The Grammy's represent the best in popular music and their 55th anniversary, which aired last Sunday, saw many deserving acts rewarded a coveted golden statue. But what about the artists that fly beneath the mainstram radar of Grammy acceptability? Into the AM felt the umbrella category of "dance music," dominated by the same crop of EDM megastars, left our genre grossly under-represented. So to combat EDM's status as the misunderstood child of the music world, we are "awarding" some of our favorite artists for their major contributions within the past year.
There is a lot about Disclosure's sound that is reminiscent of 90's garage - that odd combination of aggressive house and contrasting romance - but these UK brothers have re-vamped the genre, adding modern pop elements on top of pristine production. They have sold out multiple shows, released a respectable catalog of original tracks and created a following comparable to acts who have been in the scene for decades - all within the past two years.
The sub-bass movement is being sexified, infused with soul, and these brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence, are at its forefront. The duo's hit “Latch” went silver and after being featured on Soundcloud's homepage, it quickly surpassed one-million plays. It has also been an anthem for DJs and producers of all genres who have tried to integrate the unconventional hit into their sets.
Disclosure's ability to transcend simple genre labeling is also astonishing. Their popularity has garnered attention from fans across a wide musical spectrum – from mainstream and pop, to EDM and indie alike. And their tour schedule, which sees them playing the rock saturated SXSW a day before before heading to the EDM-centric festivities of Ultra, is the perfect testament to that mass appeal.
By: Shea Kopp
Porter Robinson may be 20 years old, but this young star of EDM should have been awarded a Grammy for his massive single "Language." I couldn’t believe it when he was snubbed from the nomination card. Although Al Walser was taking up a spot, which is another story.
"Language" features elements from multiple genres, fusing trance, progressive, and eletro into a single masterpiece. Progressive house was all the rage in 2012, but no other production could match the euphoric feeling of this track. Thanks in no small part to the elegant vocal of Heather Bright, which only contains six lines, yet conveys infinite depths of emotion.
"Language" also delivered one of EDM's best music videos with wonderful story telling and breathtaking visuals dirtected by Jonathan Desbiens, who recently did the video for Zedd’s "Clarity."
By: Ryan Phife
Zedd may be young, but his contibution to dance music can not be understated. His debut album, "Clarity," which was released shortly after the official Grammy deadline, delivered 10 of the most forward thinking tracks of 2012, challanging the distinction between pop and EDM without losing its dance floor appeal.
The album's first single, "Spectrum," helped to launch the career of singer Matthew Koma, as it climbed the upper reaches of the Billboard charts and was lovingly embraced by DJs worldwide.Then, its second single and title track came out to such widespread praise that Zedd became the first EDM act to perform on late night television.
Zedd deserves a Grammy because he uses his musical gifts to transcend the "EDM" label and produce tracks that redefine the genre. He has become our most trusted ambassador, proving the legitimacy of dance music and continually pushing its boundaries. So if "Clarity" isn't up for a Grammy in 2014, the system is broken.
By: Alex Jennison