As it has become tradition of every year, my promise of not wasting time on the woefully distasteful DJ Mag results is broken by debatable outcomes, which then become the subject for new articles to be written later. This time, I want to pen my thoughts about the new winner, David Guetta, who after first time since 2011, has earned the title of “Most Popular EDM Act” of this year.
This is actually interesting: the French veteran wasn’t even promoting himself heavily to claim the spot. After such a long and success-laden career, it makes sense that he is free to pursue whatever he decides upon. An apt example is his recent studio synergies with MORTEN, as they further continue to revamp Electro House, kick starting a brand new style of “Future Rave”.
So, what do I takeaway from the aftermath of this?
When I was 12, the one and only Electronic compilation that introduced me formally to Dance music was “Nothing But The Beat”. It is undoubtedly iconic, especially the second part which has multiple underground classics (such as “Lunar”, an ambitious choice from a radio-friendly act). During the following years I lost interest in the more commercial and pop-compatible signature he adopted afterwards, but my respect towards him remained intact. He’s a genuinely passionate individual who has overseen transition of EDM into mainstream formats, and has credited his collaborators, while taking sound decisions that has kept advancing his growth in the industry. Then, when he announced an underground comeback, it got me… intrigued.
Sure, the result isn’t bewildering to make me crazy. “Future Rave” is a category which is engaging, but hasn’t lit any specific feeling for me. Also, it has gained an insane amount of success in the scene, almost unexpectedly. It is probably this “hype” that has made him the numero uno in the mentioned poll, foreshadowing names such as Garrix or even people who heavily invested on a lot of marketing, say, DV&LM.
Now, why so?
In my opinion, it is simply because of the non-experimentation attitude upheld by many other renowned acts, something which Guetta has disagreed with. They over-stay in their safe zones to please their existing fan-base, except other rarer personages (like Tiësto). The scene has remained quite static during these years, with sporadic trends that have died out after months of providing revenues (such as Psy-Trance). Obviously, the slightest attempt at a unique effort from esteemed artists can make a lasting difference, as the mass audience continue to search for passion and fresh ideas. Hopefully, this rewarding step will serve as inspiration for upcoming musicians and ones established, making it worthwhile.