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EDM's New Revolution Is Happening RIght Now

The New York Times digs into the EDM Scene.

Prodigies Leaping Beyond Electronic Dance Music

THE roar of 10,000 dance-music fans echoed backstage at Red Rocks Amphitheater near here one evening this month as Skrillex, the 24-year-old prince of dubstep, gave a brotherly bearhug to his protégé and opening act, Zedd.

Two years ago Zedd, whose real name is Anton Zaslavski, was making beats in obscurity in Germany. Now, riding the dance world’s accelerated career track, he’s recording with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, and the crowd at Red Rocks obediently followed his every fist-pumping dance command.

“It’s crazy,” said Zedd, who is 22 but could pass for 16 if not for the fuzz along his jaw. “I’ve always been making music. But suddenly I’m on the other side of the world touring with people like Deadmau5 and Skrillex.”

To most people over 30 those names might not mean much. But electronic dance music, or E.D.M., is having its day as the sound of young America. Festivals like Ultra and Electric Daisy Carnival draw crowds of 100,000 or more, and dance beats fill high-rolling nightclubs up and down the Las Vegas Strip. Forbes recently ranked the annual earnings of top D.J.’s, topped by Tiësto with $22 million. Naturally the music industry is taking notice.

“The record labels now are all saying, ‘We’ve got to find the next Skrillex,’ ” said Gary Richards, the promoter behind the Hard festival franchise.

Aside from Zedd, who was courted by Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records (Eminem, Lady Gaga, U2), the contenders include D.J. prodigies like Madeon and Porter Robinson, and the Chicago group Krewella, which just signed with Columbia.

Yet the rise of E.D.M. also reflects the shifting ground of the music industry, in which big record labels are no longer the primary career makers, and a young, hyperdigital generation of acts has its eyes on more distant and prestigious prizes like film scoring. Their hoped-for career trajectory would be not unlike that of, say, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, but accomplished in a year or two instead of decades.

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Tucked neatly behind her dark sunglasses, the songstress began her set strapped to a mustard yellow guitar with a host of back-up musicians accompanying the 21-year-old on her first solo journey with "Tiny Desk." She previously appeared on the performance series in June 2018 alongside collaborator Daniel Caesar to bring their single "Best Part" to life.

The singer began with "Going (Interlude)," a low-tempo song ushering a heavy-hearted feel into the 18-minute-performance. Keeping with the melancholy vibes planted by the first single, Gabriella Wilson – best known by her three-letter-moniker –  delivered a stunning rendition of "Feel A Way." With two-final transitions, the singer-songwriter concluded her act with "Focus," a throw back from the 2017 EP that gained her worldwide recognition, H.E.R. Volume 1.

Switching from strings to keys, Wilson sat peacefully before a keyboard playing the melody she crafted for the crowd favorite. Chaperoning the performance to a close, Wilson and her background singers played a vocal game of tag as the band jazzed up the slow beats until the set officially wrapped.

Watch as H.E.R. rocks the "Tiny Desk" set in the video above.

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Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.

 

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Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

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With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

READ MORE: Cardi B Buys Her Mother's House

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Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

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"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

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