In the past few years, electronic dance music, often referred to as EDM, has become much more relevant in pop-culture. The sound of EDM is being implemented into popular movies, video games and television shows more than ever. Major pop artists are also catching on and releasing entire albums revolving around this sound. The rising popularity of EDM has definitely become obvious, but what caused the sound to become so relevant, and how much further is it going to be taken?
Artists such as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and countless others are implementing EDM into their music, bringing together the sound of pop with various EDM sub-genres such as house, trance and breakbeat. Pop artists seem to be becoming accustomed to more dance-friendly songs that can be played out in clubs rather than through headphones. Mainstream hip-hop is going down the same path, with more and more tracks being put out with trap influenced production. From Flo Rida remixing Avicii’s smash hit “Levels,” to Taylor Swift releasing tracks with heavy computer-generated drums such as “I Knew You Were Trouble,” to Daft Punk creating
the soundtrack to GAP commercials, there is no doubt that the public wants to hear this music.
Disney’s 2012 animated film “Wreck-It Ralph’s” soundtrack included Noisia’s remix of the Skrillex track “Bug Hunt,” which is an EDM glitch-hop adventure. The film also had a minor animated cameo of Skrillex himself as a DJ during a dance party.
“Mainstream radio stations are playing it frequently,” senior Kyle Brinn said. “It is getting popular because simple, repetitive songs with vague lyrics are easily relatable to anyone.” Brinn does not claim to be an avid listener of EDM, but other students connect real closely with it.
“I don’t mind that it’s getting more popular. I don’t love EDM because it makes me feel cool, I love it because it makes me feel alive and I want everyone to feel what I feel when I listen to it. When people who look and act more mainstream quote a Krewella song or play a Daft Punk song, it makes me happy to know that the music is spreading. I think some types of EDM like house and drum and bass will eventually take over the mainstream culture, but the kids who are strict and original EDM listeners will listen to trance and hardstyle and others,” senior Abby Kindle said.
Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” trap song became part of a worldwide internet fad that involved thousands of videos of people similarly dancing to the track during its climax. The track was originally released in May 2012, but did not receive worldwide attention until February 2013 when the first video was released. This could be a contributing factor to the rise of EDM, as many became fans after seeing the videos, which are still published today.
Throughout the past few years, EDM has risen to great heights in popular culture, and it is showing no signs of slowing; film, television, and even video games have made heavy use of the most popular EDM music in the past years. Whether this is good or bad depends on who is asked, but it is generally agreed that the popularity isn’t going away anytime soon. The popularity of the genre has proven too enticing for new artists not to participate in the growing trend. As major pop artists still actively contribute to the genre, there isn’t much left to do but watch the genre further unfold into mainstream culture.