesy of a l l i e's Facebook.

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: There's been plenty written about Toronto's hip-hop scene this year (OVO-affiliated and otherwise), but there's also a talented crop of R&B singer-songwriters coming out of the city as well. With her latest EP Moonlust, which features cross-Canada production from Da-P (see below), Elaquent, and Nick Wisdom, a l l i e positions herself ahead of the pack with a cool demeanour and the vocal presence of a veteran.

a l l i e is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

2) Da-P

Photo courtesy of Da-P's Facebook.

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: He's already worked with other artists on this list, including a l l i e and River Tiber, but his Sapphire EP and remixes of everybody from Erykah Badu to Roy Woods prove the Montrealer should be fielding calls from more rappers looking for beats soon. Now that Los Angeles-based collective Soulection has a Beats 1 show, don't be surprised if you hear him on Apple Radio in the near future.

Da-P is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

3) Harrison

Photo courtesy of Harrison's Facebook.

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: His bright disco-house has earned him fans including Ryan Hemsworth, Skylar Spence (formerly known as Saint Pepsi), and Star Slinger. His 2015 EP Colors, with vocalist Maddee, was one of the most promising introductions by a Canadian artist. With his debut album on Last Gang Records due out sometime next year, and the 20-year-old's producer's live performances growing increasingly more confident, his stock's only rising.

Harrison is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

4) HomeSick

Photo courtesy of HomeSick's Facebook.

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: When you think of cities that are meccas for footwork and jungle, Cowtown's not usually the first place that springs to mind, but HomeSick's working on changing that. This past summer, the DJ and producer told THUMP, "Playing in Calgary, there are a few heads there, but a lot of people aren't familiar with the sound. So, I think a lot of what I've been focusing on lately has been providing a bridge for those people—something that they can relate to, that almost tricks people into that footwork vein of things." With a recently completed semester of Red Bull Music Academy under his belt, we're excited to see his growth as an artist.

HomeSick is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

5) Littlebabyangel

Photo courtesy of Littlebabyangel's Facebook.

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: He's only got two songs on his SoundCloud, but the 21-year-old rapper and vocalist (whose real name is Stephan Armstrong) has already received co-signs from tastemaking Glasgow-based label LuckyMe and Hudson Mohawke. The latter even recently had the young artist open for him on a handful of UK dates, including a well-received show at London's Warehouse Project.

Littlebabyangel is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

6) Nicole Dollanganger

Photo courtesy of Nicole Dollanganger's Facebook.

Hometown: Stouffville, Ontario

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: The first signing to Grimes' new artist co-operative Eerie Organization, Dollanganger shares many of the same DIY characteristics that drew fans to Claire Boucher's music, including a penchant for making lo-fi bedroom pop. There's already a trove of albums and EPs on her Bandcamp, but start with last year's Natural Born Losers, eleven tales of fear and loathing and violence in rural Canada.

7) Project Pablo

Photo courtesy of Project Pablo's Facebook.

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: Vancouver-based label 1080p gave us plenty of great music this year, but the most infectious release came courtesy of Montreal-via-Vancouver house producer Patrick Holland (aka Project Pablo). Equally suitable for dancefloors and lounging on a lazy Sunday afternoon, his debut album I Want To Believe will make you a devotee.

Project Pablo is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

8) River Tiber

Photo courtesy of River Tiber's Facebook.

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: You might not recognize his name, but unless you've been living under a boulder this year, chances are you've heard a River Tiber tune without realizing. The Toronto singer-songwriter and producer—whose real name is Tommy Paxton-Beasley—had his track "No Talk" sampled in Drake's "No Tellin.'" He's bound to be in-demand as a backing musician for others in 2016, but hopefully that doesn't stop him from releasing delicate R&B compositions like "Let You Go."

River Tiber is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

9) Sleepy Tom

Photo courtesy of Sleepy Tom's Facebook.

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: While he released his first EP in 2013 on Fool's Gold Records, DJ and producer Cam Tatham really made a dent on the Beatport charts this year, collaborating with names including Diplo, Grandtheft, and Anna Lunoe. Currently he's on his first Australian tour, but come summer, he should be a mainstay on festival stages everywhere.

Sleepy Tom is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud

10) Vogue Dots

Photo courtesy of Vogue Dots' Facebook.

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: Their wistful dream pop have earned the Halifax-based New Brunswick duo—Tynan Dunfield and Babette Hayward—comparisons to Beach House, they put out two EPs in 2014, and they've wowed audiences at Atlantic Canadian festivals including SappyFest and Halifax Pop Explosion. What's missing from that equation? Why a full-length LP, of course.

Vogue Dots is on Twitter // Facebook // SoundCloud