Photo from Youtube.com
By Jim Lo
“PLUR”, the motto of EDM music, represents Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. As one of the most important advocates, Frankie Bones started the movement by releasing his record “P.L.U.M” in the 90s. Ever since then, the culture and atmosphere in EDM concerts has been to raise awareness about love between communities. Furthermore, increased cooperation between singers and DJs result in favorable reception from the public. As variations of sub-genres are being created with distinct elements added into context, people now have the luxury to choose from a wider spectrum.
1. “Closer” – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
By winning NRJ’s “Best New DJ’s” award and AMA’s “Favorite Electronic/Dance Music Artist”, the Chainsmokers definitely qualify as one of the most successful new artists of 2016. They were not as well known until they released “Roses” back in 2015. Since then, they have been on the rise into the world of EDM music. When “Closer” was released, it soon earned its position in several music charts. With over 4 million likes on top of more than a billion views on Youtube, it has proved to be most teenagers’ go-to EDM song.
2. “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
With a music career spanning over the course of a decade, Calvin Harris has proved himself as one of the most famous DJ’s around the world. Nonetheless, by cooperating with pop star Rihanna, the song soon went viral once it was released back in June of 2016. Although it does have higher views than “Closer,” due to criticism regarding the lyrics’ origins and the complicated history behind it, it did not remain steadily on top charts for long. However, it is still one of the biggest EDM hits of 2016 and one of Calvin Harris’s famous tracks.
3. “Faded” – Alan Walker
This song was first released in the year of 2014 with the name “Fade” with an electronic intro of 212,382,703 views. Later on the date of Dec 3, 2016, “Faded” was released with a piano intro featuring the voice of Iselin Solheim. The song went viral in both Europe and the US, topping over the music charts of 25 countries. By winning both EMA’s “Best International Hit” in 2016 and KKbox’s “Single of the year” in 2017 as well as gaining more than 5 million likes and less than 15 thousand dislikes, “Faded” earned its place on this chart.
4. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” – Mike Posner (Seeb Remix)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” was originally composed by Mike Posner with an acoustic guitar. However, Seeb saw the potential of this song and created a remix version of it which popularized Posner’s song. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” may be described as Seeb’s favorable outcome transforming from a local Norwegian group to a universally musical production trio. Yet people reacted differently towards the lyrics of the song. Some are inspired by Mike Posner’s courage to face drug problems, while others say that it ruined the reputation of Ibiza.
5. “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
Once again, the Chainsmokers has made it to the list. One of the main elements that audiences could find in their songs are the female/male voice features. Different from old school EDM music, almost all of their songs include lyrics, which in my opinion opened up a new market in EDM music. Hence, this is also the reason why they were able to suddenly rise up to the top. One interesting aspect of the music video is imitation and cooperation of a car and dance moves, which helped them win the 2017 Grammy for “Best Dance Recording.”
6. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber
Due to its nomination by iHeartRadio for “Dance Song of the Year” in 2017, I consider it as one of the most successful singles in the year of 2016. As a diehard Bieber fan, this song has proved itself worthy for being on all of my playlists since it was released!
7. “In The Name Of Love” – Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha
Martin Garrix released his first song, “Animals,” back in 2013 when he was 17, and it was a successful hit that also helped establish his name. He is considered to be one of the most prosperous DJ’s in the 20 age range and has had a lot of experience performing on stage in several festivals. Jumping out of his comfortable zone, instead of creating hard EDM music, this song includes more classical instruments. Last but not least, one fun fact about this song is that Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha used Facetime as a tool for recording.
8. “Rockabye” – Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie
Most people recognize Clean Bandit by their 2014 single, “Rather Be.” One of the most interesting elements in it was the acoustic violin, and unfortunately, performer Neil Milan who was behind that recently left the group. As a now trio electronic producer, Clean Bandit proved their ability to stay competitive by collaborating with famous hip hop artist, Sean Paul, and released the new single, “Rockabye.” The background of this song is about how a single mother does anything in her ability in order to support her own child.
9. “Perfect Strangers” – Jonas Blue ft. JP Cooper
This is what people will categorize as “tropical house.” One of the things I love most about music is the connection between our emotions and music itself. Jonas Blue produced this song hoping that it will be a huge summer song in the year of 2016, which it did by being ranked first in the UK iTunes a week after it was released. By creating a summer vibe, the music video was filmed in Cape Town, South America. One of the aspects in the music video that earned my respect was the incorporation of African culture. It means a lot to me when artists give back to the community by raising awareness across the world.
10. “Purple Lamborghini” – Skrillex & Rick Ross
As a track in the film’s, “Suicide Squad,” soundtrack, I am sure most of you have heard this song before. In order to imitate the heart beating and fast tempered feeling of the movie, the elements that Skrillex and Rick Ross incorporated into the song makes it more of a “hard EDM” compared to the previous songs in this list. Personally, I feel the drive and the excitement when listening to this song, which is also what the producers hope to transmit to the public!