Successful Dubstep artists
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And while this emotive impulse is one reason to start making music, we should know by 2012 that there are many others. Now that YouTube has officially replaced the MTV generation in terms of sheer cultural explosiveness, we are witnessing many more of these new reasons.
These days, people want to be famous. And they don't care how it's done.
We have an entire culture of people who are rewarded for being weird, hilarious, crazy, fucking awesome, or to use the dictionary word, egregious. People want to be different, they want to step out. They want to be known for something, anything that will get them attention.
This has become such a powerful motive, that for most of today's popular musicians, it has simply replaced the original meaning of music. Forget expressing emotion, forget aesthetics, forget professional production. People are becoming incredibly successful for their work, but it has nothing to do with musical talent.
It's not simply a case of failing to be a good composer. Indeed, artists such as Skrillex and deadmau5 have achieved exactly what they wanted to do with their music. They're not interested in technical skill, or attention to detail, or any of the priorities of professional music. Their focus is popularity, and figuring out exactly what their fanbase wants.
And as it turns out, they want bass drops. They want robot diarrhea. They want manic, sugary melodies that make you feel warm inside for five seconds. You don't see people on YouTube looking for deep, emotional soundscapes to appreciate and empathize with. Because that's totally gay, you know? This is a culture that rewards stupidity, outlandishness, and being totally whacked out on crazy sounds.
In fact, the very idea that someone would take this music seriously is hilarious in itself. And that's part of the novelty. They know you're not supposed to treat Dubstep like a Beethoven symphony, and for many people it's refreshing to be able to enjoy music without having to put too much effort into it.
The point is, the appeal of this music is social rather than musical. It's all about popularity, in every sense of the word. This may seem frustrating to many, especially if you focus on musical talent as a virtue, but this is simply where our culture leads when you have all the ingredients.
For what it's worth, Skrillex (and most dubstep artists, to some extent) is very successful at what he does, and he has the hit counter to back it up. He gives fans the entertainment they need, and they in return give him all the attention and praise a celebrity could want. It may not be emotive, but it's music that can be shared and enjoyed as freely as any internet meme. Whether that makes it "real music" is entirely up to you...