Best Vocalist 2019 | Luna Aura | Nightlife | Phoenix

If you had to sum up the year in pop music to this point, it's more about fake outrage and settling beefs than it is about connecting with listeners emotionally (looking at you, Taylor Swift). This is why we should be grateful Luna Aura has come into her own in 2019. The Phoenix-born singer shows raw, emotional energy on "Crash Dive," her latest single. Her vocals are like a shaken-up bottle of soda that someone just opened, letting go of years of repression to finally take control of her sexuality. "Crash Dive" has taken Aura out of the pop universe that she previously occupied and into uncharted territory.

If you didn't get in on the ground floor with Blossom, the local DJ/producer who's been performing in the local dance scene since 2016, better hop aboard now. That's because her career is headed straight into the stratosphere. Just this year alone, Blossom (born Emily Fromm) has made such money moves as serving up sounds at local electronic dance music festivals, releasing tracks and remixes on influential labels like Night Bass and Insomniac Records, and performing a spectacular set at Bonnaroo. She's notched all these high-profile accomplishments with a mix of hard work and plenty of talent. In 2015, Blossom was trained in the art of beat-making, mixing, and producing by such EDM heavyweights as Petey Clicks at L.A.'s famed DJ school, Dubspot. Blossom then began turning heads with her tracks, both online and at local club nights like BFF. And she hasn't looked back. "After Blossom returned to town, she immediately was doing stuff that was totally amazing. She's played everything from house to harder bass stuff and a lot in between," says BFF promoter Sean Watson. "She's a skilled mixer and skilled performer who creates her own music, and she goes out there and slays it every time."

Though the group's name implies elitism or exclusion, the DJs of Techno Snobs are a welcoming bunch. Anyone can attend the local electronic dance music collective's events, be they ravers, burners, club kids, or non-EDM fans. And it's because Techno Snobs want to share the genre with all, says collective co-founder Occultus. "We welcome all walks of life: the bass community, the hip-hop community, the glovers, the shufflers, the flow artists, the fire-spinners," he says. "Everyone's welcome." The Techno Snobs have been spreading their love and knowledge since 2017, when Occultus and other members started out honing their mixing skills for hours on end at someone's house. Then came a biweekly party at Time Out Lounge in Tempe, which necessitated scoring equipment on the sly. "We'd buy a subwoofer at Guitar Center, unbox it at the bar, use it for one night, and return it," he says. These days, they can afford entire sound systems, which see use at events like the Full Moon Festival and underground parties. They've also brought in world-renowned techno artists like Exos, Volvox, and Keith Carnal. It's all part of their grand plan to get people to say yes to techno. "Everyone should have the opportunity to be exposed to techno," Occultus says.

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