It's bigger than hip hop. No, really, EDM might just be.
According to Dancing Astronaut, EDM is making so much money, an estimated $4 billion worldwide last year, that some heavyweights have banded together to create the Association for Electronic Music, an advocacy and lobbying body that, like, PLUR and stuff.
AFEM is being called "the first international trade body representing a single genre." Well, besides the Country Music Association founded in 1958, so it's kind of a big deal.
The mission: "To represent the common interests of all individuals and companies whose business is electronic music and to advocate on behalf of electronic dance music as a musical genre."
So, it's like an uhntz-uhntz union with the coolest tagline ever: "a future alliance for future music." Sounds legit, but who are these people?
Well, it's Ben Turner, International Music Summit partner and manager to Richie Hawtin, who teamed up with entertainment lawyer Kurosh Nasseri. They've so far been joined by Chic guitarist and recent Daft Punk collaborator Nile Rodgers, ID&T CEO Duncan Stutterheim, Swedish House Mafia's manager Amy Thomson, Kaskade's manager Stephanie LaFera, and some more rave-culture honchos.
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"Everyone involved in this genre has been told DJing isn't real music, a real genre. Now it's one of the most important genres in a world," Turner said to Billboard. "But still we're treated as a genre that's not quite as valid as guitar music. Whilst we're in this huge growth period, we need to work together to protect our genre. We've seen implosions, and we don't want it to happen again."
This is an interesting development as giant commercial entities continue to buy up everything with a beat and a high profit margin. Our own SoBe has been turned into the corporate playground of one Robert Sillerman, who pledged to spend $1 billion on EDM buy-ups this year. His recent investments in Life in Color, Disco Donnie Presents, Opium Group, Miami Marketing Group, and more have made some party-goers nervous.
Maybe we can rest a bit easier knowing AFEM is on the case.