1. Word Of Mouth
The media was there last.
This is akin to the seventies, when your favorite band finally hit and then everybody went back and bought the catalog and you could take a victory lap. Only in this case, as a result of the changes in the media landscape, it took more like twenty years.
Electronic music was closed out of the old gatekeeper game. Believing not enough people were interested, they stifled it.
The Internet broke EDM. You could hear it, see it and talk about it. On some level, it’s no different from the Arab Spring. It was about communication. Unfettered by the machine. We keep hearing from the disinformation committee known as the RIAA/major labels that the Internet has been bad for music. EDM proves them wrong. EDM burgeoned because of the Internet!
2. The Scene/Culture
There was culture at Woodstock, at the Fillmore, but there’s no culture at the Jiffy Lube/Verizon/Car Wreck Amphitheatre. It’s only about commerce. The Top Forty is skin deep, the EDM scene goes to your core. It’s not about getting up close, getting the right ticket, it’s about inclusion as opposed to exclusion. Which is the mantra of the generation embracing it.
3. The Music
We’re at the advent. It’s kind of like the Beatles being on Ed Sullivan and everybody going out and buying a guitar. Except that now everybody’s making music at home and utilizing SoundCloud. We couldn’t foresee "Sgt. Pepper" in 1964 and we should be optimistic as to where electronic music is going as opposed to dismissing it.
4. Killing It
This is the number one problem facing EDM today. Its embrace by the mainstream in a dash for cash, which will hollow out the scene so fast you’ll think the boy bands were forever.
It all comes down to the deejays. The deejays are in control of their culture, just like traditional musical artists. Can the deejays say no? First and foremost to the money?
We’ve had a short term mentality in the music business ever since 1981, the beginning of MTV. Let’s overexpose it, get every last dollar and then leave its carcass behind.
And once something breaks through today, it’s like the MTV of yore, except instead of having to sit in front of the tube waiting for your video, you can go online and dig deeper and deeper, feeding your habit.
In other words, EDM has to disconnect from traditional business to survive.
The deejays have to say no to major media. They have to say no to endorsements. They have to say no to everybody who wants to get between the music and their fans.
I know, I know, this is contrary to the so-called American way, where you utilize your fame to overexpose and become profitable, a paradigm Paris Hilton defined and Kim Kardashian refined. And they both got rich, but they’re both despised.
That’s not what an artist wants. An artists wants fans, who love them, forever.
5. Radio Crossover
That helped put the music into every nook and cranny. The collaborations that ended up on Top Forty radio. This is both good and bad. It’s good, because why not have the music exposed. It’s bad, because it muddies the waters and risks overexposure.
6. The Music
That’s what will grant the scene longevity. Dance clubs come and go. But great music remains.
7. Bloviating About It
It doesn’t matter what I say, never mind the mainstream media. Electronic music arrived fully-formed, with its own stars, promoters and infrastructure. Now the traditional forces want in. Used to be they were necessary, because of their power, money and influence. Now you can grow these at home.
The deejays are rich enough, they don’t need the label’s money.
The gigs are so successful, the promoters have profit.
And the media can’t spread the word to anybody but outsiders, old farts who don’t matter anyway. EDM lives on the Internet.
8. A Fad
Are the Yankees a fad? How about the Lakers?
We have been mistreating the music, paying it no respect for decades. This is a chance for change. New people beget new systems.
9. Fans first
So far, this has been the case. But in the traditional concert promotion sphere, this is anything but true. From the artists on down, it’s all about ripping fans off, like the subterfuge of ticket fees. Never mind the overpriced concessions.
10. Music Should Be Free
You can charge, but only for high quality and singles. It’s truly about the show, how can you get people to go?