Electronic music would be nowhere near where it is today were it not for the internet, and the level of engagement that it afforded between artists and fans. In the early days, innumerable forums sprung up working to bridge the gap between newcomers and veterans, and it worked … for a time.
As with all things, the way we use technology evolved (or in this case, devolved) and as access to our favorite producers became less exclusive and more all-encompassing, a few bad apples slipped in.
It’s no longer “okay” to like the producers that you do – someone always has something to say about why you’re wrong or why you should “burn in hell” because of what you listen to. Personal tastes are now broadcast via social media. Whether you use the “current mood” feature on Facebook or Spotify automatically shares what you’re currently listening to on Twitter, personal and private tastes are often anything but. Guilty pleasures are turning into public admonitions, and it’s affecting fans in a very real way.
The topic has already been discussed at length by Krewella after numerous cases of cyberbullying and harassment of their fans. Once it becomes cool to hate something, those who genuinely enjoy that thing are often deeply hurt. The most recent producer to speak out against cyberbullying is Martin Garrix.
In an interview with Huffington Post that got a little more serious than usual, the producer spoke about the benefits and drawbacks of social media and how it can affect those involved. Garrix pointed out that although “it engages the fans, bringing them closer to us, the artists, sometimes that engagement is unwanted.”
“[…] it does get to me when I read these comments. I want my fans and everyone who is bullied to be inspired by my facing to this problem, and stay strong. We are all human beings. Using social media to hurt and destroy is callous, acted out by cowards hiding behind computers. My advice is to ignore negativity. Focus on the love around.”
Garrix’s method of choice to reinstill positivity in the lives of his fans is to release new music. He says, “when I have a new song, I put it on SoundCloud and instantly millions of people get a message about it.” Of course, this often just starts the cycle over again.
Obviously, cyberbullying and online harassment are not solely relegated to electronic music. If you would like to join in the fight to end cyberbullying, please visit and join The Cybersmile Foundation.