Sunday night’s Grammy
Awards offered up many of the most famous faces in music as well as an introduction to some of the top artists in one of the fastest-rising genres in sound: EDM. Electronic dance music already has a fervent following, but seeing David Guetta and deadmau5 jamming with Lil Wayne, Foo Fighters and Chris Brown — in addition to the three awards collected by MTV’s EDM Artist of the Year, Skrillex — took things to the next level.
Right now, many of the artists who took home Grammys are experiencing a surge in album sales, so can we expect the same for EDM? Billboard associate director of charts Keith Caulfield thinks so, but not in quite the same way as Adele or the Foo Fighters.
“I think the Grammys were really smart to have that dance segment outside in a tent with a really amped crowd to try the best they could to re-create what it actually feels like to be at a proper dance show,”
Caulfield told MTV News. “I think what we’re going to see is not entirely a sales boost, but I think we’re going to see more people interested in going to dance shows, electronic shows and festivals because if you saw that performance and were like, ‘Wow, I want to be in the middle of that,’ maybe the next time one of these big festivals happens there could be a bump in ticket sales or Skrillex can go on a bigger tour.
“That’s really where you’re supposed to properly experience that kind of music,” Caulfield added. “And that’s what all those artists talk about, that you have to come to a show to really feel it. I think that’s where we’ll see the real translation.”
While it is likely that deadmau5 and Skrillex will see some uptick in sales, it is not expected to be anything like what is being forecast for Adele, whose 21 now seems all but guaranteed to continue its chart dominance after the singer scored six Grammys , including a clean sweep of the big three categories (Album, Record and Song of the Year). That has less to do with people not being interested and more to do with the way EDM is experienced by listeners.
“Electronic acts really resonate with a younger audience who may not necessarily buy full albums,” Caulfield said. “They may be experiencing music that’s been shared, is on YouTube, has gone viral or is a mixtape they downloaded. It’s much harder to gauge that kind of consumer reaction. So I’m thinking the most tangible way will be in festivals and concerts, that sort of thing.”
With festival season getting under way in April with Coachella and the summer tour lineups beginning to take shape, expect to see more EDM on the bill. And maybe start planning ahead: It sounds like scoring tickets to Skrillex or deadmau5 will be more difficult this summer than it was last time around.