I love getting out and speaking with people about music. Not necessarily speaking with musicians, but just people who enjoy music regardless the genre. Recently I had a few folks tell me they listen to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and wanted to know if I ever wrote about or featured artists from the category. I think I surprised a few as I answered yes; I indeed knew some artists and enjoyed their music as well. I think I further surprised some when I stated that electronic music is very important in the history and development of music in the past and for the future. Wow! What does that mean you may ask?
When speaking about electronic musical instruments what is implied is primarily the synthesizer. With the onset of disco music in the 1970’s came the major infusion of electronic instrumentation in the popular music genre. However, even as disco was pronounced dead in the early 1980’s, electronic instrumentation had become the norm throughout popular music. I sometimes wonder if electronic instruments would have grown in popularity without the rise of disco music. Perhaps disco was also a necessary part of musical history. That’s enough about the past. What about the future of electronic dance music? All appears to be well as EDM rises in overall popularity. Of course, a trip to the top of Billboard Top 40 songs is the best evidence of a song’s popularity. Our featured artist this week is enjoying some time at the top of the charts. This week we feature Avicii.
Tim Bergling, better known by his stage name Avicii, is a Swedish DJ, remixer, and record producer. Avicii initially broke onto the European scene with his single “Bromance” under the moniker of Tim Berg, which was celebrated across Europe and showed up on charts in multiple countries. On October 28, 2011 he made the most definitive move of his career thus far by officially releasing the already popular “Levels” which more or less owned radios worldwide for an entire year or more. In 2012, his collaboration track, “Sunshine”, with David Guetta was nominated for a Grammy award under the category for Best Dance Recording. On June 14, 2013, the world premier of Avicii’s new single, “Wake Me Up!” was previewed by Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1 featuring vocals from Aloe Blacc. Tong described the single as a ‘complete change in style’ from previous singles. The song was later released on iTunes and radio on June 25, 2013. It is the first single from Avicii’s album, True, which was released on September 16, 2013.
“Wake Me Up!” was #1 on the Spotify Global Chart and Avicii was at 2 in most streamed artist worldwide. The Official Charts Company announced on July 21st that “Wake Me Up” has become the UK’s fastest selling single of 2013 after overtaking Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, to sell 267,000 copies in its first week on sale in the UK. “Wake Me Up!” has subsequently become a major hit, topping the charts in over 20 countries including Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
The twenty-four year old international superstar caught my attention right in my own backyard. Earlier this year he was a featured artist at the Ultra Music Festival, the very large two day outdoor electronic musical festival held in Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. I did not realize Avicii was previewing music which would find the top of the charts all over the world. Nonetheless, Avicii, Daft Punk and others are now finding Billboard top spots on a regular basis, thus showing that the large crowds at the outdoor festivals represent a real fan base. Thus the future for EDM seems bright because of the big efforts musically from Avicii.
I believe his background as a disc-jockey has helped Avicii to understand the sounds and makeup of successful music. He knows what will make people dance and the music that large crowds of people enjoy. Avicii’s new album, True is very good musically and of course well produced. Indeed! I can only see EDM gaining popularity and festivals like the Ultra Music Festival gaining more fans. Also, I believe we will hear more new musicians following the direction musically of Avicii. EDM does seem to be the future reality in music, and so is Avicii.