Op-Ed: Is House Music Dying?

If you are a fan of house music, you have probably read, heard, or even been told to your face that “house music is dead.” And while for many fans the Golden Age of Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Tiesto, and Don Diablo was only yesterday, the truth is it has been a while since house music felt fresh and alive. 

So, is it possible that house music is dead? For once, “Big Room” house music probably is dying off.  It is increasingly harder to find DJ acts solely dedicated to progressive house anymore and finding unique, experimental material is a rarity these days. On the other hand, it was only last year that Lady Gaga turned to house big names like Skrillex, Tchami, Madeon, and Axwell for her “Chromatica” LP, which made it to the top sales. 

This is by no means a new trend. Pop and rock musicians have been doing crossovers with EDM artists for a long time, a huge telltale sign that house is still quite relevant. Some examples are Korn, Foo Fighters, Madonna, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber. More so, we also see electronic trend hunters like Diplo, Fisher, and Malaa producing a lot of house music as well. 

Then there is Tomorrowland. The world’s largest and most popular dance music event, which attracts millions of people every year, and is estimated to bring over $120 million in annual revenue. This year’s Tomorrowland will take place in July when 700 different artists will be performing over the expanse of two weeks across 14 stages.  

So I think it is safe to say that while yes, progressive, Big Room house is no longer as prominent as it was a decade ago, it still lives on in different forms. It has evolved into new genres, such as trance, rave, or dubstep. It has become an integral part of older genres like pop, rock, Latin, and techno. 

Like it tends to happen with all music genres, as the decades go by—and house has over 3—they will age and blend into other styles. They will spawn other sub-genres, becoming finer, more subtle, less front and center. And although people tend to use the term house music to mean all kinds of electronic styles, the truth is that there are a lot of new styles as well. There are old and new sounds that get recycled and remixed with sounds from other genres, and other styles, and that is how music lives on. 

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