Is the World Poised for the Next Big EDM Takeover?
Electronic music has long been a global phenomenon. After the death of disco in the late 70s, American dance music was largely underground until the beginning of the current decade.
Although the UK dubstep scene became the powder keg for the American mainstream electronic conglomerate, disco never really left Europe. It transformed and changed as styles and genres underwent a constant ebb and flow in popularity, but club culture remained. Today, we’re seeing new frontiers developing for EDM music: Asia and the middle east.
With the increased accessibility of technology in even some of the more remote regions of the world, communities are popping up all throughout eastern Asia and the Middle East. And they all have one thing in common, an explosive love for electronic music.
(Pictured, Enchanted Valley Carnival 2014 in Aambhy Valley in Maharashtra, India)
The recent announcement of Amsterdam Dance Event premiering its new Global Sessions event in Mumbai, India – which is slated to take place next month – is a testament to the growing popularity of the EDM brand outside of western markets. This is likely due to the increase of tech industries throughout the world and the surge of wealth that is hitting regions of the world that were at one time considered 'periphery'.
(Pictured, ZoukOut Festival Singapore)
Southeast Asia has also been quietly on the rise in the EDM scene for the past decade. Singapore has enjoyed a growing middle classed caused by increased international trade due to the city-state's founding status as a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area. In conjunction with it’s firm place as an international travel hub, the port city is a major importer of western culture. Singapore can also brag being the home of world famous Zouk Nightclub which also hosts the annual ZoukOut festival which has been held annually since 2000. In 2014, the festival boasted upwards of 50,000 attendees with a line-up that included global superstars Above and Beyond, Martin Garrix, Loco Dice, and Richie Hawtin, among others.
The middle east is also putting itself on the map as Dubai increases its status as a central hub for electronic music. This April, Dubai introduces its first ever Dance Music conference with the intent of creating a platform for music industry professionals from all over the world to engage with each other.
As another major port-city with vast amounts of wealth from the city’s oil resources, Dubai demonstrates that status has much to do with EDMs popularity as music does. Following strict Sharia laws, Dubai creates a different landscape for electronic music to exist, absent of the large majority of scantily clad women and high profile drug use that has become intrinsic to the American model of dance music.
The growth of EDM globally is a signifier of just how much European and American music is exported across the world. For DJs, clubs, and promoters, the EDM bubble may not be bursting as soon as expected as new markets begin to reveal themselves across the world.
Cut my teeth with the Detroit techno scene before moving to Denver to see what the mountains have to offer.