This Year At The GRAMMYs, EDM Proved That You Can Have A Lot To Say Without Saying Anything At All
The robots otherwise known as Daft Punk, the multitalented, perpetually-helmeted French duo took home two of the most coveted gold gramophone trophies last night during the 56th GRAMMY Awards for Album Of The Year ('Random Access Memories'), and Record Of The Year (“Get Lucky”).
And their victory is not only the loudest headline, but the perfect representation of the EDM journey I have so often described and referenced here. For a genre that is often largely instrumental, Daft Punk proved that you can have a lot to say without saying anything at all. And the union of the duo with Pharrell Williams, Nile Rogers, and Stevie Wonder made the loudest statement of all, an undeniably significant moment that demonstrated EDM’s staying power, it’s creativity, and its appeal across genres. EDM no longer has anything to prove.
But should there be any question, move beyond Daft Punk’s brilliance to earlier in the night, where the innovative Cedric Gervais was awarded a GRAMMY in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category for his now ubiquitous mash-up of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness." And sharing Gervais’ spotlight was Russian-German electronic music producer and DJ, Zedd, who earned his first GRAMMY in the Best Dance Recording category for his breakthrough hit "Clarity" featuring English singer-songwriter Foxes—another song that saturated our radio raves. Zedd and Foxes accepted their award with mega-watt smiles—but it was Zedd’s thank you to his good friend Skrillex that brought the EDM full circle, touching back on that megastar’s original contributions over the last few years.
Skrillex was joined in the audience by this year’s nominees, such as Duke Dumont, Alesso, Kaskade, Armin Van Buuren, Disclosure and Calvin Harris. And each one of those individuals has brought his or her own unique style to soulful music on any international dance floor. And that's just it. These EDM songs are not meant for the filthy warehouse raves that so often colored the public’s EDM visions. They are each trademarked releases that make any listener, aged 16 to 60, hit repeat and break into dance. They are equipped with snappy vibes, colorful turns of sound, and beats equally suited for the club playlists and neighborhood pool parties. Their very ubiquity on our radio waves speaks to EDM’s overriding presence in our music culture today.
For all this radio success, it’s also impossible to measure tonight's EDM stride in words. For all the hubbub about hitting the mainstream, and all the ink I’ve devoted to covering that journey, it’s still impressive—and daunting—to take home the gold in the top two categories. Daft Punk carried away the night in incredible form, and did so with songs that truly represent the best EDM has to offer, and the best music has to offer. So there is your GRAMMY and EDM story for 2014: this year, the best of EDM and the best of music are one and the same. I’m so excited to see what the year holds.