Commercialization Ain’t a Bad Word: Why EDM Going Mainstream is OK

diplo blackberry Commercialization Aint a Bad Word: Why EDM Going Mainstream is OK

We used to turn on radio and hear an inaudible mixture of Lil Wayne and Nickelback tracks, so we took solace in finding our personal soundtracks in other places. From dark rooms and record stores to obscure international websites, we prided ourselves on finding the next sound. As others derided us for our particular musical taste, we knew we were on to something special. As our love for electronic music has grown, so has the commercial prospects of the music. It's easy to lament it as a bastardization of our music, but it's also misguided. Not only is it a natural evolution, it's a good one. Commercialization isn't just a buzzword, and it certainly ain't a bad word.

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  • YourMom

    There’s also an inherent *lack* of innovation, too. Did you listen to the result of the “Avicii x You” project? The most boring, generic big room house track ever. There’s more emphasis on trying to write popular tracks rather than simply using music as a means of expression and creativity.

    Do you think Bud Light cares about innovation, creativity, freedom of expression?

    • Jake L

      But look at the people you mention in your counter. Avicii and Bud Light. No one was looking to them for innovation in the first place. The pop will continue get even painfully cheesier and if we’re looking for alcohol companies to push for creative expression and artistic innovation then we’re screwed anyway. Good thing we’re not. Those innovating will continue.

      • YourMom

        I cited Avicii and Bud Light because you are talking about commercialization and those are two people who are heavily involved (amongst many others). Yes there situes such as Infinite Legroom but they will never really “take off” like other mainstream projects.

        Just look at the Harlem Shake explosion. Yeah everyone and their mom are doing the ‘Harlem Shake’ but do they even know what trap music is? Do they know who Baauer is? Must suck to be Baauer and be watching this this global phenomenon and basically get nothing in return (and rightfully so, considering the samples he used were copyrighted).

        • Jake L

          I’m not sure your point in citing Avicii and Bud Light. Yes the sky is blue? Yeah? So? That doesn’t change what people on the groundfloor are doing really. There has always been and will always be people like Bud Light looking to get a piece of the action. The action has just changed.

          I think it’s early to say Infinite Legroom won’t take off is short-sited and early. What do you mean when you say other “mainstream projects”? What you mean “take off”?

          We’re experiencing a paradigm shift. Levels of success are starting to be measured differently anyway. With so many options available, everything has become much more niche and segmented. Measuring anything against decade old standards at the least is a recipe for disaster and disappointment. Paradigm shift.

          And yeah the Harlem Shake is a perfect example for my point. To say Baauer got nothing is just wrong. He’s gotten ridiculous PR, his fan base is much bigger and diverse now, he’s been on the cover of Billboard Mag, he’s dominating big sites, he’s got a residency DJing in Las Vegas. His booking fee has skyrocketed. His profile has skyrocketed. To say he got “nothing in return” is just asinine.

          And the samples he used may have been copyrighted, but that’s chump change to what he’s got going on now and it’ll get taken care of. It won’t hurt his shine at all.


    “you can’t have the underground without the mainstream and vice versa” is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read. Yes you can absolutely have an underground without a mainstream; THATS HOW THINGS START. The mainstream exists BECAUSE of the underground and the underground exists DESPITE the mainstream. Many underground things will never be mainstream, but everything that is mainstream was at one point underground.

    • khal

      i disagree. if there’s no mainstream, why would something just be considered “underground?” for the most part, things are considered underground BECAUSE of the mainstream.