Numbers don’t lie, and with the EDM industry currently valued at $6.2 billion everyone turned their eyes towards this bubbling phenomenon. Recently, one of these sets of eyes has been CNN, who did a piece titled: “It’s a $6.2 billion industry. But how did Electronic Dance Music get so popular?”. CNN caught up with some of the biggest names in the industry, from David Guetta to Steve Aoki and Tiesto, who all helped pioneer the face and the heart of modern dance music.
While the face of EDM has gotten much flack over the past year, even from some of its most highly established acts, it is the heart of dance music that the likes of Guetta and Tiesto will keep its bubble from ever truly bursting. And all of these acts believe that the internet is solely responsible for bringing such an underground culture to the limelight. When dance music was being created in the late 80’s or the early 90’s, records were exclusive in the sense that not only were they harder to find, but DJs simply didn’t share their collections, since they wanted to be the hottest DJ playing the hottest tracks at the moment.
“That’s the big difference with nowadays, because when you jam to a track you already know what it is, and then right away you have the song in your phone or your laptop…that was a very magical period because you played a track and people said ‘I know this track,’ but they still couldn’t find it. That was very special,” says [Tiesto].
And now that dance music has wiggled its way into pop culture, producers and DJs are hitting heights that were unfathomable even a decade ago. Again, this is largely due to the internet and its rapid ability to share tracks, collaborate with other artists, keeping your name and brand at the forefront of everyone’s heads, and most importantly is getting your tunes into the hands of other DJs. Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike used these exact strategies to catapult the duo’s rapid growing career to where they are now:
“For us it (social media) has played a very big role, we can make a new track and with one click, it’ll be spread all over the world. Twenty years ago you had a vinyl, and that vinyl had to go to a distributor, and six months later maybe another country would have the vinyl. . .All we did for one year is talk to DJs by Facebook and somehow that got us our first gig. Social media has been the biggest factor in our career.”
But with so many eyes on the EDM industry and so many hungry hands trying to get a slice of the pie, many say that the bubble will burst similar to the disco era music. While many are biting their nails about its future, Tiesto stays calm and carries on:
“They’ve been asking me that since 1994, ‘is it going to end?’ I always say I don’t know. It keeps evolving, every year something new comes up, and now it’s at the highest it ever has been, so now I don’t know how much higher and how much better it’ll get. . .It has been more than 20-25 years that this music is existing, so it’s already amazing.”