EDM — the life of a party

Rager king: Avicii wins Favorite Artist - Electronic Dance Music at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2013

Rager king: Avicii wins Favorite Artist - Electronic Dance Music at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2013  

Across the world, younger music lovers were shattered to hear of the demise of one of their favourite disc jockeys Avicii. Most knew he had various health complications for five years, but the sudden news was hard to digest.

Avicii was hailed as an early prodigy in electronic dance music (EDM), arguably the most popular international music genre among the under 30s today.

Avicii had played in India too. And we have hosted the world’s biggest DJs since the early 2000s. All the stars have come, the list also including Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Sasha, Judge Jules, Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Hardwell, Skrillex, Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Israeli stars Infected Mushroom, the Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike duo, and Martin Garrix. All of them have made it to various top 10 surveys at one point.

If many 1990s youngsters tuned into pop videos, death metal, grunge, alternative rock, hip-hop, Indipop, the latest Bollywood songs and remixes, today’s generation, especially in the metros and mini metros, is more into EDM and indie music. There are few reasons, besides just adapting to the current fad. One is that many think of EDM gigs as a great live experience where one can party and dance with friends. The second is the increase of events over the years.

Initially, there were one-off nights. But slowly they shifted to festivals. Beginning with Sunburn in Goa, we had many more across India, from Rajasthan, Nagaland and Bengaluru to New Delhi, Pune and Mumbai. Submerge, vH1 Supersonic, Magnetic Fields and Storm have got in great EDM acts whereas NH7 Weekender, Sulafest and Enchanted Valley Carnival have had sections dedicated to the genre. And the craze isn’t restricted to the foreign stars. Indian acts like Midival Punditz, Suketu, Akbar Sami, Nikhil Chinapa, Pearl, Nucleya, Anish Sood, Lost Stories, Kerano, Zaeden, Sartek and S(haan) get regular platforms at such events.

The venues have become bigger too. Take Mumbai, for instance. From Famous Studios in Mahalaxmi and a shed at Kamala Mills in Lower Parel, they moved to larger open air venues like Mahalaxmi Turf Club and JioGarden, Bandra Kurla Complex, besides the huge Dome at NSCI, Worli.

While all this seems great for the genre, there are some downsides. The biggest is that ticket rates are often prohibitive, as a result of which many devoted fans miss out. The second is that as internationally, EDM is associated with the drug sub-culture, youngsters are likely to take to the habit. Third, though many people check out music videos and streaming sites, they actually don’t buy the actual physical or digital form.

Unlike other genres, a sizeable section at EDM shows are there more for the party and snob value, rather than for concentrated listening. Who cares as long as they party?

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 4:24:45 AM |

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