EDM – How’d It Get So Big?

Early Days and Struggle for Acceptance

The Social Media Effect

After the year 2000 arrived, with the advent of the internet and its rising popularity, electronic music had new means at its disposal to spread organically throughout the culture. Undoubtedly, social media played an important role in bolstering the growth of electronic music. Musicians now had the opportunity to upload their content and promote their art in a way that reaches the consumer directly.

Rather than allowing for the media to shape their conception of electronic music for them, consumers could see what the genre had to offer for themselves through social media and video streaming platforms.

Word Of Mouth

Another factor is word of mouth. There’s a reason why the phrase “Nothing sells like word of mouth” is commonly uttered in marketing circles. If you haven’t been to an electronic dance music festival yourself, chances are you know somebody who has. This person has probably vehemently evangelized the merit of the event in such a way as to compel scores of others to try out a festival for themselves.

electronic music festival

The fact that festivals can routinely draw crowds of over 200,000 people, is a huge incentive for people to enthusiastically join in. Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival are prime examples of this trend.

The sense of community and oneness that many attendees attest to, provides something of a spiritual experience. This also adds a layer of interactiveness that festival-goers participate in. In a sense, each listener at a festival becomes a star of their own.

Through the wearing of psychedelic attire, and even the sporting of things such as glow sticks, festival-goers have the opportunity to express themselves in their own unique way. Many of these modes of expression, unique to the electronic music scene, eventually find themselves developing into traditions.

For example, Steve Aoki, an American DJ, has made a tradition out of throwing a cake at a member of his audience during each show. And make no mistake, for Steve Aoki fans, this is considered nothing less than a true pleasure and high honour.

The Compositional Inclusion Of Various Genres

Many schools of thought attribute the rise of electronic music due to the diversity of its genres, which, as we discussed previously, had begun to be absorbed into EDM from the get go. Now, there is literally something out there for everybody. If you like hard, fast paced, quick BPM jams then you might find your refuge in dubstep. If you’re looking for pop style choruses over jazz and soul infused rhythmic tunes, you may enjoy deep-house. From there, there are countless scores of other electronic music genres that appeal to different tastes.

As technology continues to evolve, DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software will as well. DAW’s in many cases, allow for the producer to construct electronic music songs, from start to finish, without the help of anything beyond a computer, and some basic software along with plug-ins. This, as previously touched upon, has revolutionized the music industry, and electronic music in particular. Whether one regards it as a non-instrumental deviation from the pure creation of real music, or a genuine evolution in the process, it has undoubtedly simplified that process for scores of upcoming and ambitious producers trying to get into the industry.

The Fall Of Disco Music

To backtrack for a moment, as disco music was on its way out, electronic music took the reins in terms of being a new, grassroots crowd-gathering, dance-inducing genre of music. As acid house and techno music took hold in Chicago and Detroit in the 80’s, folks began to experience a microcosm of the massively attended festivals that we frequently see today.

EDM Collaborations

Another reason why electronic music is as popular as it is, is the fact that is capable of assimilating all forms of music within its structure, as we’ve repeatedly stated. Electronic music can and does often feature sweeping pop choruses, hip hop bars of lyrics, jazz drumming etc… This is yet another reason why just about anyone can find something that appeals to them, after going through a number of electronic music songs. This versatile structure, has helped to give electronic music universal appeal. When electronic music producers frequently collaborate with other musicians outside of their genre, it creates an effect that inevitably points back to electronic music itself. For example, when David Guetta collaborates with the Black Eyed Peas, and then collaborates with Kelly Rowland, the listener of both tracks understands that the common denominator is electronic music.

We leave you with this…

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