1. The movement starts out small locally and grows by word of mouth via a small tribe of ardent supporters.
2. As the trend spreads, it picks up more and more followers from city to city and country to country, yet still stays under the radar of the masses as it continues to bubble with excitement.
3. The trend hits critical mass and breaks out with a huge world-wide hit or a breakout artist.
4. At that point every record label scrambles to get in on the act, signing artists of a lesser caliber in the same genre. Professional songwriters begin to adapt their styles to employ the latest trend and are sent to co-write with trend wanna-be's by the record labels and artist management. The music world looks for hits, not art, so it can cash in.
5. The once exciting latest-thing becomes a watered down homogenized version of it's former self, but lives on in the media as the hottest thing for a few years, as the early torch-carriers become slowly demoralized and leave the scene.
6. The trend never really dies, but it diminishes in importance and visibility as it's replaced with something newer and fresher.
Anything sound familiar here? Aren't we up to #5 with EDM?
EDM has been the biggest scene/trend that no one knew about (except those millions of insiders) for the longest time. When a DJ can get 50 to 100,000 people to pack a stadium and hardly cause a ripple in the news, that's still pretty underground. But it doesn't take long until the big money catches on and things change, and that's what's happening in EDM today.
Take a listen to the top songs in just about any pop chart and you'll find products of the EDM trend. David Guetta, Nicki Manaj, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, the list goes on but the music unfortunately doesn't get any better as we get contrived songs created for the masses.
As I always say, art is something you do for yourself, a craft is what you do for everyone else. We are now in the craft stage of EDM.
Today we see an article a day on EDM in mainstream media like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, major promoters like Michael Cohl and Bob Sillerman getting involved because they see big bucks they think they can make, major labels on the prowl for new EDM talent at the recent EDMbiz conference, and the rest of the music world trying to catch up to a trend that's already passed them by. See what I mean?
I hate to say it, but it's all downhill from here. EDM will continue to grow for a few more years, but its most vibrant, creative time is probably now behind it.
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