Had it not been for the pandemic, the one thing that young millennials and Gen Z looks forward to is the weekend﹘the escape from toiling through the week. One of the things that this generation has adopted in its escapades is House Music and EDM.
What is now part of our lives, took birth in the 1980s in the underground clubs of Chicago. Disco was losing popularity, and there is also a pretty interesting history about Steve Dahl and his anti-disco rally. The people were saturated with disco and DJ Frankie Knuckles and some of his contemporaries started to compose and synthesize music using available sounds, mixing and extending dance pieces of songs.
Eventually it spread out from Chicago and became a global rage. It travelled to Europe, entered international music hubs like London and Paris and with each cultural influence transformed into a sub-genre. While in India, in the 80s, Charanjit Singh Panesar started analogue synthesis using his Roland T-303 to change scales of tabla in his music, eventually giving birth to music which was similar to what was being produced in Chicago; the end result being ‘Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat’.
From the ashes of disco, a kind of music emerged which was different from the genres before it, for the first time music was being created without playing any musical instrument. With its integration with Indian culture, Electronic Dance Music in India started to (use electronic music with Indian instruments) sound mystical, with spirituality being at the center of it.
The Gen Z Effect
Emerging from the underground clubs of Chicago or the home studio of Charanjit Singh Panesar, by virtue of its origin, House and Dance Music have been independent in nature. But where do the Millennials and Gen Z come in?
Due to its independent nature, while house and dance music struggled being part of the mainstream, the internet gave independent artists space to express themselves without the support of mainstream record labels; and music was democratized. It could survive without being part of the mainstream.
While everybody else adopted the internet, Gen Z was born in it. It was the primary consumer which acknowledged and appreciated the independent artists, the way they were looking to be acknowledged for being different from every previous generation. The internet and computers also supported electronic music to be created not by mixing records,or creating it on analogue synthesisers, but digitally in a room.
This paved the way for obscure artists to not be bogged down with lack of resources. Millennials and Gen Z with their drive to do what they wish to pursue, made House music and EDM as a tool of expression for the generation, to do what floats their boAt, to choose to not be part of the conventional musical trends.
The listeners of the music were looking for something unconventional, beyond the ordinary. Adopting House music and EDM was just the right deal which was as flexible as them in creating different identities with every culture that it entered.
The popularity of the genre was dogged by the pooling-in of resources resulting in festivals like Sunburn. In following its passion, Gen Z created an entire culture which is part of our lives now, making House music and EDM the life of house parties and clubs. The rebellious attitude attached with the generation, which was looked down upon, created and supported an entire art form.
The question is, what more magic will this generation create?