Deadmau5 Says EDM Artists Aren’t Taking Risks, and Neither is He

Image via Andrew Rauner
Image via Andrew Rauner

In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Deadmau5 expressed himself about wanting the scene to “push some boundaries” and dropped this gem of a quote:

“I don’t think enough EDM artists are taking risks right now and that’s the big problem,” said the 32-year-old this week in Toronto. “Everyone wants to be safe, and do that thing you know is going to work.

“Someone, please take the wheel and turn it. Not to say I’m going to be that guy and I’m going to crusade on that journey of making turbo dub neo pro step but I would just like to encourage a bit of diversity and the way that I do that is the only way I know how, which is to make some downtempo thing … and just like flex engineering muscle on a piece or two.

I’d love to not have to say that “this is the problem with the EDM scene today,” but this is the problem with the EDM scene today. And let me preface this by saying that I do agree with the overall sentiment that Deadmau5 brings forth: safety is cool when you’re trying to make a couple of dollars, but for things to change, more styles to be accepted, and more great producers to be heard. We have to step outside of these boxes and challenge the system, at least in terms of the music that’s being presented. The problem lies in the people who have the platform to push change, but for whatever reason choose not to.

If you’re going to preach this, why not practice it? Flexing “engineering muscle” is brilliant, but it’s also what the drum & bass scene has been championing for years. It’s not like their productions are any closer to making the general EDM crowd shift in terms of what will be huge hits. And I don’t want to downplay his encouragement of people bringing in diversity; he’s even done a bit of that himself with what he’s signed to mau5trap. But why not go ahead and be the standard bearer? He has to know that he has a voice; we’re talking about him right now. Not too many of today’s EDM artists can SPEAK, let alone bring the critical eyes of those outside of the scene. Deadmau5 has both of those cards in his deck, but for whatever reason would rather shout from the roof than bring forth more change than engineering wizardry.

We’re living in a time when electronic music in general is being looked at by many more eyes than ever before, and being critical of what comes out and is being presented as the best is perfectly fine. Sitting in a place where you can easily make change and openly saying “yeah, I probably won’t be that one” can be frustrating. We love the stuff we’ve been hearing deadmau5 post to SoundCloud lately, and we just wish that he’d take that extra step, truly blow people’s minds, and force the change and risk-taking that he’s speaking on.

  • Dreqs

    most mainstream artists are one trick ponies. people like knife party and others excel in different styles. and are able to change their production.

  • djmannyc

    If by “taking risks”, he means licensing his merchandise to be sold in Target department stores, then yes, he’s taking risks… http://i.imgur.com/xXlGyNg.jpg