Don't Cry For Moombahton (Ricky Vaughn Guest Editorial)
Editor's Note: This editorial is purely the opinion of Ricky Vaughn. It does not reflect the views of EDM.com.
So I've been given this platform to speak which has its positives and negatives. Some want to hear what I have to say, some are scared of what I'm going to say, and others don't give a shit. For those who don't know me, I used to be Mr. Vega, the producer for the Moombahton group Sazon Booya and before that, just an ex-hip hop/up-and-coming dance music producer. Now I've taken the name “Ricky Vaughn” for my new project, which is the culmination of all the sounds I've been producing for the past 16yrs. Enough about me. "Moombahton is dying!" OMG what do we do?!
How about step 1: Shut the fuck up?
I see all the comments, the conversations, the BLOG POSTS, the jabs, stabs, shots and digs (I don't mean at me personally but I see those too). At the end of the day, the more posts about how the "genre" isn't good enough or not what it was just continues that mentality. Did you really think Sazon Booya breaking up was the end of the Moombahton? Well numerous blogs told you it was and guess what, people believed it.
But why? Because EDM in general is turning into the Hip Hop and Pop music scene where people's dirt and even fabricated dirt are more important than the actual music. The subject is clearly a double edged sword. If you pay attention to the internet at all, DJs are getting called out left and right for things that are "business as usual" in the mainstream music industry but seemingly not okay for electronic music. Who makes that call, it remains to be seen.
MOOMBAHTON HAS TO EVOLVE! Using the same Afrojack Sylenth1 lead and reggaeton vocals are fun & efficient to make a quick edit, but if the music always sounds the same NO ONE WILL CARE WHEN ITS PLAYED. Yes, I am guilty of it too at times for my own personal pleasure (DJ sets & mixes), but if you listen to my SoundCloud, you'll see the difference.
Musicians/Bedroom Producers/DJs all need to take chances, experiment with different genres, different sounds, and I DONT MEAN 128-110 TRANSITIONAL EDITS. 2011 is over bros. I can count on my hand the amount of people who actually do this in the 108-112 bpm range. I'm not the best yet at what I do but I'm far from the worst. At the same time I think as an artist if you check my discography from Mr Vega to Sazon Booya to Ricky Vaughn, I'm one of the few who have taken a tremendous amount of chances when it comes to making music no matter what the genre.
Where is the creativity?
I don't see it anywhere, and the same people complaining are the ones making the half-assed tracks wondering why no one cares about the scene, genre or them. If you just started making music, send it to someone who's been doing it longer than you before you start bashing blogs and DJs for not supporting you. Be open to criticism. No one is perfect and everyone has an opinion, so brace yourself. If you're looking to copy a Dillon Francis, Munchi, Nadastrom, or Sazon Booya track (I've been sent copies of all these guys tracks) then don't expect to get very far.
Rewrite the formula/Create your own path
I can't stress this enough. Diplo/Major Lazer are not putting Moombahton on their back to open a door for you, Skrillex is not dropping his single with Moombahton.net so Rolling Stone will acknowledge its existence. Create a lane and OWN it! What makes you special? Why should anyone listen you to your music? Just because it's 108–112 bpm? That's not enough. Music is a blank page waiting to be written. YOU DECIDE WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE. There's no right or wrong way to make music, BUT either you have the talent or you don't...period.
I don't carry the Moombahton flag on my back anymore, I don't feel like it's necessary. BUT because of the quality music I release, my name is synonymous with the genre. Don't ask why it isn't back or why it died or say "because trap blah blah blah." Bring it back by letting your music speak for itself. You don't need the blogs or publicists to become the next best thing. So many people have done it by just being unique and then all the business will follow. Give your music value, give your brand value and Moombahton will be where you think it should be. Complaining will get you absolutely nowhere. Moombahton has a LONG WAY TO GO, so quit crying and do something.