Mainstream collaborations are hurting the electronic music genre

Christopher Lopez

Electronic dance music, or EDM as many refer to it, has been making big waves in the music industry within recent years. But now that electronic music has hit mainstream, it is bleeding together with other genres, creating one unified sound. This mishmash of music is going to make people sick of electronic music a lot quicker than they realize.

Fun fact: Electronic music has roots as far back as the late 1800s through the creation of electronic instruments. Instruments such as the telharmonium, an immense piano-like instrument that transformed electrical signals into sound, and the theremin, an instrument resembling an early radio, were some of the first creations that helped bring about the electronic music genre of today.

Today there are numerous subgenres within electronic music, including electro, dirty electro, dubstep, trip hop, happy hardcore, trap, industrial, drum and bass and liquid dubstep.

These genres have been known to throw in other genres on occasions, and some DJs include unexpected songs within mixes every so often.

On two occasions I have heard Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine mixed into one-hour electronic sets during music festivals taking many by surprise including myself. I see nothing wrong with collaboration between genres, but if everything in the music industry is adopting an electronic sound, this is going to give many fans too much of what they like.

I am a fan of the EDM genre and have been listening to electronic music as far back as grade school. Daft Punk, Tiesto, ATB and BT were some of the artists I grew up listening to.

But just like any genre I can’t listen to electronic music all the time. There needs to be an off switch for it sometimes, and I feel there are a number of individuals who will agree with me on this.

When I listen to hip-hop, R&B or rock ‘n’ roll, I expect to hear just that, not more electronic songs being forcibly shoved down my throat by radio stations and music television disguised as another genre.

No one wants to hear Brian McKnight singing “Back At One,” to the sound of modulated beats and drops. I’m just saying there’s a fine line between collaboration and exploitation.

The use of electronic music within other genres feels more like a marketing ploy in order to draw more listeners from the EDM scene into genres they never would have thought of listening to.

Now this isn’t always a bad thing, but a good majority of the songs churned out within the last year have been mediocre crap that has helped boost record sales.

Artists such as Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, and Maroon 5 are some of the artists that have changed their music to some degree in order to cater to these listeners. You know it’s getting ridiculous when Taylor Swift is making electronic music.

The music industry needs to keep genres separated, because even hardcore electronic fans may grow sick of it if things carry on the way they are. We all need a break from our favorite music sometimes no matter what it is, or it just becomes played out and boring.


Chris can be reached at: [email protected]