THE FUTURE OF DANCE MUSIC

Building the Facts…

The year 2018 came to an end with a standard dance music calendar. Between the music week in Miami and the ADE, the IMS and another season in Ibiza and festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland and Creamfields, passed a series of artists (DJs), considered crown jewels in the industry. But this particular year closed off with uncertainties, with dance music balancing on the most delicate wobbly strings for the first time in the last decade.

Art in general has a habit of working groups of trends dictated by innovative artists in the industry. In the ’80s we had the trip from the Chicago House to New York (Studio 54), and no one would have imagined the impact it would have on the next half century. The Techno scene continued to grow in Detroit due to the minimalist elements of the song; and in the 1990s illegal warehouses and raves becoming common practice in London. At the end of the century, artists like Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Paul Okenfold and Tiesto paved the way for trance blast, giving a commercial flavor to lasers and ice cannons at famous clubs like Amnesia Ibiza. At the end of the first decade dance music reached the mainstream, exploding with the codename “EDM”. Dance and pop lines are merged, dominating the top charts worldwide, with lyrics being sung on dance floors.

With the change in dynamics for the industry we saw artists who had already enjoyed somewhat underground flavors like David Guetta, scoring three consecutive UK Top 1 singles in just two months. Guetta suffered a lot of criticism when doing collaborations with R & B artists, but it was from there that he proved to be an innovator (that guy who dictates the trends I mentioned above), and so shaped the dance music course forever. Artistic diversity and irreverence, when successful, are widely praised and often criticized.

Between 2010-2013 we had the famous “golden era” of “EDM”, and from that point on it did not show signs of overflow, becoming a big “bubble”. However, Avicii was at the height of her career, producing a melodic sound never before seen in dance music and decided to debut a gender change at the world’s most important electronic music festival, the Ultra. Playing tracks from an unreleased country & western-infused album has brought electronic music to the forefront of media coverage. The prodigy boy was labeled by some sites as being “too advanced for dance music,” but in a few months, with the hit “Wake Me Up”, he won platinum album, accumulating more than a billion plays in Spotify. And another pioneer was born. At the same time, the “retirement” of the Swedish HouseMafia trio boosted a number of new sub-genres, such as “Dirty Dutch” that brought Hardwell to the top spot in DJ Mag’s Top100. In the following years Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Martin Garrix took the prize still with the style “Big Room”, that ended up becoming more and more melodic, showing a great change of direction in the industry.

The scenario changed several times, with the arrival of the “Future House” and the rise of Trap, and it oscillated very much by diverse subgenera, in an infinite search of identity.

The expectation for this year is huge, as finally the Swedish House Mafia returned to the tracks at Ultra last year, rekindling the flame in the heart of the Big Room lovers. The trio that arguably was one of the greatest exponents of dance music of all time is back to shape the future of the industry, since the trends are influenced by pioneers. The Swedish House Mafia achieved achievements never before seen in dance music and its absence only increased its reputation. They meet as global super stars on the Beyonce, Drake, Justin Bieber scale. The fans created a great hope for the “golden age” of “EDM” as well, but we could see the tone change of the trio by presenting a much more “heavy” sound in Miami in the last edition of Ultra. 2019 will surely be a year of new moves, new sonorities, with striking bass lines and all the unpredictable passionate of old and new trend dictators. Anyway the art, the music always with its exciting nature leaving us in a great state of expectation!

We are waiting for the scenes from the next chapters…