Electronic dance music is the most unique form of audible entertainment in the world. The fundamentals of the entire genre are as unique as the combinations of sounds and samples that all of our most adored producers and DJs painstakingly choose when creating a mix. For most traditional musicians, the goal of their art is to bring the audience into their personal experiences and hope like hell that someone will understand what they are going through. But for the superstar DJs and producers of EDM, the goal is far more expansive. Simply put, a DJ is there to control your experience. From the tempo, to the samples, to the beat, to the swing and cantor of the melodic line, every element that an electronic performer considers when putting together a mix is designed with the sole intention of making you move. The most elaborate genius comes from manipulating the collective into syncopated dance; like a conductor of the super space inertial experience for the droves of beat vamps and club kids who can’t live without the rhythm and the way it commands them move.
When considering who is the best - the ultimate genius of the genre who has the most massive appeal and influence on the most people - there is little question as to who the top two heavy weights in the world are. David Guetta
- the laid back French producer who works with everyone and is everywhere all the time - and Tïesto
- the Dutch forefather of the movement - are far and away the most famous, influential and popular DJs in the world
, bar none. The question, however, is “Who is better and why?”
In one corner, we have the Godlike trance titan of EDM, who without question is known far and wide by anyone and everyone who has indulged in dance music. Tïesto is without any question, the superstar Godfather of everything dance. Within the far sweeping international brotherhood of EDM junkies, Tïesto is more of a living legend with superior dance invoking powers than a mere mortal behind turntables. Whenever he decides to perform, he is the main attraction. Tïesto accepts nothing less than top billing and the main stage ultimate slot of the night with the most exposure, and of course, the largest crowds of any and every festival he plays. Rightfully so, Tïesto will always blow the minds of the devout, invoking a spiritual anthem that inspires the audience to dance in ways they never thought possible. Tïesto will always leave the entire crowd hot, heavy, over stimulated and dizzy with post coital exuberation. If you love EDM, Tïesto will provide the fix. But there in lies the problem. Tïesto, although making recent attempts to reach a broader audience in America by changing up his signature trance elemental sound, fails to truly resonate beyond the boarders of the EDM stratosphere. For most people that lie outside of the tight knit and sometimes inaccessible and unfathomable universe of EDM, the name Tïesto could easily be confused for a shiny new European cleaning supply company. The future has yet to be written of course, and with the introduction of Tïesto’s CLVB LIFE clothing line, his name will certainly trickle more into the mainstream. But as for now, the living legend has unfortunately not found his footing in the grounds that lie outside the clubs of the world.
David Guetta is the producer that the mainstream musical world was waiting for. Guetta, known within the EDM universe for his immersive live shows, prominent house explosions, and contemporary collaborations, has done more for the integration of the genre into the lives of the non-club obsessed in a few years than many of his contemporaries have in their entire careers. Let’s not make any bones about this, Guetta is not necessarily the best DJ in the world. However, he has intentionally and strategically spearheaded a campaign to integrate credible and mind-blowing EDM into the lives of the people who have until now thought “techno music” was only something that was played in the soundtracks for Sci-Fi movies and “edgy” counter culture movies about the dangers of doing too much ecstasy. Guetta has collaborated with the likes of Usher, Chris Brown, and Nicki Minaj. His introduction into the mainstream via the highly successful collaboration
with the Black Eyed Peas, allowed EDM to be piped directly into the homes of America, becoming a household name in the process. He has literally won 100s of awards for his efforts, topped off recently by two Grammy nominations. His single “Sunshine,” co-produced by Avicii
, is up for Best Dance Recording of the Year, and his recent album, Nothing but the Beat
, is up for Best Dance/Electronica Album of the year.
There is truth to the idea that mainstream acceptance is not necessarily the benchmark for an artist to judge his career by. Finding acceptance from people who were infected by a beat for 15 minutes, and then moving on to the next thing that was spoon fed to them by the Clear Channels and Vivaldi Universals of our world may not mean much more than a paycheck. Guetta, however, has done more than that. He has carefully and alchemically connected the dots and successfully brought an entire genre of music that has otherwise been looked upon as foreign and sometimes intimidating, to one of the broadest audiences in the world. He has done so without compromising his artistic integrity, and more importantly, his sound. And that is the reason why, at least for now, David Guetta is, the most influential DJ in the world.