Billboard recently featured an op-ed piece written by DJ and host of BBC Radio Pete Tong. In it, he describes the current state of the EDM scene in relation to the film business, and its blatant lack of artistic, cinematic representation.
I’ve been championing dance music for more than three decades. I’ve watched it grow from Chicago basements to mainstream festival stages, and traced the DJ’s evolution from background club curator to modern-day rock star. It frustrates me that we haven’t made an impression in film and TV the way that genres like rock, hip-hop and R&B have.
To Pete Tong, it seems that the modern dance music scene has little to show for itself in the media other than its live events. Perhaps the next generation of filmmakers, however, will be able to carry the torch and bring EDM the attention it deserves. Projects like Eden, about the French electronic movement in the 90’s, and the approaching television show starring Zac Efron titled We Are Your Friends give us hope yet.
Where’s our Saturday Night Fever? Where’s our Empire? Where’s our Do the Right Thing or Hustle & Flow? The challenge is on — we need to create an artistic legacy of which we can all be proud.
As the popularity of our movement increases and time goes by, it seems inevitable that EDM will break into other forms of media. Given the several negative associations our scene currently has to the outside, it might take some time before we get as many movie and television features as other, more longstanding genres.