Top EDM DJs Diplo and Skrillex weighed in on new music technology in an interview with Charlie Rose. They commented that technology favors the audience, not the artist, and expressed frustration with major labels limiting Web access to their tracks.
Diplo, whose real name is Wesley Pentz, and Skrillex, born as Sonny Moore, are two of the top EDM (Electronic Dance Music) DJs and producers of our time. Skrillex has already won several Grammy awards, while Diplo has produced tracks for some of the top pop artists on the charts, including Britney Spears, Madonna and Chris Brown. They banded together this year to form an EDM super group of sorts, called Jack U, which has already produced a top 10 song, "Where Are U Now," featuring vocals by Justin Bieber.
Despite their commercial success, both DJs' roots are in the electronic underground music scene, whose rabid fans helped them gain the popularity they now enjoy. In a new interview with Charlie Rose, they both discussed the current state of music technology.
"Technology has never really benefited the artist, it's always benefited the audience," says Diplo. "When I first had a cassette tape, I was immediately recording stuff illegally off the radio; it's always been in the favor of the audience to make it easier for them, and it's not going to get any easier for the artist. We're actually — the more you fight it, the more you're wasting your time, because the audience is going to find easier and easier ways to find the music, and it's not — you can't stop that, you know?"
Diplo is of course referring not to music production technology but to ways in which technology allows listeners to seek out, download and record music. He and Skrillex agreed that the major labels are taking a shortsighted approach by fighting streaming services like SoundCloud. SoundCloud is the go-to streaming vehicle for EDM, and it has been under intense pressure from the major music labels recently to remove unlicensed content.
"There's kids that only go on SoundCloud and will never buy at iTunes and even never go to Spotify, and that's how they listen to music," Skrillex explains. "And what that does is it eliminates a huge asset and is cutting off our music to an audience that could potentially come to our shows and be fans."
"It's more important for us to get our music heard than to grab every penny we can get," added Diplo.