List’n Up: Top 3 Colorado Artists of 2016

Alright, here we go! As we enter a new week of announcing the ELCO Bestie winners we’re getting a little more serious. The global categories are behind us and it’s time to take it local. Starting with the top 3 Colorado artists. This category was designated for the more “big time” acts that are either from or based in Colorado and regularly play shows and festivals on a national or international scale. Big Gigantic toured like crazy last year, headlining many festivals and put out a pretty solid album, but ultimately they fell four votes short of dethroning the two time defending champion, Pretty Lights. The master of the signature Colorado “electro hip hop soul” sound takes home the crown for the third year in a row. Illenium made a strong showing, finishing third with 21.5% of the votes. Scroll to the bottom for the full results and check out all of the winners here.


Derek Vincent Smith (aka Pretty Lights) is an American electronic music artist who performs under the stage name Pretty Lights. He is also the proprietor of an associated music label, Pretty Lights Music.

Smith’s music relies heavily on digital sampling and crosses many genres, forming a combination of “glitchy hip-hop beats, buzzing synth lines, and vintage funk and soul samples.”. Pretty Lights’ sound is generated by manipulating samples and organic beats using the Novation X-Station, monome and the Akai MPD32. Smith uses these digital controllers to program the music production software Ableton Live 8. When performing live, Smith uses two Macbook Pros running Ableton Live 8 and two Akai MPD32s. Smith usually considers his music as “Electro Hip-Hop Soul”, a mix between elements of electronic based music, and beats from hip-hop and soul music.
(bio via LAST FM)



Consisting of drummer Jeremy Salken and saxophonist and producer Dominic Lalli, Big Gigantic is an electronic dance act based in Boulder, Colorado. The duo combines percussion, programming, and some simply sexy saxophone to create truly unique music, allowing them to stand out from the rest of the electronic crowd.. While not only being Red Rocks veterans, Salken and Lalli have also performed at Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and more. They have continued to release hit tracks with their most recent EP Brighter Future featuring artists like G-Eazy, GRiZ, and more.



There are melodic bass producers, and then there is Nick Miller. The Denver-based producer known as Illenium has been turning heads in the dance music community over the past year and for good reason. Illenium has distinguished himself from the myriad of others through an unrivaled ability to create an immersive emotional experience of highs and lows that pulls on the heart strings and leaves the listener awestruck, accomplishing in the span of just a few short minutes what takes many a full set.
(bio via Illenium)


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Hi! We started ELCO back in 2012 and have had a blast every step of the way. Music, especially electronic, is our passion, and spreading the good vibes across this beautiful state that we live in is our goal. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email us through our Contact page. Thanks!