Sydney’s Electronic Music Conference is one of the most widely attended industry conferences in which prominate speakers are invited to present their views on the “state of EDM.” This year, a keynote speech by Porter Robinson highlighted his genre-defying new album Worlds, and another by Flume's team shined the light on his rapid ascent to stardom.
One of the more interesting keynotes to take place at the event was a discussion between industry figureheads on the future of dance music in America. Although there is no definitive answer to the industry's direction, if anyone has a clue, it would be the panel of HARD’s Gary Richards, legendary promoter Disco Donnie, Deckstar Artist Management founder Matt Colon and CAA's Mac Clark.
HARD’s CEO Gary Richards, also known as the producer Destructo, is one of the most involved big players in all of dance music. In addition to a background in production, he is the man behind HARD Summer, Day of the Dead, and Holy Ship!
When asked about the evolving musical tastes, the veteran stated, “what’s happened is that people got introduced to electronic music in America through radio and the mainstream big acts, but now they’ve started to find the Shiba-Sans or ZHUs. There are hundreds of great electronic artists, it’s just that there are a few key ones at the top that everyone knows. I think the people who have been in it for that have now trickled down to other stuff and are like ‘Woah there are all these other styles of music!’ I think it’s going to keep branching out like that.”
The founder of Deckstar and manager of Steve Aoki, Matt Colon, had interesting comments on 'when the bubble was going to burst.' Colon stated, “hip hop had been around for 20-25 years, and it had been cool, but something happened in the late 90s and 2000s where it just dominated, and everything on the radio was hip hop influenced. Commercials, X-Games...everything was hip hop. Eventually the ‘bubble burst’ - that didn’t mean hip hop went away. That doesn’t mean Jay-Z can’t sell a million copies first week or Eminem can’t sell 1.3 million in 2014. It just means that maybe we didn’t need all the other guys...the cream rises to the top.”
Check out the full discussion below and let us know which direction you think the dance music locomotive is heading in the comments.