Rarely do the things we build-up and hype for months on end deliver the results we were hoping for. From movies and series’ finales to albums and festivals, we put plenty of energy toward imagining and sculpting our perfect experience.
So, when a film like Deadpool comes out and achieves success both commercially and with its core fans, everyone takes note. But, the notes taken are often the wrong ones, and we’re here to make sure EDM, and all of the profit-pursuing people leading its charge, get the right ideas.
EDM, much like the climate among Superhero films in Hollywood, is watered down. The cyclical nature of popular genres in both music and film contribute to this, but EDM certainly isn’t helping. Instead, they try to repackage the same thing and sell us the next ‘Festival Banger’, hoping we’ll still be interested in the current mainstream sound. Rather than following their usual strategy of squeezing every penny out of a potentially popular sound, EDM could learn a few lessons from Deadpool.
Stop Treating Us, The Fans, Like Idiots
EDM is a gargantuan industry involving more people and money than many of us can fathom. But, the companies marketing their festivals and artists are becoming more detached from the reality of dance music every day. Every artist is the next big thing, all of their songs are huge hits somewhere, and they’re all supported by the biggest names in the industry.
These descriptors are all too familiar, with slight adjustments, to Superhero movies we’ve seen advertised in recent years. Enter: Deadpool. It isn’t the best movie ever, he’s not the greatest Superhero ever, and there’s nobody stating otherwise. What it does have, though, are the things we all crave in a new sound or artist. Deadpool showcases originality, creativity, and a drive for something so unabashedly different from the mainstream that everyone can’t help but be interested.
Take Yourself Less Seriously
The next two lessons work in-tandem, and are vital to the long-term health of EDM. Being able to take things less seriously, and willingly criticizing the status-quo, are big factors in whether or not EDM will maintain some semblance of it’s massive popularity in the future.
Dance music is about having fun. It’s also about music, friends, love, and many other things, but without the fun, it’s all kind of pointless. Taking things too seriously, something we’re all guilty of, is a quick way to ruin all types of fun. Deadpool did an incredible job of managing this fine-line throughout the film, centering the entirety of the film around fun. Never did the ‘R’ rating, origin story plot-lines, or typically annoying aspects of Superhero movies take away from the fun of Deadpool.
Not every song has to be Raise Your Weapon, and not every album has to be Between II Worlds. There’s room for Robo Kitty and #SELFIE in EDM, just like there’s room for Deadpool among the Superhero’s in Hollywood. All types of art with social and political commentary are great, and taking that art seriously is deeply appreciated. But fun must always have an important role in EDM, too.
Criticize The Status Quo
Now that we’re okay with fun, and realize that we can’t take EDM too seriously, let’s get serious. Criticizing, analyzing, and challenging the status quo is the only way dance music is going to evolve and sustain its popularity in the future.
Luckily, there are plenty of EDM fans who love criticizing things. They make it clear on a regular basis, and do so wherever social media and comment threads are made available. Unfortunately, this criticizing doesn’t seem to affect much change. The real criticism that needs to happen has to not only be about EDM, but come from within the industry.
Things like the way event tickets are bought and sold, the RAVE Act, and the ignoring of numerous harm reduction measures at festivals are all insanely important aspects of dance music that deserve attention from EDM. Blogs have written about them, petitions have been made, and calls-to-action have been glossed over by those who can actually create change. All because of a lack of self-criticism from the industry over the status quo.
While the stakes are decidedly less important in Superhero movies, Deadpool has drawn up the playbook for EDM to follow if they’d like to avoid more SFX-esque disasters. Which is likely what it will take, a ding to EDM’s bulging wallets, in order for change to come. Hopefully they take the right notes from Deadpool’s impressive box office opening weekend, and save EDM from itself.