While many indie artists benefit from the rise of content distribution platforms like Spotify and production software like Ableton, technological advancement hasn’t always been in our favor. The downside of the phenomenon is that the EDM industry has become much more saturated and competitive, which leads to artists going above and beyond to get listeners and exposure. And sometimes, it can mean compromising the quality and creativity of content for numbers and engagement.
Dubstep DJ Ghastly recently opened up his struggle with the social media phenomenon and how it puts a strain on the EDM industry or culture as a whole. While there are artists sampling film dialogues or remixing songs from Squid Game at music festivals, Ghastly was recently asked to make the beat more “Tik-toky” while working on a song with someone. The reflection on how social media has changed the landscape of EDM prompted him to open up his anxiety on his social media.
“The current music industry/ culture as a whole is in a very confusing place. It feels as though artistry has been shifted from genuine expression and creating sounds that words can’t express to hacking the algorithm. This approach ceases the intent of being genuine as the main focus is always numbers and engagement over quality and creativity. I was working on a song with someone recently who asked me if I could make the beats more tik-toky. It made me feel dirty just to read it.”
“It’s no wonder so many new artists are struggling to develop a following - the pace at which they are now required to pump out content is inhuman and unrealistic given the modern attention span is less than a goldfish. I feel for new artists, truly - because musical success has become inflationary. Whereas a viral song could do you wonders just a few years ago but now? Well that’s a great song you have there but I need you to give me a reason why I should care about you. What are your thoughts? Who are you dating? Do you make entertaining content? Are you following the trends? And the worst part is if you decide to live in the real world and choose not to post for a while - the automatic assumption is that you are depressed or “going through it” which the contrary is true because the less I focus on my phone the more creative and alive I feel.”
“I want to be able to share my life at a level that makes sense to me as an artist and as a human. I love to make sketches, tell stories, create ridiculous edits/ memes, and even the occasional YouTube video but the anxiety of having daunting todo lists, hundreds of unread emails, deadlines, due dates, logistical issues, video/ photo shoots, daily meetings, and an ever-increasingly cutthroat flash in the pan media marketing bonanza can absolutely drain an artist to their lowest levels.” - Ghastly
Ghastly is a DJ that specializes in bass-heavy music with a provocative blend of house, trap, and dubstep. He has garnered the support of industry juggernauts like Diplo, Skrillex, and Steve Aoki and collaborated with bass-heavy artists like Jauz, NGHTMRE, and Zomboy. His famous tracks include “Geisha”, “Psycho”, “Mystifying Oracle” and “Black Mamba” etc.