It’s 3:50 am right now. I’m taking a quick break from plowing through a ton of work to write this, but I was listening to a one-hour set by Marshmello from his live performance at Ultra Music Festival 2016.
This set is actually really popular among my friends who like EDM and frequently go see live performances. It’s an hour that I’ve replayed 100 times, as Ultra was nearly a year ago.
I’m exhausted, and my brain is fried from bulldozing through hours of work, but this set…it revives me. I’m in bed and I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up with carpal tunnel syndrome based on how often I sit in bed on my laptop like this, writing, consuming content, working and listening to music, but this makes me sit up and bob around in bed.
Marshmello incorporated some of my all-time favorite tracks with some seriously rowdy new music. At this point, I’ve listened to it enough that I know every drop that’s coming and every song up next, and I still get so hyped for them. It’s a perfect set – the epitome of what I love about EDM, the genre that’s dominated my life for the past few years.
I’m pretty sure it was also my first time hearing “Gettin’ That” by Dirty Audio and Rickyxsan, which essentially became my summer anthem (or maybe Herobust’s “Skurt Reynolds” VIP), as well as the Skrillex flip of “Where are U Now,” which gets me fist-pumping real quick.
As you can tell, many songs on this tracklist have their own memories associated with it, in addition to memories associated with this Ultra set itself.
Here are 100 other mixes and sets that I love, by the way.
Soundcloud is an ideal social media platform. I can follow my favorite artists, consume truly wonderful content and also not give a fuck about what’s on my profile. It’s literally just a conglomeration of good vibes and a place to keep track of my evolving tastes.
I’m someone who would listen to music every waking hour of my day if I could, and when I’m jamming out while doing work, I always end up getting distracted and looking up songs.
Simultaneously, I love the diversity and innovation that the industry inevitably brings. You can take any song – a country tune, a pop song or even your own freaking track – and tweak it into something completely new.
I turn my nose up at people who say that EDM all sounds the same. It’s an evolving community that’s constantly breaking stereotypes and expectations.
Listen to all of that and tell me that it all sounds the same.
The most accurate way I can describe my love for EDM is that it makes me feel great, whether it makes me get up and rage, or if it’s simply got me groovin’ in my chair.
It sounds so cheesy, but I just get so emotional listening to this stuff.
Rachel – my friend and roommate at debate camp – showed me Skrillex the summer before sophomore year. Man, what a throwback. I was intrigued by this radical departure from what I was into, which was like Taylor Swift and Jason Mraz in middle school. By high school, my taste had evolved to include artists like City and Colour and Vampire Weekend.
After that initial exposure to EDM, I started listening to it more and more. Colin showed me Flosstradamus’ remix of Major Lazer’s “Original Don,” which changed everything.
Flosstradamus and Major Lazer have both been such strong influences on my music taste for the past few years. Major Lazer’s album Peace Is The Mission is easily one of my favorite albums of all time, as well as one that ruled my 2015 and 2016. Additionally, the two times I saw Floss perform last year were easily some of my most momentous concert experiences.
EDM grew to take over ~40% of my music life by the time I graduated high school. And no one expected it of me. I played violin, I was super into debate and I did not go out to concerts or parties. So my peers were a little surprised when they heard me bumpin’ Knife Party or RL Grime in the school parking lot. And honestly, at the time that was one of the reasons I liked the genre so much. It made me feel more confident and unique
When I came to college, I met Maddy, who I instantly bonded with because he had (and still has) an incredibly unique taste in music, transcending the traditional limits of electronic music.
I went to my first EDM concert during the spring of my freshman year – Christina, Maddy and I saw Cashmere Cat at Double Door, a super chill artist in a tiny venue. It wasn’t supremely lit, but I had had a taste and now, I was captivated.
The whole concert experience – leaving campus with a friend or two, being in the crowd, dancing around to your favorite songs…
I started going to more concerts. Meanwhile, I also began following artists on social media, both people who I wanted to see live and people that I had seen, to keep up with tour info and new music. Moreover, I wanted to get to know them as people. I’d never particularly followed celebs’ personal lives before, but suddenly I wanted to know more about these people’s lives. Pretty soon, you could add your favorite artists on Snapchat and experience their lives – the performances, the music and the friends – through a screen.
I also got to meet some great people in college, friends who share a love for concerts and hype music with me. There’s always enough PLUR to go around (LMAO).
I keep an active Google calendar tracking EDM concerts in Chicago, which I update and look at daily. Technically, it’s for The Chronicle, but it’s mainly for myself.
EDM is more than a passion, honestly. It’s a lifestyle, and I know that I say that about a lot of things, but I tell people that three favorite interests are writing, food and music.
If you’re friends with me on Snapchat you’ll know my routine.