BEST BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCER: ELI ESCOBAR

Eli Escobar may look like he’s in his 20’s, but the New York mascot for disco-leaning house music has been in the game for some 20 years. A Boiler Room favorite, Escobar is a formally trained musician who knows his musical sweet spot and tends to stick with it. Part of the Bushwick-based Tiki Disco crew and the owner of the Night People label and associated party, Escobar’s productions have been released on all the top labels of the genre: Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, and Defected, to name just a few. 

Escobar’s style is definitive of the native New Yorker’s life in clubs over the years. This is where he received his informal musical education. It’s also what he taps into where his in-demand remixes are concerned, and what is reflected in his original productions. This year Escobar presented the remix treatment for his second album, 2016’s ‘Happiness’ on ‘Happy Again’, where he put forth irresistible dub versions, bonus beats and acapellas of the original, well-received tracks. Dropped on Defected-owned Classic Records to huge acclaim, not to mention his remix of Tim Deluxe’s ‘JAS’, which only continued his winning streak of creating sultry late-night greatness.

The disco and house strains that Escobar has been one of the leading experts in over his professional musical career — including being the go-to guy to source hard-to-find vinyl — has, in recent times come to the forefront of dance music, inadvertently making him a breakthrough producer in the style.

The other nominees:

Layton Giordani
Avalon Emerson
MANIK
DJ Earl

Want to catch the Best of North America DJs in action? BoNA tour dates include LA, Washington, Miami, San Francisco and New York. More info here.