Last month the Huffington Post printed an article on the recent rise in popularity of house music in America. In the article, the writer relives a night at Webster Hall, a popular nightclub in NYC.
He recalls the DJ transitioning from Swedish House Mafia to Britney Spears and the crowd never missing a beat. Just a few years ago such a transition would have created an awkward situation, but recent years have brought a change in American music. The article states “American music — be it the sugar pop of Ms. Spears or the hip hop of Kanye and Jay-Z — has been indelibly taken over by the hard-hitting electro style that has dominated the European dance scene for years.” Although the music has been around in clubs and festivals for years, it seems to be EVERYWHERE now. The Post interviews DJ/Producer A-Trak who credits the legendary Daft Punk and their Alive 2007 tour for “educating a whole generation of kids about electronic dance music (EDM)”. With Justice blowing up around the same time, knowledge of the electro/house scene started being seen as cool and trendy. The article cites artists such as Afrojack, Pitbull, Britney Spears and Lil Jon as some of the individuals responsible for blurring the lines between genres and taking what was once the music of a subculture and making it a mainstream craze. It also acknowledges that while some are all for house music permeating into the mainstream, others think it could be done better or are worried about “maintaining the purity” of the music. It states however, that regardless of how people feel about it, “house is the thing of the moment”.
The simple fact that the Huffington Post (along with many other news sources) has taken the time to research and report on the house music scene is really a sign of how huge the scene and the music have gotten. While many purists are against the crossing over of house music into the mainstream, and I can’t say I blame them, I think it’s the positive and welcoming nature of the music that is responsible. Referring again to his night at Webster Hall, the writer states “there was, as anyone who has attended an electronic music show can attest, a certain harmony that isn’t found at concerts of many other genres”. When you look at it that way, is house music for the masses really such a bad thing?