Everything you need to know about who plays HARD PNW (DMNW Artist Guide)

HARD PNW, now managed by Insomniac Events, arrives at the Tacoma Dome on March 19. For the past few years (excluding 2020), HARD Summer Music Festival has hit Southern California as a massive two-day festival. Now the PNW is hosting our own one-day interpretation of the two-stage event.

Whether you attend or are still hesitant to go, the inaugural lineup has something for everyone. For more information, visit the HARD PNW website for tickets. Read the full DMNW Artist Guide below.

DIFFICULT step

RL Grime B2B Bauer

Together, trap kingpins RL Grime and Baauer will headline HARD PNW. Their collaboration is nothing short of a dream, as they unveiled their HÆRNY project last summer at HARD Summer 2021. It was revered as one of the best sets of the weekend, and for good reason.

Both RL Grime and Baauer are hailed as two of the brightest stars in trap music today, and their music shows it. RL Grime is internationally recognized for their stellar live shows and hit collaborations that could turn any stage into a party.

He’s also the mastermind behind Sable Valley, the predominantly trap label that helped cement fellow HARD artist PNW Juelz as a recognizable name. Additionally, RL Grime is also recognized for his annual Halloween mixes, which have fused pop culture with all manner of electronic music over the past decade.

Baauer is also a recognizable name if you identify the origins of the internet meme trend of 2013, the Harlem Shake. If you (like many of us) prefer to look beyond that era, you’d find Baauer musically responsible for much more than that. In fact, you’d find a double-platinum Grammy-nominated number one artist who’s been producing since he was 13 years old.

For good reason, RL Grime B2B Baauer is the headliner of HARD PNW. There are a few (understandably) shaky recordings from their HÆRNY at HARD Summer 2021, but you might be better off listening to each artist separately and be prepared to blow your socks off.

Kayzo

Kayzo is an artist for bass music lovers, without a doubt. But he’s not your typical bassist either. He is fluent in morph metal, hardstyle and trap, with a focus on dubstep.

With a global following among international festival headliners, Kayzo has also branched out into his own label, Welcome Records. With nearly 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, he has also earned the respect of EDM’s biggest heavyweights including Skrillex, SLANDER, Steve Aoki, and more. His thrilling set won’t be one to miss.

JOYRYDE

You would be hard pressed to find an artist as versatile or respected as JOYRYDE. Since he started making music, he has pushed the caliber of dance music production forward. With elaborate stage installations, a self-designed fashion line and a relentless touring schedule, JOYRYDE quickly became a household name.

What else? Her debut album, BRAVE, made an easy case for best album of 2020. Released just months after the pandemic began, JOYRYDE delves into a deeply personal chapter of her life comprised of life-altering surgery and of opioid addiction. Overcoming these obstacles, JOYRYDE blends darkness with an impeccably produced album.

Wax pattern

Australian house DJ Wax Motif has amassed something of a cult following over the past few years. As one of today’s most popular DJs, Wax Motif has garnered fans internationally. Bringing a fresh perspective on some of pop music’s biggest hits, Wax Motif makes their breed of dance music accessible to a wide audience.

As a regular touring artist on the PNW stage, he will be a great addition to HARD’s lineup. Be sure to bring good shoes and plenty of water for this one because Wax Motif will have everyone dancing for this set.

Capozzi

Taken under the wing of the Confessions de Tchami label, Capozzi is a rising DJ from the Bay Area. Although we don’t know much about her yet, the singles she has released so far have been absolute hits. Since arriving in 2019, real name Jordan Capozzi has pumped up a sultry house that’s perfectly suited for dancing.

GREY MATTER

Hailing from our own Seattle, GRAYMATTER is a house producer and DJ. He’s opened a number of major groups over the past two years, including GTA and Ghastly. Helping to cultivate a fresher scene in the PNW, GRAYMATTER also helped launch a collective label in 2018, SUB 49.

Although he first dabbled in trap, in recent years he has found a niche in bass house. More recently, he’s found a niche remixing artists like the Steve Miller Band and the Bee Gees into trippy, hard-hitting house.

PNW stage

Justin Martin

A house music veteran who first caught the attention of dance music nearly two decades ago, Justin Martin is still impressive. He is often revered for his ability to combine beauty and courage using emotional melodies and vocal samples with stunning bass lines.

A testament to his longevity and his mark on the scene, Martin is one of the artists involved in the conception of Dirtybird Records. After two critically acclaimed full-length albums and renowned international success, Martin is an absolute master of his craft.

VNSSA

VNSSA has been a fixture in the house music scene for several years. The Los Angeles-based artist has performed at festivals like Coachella, Dirtybird Campout, EDC, and more. Following her chart-topping single in 2019 with Walker & Royce, WordVNSSA went on to release other great singles and EPs on Diplo’s Higher Ground, Insomniac Records, Dirtybird Records, and more.

With a constant mix of house and techno, VNSSA have made a name for themselves as a PNW favorite. We caught her at Diplo’s Higher Ground last summer in Seattle, and HARD PNW had to take the call to bring her to this year’s lineup.

born dirty

You’ll never have as much fun on set as Born Dirty. The artist launched parties all over the world. Most recently, Born Dirty held a free open house at 45 East in Portland this past weekend to kick off their limited 6-stop tour.

Throughout his career, Born Dirty has created a catchy, multicultural signature sound inspired by a diverse upbringing. Bouncing from Israel to France, London and Los Angeles, her journey is apparent in every song. No two songs are the same, with a spectrum of house, trap and hip-hop.

If the winter blues hit you this year or you need a pep talk, do yourself a favor and jump on just about anything in his discography.

juelz

It’s been a dazzling few years for Vancouver artist Juelz. After a meteoric collaboration with RL Grime on the trap legend’s Sable Valley label, Juelz continues to turn heads. He made a name for himself by merging hip-hop and trap and branching out of it into the larger pool of electronic music.

Alongside RL Grime, other major artists turned to Juelz. Ekali and Quix both brought Juelz on as live support on their tours a few years ago, and he has featured sets on Diplo’s radio show and on BBC Radio One. Last fall, he also performed a flamboyant set for the first Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge.

Juelz is definitely one to watch, and we can’t wait to see what he releases for HARD PNW.

Subset

Another PNW-based local you can rely on for a mix of funk, hip-hop and house, Subset is a great addition to the HARD lineup. Subset started releasing music nearly a decade ago and has consistently bounced through renegade sets at massive festivals across the country at festivals like Burning Man, Holy Ship! and Dirtybird Campout.

With a slew of releases on the Dirtybird label and a slew of live stream sets in 2020, you can find something to sink your teeth into. It’s easy to get lost in an hour with Subset, and his DJ personality constantly shines through in these mixes.

Jesse Leer

With only a handful of releases on SoundCloud, Jesse Leer is a Seattle resident determined to create his own sound. If you’re lucky, spot Jesse at the Monkey Loft just before HARD on March 12 and see what he’s talking about. To get a taste of his minimalist deep house style, check out his set on SoundCloud from 2020 below.

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