Dedicated to classics and hits.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

From Indie to Top 40? Hope You Are An EDM Producer w/ Hits

  I think the most interesting song on the Billboard Hot 200 right now is Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX I Love It.  It's currently #17 on the Billboard 200- which is also its peak position.  I Love It has been on the Billboard 200 chart for 10 Weeks.

  The timing of I Love It rising on the Billboard Hot 200 is likely related to the placement of I Love It in the trendy HBO dramcom girls (written & starring Lena Dunham.)  Billboard recently changed the formula for the Top 200 to include "buzz" measures like You Tube plays. Another huge beneficiary of this switch, and another Indie/EDM cross-over is Baauer's viral smash Harlem Shake.

  The rise of I Love It on the chart is due to more then just a savvy synch in a buzzy cable tv show.  I can testify to the fact that I Love It is being played on FM radio, the traditional arbitrer of the Billboard 200, and the continued rise of what is essentially an indie edm track into the Billboard 200 Top 20 is conclusive prove that an indie Artist can penetrate the world Top 40.  Here's the catch: You have to be an EDM producer with hits.

 Icona Pop is not the first, nor the most popular of indie artists who have infiltrated Top 40.  Perhaps the most succesful notable current representative is Calvin Harris.

    I remember Calvin Harris as a legit indie EDM producer circa  2005-2006 when I was reading Big Stereo and dance music was "in."  He went from that point to Rhianna #1's in what- five years?

 I think there is a solid case to place Swedish House Mafia in the same category- an INDIE EDM artist who has made it onto the pop charts.  Here, the issue is whether Swedish House Mafia could be considered an INDIE act vs. an act controlled by the major labels.   I don't have the facts at my finger tips, but I'm pretty sure I could make the case in about five minutes based on label and distribution and touring history.

  When I get emails, and a picture of the band is included and the band has 3-5 bros with guitars (which is every email I get unless it's just one bro and no guitar), I think to myself...this is not the easiest way to do it.  There are easier ways to get people to pay attention AND ALL OF THEM INVOLVE INCORPORATING EDM INTO YOUR SOUND.

    I'm not saying you need to beat an 808 like a drum as does Calvin Harris, or that cheesy ass fake DJ performances are the route to the top, like it has been for Swedish House Mafia.  All I'm saying is that EDM is popular, has a huge Audience and current examples of people who started in the same place as all Indie musicians and rose to the top of the Billboard chart within the last year.

  And sure, at this point all those acts have major labels involved, but not at the beginning.  I'm fairly certain that for Calvin Harris it was a publishing deal that got him the entre- something available to any indie songwriter.  Icona Pop appears to have been driven by a sync placement- again- something available to any indie songwriter.  Swedish House Mafia built a following with relentless touring over multiple continents  again- something that an indie band can obtain.

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