You know that astonished face emoji? The one that features a wide open mouth, and big eyes? Pink cheeks on some devices? That was our reaction when we discovered Zac Brown, of the multi-platinum country music group the Zac Brown Band, was going to be making electronic dance music under the alias ‘Sir Roosevelt’. One inspiration behind this new endeavor? Skrillex and Diplo’s Jack U! Outsiders, like Zac Brown, diving into the world of EDM is nothing new. However, country musicians trading their guitars and drums for the gidgets and gadgets needed to produce an electronic track?THAT is rare. After listening to Sir Roosevelt’s first single, Sunday Finest, we decided to take a look at some artists who’ve made the leap into EDM and found success.
The King of Crunk + EDM = pandemonium. When it comes to Hip-Hop in the early 2000s, Lil Jon’s influence was everywhere. Hits like Get Low, Salt Shaker, Freek-A-Leek and Usher’s Yeah are some examples of popular club bangers that either feature Lil Jon’s aggressive vocals, his aggressive beats, or both! Toward the end of the 2000s, Hip-Hop moved toward a new direction. Crunk music, and hard-hitting club anthems were becoming less and less. Enter Red Foo and SkyBlu, better known as LMFAO. Remember them? In 2009, LMFAO enlisted Lil Jon to star on the popular party track Shots (everybody!) From there, the rest is history. Lil Jon’s adaptation to electronic dance has led to his continued success as a solo artist. Currently, his “yell” has been sought after from the likes of Flosstradamus, GTA, Sydney Sampson, Hardwell, W&W and more! So while crunk may be dead, Mr. Turn Down For What still knows how to bring the rowdy and really get the party started.
Any time the Biebz jumps on an EDM track, a hit is born. Bieber’s interest in the electronic sound can be traced back to his 2012 triple-platinum recording album, Believe. Fast forward three years, and that interest reached full blossom when he linked up with Jack U to create arguably the 2015 song of the summer, Where Are U Now. Currently, Bieber is dominating music charts across the globe, following collaborations with Major Lazer, on Cold Water, and DJ Snake’s Let Me Love You. If you aren’t a fan, so be it, but there’s no denying the fact JB has helped bring EDM back into the mainstream; we can’t wait to see who he collabs with next in what will surely be another smash hit.
What do Calvin Harris and Rihanna have in common? Individually, the two are global music superstars who’ve had shitty ends to relationships with other musicians. When these two join forces? Money! In 2011, Harris wrote and produced We Found Love for Rihanna’s sixth studio album, Talk That Talk. The track went on to be a global chart topper. The two would also work together on another chart topper, Where Have You Been, which also featured on the same album. It would be another five years before the two got back together to release This Is What You Came For, which competed with various Chainsmokers songs for chart supremacy this summer. In addition to Calvin Harris, Rihanna has worked with David Guetta and Nicky Romero and has tracks remixed by Hardwell, R3hab, Dillon Francis and more!
One of the more recognizable voices in trance, Christian Burns started his musical career as a member of the British teen pop-rock band BBmak, best known for the song Back Here (‘Here I am, so alone, and there’s nothing in this world I can dooooo! Ring a bell?). The band broke up in 2003, as its three members pursued solo careers. Burns would find success in 2007 after featuring on Tiesto’s In The Dark. Burns would go on to work with Trance Tiesto, Richard Durand, Armin Van Buuren, BT and more before releasing his debut studio album, Simple Modern Answers, under Armin’s Armada label, in 2013. Recent work includes a feature on Giueseppe Ottaviani’s newest studio album, Alma, and the long awaited release of the All Hail The Silence EP, a collaborative effort with BT only available on vinyl.
Another example of country-meets-EDM, Last year, Lady A members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelly and Dave Haywood, tag teamed with Audien to release Something Better. The song features strong vocals from Scott and Kelly, who perform a beautiful duet for most of the track. It remains to be seen if the trio will jump back into EDM, but with talent like that, we’re hoping they do!
Who are some other outside artists killing it in EDM? Who would you love to see cross over? Drop a comment below and let us know!