Kiley Ong asks:
I have recently taken a great interest in electronic music and was wondering what you see for the future of it and whether or not it will remain in the "indie" scene forever? Also, with most of today's music being sold one song at a time on sites like itunes, do you think there can really be a next "superstar" today? As many people are really only being exposed to one good song from many different artists, even the radio finds one song per artist and just plays the hell out of it.
Electronic music has maintained a steady growth in popularity over the past few decades. Electronic musical instruments and technology began with the use of sound producing instruments like the Telharmonium, the Hammond organ and electric guitars. Sound production is also achieved by using devices such as the Theremin, sound synthesizer, and the computer
Originally utilized to add unique sounds to the recording process, in recent years electronic music has achieved enormous popularity in the form of electronic dance music. Computer technology has become more accessible and music software interacts with music production technology in ways that bear no relationship to traditional musical performance practices.
Any musician with a Mac a mic and song in his head can produce a high quality home recording at virtually no cost. This has lead to millions of new artists posting their songs online and playing their music in night clubs around the world. Despite its popularity the genre has yet to produce a true superstar.
If a great artist were to emerge, it would most likely get the genre off the back burner and into the mainstream. It has an enormous potential but needs a star to establish ubiquitous interest with the fan base. It would only take one great song to break electronic music wide open; but it will have to come from a performing artist with original songs, tremendous sex appeal and unbridled passion to succeed.
Since the music delivery system of choice today is free downloads, via peer-to-peer file sharing, it would only take one record to achieve instant popularity. If the fans loved the act enough to pay for the music, the artist could make a fortune from the first song on day one. However, a new act is more likely to build slowly over a long period of time and it will be dificult to eke out a survival.