This past Thursday, September 21st, The Electronic Music Awards held their inaugural event in Los Angeles, California to honor the very best in, you guessed it, electronic music. While being a very broad term to describe all genres of dance music, the awards celebrated DJs by the likes of Eric Prydz, the Chainsmokers, Skrillex, Major Lazer, and Diplo among others. Not exactly a diverse range of artists and not really indicative of the truly wide diverse producers and artists in the overall spectrum of the electronic dance music industry.
The event was broadcasted globally via Twitter with the tag line “witness 30 years of history.” Considering the nominees, it would seem that history lesson was cut short. However, Moby, who garners respect across all genres of music, was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement award with Detroit native, Juan Atkins, receiving the Innovator award, also highly deserved. But who is the Electronic Music Awards any way? Paul Oakenfold, legend in his own right, is co-producer alongside the Hunt & Crest
Entertainment Company with the awards voted on by a panel of leading advisors and executives within the music industry. Sounds legit enough, right? But on what criteria were nominees chosen? And in turn, how did this panel decide who actually received an award? Both good questions and visiting the show’s site doesn’t give you that information. At the time of this article, the site hadn’t even been updated to show the award winners. Perhaps the rave is still ongoing in L.A.
But any award show that brings attention to the electronic music industry is good for business right? No doubt fans will want to tune in and possibly see their favorite DJs perform or even take home an award. Paul Oakenfold has already mentioned plans for next year’s event with Los Angeles being the show’s permanent home for now. Here at Underground though, this award show is a bit challenging because in its current form it doesn’t truly represent the entire electronic music industry. We’re very happy to see Nicole Moudaber get a nod in the Radio Show of the Year category and even Output, known for hosting some of the biggest names in techno year round, actually win the category for Club of the Year. Output was up against some steep competition with Berghain (Berlin), Fabric (London), and DC10 (Ibiza) all in the running. Right now, it seems it’s the EDM show. How will house and techno music be represented in next year’s awards? Yes, no, not at all? It was just the first year of the awards, which gives us a full year to see what happens next.
The Electronic Music Awards is not the first of its kind. The International Dance Music Awards held in Miami each year has honored the very best in dance music across all genres for more than 30 years. The IDMAs present a more inclusive environment with recognition given for exceptional achievements in 57 award categories. The IDMAs has stated that the awards generate over 2 million votes from music enthusiasts in 209 countries and territories. The transparency is simple. Right now, with the Electronic Music Awards it seems it’s the EDM show. How will house and techno music be represented in next year’s awards? Yes, no, not at all? It was just the first year of the awards, which gives us a full year to see just what happens next. For a full list of nominees, visit http://theemawards.com/. Happy hunting for a full list of the winners.