LA's RL Grime Has The Current Seat On EDM's Throne

By: Shivain Chopra

The Electronic Dance Music, or EDM genre of music can be traced back to the 80’s, with the onset of club culture, but it didn’t truly gain mainstream popularity until the early 2010’s, when the term “EDM” was coined. With the new decade of EDM came the subgenre of dubstep, with acts such as Skrillex and Flux Pavilion making news worldwide. As with all genres, EDM continued to evolve, with dubstep fading and giving way to other sub genres, such as future bass and trap. Although future bass has established itself as one of the most popular EDM subgenres on the scene, counting Flume and Odesza as its most well known acts, trap continues to gain traction, with Baauer being one of the biggest names in the game. A slightly lesser known, but immensely talented DJ is now taking over not only the trap scene, but the entire electronic genre as a whole. Based out of Los Angeles, RL Grime brings hard-hitting, bass-heavy beats that could get even the most timid of people moving.

RL Grime.

RL Grime.

Born Henry Alfred Steinway, RL Grime grew up in Los Angeles, going on to attend New York University for their Music Business program. After college, RL Grime moved back to Los Angeles, joined the WeDidIt collective and released his Grapes EP. In June 2012, RL Grime teamed up with producer Salva for a remix of Kanye West’s “Mercy,” earning over 8 million plays on his SoundCloud. A year later, his High Beams EP debuted at the #1 spot on the iTunes Electronic Chart. Playing off the success of his first two EPs, RL Grime released his first studio album Void, with big names such as Big Sean featured.


The appeal of RL Grime is unlike any other EDM artist. His songs have a strong emphasis on bass that radiates throughout the bodies of his fans. This, in addition to the use of instruments such as the trumpet in “Tell Me” and exotic samples of voices and other sounds such as in “Kingpin” creates an immersive musical experience. Often times, RL Grime also chooses to use more grimy and raw sounds to create a darker mood, while maintaining the grooviness that comes with EDM. Everything comes together with a gradual rise in tempo, leading to a beat drop so strong that no listener can refrain from breaking out their moves.


With his exponential rise to stardom, RL Grime recently announced his second studio album, Nova, due to be out later this year. In addition, he just started his Nova tour, with stops across the country, including Denver and Los Angeles (which has already sold out) in November.

Keep up with RL Grimes here; catch more tour dates on his website.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.