In a world where many of the biggest DJ's and Producers are often slated as "Button Pushers," it is easy to forgot that behind the decks and lights, some of these renowned artists are actually classically-trained musicians. Whether they produce house, trance, dubstep, or something else, each artist uses EDM to channel their creative talents to the dancefloor, and many of them begin the production process with a lyric or piano-driven melody. The acoustic versions of their tracks provide a valuable light for the "festival anthems," and demonstrates the true talents of the musicians, singers, and songwriters behind each hit. While these versions aren’t ideal for playing out on the mainstage, we've collected seven of our favorite stripped-back and acoustic EDM tunes, each offering an incredible alternative to their typical “dance music” vibe.
3LAU feat. Bright Lights - “How You Love Me”
3LAU initially found his musical talents learning to play the piano, guitar and singing at an early age. In the description of his track "How You Love Me" he wrote, "For me, every musical idea starts on the piano. I wanted to show you all the initial inspiration for "How You Love Me," revealing the spark that made the entire song possible. I’m a musician before I’m a producer/DJ and this is the first of many non-EDM tracks you’ll hear from me. I really hope you enjoy it.”
Zedd feat. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant - “Find You”
Zedd was raised by musicians as parents, and began playing the piano and drums at the age of four. He quickly built up his knowledge of the Classical repertoire throughout his childhood, as he reportedly wrote songs on a day-by-day basis. While already known for his incredible musical abilities after releasing multiple piano versions of his music, there are no questions as to why this acoustic edit of "Find You" is one of our favorites.
Krewella - “Alive”
With the unprecedented success of Krewella's original "Alive," the release of their acoustic rendition demonstrates their profoundly raw talent and drive in their sound. This incredible guitar-backed version of the festival-mainstage regular displays their true passion both as performers and as musicians. The tense-yet-soothing energy in their vocals is prevalent both in the studio and on stage, and undoubtedly defines their styles as artists.
Hardwell feat. Amba Shepherd - “Apollo”
Hardwell’s riff-heavy “Apollo” was undeniably one of the biggest tracks of 2012/13. The energetic, melody-infused track is laced together with soulful vocals and emotive lyrics by Amba Shepherd, and "Apollo" still stands as a crowd favorite in the EDM scene today. The acoustic version of the single adds an incredible touching and soulful atmosphere to the already iconic dance music track.
Above & Beyond feat. Alex Vargas - “Sun & Moon”
This breathtaking version of one of Above & Beyonds best loved songs was performed acoustically as part of a 15-piece band, spread across four sold out shows at London’s famous Porchester Hall. This incredible rendition of a crowd favourite formed the basis of the “Above & Beyond Acoustic” studio album.
As noted on their SoundCloud: "The acoustic project is a reconnection with the musicians that we were before we met", said Above & Beyond's Tony McGuinness. "The songs have been on an interesting journey to get here because we tend to write in a fairly acoustic way anyway. We don't just stick a bit of vocal over a dance track - that's not how we work. We try to start with a song and it's usually only later down the line that we take certain elements from that song and progress them into a more dancefloor-friendly version".
Dash Berlin feat. Emma Hewitt - “Waiting”
One of Dash Berlin's biggest singles to date, "Waiting," is a powerful trance track that features the chilling vocal work of singer/songrwiter Emma Hewitt. Her impeccable talent as a vocalist shines brighter than the sun in this acoustic rendition of the single, and adds an unparalleled substance to the track's heart-warming message.
Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin - “Don’t You Worry Child”
One of EDM's most popular songs of all time, "Don't Your Worry Child," got a powerful acoustic re-vamp after its release in 2012 and was further included in the album release as a bonus track. The featured lyrics and vocal work by John Martin, a Swedish singer/songwriter, elevated the song's already catchy melodies to unparalleled new heights, and the acoustic version really highlights the talents of the young singer.