Back in 2009 while I was with the Boston Herald, I mistakenly referred to Deadmau5 as a “DJ.” In our email interview, Joel Zimmerman was quick to correct me, pointing out that he’s a producer first and foremost and scoffed at my simplistic act of mis-labeling. This morning the EDM superstar took to twitter and tumblr with the distinction still in his over-sized head (we mean that because of the helmet, of course), calling out producers who are merely pretending to be DJs and the labels that sign them, before penning a worthwhile rant on the state of the genre.
Mixmagfirst picked up the twitter rant, and noted that Zimmerman feels that labels would rather sign a new producer based on their one hit rather than a DJ who has been in the game for a while.
I think EDM, as it stands now, can easily be summed up into 3 parts… Product, art and execution. And its really just a mater of how all 3 are balanced.
some artists are all about the product… some are about the art… and some are about the execution… but more often than not, you’ll find the more successful artists finding their own balance between 2 or all 3.
Product being what the people want or what works in the hype state of EDM as it is whatever month we’re in… or whatevers making the rounds on the allmighty hitmaker guideline of the beatport top 10. the “sick drops yo” for all the kids. the brand, the huge selling 3 note wonder track that “SOUNDS PHAT LOUD YO” Art need not apply… im sure if all edm artists were so inclined, we’d all be able to shit out “HEY THIS KICK IS ALSO A BASSLINE” with one blip product until the cows come home, scare them off with some loud edgy shit, and then make more till they come back again. And im sure some do… and if they don’t theyll hire someone to do it. whatever.
of course you have the art, the “i dont give a fuck if it doesnt sell at all, this is what i want to do for fun / passion / props from the coolkid community / whatever.” …. and execution being that awkward process of making the product… and running around to dem massive EDM raves all the kids are talking about these days to showcase their product / art… so they can sustain their art and or further execution.
so… im sure like any other genre of popular music today… you can either do what you want, do what you must, or do what you can.