In the last decade Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, has made a complete 180 in the United States. It has shifted from a genre that was mostly underground with few listeners into popular music. Not only has it begun to top billboards, but it has influenced artists of many other genres to “hop on the bandwagon” and begin using it in their songs as well. From commercials to theme songs of popular television programs, the influx of EDM can be seen throughout American society.
One of the biggest changes EDM has brought to the music industry is that due to most of the artists’ knowledge of computers, not to mention the day and age we live in where we are all connected over the internet, they are able to take advantage of communicating and promoting over the internet to reach out to their fans. This allows these artists to listen to their fans and give them what they are asking for.
Contrary to the EDM artists, many rock and pop artists have “used and abused them [fans], sold them overpriced CDs, tried to sell them music they didn’t like by using stupid gimmicks” (Doherty) causing them to lose their foothold on the charts and allow EDM to step right in. The influences of EDM can also be seen by looking at pop artist and the way their songs have begun using more electric beats and styles. “Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’ and Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl’ [were] both co-produced” (Doherty) by electro-house artists and one of Britney Spears’ newer songs, ‘Hold It Against Me,’ also included signs of dubstep.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album ‘Watch the Throne’ the song ‘Who Gon Stop Me’ has a sample from a very popular EDM song by Flux Pavilion called ‘I Can’t Stop. ’ The most surprising influence of EDM on an artist, however, can be placed on Taylor Swift. In her new album ‘Red’ she has a song called ‘22’ which features many electronic and upbeat rhythms in it. These are only a few of the many artists that have incorporated electronic music into their songs and in doing so helped to render EDM even more widespread and dominant in today’s music industry.
EDM also has begun showing up in music festivals, on television, and in movies. “It’s artists headline huge festivals… its hooks soundtrack commercials; its textures bolster movie scenes” (Doherty). The EDM music festivals have grown very popular in the last decade, Deadmau5, a famous EDM Dj, compares one of these festivals in the 90’s to one a few years ago and recalls “[there were] only about 4-5000 people, but it was huge at the time. You go out to L. A. now, to Gary Richards’ Hard parties — he gets 20-40,000. The Dj’s are bringing a visual and physical experience for the audience during these festivals by having laser shows and visual graphics appear while their music plays. Television commercials have also started to embrace this trend. Microsoft included and promoted Alex Clare’s ‘Too Close’ in their commercial for the new Internet Explorer. This commercial boosted Alex Clare’s career, before the commercial he was only known in the U. K. In a final form of media the movies have also assimilated EDM into their soundtracks. ‘Tron: Legacy’ had a soundtrack that was almost entirely devoted to EDM.
Because of all this assimilations into mass media of all forms, EDM’s influence in the United States has only grown more rapidly and stronger. It seems that one cannot go a day without hearing a song under this genre; it surrounds and influences pop culture every day. Similar to rock and roll in the 1950’s, EDM has experienced demonization from parents and threats of legislation over the concern “fueled by concern over the ecstasy-related deaths. ” These laws see “electronic music itself as a gateway to social degradation” (Doherty) and seek to disassemble EDM.
According to Josh Glazer, editor of URB magazine, “It may cause a cooling down period, but in the end, electronic music, festivals, etc. , are simply not something that will ever be halted. There is both too much demand and too much economic incentive. ” If the law were to shut down EDM then many business and individuals would be left bankrupt or jobless. Although this may seem dismal and unfair in the present, rock and roll received the same kind of “critique which now seems quaint and ridiculous. ”
In conclusion EDM has brought about many social and cultural effects due to the changes it created to the industry. Through its artists’ computer knowledge they have brought about a greater fan/artist connection along with allowing any aspiring artist the ability to create his/her own music just by downloading different software. Finally EDM has influenced mainstream pop artists, directors, and marketing agencies to incorporate a more electrical and up beat sound to their music, ads, or movies because it appeals to the young audiences.
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