photo taken from DO Lab Facebook
With a new year upon us, I can’t help but reflect on the past 12 months. For, in my opinion, 2018 was a pivotal year for the music community. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
The Rise of Female Artists
It’s worth mentioning many of these talented ladies have been perfecting their sound for many years. However, 2018 really gave them the spotlight needed to extend their reach. More and more female artists rose up in the music industry this year, including CloZee, REZZ, Alison Wonderland, Mija, Whipped Cream, and more.
When I first started listening to electronic music, about seven years ago, it was difficult to name a female DJ. I’m ecstatic to say that is no longer the case; there were more female artists headlining major festivals this year than ever before!
The Tipper Phenomenon
We were graced with even more diverse sets this year from Dave Tipper, a seasoned composer and producer. His complex sound is incomparable to any artist, which naturally drew in huge crowds to the multitude of festivals he headlined at this year.
He balanced these mass events by tastefully curating his own intimate gatherings, like Tipper&Friends “4 Nights in Nola”, Astral Lights, and Tipsgiving in Brooklyn. Needless to say, 2018 was a busy year for TipperFam, but if you didn’t get your fix in, not to worry for he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Suwannee will be here before you know it!
Shockwaves in the Scene
Unfortunately, not everything in life can be kandi and glitter. This year revealed some sad realities occurring within the music community.
The rise of the #MeToo movement empowered victims of sexual harassment everywhere to speak up. Some of those voices spoke out on social media against dubstep artist, Datsik (aka Troy Beetles).
Datsik was revealed to have sexually assaulted an incoherent woman, who was unable to give legal consent at the time. This sparked a social media frenzy that would ultimately end the artist’s career in March of 2018.
He had been exposed of misogynistic tweets, using demeaning codes to pick out girls to hang out with after shows and assaulting more intoxicated women. While this news is disturbing, the backlash he received reveals that that kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
We also said goodbye to Swedish DJ Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii. The hit producer first came onto the scene in 2009, but truly made his mark in 2011 with the single “Levels”.
As his popularity grew, he continued to push the envelope by ignoring the boundaries of electronic music. His song “Wake Me Up” blended bluegrass with house music, a unique combination that had never been produced before.
As the artist continued to make music and tour steadily, it was clear to see the lifestyle was taking a toll on his health. He had been hospitalized a few times over the years for surgeries related to excessive drinking.
He stopped touring in 2016, to take a break and focus on his health. This seemed to help, at least on the outside. He was still producing new music up until his death on April 20, 2018. It was reported as a suicide.
The news was devastating. For many, Avicii was the soundtrack to memories held near and dear to our hearts. It was also a wake-up call to the dangers of the seemingly glamorous musician lifestyle.
With so many music festivals popping up all over the country and the world, fans are increasingly searching for fresh, new experiences. Artists have taken note and for the first time ever EDM artists are producing all-inclusive destination festivals for fans in 2019.
Bassnectar revealed a stacked line up for his first ever festival Deja Voom, which will take place in Riviera Maya, Mexico on February 27th-March 2nd 2019.
ODESZA also announced their festival Sundara with a line up featuring artists from their label Foreign Family Collective. Sundara will take place in Riviera Maya, Mexico from March 13th-16th, 2019.
These exciting new events will combine fun activities, gorgeous white sand beaches, and exciting sets from your favorite artists. One can only imagine the magic these artists have in store.
Questions Left Unanswered
Overall, I have to say it was a very exciting year to be creating, listening, or following artists of all genres. There were fresh new albums by Papadosio, ZHU, CharlesTheFirst, Late Night Radio, and more. What will 2019 bring us?
There was an unforgettable celebration for a decade of music with Pretty Lights at Red Rocks, but will an album or any further shows follow? Time can only tell.
The successful basketballer Shaquille O’Neal, aka DJ Diesel, revealed himself as the surprise music guest at Lost Lands with a wild set, causing tons of hype for the athlete. Will we be seeing more from DJ Diesel in 2019?
We’ve received incoming transmissions from groove master GRiZ performing new thoughtful spoken word paired with the pianistic stylings of Borahm Lee. So will his new album, rumored to be set for April of 2019, be a shift to a new era for GRiZ?
And finally, we have the confirmation from Bethel Woods Center of the Arts that a 50th anniversary of Woodstock will indeed be happening in August of 2019! This is super exciting news for fans of all generations, for Woodstock was a pinnacle event for the hippie generation of the 1960’s, and it was also the birth of music festivals! It’s going to be interesting to see how they mark the anniversary of such a monumental event in history; who do you think will grace the line up?