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Why Electronic Music's Tributes to the Classics Are Significant in Today's Music Scene

Written By: Lauren Pineda

People blame the classics for why today's most popular songs don’t fit their tastes. In the 60s, music from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones became mainstream simply because their music was good, and not because they were washed up Disney stars. Even older pop music used to be much more iconic. When artists such as Prince and Madonna ruled the music world, they set trends in culture that never died.

Music icons and their classics, however, are not to blame for the reasons why older generations feel disconnected. Today's most "popular songs" are mostly popular because of their marketing. The word "mainstream" is now used as a genre to define music played on the radio, more than it's used to describe a good song loved by everyone.

You will sparsely find music today that will be as legendary as the classics of the decades. Nonetheless, there is hope for the future generations; and it surprisingly can be found in electronic dance music.

Photo by Lauren Pineda at Second Sky Music Festival

Rising interest in EDM stems from underground artists surfacing, because of their tributes to the greats. With less opinions to care about while starting out, most artists rise by paying homage to the classics with a careful spin. The best ones know how to modernize an older song without butchering it. These tributes indicate the respect and appreciation that producers have for quality older music, inferring that their original music is also possibly worth valuing.

As it permeates more of the music world, electronic music's ability to push the creative boundaries of originals exhibits how good music itself has evolved. The better producers cater to the evolution of music by thriving in the modern musical environment, while always recognizing the root of past original mainstream favorites.

The real talent and hard work shows in the creative approach artists put on any iconic song. The most innovative and inventive remixes and mashups, in turn, provide the same near iconic status for their creators. Below is a list of a few remixes of classics or mashups from world-renowned producers who once started underground, exhibiting a contemporary perspective that symbolizes possible hope for good music in this new age:

1.) "Go Deep" by Janet Jackson (Tchami Remix)

2.) "Coffee Break" by Zeds Dead is a take on "I Say a Little Prayer" by Aretha Franklin

3.) "September" by Earth, Wind, & Fire (Like the Movies Remix)

4.) "Otherside" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Two Friends Remix)

5.) "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Kintsugi" by Droeloe mash-up by Zeds Dead

6.) "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia mash-up by Swedish House Mafia

7.) "If" by Janet Jackson (Kaytranada Remix)

8.) "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles and "Big Bad" by Borgore mash-up by Zeds Dead

9.) "DNCE" by Ookay

10.) "Thank You" by Dido (Zeds Dead Remix)

Am I biased towards electronic music? Maybe. I just know that when DJs throw one of these remixes/mashups or something similar into their sets, an unmatched reminiscent appreciation from the entire crowd appears. A legendary jam's nostalgic sound combined with the progressive sound that is starting to define today's music creates an energy that picks up a vibe while warming the heart. It's new, fresh, and different for the music scene, but respect is still given where it's due.

Moreover, it's safe to say that electronic music contributes to showing how truly good music remains iconic. America's "Top 40 Songs" might not capture the true essence of music's history and evolution; but as long as originality remains, electronic music will rise up to make up for the lack thereof.

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