It gets you gliding towards the dance floor. Throwing your shoulders from side to side. And has you definitively hooked through the night. Beyonce’s infectious new track from her upcoming album Renaissance: ‘Break My Soul’ is at the tip of everybody’s tongues, not just for its long-awaited nature but for the refreshing reminder of how it feels like to return to a room of pulsating beats and liberating dance music. The house-led number is a crisp sound to behold; it’s a fresh mix for Queen B and a promising venture for the generational-defying masses who’ve been long deprived of a party scene filled with reliable spins on the deck.
Its genre inspirations are clear: it samples Robin S.’ ‘Show Me Love’, a bonafide club mainstay back in the 1990s and Big Freedia, an alternative hip-hop rapper, who features in the track. But the song is telling of yet another resurgence (or perhaps, reemergence?) of a genre: House. Its origins are deeply drenched within The Warehouse, a night club in Chicago from back in the 1980s, where pioneer DJ, Frankie Knuckles used to experiment with machine-induced sounds and the energetic tempo that is definitive of the genre we know today. Since then, the genre has fast evolved into a multitude of sub-genres, including deep, future and electro house, popularised by the likes of Tiësto and Don Diablo.
When it comes to true raw house that is strongly influenced by disco, funk and hip-hop however, the main players still find their roots amidst the Black community: look to Azealia Banks’s ‘212’ with Lazy Jay or Kaytranada’s collaborative track with H.E.R. titled ‘Intimidated’ for a more nuanced grasp on the genre. One might add that this is where we find Queen Bey’s uplifting record most well-settled in too. The hypnotic sound is at once recognisable—with its repetitive style and smooth undercurrent that sends the dance floor into an automatic trance.
And should you find yourself eternally hooked on the genre? Cast away your worries as Vogue Singapore puts together a judicious list of DJs and artists to start you off strong as you plug deeper into your musical journey with house music. Learn of them all, below.
1 / 5
Since she first came on the scene in 2016, Berlin-based Korean DJ Peggy Gou has quickly risen to worldwide fame. Now counted as one of the biggest names in dance music, Gou has honed her craft in some of the most coveted party institutions in the world—like legendary German club Berghain. She first gained prominence through a series of hit genre-bending EPs, and often refers to her music as K-House since her tracks often uniquely blend Korean vocals with the high tempos of house music. And while she has a keen sense of style and collaborations with brands like Off-White under her belt, Gou’s true talent lies in lighting up a dance floor. From catchy remixes of old goodies like Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ to pulsing original beats like ‘I Go‘, Gou is clearly the next big thing to watch.
2 / 5
From ‘Breathe’ to ‘Instruction’, Jax Jones is the underrated name behind some of this era’s best-loved club bangers. Hailing from the UK, the DJ has racked up an impressive number of collaborations with successful artists from all over the globe, including the likes of Demi Lovato and Duke Dumont. What’s special about Jones’s discography is the melancholy undertone that laces nearly all his tracks. He deftly weaves together heart-breaking lyrics and wistful melody with addictive beats to create dance tracks that will have you crying in the club all weekend, guaranteed.
3 / 5
It’s clear Korean house is on the rise and Kathy Yaeji Lee, more commonly known as Yaeji, is but one formidable player in the scene. The eclectic personality prefers her spin with an infusion of wispy vocals—both in Korean and English—and an atmospheric score on her tracks. The Brooklyn-based producer, singer-songwriter and DJ who is skilled at sending her audiences into an intoxicating trance first explored the scene when she was studying in university, before releasing her debut EP ‘New York 93’ in 2016. Since then, she’s worked on seductive remixes such as ‘passionfruit’—a playful re-imagination of Drake’s hit track and her own transfixing tune: ‘WAKING UP DOWN’ that sets you up for a certain sort of euphoria.
4 / 5
There is no sloppiness to Claptone’s sound. Always hidden away from the public eye—by means of his beaked golden mask—the mysterious DJ first brought his own immersive and escapist concept ‘The Masquerade’ to the global scene where at the top of the morning, crowds were always left in a delirious high from the enigmatic yet supple grooves that played from his deck. His music is unexpected yet somehow always part of a modern movement—combining a fusion of deep house and funk with his own infectious sound that transcends generations and throbs through the crowds. Looking for a catchy remix? Try his version of’ Cold Heart’ by Elton John and Dua Lipa. But for something closer to his soul, give ‘No Eyes’ with JAW a shot.
5 / 5
Cult-favourite DJ Sam Divine may have played at some of the biggest parties all around the world, but her career began at a record shop in Bristol, where she worked as a house buyer, garnering industry knowledge while pursuing her love of vinyl. A mainstay at Ibiza and London’s buzziest clubs, Divine’s mixes are eclectic and versatile, covering the full spectrum of the house genre with a clear display of her forte in Balearic house. If you’re looking for a deep, soulful sound to let loose to, try Divine’s ‘Confessions’ or ‘Spotlight’.