Electronic dance music is no longer an underground genre. Until recently, EDM was only found at raves, nightclubs, and warehouse parties.
Although it has been around since the 1970s, the genre, which includes house, techno, trance, dub-step, electronica and trap, did not gain momentum until the 1990s.
Now it’s common to hear a David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia or Avicii song played on the radio or featured in a television commercial.
The overwhelming emergence of EDM is a direct result of the shift in mainstream musical tastes, specifically, mainstream youth.
The introduction of a new genre to mainstream crowds has received positive feedback. Festivals such as Electric Zoo, Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival have continued to sell out at record pace with teenagers and young adults being the main buyers. House music, has also spilled into other genres proving its diversity.
A trembling bass and ringing house beats can be heard on Britney Spears’ new track “Scream & Shout,” featuring Will.i.am. Many artists such as Rihanna have also EDM influenced tracks that further promote the genre across musical boundaries. At the forefront of the EDM movement are DJs Avicii, Skrillex, and David Guetta.
Last summer, it was difficult to enter a party and not hear Avicii’s catchy “Levels” song or David Guetta’s “Titanium.”
A new sub-culture that has gained popularity is trap music. The genre is a combination of “1/3 hip-hop, 1/3 dance music, and 1/3 dub,” according to trap music blog runthetrap.com. The “Harlem Shake” videos that have gone viral garnering millions of hits on Youtube, feature Baauer’s most well know trap song.
Flosstradamus and RL Grime combine 808 beats and high pitch synthesizers to their tracks that take down South culture to mainstream ears.
With so many sub-groups of music, EDM is one big umbrella for talent. Besides the appealing music, EDM also comes with a vibrant scene. Unlike shows where it’s expected to wear jeans and t-shirt, a EDM concert calls for more fun attire.
Many show goers opt to wear fluorescent clothing and matching sunglasses while waiting for the DJ to drop the bass. Multi-colored light shows and glow sticks are in abundance as well as “kandi” bead bracelets that bear a DJs name.
The only vice that has shed a negative light on the genre is the rampant drug use that comes with it. Drugs such as molly and ecstasy are not uncommon at festivals and shows, having paramedics and police on guard a necessity to ensure safety.
When artist Madonna asked concertgoers at Ultra Music Festival last year, “Has anyone seen Molly?” the popularity of drugs was clear. To help promote advocacy, DJs Steve Aoki, A-Trak and Kaskade teamed up for a video that informs crowds about the dangers of ecstasy.
The EDM movement is here to stay.
As long as it continues to adapt and provide listeners with hypnotizing beats, tickets will continue to sell and fans will be happy.