Across two stellar EPs, Yaeji made one hell of an impression this year. The New York City via Seoul producer, singer, and visual artist has developed a sound and aesthetic so defined you’d think she’s already been around for a decade. Her distinctive, hushed delivery and propulsive, danceable production makes for a remarkable combination. Channeling her surroundings and her heritage, Yaeji’s mixture of NYC and Seoul is one of a kind.
Her music, with its cultural and genre mixes, is impossible to replicate despite how easy she makes it sound. Through both Korean and English lyrics and sounds inspired by house and hip-hop, she has solidified herself as one of the most essential acts in dance music right now.—Joe Price