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Fuck social media: To succeed in dance music, you just need great records

Just let the music do the talking

  • Words: Louis Anderson-Rich | Illustration: Patch Keyes
  • 15 March 2017
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Take Omar S. Here’s an artist who’s made some of the best music to ever come out of Detroit, runs an acclaimed label and sells-out shows the world over. Why? Because no amount of Snapchat stories, Twitter moments or sponsored Facebook posts will ever match the joy of hearing ‘Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance!!’ for the first time.

Or how about Traumprinz, the Giegling affiliate who’s one of house music’s most popular artists thanks to his tracks under The Prince Of Denmark and DJ Metatron aliases. His lack of an online presence certainly hasn’t stopped people forking out €100 for his latest EP and it re-selling it on Discogs for £200.

But the best thing about having absolutely zero online presence is the legend it cultivates. Take, for instance, Burial. People legitimately thought he was Four Tet during all those years before his now famous selfie. Those rumours were both hilarious and fuelled by Burial’s fantastic music. You can’t reach that level of gossip and rumour when you have the same black and white press shot plastered across seven different social media platforms. How much more fun is it discovering and following an artist who you don’t known every intimate detail about? It makes going to see them play that extra bit special, or the release of their next EP that much more of an event. And you’ll still find out about these things. It’s not like people didn’t go to gigs or buy albums before Mark Zuckerberg ripped off his Harvard friends. Social media is important but it’s the labels and promoters that really need to consider it.

Wolfgang Gartner wrote something a few years ago about the side-hustle that is social media. “I wasn’t trying to get into the entertainment business. I just wanted to be in the music business,” he said. For some people, it works. But for others the extracurriculars impact on the music. That, or the music was never that high on the priority list in the first place.

Louis Anderson-Rich is Mixmag’s Digital Intern and yes, he is aware of the hypocrisy that you can find him on Twitter

Patch Keyes is a freelance illustrator and regular contributor to Mixmag. View his portfolio here

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