Mine is the guys from Jimmy Eat World. They affected my life so much and showed me music is really subjective and is all about individuality. I have a lot of other alternatives, but they are definitely my favorite.
I'm actually surprised this hasn't been a topic yet.
Favorites is hard to play, Alpha Conspiracy, Mike Oldfield, Michael Manring, most of the blokes from Genesis (Gabriel, Collins, Hackett, Banks, Rutherford) Richard James, Tom Jenkinson, Thom Yorke, Andy? Jenkinson (of ceephax fame - Tom's little brother) Tim Exile, Beth Gibbons, Dolores Oridoran, David Gahan, Martin Gore, Getty Lee, Robert Smith, Myself, Nobuo Uematsu, Yu Miyake, Yoko Shimomura, Noriyuki Iwadare, Izuho Takefuchi (Ippo) and Bo Uwabo, Koji Kondo, Michiru Yamane, Junya Nakano, Brian Warner, "Madonna Wayne Gacy" (let's face it he got fucked over by manson and his synthesis is the best thing about their first couple albums) Those blokes from Plaid, Autechre, Iris, and Tera Melos, that Mike Paradinas guy, The Gasman and JEGA... Lots and lots more...
Why? Because I don't pick favorites, they've all had an enormous influence on me. Including myself.
What first got me into what I like today probably consists of The Caretaker, Lunar Miasma, Emeralds, Sewer Election, Noma, Kylie Minoise, Burial Ground, Seconds In Formaldehyde, Dead Machines, Blood Stereo & more recently Mordant Karma, Lovebrrd, Mytrip and Mole Hole. There's a big list of shit nobody will ever be able to relate to.
Long story short, these artists were and continue to be a huge inspiration to me. They got me into sounds, tones, ambiance, noise, and listening to music for the experience, rather than a 'cool guitarist' 'awesome drummer' or whatever I used to look for when I was a big metalhead. I've also learned a lot from these artists because production and quality isn't any part of their allure; it's pure songwriting or field sampling. That's my story, thanks for reading bro.
I'm not going to go through and make a list of artist I like because there is no way I can pick just one. I have a hard enough time with things like "Your Top 3 Albums of All Time". And explaining why is even more difficult. Most of the time, its really subjective. The way certain musicians do things connect with me. Others don't.
I could get into picking a part things using theory and other academic-y stuffs, but that feels too much like graduate school, and I've had about enough of academic discussion ruining things I love to last me a lifetime.
The Chemical Brothers and Goldie (of Metalheadz fame) are the two electronic artists that made me first have the thought, "I want to do what they do" . Couldnt tell you why!
One musician or a group of musicians known as a band? I'm confused.
Tim Hecker. Drone and drone and distortion and more drone. I like drone!
Aaron Turner. Formed ISIS and Hydra Head Records. Best thing in the world after chocolate cookies.
Geir Jenssen (Biosphere). Pretty much the reason why I make ambient music and use field recordings.
Brian Williams (Lustmord). That dude looks like old Gordon Freeman. Also, the place where the dark star hangs. He seems to be a cool guy to be hang out with.
Jesper Kyd. My favourite game composer. Always will be. His soundtracks left a huge mark in my head.
Cloudkicker. I don't know, he shows how one-man band can be so awesome.
end.user. I like how he breaks things. Also, huge inspiration to me. Amen.
Jonas Renkse. That guy from Katatonia. Love his vocal.
Toby Driver. maudlin on the Wall, Kayo Dot and all secret side projects... Interesting guy.
Devin Townsend. I like him being bald.
Neil Fallon. Clutch frontman. Makes me want to be 'merican and ride SUV.
First one that comes to mind is Peter Wichers, the original guitar player from Soilwork (who's not in that band any more) since he sort of upped the game when it comes to riffing and shredding in my little bubble-like view of the music world. Of course I can't name a fave as picking favorites doesn't really cross my mind much these days.
I can't say really, I also don't like idolizing anyone. But I do admire John Coltrane, Erik Satie, Debussy, John Zorn, Daft Punk, Trentemoller, Aphex Twin, BT, Fischerspooner. If I had to choose...I'd say Satie or Zorn.
Has one of the deepest and richest unique prog sounds in the game.
Next level emotion in most tracks, and he tells stories with his music. Its more than just smooth beats.
And his live sets, Nuff said if you have been lucky enough to see one.
beyond that proly: Bro Safari, Feed Me, Pretty lights, Diplo, or Andrew Bayer
all are artists that raise the bar when rest of the industry plateaus.
deadmau5, he is the most creative electronic music artist out there, all his tracks are differnt and complicated, you could be litseing to some chords, then listen to failbait, then strobe, and raise your weapons, there's all different, and with that much more, he is if not the best, then the most talented artist