This weekend, the EDM world will throw its biggest rave of the year. Electric Daisy Carnival descends upon the Las Vegas desert with some of the biggest names in the genre in tow, including Afrojack, Nervo, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Empire Of The Sun, Avicii, Major Lazer and for old time’s sake, Fatboy Slim.
In the last couple of years, EDM (i.e., Electronic Dance Music) made serious moves towards the mainstream. Calvin Harris nabbed Ne-Yo and Florence Welch to sing on his 18 Months album and enjoyed one of the biggest hits of 2011 (and into 2012) with his Rihanna collaboration, “We Found Love.” Meanwhile, dubstep poster boy Skrillex took home three GRAMMYs in 2012, and his label boss Deadmau5 performed with — of all people — Dave Grohl at the telecast. Soon after, Deadmau5 was on the cover of Rolling Stone, telling the magazine that most high-priced DJs don’t actually do much live and are little more than button-pushers.
So, what are you getting when you attend Electric Daisy, or any of the other DJ-heavy festivals such as Ultra? How important is the actual performance vs. the overall experience? And here’s a big one: Is it live?
In this episode of Radio.com Inside Out, we talked to a few artists about the EDM live experience and examined it through their experiences. Viv and Mim Nervo of Nervo, identical twins who also happen to have a contract with Cover Girl, certainly don’t apologize for their good looks or their good fortune but are quick to point out that they’ve got the skills to pay the bills. Empire Of The Sun, whose new album Ice On The Dune is out this week, is a theatrical hard-to-categorize band that plays electronic-based dance music. Zedd, a classically-trained musician, is one of the genre’s rising stars — but he won’t hesitate to remind you that he can’t be confined to a genre (he’s producing tracks off Gaga’s upcoming album). As with any other genre — from metal to country to hip-hop — there’s a lot of diversity and difference in approach within EDM, a created term that those embedded within the community don’t necessarily use.
We also spoke to some experts as well: Kerri Mason, who covers dance music for Billboard Magazine; DJ Times Editor-In-Chief Jim Treymane; and Dr. Larissa Mann, professor of Media Culture and Communication at New York University, who also spins as DJ Ripley.
Watch the episode below.
To hear your favorite dance music 24/7, check out the EDM EXPERIENCE station on Radio.com.