EDM is certainly making its mark on society today. With electronic music controlling much of the Top 10 songs on the radio, major studios are incorporating it into new commercials while other companies partner with festivals in order to cash in on this billion dollar industry. As festivals rake in millions of dollars along with thousands of attendees, pop-culture has swarmed in bringing the good and the bad with it.
Recently EDM was the point of ridicule on Saturday Night Live as Andy Samberg spoofed “The Drop” that electronic music is known for. As “When Will the Bass Drop” made its way through pop-culture, Deep House seemed to make a huge wave in the EDM community… kind of ironic, isn’t it? Not to be outdone by SNL though, South Park’s newest episode, “The Cissy” tackles music production and the music programs that are available today.
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All aboard the Deep House Train![/caption]
World famous singer Lorde apparently leads a double life in South Park as she is also Randy, Stan’s dad. Dealing with identity issues, Randy has a talk with his son about how he became Lorde by making his bathroom edits into the powerful emotional Lorde hits by adding loops, other instruments and the infamous “Auto-Tune” to create them. Although the show uses Lorde as a platform, they clearly are ripping off electronic music and other producers out there. While artists may disagree about how simple it is to create electronic music, here are 5 things that South Park got right about electronic music.
5. The ease of using DJ software
DJ Software is everywhere. I walked into Guitar Center the other day and they have an entire wall dedicated to music software for sale. Serato, Ableton
, Avid, Traktor
and FL Studio
are only a few of the dozens of software available, and that’s only counting the paid ones. Virtual DJ
, Mixxx and Nero are all offered online for free download for the budding artist in all of us. Apple even gives you Garageband just for buying their computers. All these software's strive for one thing… ease of use. “You can do this with only one click of the mouse!” is the motto of all these software as you add echos, delays and phasers at the flick of a cursor.
4. Anybody can become SOMEBODY
We all have our favorite artists that we like. But who were they before they started dabbling in electronic music? For some, like Skrillex
and Cash Cash, they were originally musical artists in a different genre. After perusing other genres, they all stumbled across DJing and fell in love with it. Dillon Francis
was a community college student studying photography when he decided school wasn’t for him. Randy was a part-time worker at a U.S. Geological survey company. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, if you can produce quality music, you are bound to gain followers and who knows, maybe your tunes can end up on festival stages one day.
3. Entertainment news is all over Electronic Music
Clearly, electronic music is causing uproar in pop culture. The fact that South Park and SNL have now both spoofed electronic music is fact that this is no fad. The consistent onslaught of news reports about drug abuse at EDM festivals and clubs in the past couple years is exponentially larger than the amount of news from a decade ago. It seems every week there is a new article. DJ’s have become the new A-lister’s as Avicii makes headline news about canceling his tour due to health, Krewella is caught in a legal suit of $5 million between the trio, while Shaq and Ludacris hang out at the biggest EDM festivals. As the record company states in South Park, “It’s worth a lot to us… He makes stuff that sells.” Clearly electronic music sells.
2. This is Who We Are
The best part of the episode was a conversation between Sharon and Randy. Randy, depressed about his identity problems as Lorde, is drinking beer alone in the backyard when Sharon speaks truth about not only electronic music but also the transgender problem that the episode also surrounds itself upon. She explains that “Lorde’s” music is different from everything else. It feeds to the truth that wants to be let out. This speaks to the EDM listener today. As we hold our heads high shining in the lights as the DJ drops a monster progressive tune, the truth is set free. We dance like no one is watching, cheer at the top of our lungs as the stress of real life is lifted off our shoulders. This is who we are. Sharon’s quote,
“If people are trying to make fun of her, it’s probably because they’ve lost touch with being human. I’d tell her to keep on doing what she does, because when someone is not allowed to express who they are inside… we all lose.”
We are expressing who we are when listening to electronic music, and nobody should try to force us into something different.
And finally, the number one thing South Park got right…
1. Creativity happens anywhere
Randy’s famous line probably holds true for all of us, “I come up with all my best stuff in the bathroom at work.” Creativity doesn’t strike when we need it too. It doesn’t magically appear as producers sit in front of their computer staring at the screen. It happens while walking your dog, getting your haircut, building an Ikea bed frame and yes even on the toilet taking a number 2. You don’t think Cash Cash came up with the idea for “Take Me Home” while they were sitting at home, do you? Creativity knows no bounds, and comes at the most inopportune times. Creativity isn’t found, it just happens.
Watch the full episode below: