BT and Sharam answer conference attendee question on the Producer Panel at WMC 2009

An extraordinary discussion led by BT around the implications surrounding the mainstreaming and commercialization of dance music. One conference delegate questioned the push for greater exposure for electronic dance music and DJ culture, wondering why we seek greater exposure when our audience is perfectly content keeping the music for themselves.

There has always been a push for greater access to the mainstream by underground artists, but those artists may get co-opted in the process, leaving them without the recognition due for their genius and musicianship, while enriching others on the mainstreaming of their work.

BT says, “People knowing it, doesn’t make it bad.” But, he validated the delegate’s question with a very distinct viewpoint on the issue. “Why can we acknowledge that guy that made the record” right now?, before it’s “saturation” into the mainstream.

Sharam points out that it may be someone’s dream to win a Grammy for their work, so why not push for that type of accesibility in the same way others have in the past, with the realization that with mainstreaming comes a trade-off, and there is little control over music once it leaves an artist’s studio.

I really enjoyed this discussion and think it’s one of the finer moments in Winter Music Conference history.

About Tony Zeoli

Tony Zeoli is a digital media strategist, innovator, and entrepreneur. He founded Netmix.com in 1995, which was considered by Billboard Magazine to be the "innovation and advancement of dance music on the Internet." Tony has innovated at the intersection of music and the Internet for the past thirty years as a project manager, product manager, information architect. He is also the founder of Digital Strategy Works, a WordPress web design and digital marketing agency in Asheville, NC.

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