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DIESEL & LEVEL UP inspire & lead by proving that teamwork is here to stay

Monstercat Uncaged just hit a three-pointer with the release of NEXT LVL.

shaq and level up

The biggest DJ in the world has just teamed up with our favorite conjurer.

The result? NEXT LVL a gargantuan collaboration between DIESEL (AKA SHAQ) and LEVEL UP, both artists who are well-respected, modern-day thought leaders.

This collab has found a home on one of EDM's long-standing labels: Monstercat. This time, it's been dropped via the 'Uncaged' imprint.

But what's even more notable about this collab is the fact that two of EDM's most inspirational artists are working together, proving that the rising tide truly does lift all boats. More on that below.

We first heard this song two weeks ago at EDC Mexico, where LEVEL UP performed an absolutely stunning set under the stars in Mexico City. "This is a new one with SHAQ," she screamed into the mic at Wasteland. The Mexican headbangers went crazy.

And in that moment, her set was taken to the NEXT LVL. The song begins with an epic build-up featuring a melody catchy enough to inspire any hero.

"GET EMMMM," DIESEL chants as his voice comes in. "It's time to level up, we gon' tear this b*tch down, it's time to level up."

We can't help but nod our heads as the song drops, envisioning a character running through an 8-bit, video game-style quest through the cosmos.

This lore in my head is inspired by the 8-bit cover art that shows both artists as characters, reminding me of the old-school Super Mario games that my brother and I played on our Game Boys growing up.

next lvl artwork

And while DIESEL x LEVEL UP is a match made in dubstep heaven, what makes this partnership even more appealing is what each of these artists are doing for the scene.

Outside of his NBA mega-star status, DIESEL is known for putting on the underground. Not only has he used his enormous platform to elevate upcoming bass music artists like CELO, Kozmoz and Sharlitz Web, but he's also down to host hefty, women-only shows, including his most recent stop in Denver with LAYZ, So Cute So Tuff and others at Mission Ballroom.

As if that isn't enough DIESEL is consistently on socials asking upcoming artists to send him demos. And now, his festival, Shaq's Bass All Stars, creates a space where even more upcoming artists can be seen. After its inaugural edition in 2023, we heard nothing but positive reviews from fans who said it created a safe and pleasant place for them to rave.

dj diesel tweet

On the other hand, LEVEL UP has become an inspiration to women all over the electronic dance music industry. She's proven that dedication, talent and the simple concept of respect can get you far. Her witchy brand has enamored fans of all ages as she has skyrocketed to recognition these last few years.

Most recently, she's proven that the EDM dream is real; giving me chills as I write that she was featured in Forbes last month, where they referred to her as a "maven" and a "triple threat."

"Working with such a legend, and especially someone so kind and collaborative, was an experience I’ll never take for granted," LEVEL UP said. "I really think we put our whole hearts into this one, and you can definitely feel that when you listen to the track.”

And while the bright lights of the stage and the heat from pyrotechnics fade off, what remains is the mission behind her brand. She told Forbes that she wants to create a space where people can "get together positively and have an hour of their day where they don't have to worry about the external stress of anything just enjoy the music."

Well, that's exactly what I felt while listening to NEXT LVL.

Kudos to you both.

shaq and level up at lost lands

NEXT LVL is streaming now on all platforms.


DUBSTEP FBI CEO & Co-Founder ccmichelle can be found on socials.

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