Dance music has always had a weird uphill battle when trying to break into the mainstream. No matter how dope a producer is, this form of music is purely instrumental... and no matter what you say, it's not easy to get a track without vocals to be a true mainstream hit. Look at some of the recent EDM slammers (Zedd's "Clarity," Avicii's "Wake Me Up") and recognize that the producers made sure that they had a proper vocal to at least draw in those who love pop music and might not be uber EDM fans. You have to cater to the mainstream if you're trying to really break in. What's ill is, Rihanna actually already showed the modern music era how to achieve this.
Remember when Calvin Harris blew up? No matter how many pop-leaning gems he had on 18 Months, he got his first real taste of Billboard / American love via the 2011 track "We Found Love" that he produced for Rihanna. He was actually listed as a "feature," and even though he wasn't in the video, it was one of those first seeds that was sewn in a career that landed him an MTV VMA in 2012 (where he also was house DJ), ultimately being the highest-paid DJ in the world. Could Calvin Harris have done this with another singer? Possibly, but in 2011, Rihanna was the perfect superstar, one that could help elevate ANYONE's career. And don't forget, Talk That Talk also included production from Chase & Status and Knife Party's Rob Swire. Rihanna's 2012 album Unapologetic took things further, finding Rihanna further expanding her international sound with the help of electronic music producers like Chase & Status (a duo who she's worked with since 2009's Rated R) and David Guetta, who contributed a couple of jams to the album.
There's something about Rihanna that seems to connect with the EDM vibe. She's not the best singer, or the best dancer, but she's unique, and truly doesn't give a fuck. She exudes a number of qualities that the EDM scene stands on, and has a voice that could be wrapped around a number of different BPMs. She's already touched everything from house to dubstep... but imagine Rihanna doing some original Jersey club track, or something in the moombahton lane? If any singer from today could do it, she could. Don't believe us? Just check out how she's been flipped by a number of today's best producers in many different styles. Rihanna, the crown is ready and waiting for you, if you want it.Click to start the list