Pete Tong talks EDM: “There’s never going to be another Swedish House Mafia”
As the host of BBC Radio 1’s legendary Essential Mix for the past 20 years, Pete Tong sure knows a thing or two about the ebbs and flows of dance music. After all, there’s a reason he snagged the #6 spot our inaugural list of the 50 Most Powerful People in EDM. So Tong’s very well-positioned, then, to give his $0.02 on where the genre’s at right now. Speaking to The Daily Swarm in a lengthy interview, the “pied piper of dance” has done just that – lending his opinion on EDM’s phenomenal uptake in the U.S and where it’s headed from here.
“It’s funny how the term EDM has metamorphosised more quickly than any term in dance music since I can remember, meaning one thing one year and something else the next,” Tong told the website. “If somebody used it in an interview two years ago, it would have meant all of us – dance music in general, electronic music, call it what you want. Now it means something cheesy, very large, very Vegas, in your face – it defines a specific type of music, not all of us anymore. That’s very much due to what’s happened in America; in fact, for the rest of the world, [EDM] means the American sound.”
But as the scene veteran sees it, the EDM boom isn’t a bad thing. In fact according to Tong, the sound is moving towards diversification. “I don’t think there’s much room left for big producers. Swedish House Mafia are who they are…but there’s never going to be another Swedish House Mafia. I doubt there will be another Guetta, but there can be another Deadmau5 and another Skrillex because they weren’t like anyone else when they came along,” he opined.
“There is a tendency where so many DJs and so many clubs in America (particularly in Vegas) are playing the same 20 records,” he continued. “But once in a while, someone different will break out ‘cause they made an amazing record, or are incredibly talented, or just different. Take Dillon Francis, or Skrillex, or Zedd, maybe. I think that’s taking us down a different road right now. It will be interesting to see where it goes…. we’re already seeing EDM 2.0 in the shape of Porter Robinson and those types.” As good a read as it makes for, his Daily Swarm chat isn’t the only notable interview Pete Tong’s done lately. “Great afternoon interview Daft Punk this afternoon out in the desert,” he tweeted earlier today from Coachella. “Will let you hear it soon!” We’ll be waiting for that one.