Broadcast Music, Inc. hosted a lively discussion about the latest trends in the growing electronic dance music (EDM) genre on Tuesday, July 9, at its New York offices. Industry experts, members of the media and tastemakers gathered for a networking breakfast and a one-hour roundtable discussion moderated by Brandon Bakshi, BMI Executive Director, Writer/Publisher Relations, Europe & Asia. Leading the discussion were Frank Liwall, Founder and President of The Royalty Network; Wallace Collins, Entertainment and Intellectual Property Attorney; Gary Salzman, Co-founder of Big Management and Jay Denes (also known as Blue Six), Founder of Naked Music. Topics included the growing popularity of EDM and its integration of music and technology.
“Pop artists need an EDM producer to make them relevant,” said Liwall, elaborating on just how much EDM has changed the pop landscape. Liwall, a seasoned panelist who has spoken at Winter Music Conference, SXSW and Musexpo, went on to comment that it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, with “every EDM artist wanting to create an identity and break through with an artist performing over their track.” This collaborative process allows for “the EDM artist to make a living” nowadays.
Collins, whose work focuses on both transactional and litigation matters as well as entertainment branding and marketing strategy, pointed out that EDM “came from the underground club scene, [which was] not conducive to traditional radio.” That’s changed today, with artists making three-minute, radio-friendly pop records “that pull EDM into the mainstream.”
Salzman, whose client roster includes EDM act Lovelectric and producer/DJ Valerie Valentine, offered his take on the evolution of the genre. “EDM has been evolving for 30 years,” he said. “It started in America out of the house movement. The current EDM style started after 9/11 when Americans weren’t traveling much and between 2002-2005, the Dutch, Germans, English and French began the new cultural movement.”
Denes, who houses Miguel Migs, Lisa Shaw and Aya under his indie label Naked Music, attributed the proliferation of EDM music to the fact that “technology is easily available and affordable now.”
Leading up to the event, users of BMI’s social media platforms submitted their own questions with the #BMIEDMRoundtable hashtag, which the panelists addressed. One such question came from David Woods on Facebook: “How does a songwriter, like me, get a publisher to listen to what I do?” To that Liwall answered: “Our job is to find the hidden talent in producers, writers, artists…To get my attention, work as hard as you can to show your music is relevant, show you’ve done it on your own, that you’ve created a demand.”