Dance music has experienced its ups and downs over the years. It first exploded in the 1970s in the name of Disco with acts such as the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, etc. Then, it received a backlash. In the early 1980s, Madonna reinvigorated the genre, which had a huge run of relevance all the way into the late 1990s.
Once again, dance music crashed as the popularity of hip hop gained traction. In 2009, the genre had a resurgence again. This time, it was referred to as EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Deejays such as Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Avicii turned into worldwide producers. The hip crowd who once thought of dance music as "too queer" embraced the third coming. But is the EDM fad about to turn sour?
"Every single song sounds alike!" an audience member recently said at a dance music conference in San Diego, CA. Many of the other audience members reluctantly nodded their heads in agreement. Deadmau5, Skrillex, Avicii, and others recently had unique sounds. But their music now sounds alike. It's always the same soft intro that is followed by an explosion of Dubstep and accented with auto-tuned vocals that you hear every minute on pop music stations such as KIIS FM. But this has nothing to do with a lack of creativity.
"EDM has struggled for years to become mainstream," Juan Alvares of Sirius XM tells us. "Now that they have found the right formula, producers are hesitant to change and experiment with new sounds. It seems to be all about commercialism," Alvares continues. Albert Young, a former marketing executive at Universal, agrees.
"EDM was experimental for years. Producers didn't care if the music fit in with the norm. EDM will fade away because it is fighting against the very principle that made it happen," Young says. He believes the backlash against EDM may be as big as the backlash against Disco in the late 1970s.
40 percent of the Billboard Hot 100 songs are currently EDM arrangements. That percentage will likely drop hard in a year if EDM doesn't embrace what made it big in the first place.