The Shape of Dance to Come: 15 Visionaries on the Genre’s Future


While the 2010s were definitively the EDM decade, the boom has started to cool. But dance music continues to adapt and thrive, with new genres, technologies, markets and more.

At the dawn of this new decade, 15 visionaries — from artists to executives to radio DJs — share their predictions for the what’s next for the genre.

 

Pete Tong
DJ, BBC Radio 1

Streaming, streaming, streaming. As the major [digital streaming platforms] mature, I expect dance and electronic music will become more important in distinguishing Apple’s and Spotify’s services too, with the introduction of mixes on Apple [a little over a year ago] being the first example.

 

Roger de Graaf, and Jorn Heringa
CEO and Head A&R at Spinnin’ Records 

Recently, there haven’t been many revolutionary new tools for producers, yet historically this has always been the most important cause of new genres. It’s time for something innovative again, which producers can adopt to create new music.

 

Gina Tucci
VP/GM, Big Beat Records

This next decade is about artists who grew up with electronic music in their formative years influenced by their own internet culture. Shorter, quicker, pixelated music will come to the forefront, giving listeners a much more dynamic experience with less fatigue. It will also be about how to take this accelerated music onto the main stage in a compelling way.

 

James Hunt
Artist in RÜFÜS DU SOL

Above all, I predict the furthering of the “self-care in the streets, euphoric breaks in the sheets” mantra. This is the year dance music stands up to the woes of its cultural fabric and reinforces the healthy future of its artists and fans alike.

 

Cody Chapman
Agent, Paradigm Talent Agency

Artists that innovate and develop their own branded events will thrive. Others will maintain, but accelerated turnover and an influx of new artists grasping fans’ short-lived attention will level the playing ground.

 

Christie Driver-Snell
Editor of Dance & Electronic for UK & IE at Spotify 

Increasingly, we’re curating for trends in culture and lifestyle — local club scenes, the rise in harder and more intense styles of music in bass and techno, festival trends, etc. — across the electronic space.

 

Toby Andrews
GM, Astralwerks

We’re seeing additional opportunities in the streaming and radio space for more styles of electronic music than ever before. Where it used to be only pop crossover records, now there’s growth in house and other genres.

 

Gryffin
Artist

I see projection mapping continuing to push the visual envelope for DJs and making their shows very immersive and captivating.

 

Steve Gordon
Co-head of electronic music, UTA

We are going to see the emergence of more singularly focused one-stage festivals that target a specific audience.

 

Kevin Gimble
Co-head of Electronic Music, United Talent Agency 

Live music is going to gain more traction in the EDM landscape, as seen by the success of various electronic artists’ tours in 2019.

 

Yann Pissenem
Founder/CEO, Night League Ibiza

Virtual reality. Technology will be the base of everything that will be possible in the next 10 years. We will have new tools to create, produce and manage even better event concepts and experiences, while advanced marketing capabilities will enable us to deliver more targeted and personalized communications.

 

Ellen Allien
Artist

I see new technologies helping us create music, with new synthesizers, or new ways of working on your voice. We will also have new analogue instruments and hardware to create music.

 

Gary Richards
President of North America, LiveStyle

Currently, there are too many people trying to make money off electronic music without the passion or dedication. In the next decade, things are going to go back underground. More real artists will emerge and shake up the music world.

 

Damian Lazarus
Artist and Founder of Crosstown Rebels

With the world generally in such an ominous situation, I expect there to be an underground revolution where musical perimeters are lost and experimentation returns, at the same time heralding music full of heart and soul.

This article originally appeared in the March 14, 2020 issue of Billboard.






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