EDM continued to thrive in 2013: The scene's most memorable people, places and moments
While electronic dance music has always thrived in one form or another, in 2012 it stormed into the mainstream, and in 2013 it continued to thrive. You can still hear its influence everywhere. Countless musicians have worked elements of EDM into their sound, and seemingly every company have wanted in on the game, as well. From holding high-profile residencies at some of the biggest clubs in the world to headlining major festivals, EDM remained strong this past year. Here's a look back at the most memorable people, places and moments in EDM 2013.
See also: The six best female vocalists in EDM
SFX Entertainment bought the industry
SFX Entertainment, the brainchild of former Livenation front man Robert Sillerman, owns electronic dance music. His company has acquired majority stake in major festivals all over the country, bought into the biggest and best nightclubs in America, and continues to acquire stake in your favorite aspects of the industry. If it can make money, SFX will buy into it. When SFX recently went public, Sillerman and Afrojack stood side-by-side as they rang the digital bell of the NASDAQ trading floor. How big is EDM? You can buy stock in it.
Steve Aoki used Richard Simmons in a music video
You haven't hit the big time until you can literally get whomever you want to play in a music video with you. With this in mind, the Dim Mak founder Steve Aoki could only think of one person he wanted to party with in a video for a new single, and that person happened to be Richard Simmons. The funny thing is that it's not even a fitness song -- well, granted, just about any EDM track could be considered a fitness song -- but Aoki just wanted to work with the guy because he's, well, Richard Simmons.
Pretty Lights nominated for a Grammy
Now, this isn't that far-fetched because the new Pretty Lights album is a fucking monster album, but it does say something about the grassroots movement that has propelled EDM into the mainstream. Pretty Lights' Derek Vincent Smith is not a musical god, by any means, but he is spearheading a movement of music that is changing the way people move. Opting to emerge from the sample-based world of beats that helped him find his success, Smith's 2013 release A Color Map of the Sun featured a spectrum of sounds that showcased the artist's versatile musical abilities. Using instrumentalists from all over the country, Smith built each track from the ground up.
TomorrowWorld comes to America
TomorrowLand, the epic festival that occurs yearly in Belgium, packed up its bags and came to the States. ID&T, the company that founded the festival and was recently acquired by SFX Entertainment, picked the most random spot in the country to throw the festival: Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. The festival turned out to be a monumental success, drawing upwards of 40,000 people each day to the seven stages spread over 400 acres. Although the Americanized rave crowd didn't quite eat up all the fantasy themes, it did throw down enough to warrant a return next year.
Ultra Music Festival expanded to two weekends
Dance music goes with Miami like tumbling dice go with Las Vegas. Ultra Music Festival, which expanded to two weekends, draws the biggest acts in the world to perform on multiple stages, and hosts celebrities from all walks of life. Founded in 1999, Ultra Music Festival is one of the longest running mainstream events that consistently showcases big talent.
EDM makes its way into the fashion world
Tim Bergling, the Swedish-born megastar known as Avicii, moonlights as a Ralph Lauren model. When he released True, his break-out concept album that merged multiple genres of music, Avicii attracted the attention of the designer, which enlisted him to represent the American fashion brand. The video for "Wake Me Up," a song that features the soulful vocals of Aloe Blacc, is essentially a four-minute Ralph Lauren commercial, supplementing page-two advertisements in fashion magazines with Bergling sprawled across an antique bench with a sexy female draped over him. Granted, the Swede has a chiseled jawline, but the obvious use of his image is a wink to the EDM world that it has even started to infiltrate the fashion world.
Krewella on Good Morning America
The Chicago trio comprised of sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousef, and Kris Trindl (aka Rain Man) did not make it easily into the EDM world. For years, the members holed up in their meat-packing district apartment in Chicago, grinding out tracks and perfecting sounds. When they did hit, they hit hard. Headlining nearly every major festival in 2013, Krewella went from a catchy pop-electro-dubstep trio to a live-vocal bass-banging class act singing live at events like Ultra, culminating with a Halloween appearance on Good Morning America.
Daft Punk put out another album
Random Access Memories wasn't like the Daft Punk of yesteryear that some were hoping for, but it was better. In true Daft Punk form, much like the duo's previous work, the album stepped out on a limb creatively and stayed true to the act's creative integrity. You can't ask for more from a legendary group that has done more for EDM (the modern iteration of it, at least) than almost any other act in the world. Sure, there are classic EDM pioneers, and Daft Punk featured them on the album, but the buzz the group generated for the release -- from hinting at the release with billboards via Columbia Records teaser shots to fifteen-second clips at Coachella -- proves they are still one the revered acts in dance.
House music comes back to the forefront
Dubstep made everyone take note in 2012 thanks to Skrillex, trap was white-hot for about the duration of the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon," trance is big in Europe and always will be. House music, however, appeals to everyone. This year, thanks to acts like Disclosure, a pair of English brothers make catchy hooks with smoothed out house beats, house came back to the forefront. This sound is universal as is its appeal. Great house music keeps a room moving, and it will likely be around for years to come.
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.