[EDITORIAL] How Skrillex And Justin Bieber Have Saved Electronic Dance Music
Editor’s note: All views and opinions are reflective of Gramm3r and NOT Fist In The Air.
Last summer was the year of “poppy” remixes. We had Zedd’s outstanding remix of Magic!’s track, “Rude.” The Chainsmokers revolutionized everything with “Kanye” and “Selfie.” Audien’s remix of Bastille’s “Pompeii” was stellar and there are a few others I’m missing, but you get the point. Spring and Summer of 2014 showed a glimmers of hope for EDM, and then it faded. We were hit with a slew of mediocre tracks until Skrillex and Justin Bieber came along.
With Skrillex and Diplo teaming up to form Jack Ü, they reinvented the wheel that had already begun to turn, but yet, stopped spinning at the end of 2014. No one in a million years thought that bringing a pop-icon like Justin Bieber into the EDM scene would be possible, let alone good, but “Where Are Ü Now” changed the game – and it was the push the wheel needed to get EDM spinning again.
You see, EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music; it’s meant to be literally what the semantics of the words mean – Electronic. Dance. Music. Not PDM – Pop Dance Music. But that’s just it. EDM was becoming clustered with the same old sounds, the same basslines, the same drops, the same everything. Boundaries weren’t pushed, collabs weren’t explored and EDM was heading into a vicious cycle of monotonous mundanity.
In all reality, Skrillex and Diplo are production masterminds – there’s no questioning that – and they were prior to Jack Ü, as solo artists and as Dog Blood (Skrillex & Boys Noize) and Major Lazer (Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire) – but get them in the studio together and things change. Where was Tiësto looking to collab with Justin Bieber? Nowhere. Where was Hardwell looking to collab with Biebs? Nowhere. Where was Martin Garrix looking to collab with him? Nowhere. Skrillex and Diplo took a chance, not only on themselves, but on the EDM world as well, by releasing “Where Are Ù Now” with Justin and since, the floodgates have opened.
EDM is no longer restricted to the same sound as its name projects – it’s now associated with boundaries being pushed, collabs that were never thought possible to happen, and most importantly, has changed the stigma around EDM.
As Skrillex continues to innovate and use EDM as a PLATFORM for musical creation, rather than a defined genre, EDM has now been giving the stigma as the future of music, rather than just big room festival tracks that had started to get old and outdated. Skrillex, Diplo and Justin have changed the way we define EDM, and quite frankly, it’s what the industry needed.
When Purpose hits, Biebers new album produced by Skrillex, you can no longer simply sit back and casually accept it as a pop artist with an EDM producer, but rather, the other way around; an EDM producer merging the two genres to redefine EDM. Had this not happened – had Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex not linked up – EDM as a whole would’ve been a dying name at this point in time. Luckily, that’s not the case and EDM has been revitalized and revolutionized – opening the doors to SO MANY possibilities. So thank you Skrillex, Diplo and Justin – you’re all exactly what EDM needed at exactly the right time.