Why I left The Dance Music Circuit and Came Back
Well, here we are. It’s been 18 months since I stopped writing for Electronic Oasis, and embarked on my new start at Only The Beat. You could say this have gotten saturated. Let me tell you how all of this started and where we are today. Back in the day I was really hooked on rap and hip-hop. In high school you would go to a party and all you would hear is rap, transitioning from gangster to romantic to party rap. In all honesty it started to get boring. Many rappers possessed minimal talent and put forth minimal effort. I had always loved tracks like Tiesto’s ‘Elements of Life’ and harder old school (many of Armin and Paul Oakenfold’s) tracks as well. Where I’m from, there was about a 1% chance you would hear that at a party before 2011. I ventured to college in upstate New York in 2008, obviously wanting to change a few things in life, whether it was types of girls I dated or music I jammed to. Dance music was still not in the mainstream, so we partied another couple of years until 2010, where things really took off for the genre. I remember searching for pregame/power-hour mixes and found the perfect one from Electronica Oasis. That was it. After having pregames for friends and everyone digging this mix and having such a good time, I knew I needed to get involved in dance music. It wasn’t commercially big yet, but you could see it coming.
When I started writing for Electronica Oasis, I was always up to date on new music and events across the country. We would get informed on remixes, new releases, and when DJs were playing a venue like Pacha (R.I.P) or Webster Hall. Everything was original, lead by guys like The Chainsmokers, Audien, and Pierce Fulton who were all itching to get their big opportunities and as much exposure as they could (big shout out to Drew and Alex from the Chainsmokers, for staying humble as can be through their rise to fame). This was the beginning; and it was beautiful. Friends started to ask about going to raves, as opposed to seeing rappers or going to a house party. One rave and they were instantly hooked and connected to a scene that was much deeper than just music. Bingo Players released ‘Cry Just a Little’ in 2011 and I believe that was one song that really transcended dance music to the next level, along with many Avicii tracks (hate me if you want) that brought more of a celebrity aspect to DJing. For as long as it was original, it was great. New venues started to open and nightlife was really changing in a better direction. Fast forward from 2013 to some point in early 2015, and things in the industry just became terrible.
Everything changed. You were now able to FINANCE festival tickets because they were so expensive. A show that used to be $20 was now $80, and the club or venue was packed past capacity to the point of it not being any fun. Bottle service seemed to encourage lines like “Bro I got a table for Martin Garrix at XS” and “I’m going to rage to ‘Animals’ with my shirt off!” Every single track that was been sent over to me had the same feel to it, no originality, no passion, and no love. It seemed as if everyone was trying to get into the Beatport Top 10. Many people were going to shows just to do drugs and not to appreciate the set or even who was actually playing. Paris Hilton decided she could be a DJ because she had money to back herself. DJs were getting booked because of their social media presence, not their actual talent. Things were out of hand, and I decided I didn’t want to be a part of this anymore. I would rather get out of the scene, listen to what I like on my own, and see an occasional show.
Let me tell you…things weren’t the same as when I took that break from dance music. I had tried to get really back into rap, but the only artists I seemed to like were J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar. I couldn’t understand a word any other rapper said! People were getting shot and killed at rap concerts, and I didn’t think it was worth it to attend one (small likelihood of that happening to me, but still…). After a certain amount of time, I believe the garbage DJs faded out, and people started to recognize what was talent and what wasn’t. DJs were getting called out for not actually spinning a set, instead just playing a pre-recorded hour of music. New acts like Odesza, What So Not, Jack U, Flume, and many others have really caught fire in the past couple years. You have genres like bass house, tech house, melodic bass, future bass and more taking over the festival stages in 2016. Fans now seem to love originality, live acts, and not just ‘bangers’ with heavy drops. Don’t get me wrong, I can have one night of non-stop heart throttling drops and tracks that all sound the same, but one night only. It got old after a while and I think the scene really caught up with it. Dance music is beautiful, original, and inspiring again. I think everything that becomes successful so quickly has to go over a negative hump, and everything came out just fine. It will be evolving for years to come.
I’m glad I’m back. Can’t wait to be a part of it and share it with you guys!
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