Aluna attends the 2023 Spotify Best New Artist Party at Pacific Design Center on February 02, 2023 in West Hollywood, California
Source: Steven Simione/FilmMagic

Everything You Need to Know About the Bass-Bending Black Artists Who Redefined EDM

Meet the 6 Black EDM artists who totally redefined the genre. Black creativity isn't one-dimensional — the rise of electronic dance music is proof!


Oct. 4 2023, Published 9:11 a.m. ET

Discover Proudly Amplifies Diverse Voices

From the genre's infectious beats to its electrifying energy, electronic dance music (EDM) has held audiences captive for decades now.

EDM is widely associated with white artists like Avicii, Skrilli, and David Guetta. However, it's essential to recognize and celebrate the significant contributions that Black artists have made to the EDM scene, too.

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In fact, their impact extends far beyond the dance floor. Producers Carl Craig and Frankie Knuckles are only two of the artists who have fought for a more inclusive and diverse community.

Read on for more about the Black EDM legends who paved the way. Plus, here's a look at new school artists carrying the torch.

Carl Craig

Techno producer and DJ Carl Craig, portrait, Paris, France, 1995
Source: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

Carl Craig, a Detroit-based DJ and producer, is often regarded as a techno music pioneer. His groundbreaking work has pushed the boundaries of what is possible within the genre, earning him a place among EDM's elite. Craig's dedication to his craft and his ability to tell stories through his music continues to inspire a new generation of electronic artists.

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If you haven't heard of Kenny Dixon Jr., widely known as Moodymann, this is your sign to get in on the magic. Moodymann is another one of the EDM artists who laid a foundation for upcoming acts.

Hailing from Detroit, he has been instrumental in shaping the electronic music scene — especially in the Midwest. His sound can be defined as electric, soulful, and groovy.

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In early 2020, British sensation Aluna embarked on her solo music journey. And her debut album, Renaissance, caused quite a stir.

The project effortlessly weaved together elements of pop-house, dancehall, and funk. What made it even more exciting were the collaborations with esteemed artists such as Jada Kingdom, Mr. Carmack, and Kaytranada.

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Kaytranada poses on the red carpet of the 2021 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
Source: Getty Images

Haitian-Canadian producer and DJ Kaytranada is well-celebrated for his unique blend of electronic, hip-hop, and R&B. His sonic ability is especially impressive because he can cross and bend genres. The result is a sound that is both captivating and dance-inducing.

With his Grammy Award-winning album, Bubba, Kaytranada solidified his position as a game-changer in the music industry. For artists like Kaytranada, whose impact is undeniable in the world of EDM, the sky is the limit.

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Frankie Knuckles

Frankie Knuckles, who died in 2014, was a pioneer in the EDM game. The late Chicago LGBTQ+ Hall of Famer was on the New York nightclub scene during the disco era. But his journey eventually led him to the Windy City, where his buzz spread like wildfire.

He's been widely credited for shaping the DJing style that gave birth to house music. Needless to say, he definitely earned his stripes as an EDM legend.

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Channel Tres

In 2018, Channel Tres showcased his talents with a memorable remix of Aaron Childs' "Tangerine."

Since then, he has experienced remarkable growth as a producer, singer, and songwriter. His debut album, "I Can't Go Outside" — was a fascinating blend of club bass, velvety percussion, and top-tier vocals. The project painted a stellar story about his craft.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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