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“It’s an evolution. The thing is that, every musical genre starts from the underground, gets trendy, then it becomes popular, and then it dies or it is reinvented in a different way…” — David Guetta, EDM global superstar (via CNN’s Abel Alvarado)
The beginning of 2018 is an interesting time to look back at the $7.4 billion industryknown as electronic dance music, or as the branding world likes to call it: “EDM”. Purists may hate the term, and the reasons may lie in the inevitable arc of any “cool” thing, as Guetta himself notices above. A Google search on “EDM popularity” simultaneously reveals a 2012 “The Rise of EDM” Huffington Post article, a 2014 “How Did EDM Get So Popular?” CNN piece, and then Miami New Times’ foreboding “Will EDM Survive Beyond 2017?”
Birth, growth, death.
While ragtime, jazz, singer-songwriter activism, disco, 80s hair bands, punk, grunge may be alive and well in their inner circles, they’ve all since abdicated their pop culture thrones. They’ve long been where EDM might otherwise be today. But if Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist has anything to do with its 40-odd-year genre refusing to die…maybe Spotify’s mint (lower-case stylization on purpose) can do the same for dance and electronic music. As the streaming platform’s #6 most popular playlist with 4.6 million followers, EDM’s proverbial ship might still be on course.
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