Are you or your friends attending expensive festivals or exclusive clubs just to see famous DJs press buttons and cue up records? Did you think Miley Cyrus created twerking for attention, or did you know that Trap music fans made the dance popular?
You may understand the electronic dance music culture after years of support and dedication or simply consider yourself a new enthusiast who’s eager to discover more about the scene. Regardless of your EDM stance, there is much more happening behind the scenes than you probably realize.
EDM is not a term that many house music veterans enjoy using, let alone writing down, but the reality is that it does describe the current situation of American dance music. You’ve likely heard Zedd’s “Clarity,” Lana del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness,” or Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” on the mainstream airwaves, but those tracks, among others on the radio, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to electronic dance music and the many genres it encompasses. Dance music, as a whole, includes a multitude of genres and sub-genres like trance, dubstep, progressive, deep house, moombathon, acid house and many, many, many more.
Gone are the days of subjecting dance music fans to warehouse raves and underground subway parties. DJs are the new rock stars. US electronic dance music festivals like Ultra in Miami and Electric Zoo in New York bring hundreds of thousands of fans together from all over the world for enormous multi-day parties.
With dance music booming in America, fans and artists who used to be criticized for supporting music that required no musical talent to create have been granted the generational opportunity to step into the spotlight.
Some are distraught regarding the commercialization of dance music in the US, but there are many driving forces behind artists and industry executives pushing the pace in America. In this case, the 15-23 year olds, who spend their disposable income on dance music-related materials, are the culprits who helped to explode this business. They are purchasing records on Beatport.com, which is the iTunes of dance music, scooping up tickets for DJ events, buying EDM apparel and asking for DJ equipment as gifts (because anyone can be a DJ now!).
The prevalence of social media and technology facilitates the popular growth of dance music. It’s easy for fans and artists to interact, share files and use different audiovisual platforms; plus, the fear of missing out also makes the masses agreeable to whatever may be trending. Publicly traded companies, such as SFX Entertainment, spend billions of dollars to invest in the future of the dance music industry.
International stars, such as Will.I.Am, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears recently dropped tracks produced by EDM personalities, proving that what was once thought of only as a mere computer noise is now the future of the overall music business. Worldwide digital album sales are up – way up – and there’s no denying that though the industry may be exponentially growing, there is no guarantee it will last.
For dance music fans, it’s time to adapt and accept the changes that are surely coming. Are we amidst another Rock and Roll Renaissance? It’s a distinct possibility.