Since I can remember, I have been tuning out the world with my headphones. In high school, I used to dream of an imaginary land filled with beauty and understanding as I walked through the halls. As a teenager, confusing emotions consumed my being. I searched for an outlet to express myself, but I was unable to find the culture I was looking for. Where I come from, you are artistic if you can pass Art class, anything else is passed off as weird and non-relatable. In college, I latched onto EDM culture as quickly as I found it.

For the first time, I felt like I belonged somewhere. I discovered a musical wonderland.

Nightlife Unleashed | Mstrkrft Pool Party Tallahassee, FL via Facebook

Finally, I was able to indulge in art, express my emotions freely, dance like no one is watching, and laugh with strangers until my stomach was in knots. The comments and reactions I received from my friends and family back home, when I tried to explain the scene I fell in love with, was similar to as if I had told them I left to join the circus. Six years later, some of those critics are dancing along to the beat with me. Nothing makes me happier than my friend’s reactions during their first EDM event.

Here are 7 ways EDM culture changes lives for the better.

1. Multiple generations got to experience the hypnotic transformation of EDM from a drug-affiliated counterculture to an accepted movement of positivity.

To start, society has not always approved of EDM culture. In fact, dance music’s popularity has only been widely accepted in the states in the last decade. Electronic Dance Music’s origination followed the demise of the disco era. In 1979, a riot broke out in Chicago, Illinois, Disco Demolition Night, where thousands of people gathered around to watch a crate of disco records be blown into pieces at a Chicago White Sox game.

After this musical catastrophe, creative talent started shifting to club disc jockeys and less-established music producers.

Artists began creating with digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology, such as The Moog Synthesizer. Genres such as electro, house music, deep house, techno, and drum and bass were born. EDM started gaining popularity at raves in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s. Due to the affiliation with European rave culture, EDM was frowned down upon in America for a very long time.

EDM did not gain popularity in The United States until the mid 2000s.

In 2004, Tiesto performed a live set, Parade Of The Athletes, to millions of people at The Olympics.

Tiesto Opening The 2004 Olympics via Facebook

In 2006, Daft Punk, French duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, blew America away with their performance and production at Coachella. Watch this thrilling recap video from Daft Punk Unchained.


Daft Punk Unchained via Rolling Stone

In 2009, David Guetta brought dance music to the Top 40 charts by collaborating with Kelly Rowland, The Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, LMFAO, Kid Cudi, Akon, and more. Listen to the tracks that steered thousands of listeners towards Electronic Dance Music.

A “new rave generation” was declared in 2011, and I was lucky to stand witness.

I went to The Quad in Atlanta, Georgia to watch two legendary Dubstep producers, Flux Pavilion and Doctor P, bring the bass on their first U.S. tour. They spun their album, Circus One Presented by Doctor P and Flux Pavilion.

Watch this grimy, ear-piercing recap video. I apologize for the poor quality;  I can hardly find any documentation of this night on the internet, and the rundown venue has been permanently closed since 2015.

Hence, this was one of the wildest parties I have yet to be a part of. Lights were few and far in between, aside from glow sticks and raver’s gloves. The DJ booth was a fifteen foot platform closed off on the corner of the stage. Fans dripped sweat while they got down; the sold out venue had to be at 110 degrees.

2. Dance music unites people from all over the world.

Music is a universal language humans understand no matter where their geographical location is. Fans travel for hours, even days, to attend EDM events. In March, thousands of people, from all over the planet, migrate to Miami, Florida to attend Miami Music Week. This weeklong event takes over Wynwood, Miami Beach, and Downtown Miami. Hundreds of artists play pool parties, rooftops, and clubs in the days that lead up to Ultra Music Festival.

Photographer: Jason Tuno | MMW 2017 via Facebook

South Florida-based Production company, The Media Monsters, captured the action of this year’s madness. This dream team is composed of a group of professionals who specialize in high-quality video production services, ranging from aerial photography to 3D animation. Their crew is up for any task; no job is too big or too small. Every work of art they produce is done with finely honed talents, passion, and zest.

Watch this electrifying recap video by Bryan Dillard at E11even featuring Carnage, Sick Individuals, Cosmic Gate, Laidback Luke, Carl Cox, and more.

E11EVEN | Miami Music Week 2017 | Video by Bryan Dillard via The Media Monsters

3. Electronic Dance Music has taken collaboration to a whole new level of creativity.

When artists from different genres combine brains, true magic happens. Musical collaborations reach an eclectic, global audience. EDM artists from all over the world are teaming up with Pop singers, Hip Hop artists, Country bands, Emo bands, and other dance producers. Collaborations range from Kygo and Selena Gomez to Big Gigantic and Waka Flocka Flame.

I put together a playlist of some of the most creative collaborations in the game for you.

4. The EDM scene encourages individuals to express their emotions.

Furthermore, dance music encourages people to be true to themselves and those around them. Whether you release your feelings through art or conversation, the scene does not frown down upon anyone for being in touch with their emotions. EDM culture motivates the masses to believe in something greater than themselves, to feel deeply, and to dance in the rain.

Photographer: Unknown | Electric Forest 2017 via Facebook

5. Electronic Dance Music provides an innovative outlet for a variety of artistic skillsets.

As you know, the EDM setting has led thousands of DJ’s, music producers, and vocalists to success. However, the scene has also provided an outlet for a variety of other artistic skillsets. Enjoy a visual, imaginative tour below featuring some of the production that make events truly memorable.

Photography

Photographer: Oh Dag Yo Photo | EDC 2016 via Facebook

Photographer: JosiahVanDien | Zedd | Wembley Stadium via Facebook

Photographer: Chadwick Morris via Facebook

Photographer: Rukes | Major Lazer via Facebook

Electric Forest 2017 | Canopy of Sherwood Forest via Facebook

Photographer: Unknown | Calvin Harris at Coachella via Facebook

Photographer: Unknown | String Cheese Incident | Electric Forest 2017 via Facebook

Videography

Nero at Exchange L.A | Video: Guerilla McGavin

BUKU Music + Art Project 2015 Official Aftermovie | Video: Marc Dunham

Yellowclaw at Pallidium | Video: Yoder Productions

Stage Lighting

SJ Lighting, Inc. via Facebook

6. Dance music continuously lifts spirits.

EDM has the power to completely alter a negative mood to a positive one. For instance, Goldroom, musician Josh Legg, produces dreamy synth-based music that radiates sunshine and good vibes. It’s nearly impossible to frown while listening to his music.

Fans used to dream of a tropical paradise where they could dance their problems away, and now he has turned that dream into a sunlit reality for many. Watch this jovial, oceanic recap video from the first tour date of his High Seas Boat Tour in Los Angeles.

Wicked Delight ft. Goldroom 2017 from Guerilla McGavin

7. Legendary music producers are promoting up-and-coming artists.

Musicians delve into the deepest parts of their being and turn inner turmoil into relatable, melodic beauty. When artists release their music to the public, they release a part of themselves. This can be a terrifying, vulnerable reality.

However, EDM legends bring less-known, fresh talent up to the top with them. In June 2017, Tiesto played Corporate Slackrs track Electric Sky featuring Emma Zander at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Los Angeles-based duo, Devin Meadow and AJ Ironman, were ecstatic! Having support from others, especially from one of the biggest names in the game, can be life-changing. The pair posted the video below thanking Tiesto for his support.

Listen to the full track here.

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