First up, Angelika Vee:
Most of what I've been able to find of her is covers like this one. She takes pop tunes and transposes them down to simple vocals and keyboards, both of which she excels at. I'm not fond of the mixing on this one, but it shows off her vocal range nicely.
She also put out an EP of originals last year. Again, it's usually spare keyboard and vocals. Like this one, her original stuff is slower and more gentle than most of her covers but she really has a powerful voice even in a simple love song. She's not quite folkie, not quite torch singa, and I can see why she'd have trouble breaking out from the pack. She's good at what she does, but so are a lot of other people and I couldn't tell you what causes one woman-with-piano to become popular when so many others do not. Maybe her collaborations with bigger names will get her noticed. Meanwhile I've subscribed to her YouTube channel so we'll see what pops up for her this year.
And also Clean Bandit:
I've been trying to figure out who Clean Bandit remind me of. Certainly there's some throwback to the 1980s-era new romantics and synthpop acts. Of course, this is all filtered through modern EDM and modern pop so it's not like Clean Bandit are copying someone's style, but it sounds somewhat similar to me. Their stuff tends to be heavily produced so it's hard to get a sense for them so I dug up this one...
This is them live doing "Rather Be", which is what most people probably know them for. It's still a very electronica style, but live they have much more interesting harmonies and an engaging style. The vocals are strong and quite good without a heavy production hand. It's been a while since I heard an act with two front singers that good.
So, about that DJ thing...
When writing about Simon Posford's recent Shpongletron show I commented that the stage show itself was... well, kind of dull. This is a problem every DJ has to confront and to finish out this post I wanted to show you how a Big Name handles it.
Here is an hour and a quarter of live DJing from A State of Trance festival. Now, this is a big stage big name production so there's big money behind it. The tracks they're spinning are fun and a good mix of dance, vocal trance, and straight up trance styles. Because it's big money they can also afford fancy lights and some stage effects. All good because it's still just two guys up there turning knobs.
But pay attention to what they do. The DJs are fully engaged with each other and with the audience. They cheerlead, they drop out the music to encourage the crowd to sing, they lead clap rhythms. They dance (or at least bounce along). They cue people when they know a popular track is coming up. Obviously this isn't everyone's style, but part of what makes a good DJ show good.