The journey of EDM

The journey of EDM

David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Martin Garrix, Nucleya, Ritviz, Lost Stories. 
If the blog title or the names you’ve just read got you smiling from ear to ear like Pennywise from the movie IT, chances are, you are an EDM buff. In all seriousness, you already would know or may have heard about the EDM music genre. 

Honestly, how could one not know or hear about the third most popular music genre? Are you one of those people who does not follow EDM? Is the fact that EDM is so popular riling you up? Are you thinking of scrolling to the bottom to type out a long reply to the question that precedes this question? Just stop. Chances are, you’ve been living under a rock… or pop. Just had to get this genre pun out of the way before moving forward.

But what exactly is EDM music?

As the name suggests, EDM – Electronic Dance Music is basically dance music created electronically. All of the sounds that you hear in the songs of this genre are generated on a computer! Everything from the bass to even the vocals can be developed from scratch. This is precisely why most of the EDM tracks sound cleaner and perfect to the T. 

EDM music production

While EDM is a genre in itself, what’s interesting to note here is that it has a host of subgenres. Considering it is Electronic ‘Dance’ Music, all the danceable music genres fall under it. You could say EDM is the umbrella that covers Techno, Future Bass, Dubstep, Electronic Pop, Deep House, Trance, and the list goes on. 

Now that you know a bit about EDM and all the subgenres that fall under it, it’s time for a quick history lesson!

When and where did it originate?

To know the origin of this hip music genre we have to travel back in time, all the way to Jamaica. Picture this: It’s the early ’60s, the golden age of the island country. Jamaica earned complete independence, and several developments started to take shape. The infrastructure and tourism developed significantly. 

While this was happening in the forefront, several artists started mixing tracks by overlapping multiple tracks on reel-to-reel audio tape recorders. This is precisely what birthed the concept of electronic dance music. 

Fast-forward a decade, in New York, a teenager by the name Frankie Knuckles just started DJing. This same teenager would later go on to be inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, thanks to his contributions over the next few decades to House Music. 

The Godfather of House, Frankie Knuckles. Source: Rolling Stone

Thanks to Frankie Knuckles’ contributions to House Music, a genre so addictive it infectiously spread to the whole world, EDM gained popularity. So the next time you hear an EDM track, don’t forget to thank The Godfather of House, Frankie Knuckles!

That’s cool. But how did it stand the test of time?

EDM as a genre was a late bloomer compared to Rock and Pop. While the latter’s origin was around the mid-’50s, EDM’s origin was several decades later. This might have given EDM an advantage, but EDM required some magic to stand the test of time. This magic came in the form of music festivals for EDM.

The first-ever EDM festival was the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, held in the 2000s. This gave way to several other music festivals, and slowly but surely, many EDM artists started gaining recognition worldwide. 

If you aren’t quite aware of these artists, here’s a list of the Top 15 EDM artists of 2021. We’re sure you must have come across the names of some, if not most, of these artists! The likes of Martin Garrix, Kygo, and Lost Frequencies appearing on that list were beyond obvious, weren’t they? And all the ’90s kids out there, “Don’t you worry child,” SHM is on the list as well!

While artists help people connect with each other, EDM festivals are where these birds of a feather, flock together! Here’s a list of 10 of the biggest EDM festivals that you just cannot miss out on! 

Right. But EDM and India? How did that happen?

India has always been a paradise for music lovers, thanks to its rich culture and the variety of music it brings to the table. 

Did you know there’s an Indian style of music for almost every letter of the alphabet – excluding the letters E, W, X, and Y?

Given these facts, EDM had no problems reaching the mainstream audience of the country, especially in metropolitan cities. But it did take a while for EDM to get discovered in the other parts of the country. 

“Coming from a Tier 3 city, exposure to International music was minimal. I remember tagging along with my dad to a nearby CD store that had a few Eurodance CDs back in the day. I remember gleaming with joy just looking at those. After hours of persuasion, my dad bought me a CD of Robert Miles. His track ‘Children’ was the first-ever EDM track that I heard,” recalls Souvik, an up-and-coming Electronic Music producer. 

Soon after the EDM scene picked up in many parts of the country, festivals like Sunburn, vH1 Supersonic followed suit. And rightly so, many Indian EDM artists like Nucleya, Ritviz, and Lost Stories gained popularity.

From Jamaica to New York to Worldwide. What’s next?

Virtual. 

Yep, you read it right. Or if you are a person who reads an article out loud, you said it and heard it right – at the same time. Oh, the complexities of the human brain!

Okay, without diverging anymore, yes, what’s next for the EDM space is virtual. In 2020, while the world and most humans closed doors and stayed inside, it opened several windows into the digital world for basically everything under the sun. 

Concerts started happening in the virtual world where DJs were live-streaming on Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook. This also helped the DJs get even closer to their audience and basically have one-on-one moments with them. 

Alas, EDM enters Meta.

Talking about the future of EDM, Souvik could not contain his excitement. “[The] next thing for dance music is its experience in the metaverse. I guess binaural audio will be dominant where people experience sounds in 3D in real-time, being a vital part of the metaverse. People would go to virtual concerts by buying tickets as NFTs from artists. I am thrilled to be a part of all these.”

As Souvik rightly pointed out, EDM is, or in fact, has already moved to the future. Metaverse, that is. One of the biggest EDM festivals, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), becomes the world’s first music festival in the metaverse. Famous DJ, Deadmau5, hosted a metaverse festival, Decentraland.

While what the future holds for this space might be pretty exciting, nothing can take away the excitement that a concert in the physical world provides. Take a look at this crowd control moment, for example. Thousands of people in pure synchrony. No fear of what was, what is, and what will be. Just the music and pure joy.

Well, whatever it might be, you’ll surely see us on the flipside. Also, what do you think of the future of EDM? Does it excite you? Do let us know in the comments section below!

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