Spotlights on the dance scene: should we cherish it?
Every year passing we can notice how our scene, EDM, is being included as an official member of the popular culture. And there are many ways we can look at it, its all just a matter of perspective. Nonetheless, the main question we should all be asking ourselves is: was dance music meant to stay as an underground culture, or is this global attention towards DJs and producers a good thing? It is indeed a difficult matter to talk about since it’s all about the way we feel about the music that we’re listening to, what it means to us, how we receive it, process it and interpret it. It sounds like a pretty obvious thing when you think about it but, are we really giving the tracks we listen to the meticulous attention they deserve?
Creativity in the music industry
Why are artists like Eric Prydz, Madeon, RAM, or Nicolas Jaar so respected? The answer is quite simple. All of their tracks have a meaning to them, whether they tell a story or are a simple expression of what the producer wants to project through a track. Plus, they all have their own signature. Eric Prydz and Madeon may not have musical theory knowledge, but is that really important? The thing about these artists is that they produce their music depending on how they feel, and not what the people want. If you want to read more about the meaning of electronic music and why it deserves respect, you can do it by clicking here.
Creativity has sadly become an especially cherished aspect of dance music, however, not essential. That’s the fundamental negative effect we can perceive at first sight. Once a genre is part of the popular culture, it generally follows a certain formula to sell the maximum amount of records. For instance:
In 2011, Avicii caused a huge wave of people jumping on the modern progressive house wagon, with a minimalistic touch as a result of his iconic release “Levels”.
In 2013, Martin Garrix did the same thing for the big room scene, with his global hit “Animals”.
The lack of inventiveness in big room house during 2013 and 2014 was scandalous. Everybody was trying their best to be like Garrix, and the whole internet quickly got tired of listening to the same melodies, build-ups, and drops.
A few years later, the deep house/tropical house trend emerged.
The internet and its effects on the scene
In the 90s and even during the early 2000s, we can notice that the major income from the producers were their gigs. Nowadays, the major income for superstar DJs such as Avicii or Tiësto are partnerships, and the insane amount of sold tracks, being the result of an enormous fanbase.
The rise of the internet culture has played a tremendous role in the development of our scene. First, let’s have a little talk about the bright side of the so-called “EDM” culture and its direct relation with the web.
These days, the life of an artist is now naturally connected and in constant touch with his audience, social medias being the only way to do so. Producers are getting known on the internet by uploading their work on SoundCloud, promoting it on Facebook and Twitter and finally, by submitting their demos to all the labels out there via email. A single post on their social media accounts, and the interaction with the fanbase becomes the precise moment when the audience and the artist become the artwork. Sounds great until now, doesn’t it? Noticeably, the amount of people trying to become the next superstar is insane.
I will also leave a must watch David Bowie interview, realized in 1999, where he talks about the internet and its future influence on the music industry. Spot on, legend!
Sounds great until now, doesn’t it? Noticeably, the amount of artists trying to become the next superstar is insane. That being said, labels are being flooded with requests, and the accounts of those artists are increasingly hard to find and to support since there are way too many people who have the talent to get to the top. To be honest, there’s always someone out there who’s ready to produce a game changer, but the industry won’t allow it, because, as we said earlier, the sales of this record could be very low according to the labels.
Electronic music is becoming day by day one of the most important genres around the globe, and both positive and negative attention are directed towards us: generic music, bad movies (yes, I’m looking right at you Zac Efron), and consequently, global criticism towards our scene. But don’t fool yourselves, there’s still hope. We can show the world the difference between the people who understand the meaning of dance music, who can feel it and understand it. In the words of Eric Prydz:
“There are two types of persons in this scene. The ones who dance to the music, and the ones who dance to the fireworks.”
This is why true musicians are stepping away from our scene, and making their own path, creating new subgenres, and therefore, new ways of thinking. We Rave You’s advice is, as usual, to follow your heart. Dance music is something else than just noise or partying music. We do have lots of artists that deserve to be noticed, who want to tell their story, who want to project their emotions. This is what art is about, isn’t it?