I've been putting off my first "proper" piece for Huffington Post for six months now. People have been in my ear the whole time egging me on to speak my mind and share my thoughts with the masses, far beyond my Twitter followers & Facebook likers. That time is upon us; 2013 is the year of the Snake and although I don't know exactly what that means, I do know it's going to be an amazing year for EDM and the emerging culture around it.
We are four days into a new year and already so much has transpired. Zedd performed "Clarity" on The Late Show With David Letterman with Foxes & Alvin Risk, accompanied by a sit-down string section; Tiesto left his long-time management company for a much bigger one; and Skrillex released some proper listening music that pays tribute to his idols, Burial & Aphex Twin. Avicii has invited the world to help him write and produce his next track; Armin van Buuren announced that his 'A State Of Trance' 600th show will broadcast from Madison Square Garden; Diplo announced he's playing four shows in one night in four different cities and MTV has turned the hashtag #EDMCASTING into everyone's conceivable worst nightmare.
We are at the tipping point. This is it. This is what I've been working at for 20 years of my life now. The moment when this music becomes both a mainstream musical explosion and a cultural phenomenon simultaneously. If that isn't something that causes growing pains, I don't know what is. Some people who live for this music are turned off by it rising into the mainstream, but the ones who are lifers and truly love it will find their micro-scene to disappear into, while EDM takes over the world. This is a sad fact because we would love to have those people at EDC & Ultra, as they could show the younger kids the way into feeling this properly and experiencing it on a much deeper level. This is needed and I hope happens more frequently. I implore you to mentor the younger Ravers and teach them something in the confides of your brief psychedelic weekend encounters.
Earlier this week I performed at Afrojack's Jacked party, one of the largest events I've ever played at in New York City and one of the largest crowds I've played to in the States. Pier 94, with its legal capacity of 6,500 (so let's say attendance was 6,500) is one of the best venues for people to actually interact with each other. Massive LED walls light up the room and if you stand at the back you can very easily strike up a conversation with someone you can actually see. I heard there were food trucks outside, so Polina, my Daniela and I made our way through the crowd and the reactions of the kids were amazing. "What are you doing out here?" asked one girl. I said, "Grabbing pizza, we're hungry!" This seemed perplexing to a room full of kids shut out of VIP, but as a former Raver, walking through a crowded event is always one of the highlights of the night for me. I took hundreds of photos with fans and passed out CD copies of my new EP. I haven't felt so connected to a party in years; other DJ/Producers, I implore you to try this. It's beautiful and truly amazing.
I have so much to say but don't want to bore you with too much at once. Fans of mine are well familiar with my Twitter and Facebook rants about love, music, politics and war, so I will attempt to keep this fresh. We all have the attention spans of fleas, thanks to our phones, so I will wrap this up quickly. This week's Billboard Top 40 is 25 percent straight up EDM tracks and another 25 percent EDM-influenced tracks (see Swift and Bieber), so essentially, we have half the chart. By 2015, I predict we will have almost 100 percent, as Europe has for two plus decades now. But to everyone reading this who loves dance music, please remember that these are the best days of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, savor every moment and go out of your way to bring all of your friends. We are on the right side of history and the whole world wants what we've known forever. This is essentially still a secret, even though people are making it out to be the end. It's not the end at all. EDM is just growing up. The question you should be asking yourself is, are you?
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