There has always been a common discussion on the artists who create vs follow or stay up on trends. You might be questioning what I am talking about. Let’s use an example, back in 2007 when the so-called “EDM Bubble” burst onto the scene, some DJs stayed on the same path that they did, while some moved into being an EDM DJ, adjusting their plan to stay up on the trend but still be true to themselves. And of course, there were some who just downright hated on it. Still wondering what I mean? Let’s use Serato as an example. When Serato came out some DJs embraced it, some waited for the technology to get better but stayed in tune with the new technology, and some DJs shunned it. Let’s analyze each lane:
Creating Trends – This is much harder than it sounds, no one knows what people are going to like, what will stick, etc. I think in my opinion the best thing you can do as an artist is to be yourself. Many genres and movements have been created by artists that have just been doing what they love – MUSIC. A couple of examples – Skrillex and Dubstep, Diplo and Mad Decent, Peanut Butter Wolf and Stone Throw Records or even NWA and gangster rap. Be true to yourself and don’t let anyone stop you and you might be the next trendsetter.
Following Trends – Following trends can lead you down a path that might not be the best for an artists career. One, if you are always jumping from trend to trend or genre to genre, your fans can’t connect with you. Fans you had while doing one thing could possibly no longer be a fan if you switch courses. I’m not always saying it’s not possible but do consider the possibilities when trying to change the music style or sound you might be. Perhaps it might be better to start a whole new brand or alias?
Ignoring – I think it’s safe to say for the ones that completely ignore trends or advances in this industry it’s very easy to fall off. Even some of the greats to this day still doing it have embraced trends and technology. Take a look at DJ Jazzy Jeff. He embraces the technology and still has a solid career to this day. There were DJs that did not follow the Serato trend and may have fallen off in their careers because of it. In the EDM example I first mentioned, I gave an example of DJs who completely ignored playing EDM, but most open format DJs who never played it before started working it into the sets. Blame it on technology, blame it on customer requests, or whatever you want, the ones that completely ignored the trend lost their jobs, and the ones that at least stayed up on the trend are probably still working to this day.
Staying Up on Trends – It’s safe to say as long as your staying up on the trends it keeps you musically in tune with the industry. it doesn’t mean you have to like the trend or the genre but people do and it’s important to understand the trend and why it exists. Whether you are a DJ playing open format, or an EDM DJ you are now seeing both DJs playing Trap and Bass Music. Or EDM DJs working Hip Hop into their sets in Vegas. Call it what you want, these DJs understand the importance of staying up on trends.
Do you think it’s important? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.