Last week the lovely people over at FACT Magazine scored a candid interview with Skream and were able to collect his thoughts on the music scene and what he has planned for himself in 2015. Among the highlights, the once-pioneering-dubstep-producer talks about the pressure of an album vs a mixtape, why he took a break from producing and the new “dark, almost progressive trance” direction he has planned for his music. Perhaps most interesting, however, is his opinion on “EDM:”
I have been involved in EDM, like when I was playing EDC, the big big American festivals. I was a part of it. And, EDM, the whole style of music, I fucking can’t stand it anymore. I appreciate a good pop song, and most of it is pop stuff. But it’s carried itself to be so far away from everyone else, it’s almost like an unbelievable world. You see Calvin Harris earning $46m in a year – when you’re talking about money like that, that automatically segregates it from everything else. Meanwhile, people have been grafting their bollocks off for years, and barely getting paid to do shows. So I think it has become two different worlds. The question you just asked me there – it’s likely people are honing in on being even more bold about their craft, for it not to be associated with this faraway bollocks. EDM is alienating itself. I’m quite interested to see where it’s going to go next, because we’ve seen Ultra Music are now promoting deep house.
As a musician, producer and music blogger who’s worked with both underground and mainstream artists and publishers, I understand how one could be turned off by the ridiculous manner in which the big hungry machine works. The top 1% most popular artists are going to make 99% of the money in this industry (sound familiar?), but the sad truth is that 99% of artists can’t convince their best friends to pay $15 to come to their shitty Thursday night gig down the block let alone hundreds if not thousands to go to Vegas for three nights so you can spend an average of 5 hours per night waiting in line / traffic.
While its more than a little bewildering, I understand what Skream is saying and where he’s coming from (though he’s doing nobody any favors by using “EDM” to mean “mainstream electronic music culture”… god dammit Seth Troxler keep your stupid mouth shut and let the bloggers handle being angry, elitist music fucks or else start booking me gigs). I don’t think its that Skream hates Calvin Harris or the music that he makes… rather… he hates being a part of the mainstream, it really is a different world full of appearances and engineered authenticity. Should it be any wonder then, that the young Croydon man who grew up making obscure music and working in his local record shop would feel a push back from his sudden rise to fame… especially considering the trajectory of Dubstep over these last few years?
The interview is a quick read and Skream’s views on the current state of electronic music are very interesting considering his unique perspective. Be sure to read it below and catch his latest track, Jumani to get an idea of where Skream wants to take himself! It sounds like he’s trying to become an authentic techno producer like the great early pioneers of electronic dance music… not necessarily the kind of music I like to listen to on my own but I appreciate what he’s trying to do and I have a great deal of respect for any artist who would sacrifice fame or money to stay true to himself. You do you, boo boo. Just make sure there’s a Magnetic Man reunion tour once you figure it all out 😛