Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) often scares off newcomers because they fear it is a collection of random Star Wars droid-type sounds that people classify as art. Though different, EDM is still a craft that has been developing beyond its staple festival and party tunes. EDM is a collection of playful, crazy and wild beats and sounds that inspire you to dance no matter the setting. One reason EDM artists are generally underappreciated is the non-traditional practice of them mixing and performing their music without using their voices. Two of these non-vocalist artists who substantiate my belief that EDM deserves more admiration and credit are Skrillex and Diplo. Together, these are two of EDM’s biggest stars who revel in international fame and have taken the role of modern-day rock stars.
I have been a fan of Skrillex and Diplo for a few years now and increasingly enjoy their music, both as a collaboration and individually, as I continue to listen to it. Skrillex’s constant use of spinning hi-hats is a unique and defining characteristic of his music that I appreciate most. Diplo’s talent for creating hits and promoting creative, undervalued artists through his Mad Decent label keeps me on my toes looking for the next great sound. Despite my recognition of their greatness and success, I was fully convinced that the collective was to be taken seriously when their track “Where Are Ü Now” featuring Justin Bieber went platinum in July 2015. Coupled with Justin Bieber’s popularity and a psychedelic music video, this track is heralded as one of the best songs of 2015. It was so critically acclaimed that The New York Times published a video detailing how the three artists created the hit song.
Internationally, Skrillex and Diplo’s fame supersedes that of Bieber; however, there is no question that Bieber’s following in the United States is unmatched. There are multiple international artists featured on the album: Bunji Garlin from Trinidad, AlunaGeorge from England and Kiesza from Canada. While the aforementioned names experience recognition in their respective countries as well as worldwide, none hold the influence that Bieber does in the States. With that being said, it is my hope and prediction that the platinum track will further ignite the rise of EDM in the U.S.
In addition to being awarded the platinum track, watching Diplo perform also reinforced my admiration of EDM. Diplo is the self-proclaimed “random white dude be everywhere,”but he is no average dude. Diplo, as well as his dancers, are athletic, toned and acrobatic performers that complete the festival experience for the audience. I am a frequent concert-goer and have seen Diplo perform in Atlanta, GA and Panama City Beach, FL. Those shows are two of my favorite concert experiences of all time because of the atmosphere Diplo created. Girls were dancing on the stage, on the sound system and on the mixing table all while Diplo was jumping up and down, mixing his music and basking in their beauty. How could you not rage to this shit!?
Although “Where Are Ü Now” is the most recognized track on the album, songs like “To Ü” featuring AlunaGeorge deserve mentioning as well. The message of the song, as well as the video, is centered on love. It delves into love of all kinds: love between man and woman, black and white, woman and woman, as well as man and man. This video speaks to one of the focuses of Skrillex and Diplo’s music, as well as other EDM artists around the world: let’s party, have fun and love one another.
Skrillex and Diplo are international, modern-day rock stars who are two of the faces that represent EDM. The mind-numbing beats and sound effects they create throw your mind in a spin cycle like a washing machine. Paired with a positive, playful and loving message, EDM will sustain its popularity internationally and will become more prevalent in the U.S. The world could benefit from more love and togetherness, and I believe Skrillex and Diplo are two agents who can help make that dream a reality - they’ve already done so with Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü.