Electronic Dance Music has been a popular genre of music all over the world, constantly gaining popularity. Many of the most popular EDM artists, like David Guetta, Avicii, and Calvin Harris are actually from Europe. Europe has played a major role in the popularity of EDM and continues to be the dominant force in dance music. But how has EDM gained popularity? How did it even start?
The beginning of EDM was heavily influenced by the disco movement of the 1970s. Disco’s music aimed to get people on the dance floor and busting moves all night long. The 70s Disco scene influenced people to go out and popularized clubbing. Using drum machines, synthesizers, and funky rhythms the disco music came together to create a unique, new sound.
Following disco, came synth-pop. Synth-pop is described as “a type of pop music featuring heavy use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments, originating in the early 1980s”. This became a mainstream sound heard commonly in Europe. The use of computers became more common which made it easier to create the electronic sound and pair it well with other sounds. Songs like “Take on Me” by a-ha and “On and On” by Jesse Saunders are some examples of 80s synth-pop.
Both these subgenres of EDM popularized and began in Europe. The culture in Europe differs greatly from ours here in the USA. Clubbing nightlife in Europe has been a large part of their social culture for many decades now. With EDM being such a popular genre in the “dance” and party community, it made sense for it to go hand and hand with nightlife, clubbing, dancing, and so much more that was already normal for Europeans.
In the past 20 years or so, EDM has paved its way in the Americas. Rave and music festival culture has become a big part of Millennials and Gen Z, creating a whole new musical lifestyle to live by. With the popularization of raves, more people have made their way into the world of electronic music and its amazing qualities.