You may be surprised to learn that EDM has a history richer than a Hershey’s bar. We now know it as one of the fastest growing genres in the music industry, but its beginnings can be traced back to a time where most of our parents were out partying and making poor life choices. Let’s start!


The world is a little hazy on the exact date, but bands like Tower of Power, Kool and the Gang, and Kraftwerk jumped onto the scene soon after Roland (best known for their electronic keyboards), came into existence. This is where EDM began.

Over the next several years, a bunch of stuff happened that no one cares to talk about, present company included. Remember, we’re only dealing with significant events. Moving on!

March 1990.

The English electronic band known as Depeche Mode is formed. In the early 90s, they played a significant role in bringing new wave electronic rock to the world and are known as one of the most popular electronic bands ever. This is also the time where EDM hit one of its peaks as a genre, only to be outmatched by DJs in the 21st century.

January 1997.

Created in 1993, Daft Punk didn’t reach worldwide prominence until 1997 as part of the French House movement, as they blended house, funk, electro, and techno and created a significant sound within the EDM industry during this time. Funnily enough, the duo started in 1987 off as a failed indie rock band called Darling, waiting almost 10 years for their big break. You could say they were trying their best to get lucky.

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Before we hit the 2000s, it’s worth mentioning that all those music festivals you’ve come to love so much like Ultra (1999) and Electronic Daisy (1997) started off in the United States.

May 2009.

After the success of his third album, Pop Life, David Guetta officially reaches stardom by producing “I Gotta Feeling” for the Black Eyed Peas. His fame at this time is one of the many reasons EDM hits the mainstream audience.

December 2010.

Skrillex, one of the best-known EDM DJs in the world, creates Dubstep. You know, it’s that one genre that people liken to an epileptic fit. Despite how it may sound to some, Skrillex’s music was instrumental in attracting metal heads to EDM.

October 2012.

Soon after Skrillex’s popularity, you have the emergence of the first EDM group to headline in Madison Square Garden – Swedish House Mafia. Their success fuels the EDM movement to peak popularity. At this point, even your grandmother knows what EDM is.

2012 – 2015.

It would be wrong to not mention the other rising EDM stars who contributed to the increasing popularity of the genre. From 2012 to 2015 you have Avicii, Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Deadmau5, and a handful of other artists adding diversity to electronic music.

It goes without saying that EDM has been met with an increasing amount of criticism and mockery the more popular it has become. As we move into mid-2016, music week attendance seems to be decreasing, perception on EDM creativity is negative, and Avicii has announced retirement. This genre is still as popular as ever, but will the good times keep rolling? Let’s hope so.

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