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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Bieber finds Purpose in EDM

If you were to ask me who the greatest pop musician so far in 2015 is, I would say Justin Bieber.

A younger me would seethe if he read the previous sentence, but I have to give the Biebs the props he deserves.

He’s not the most original or influential artist of the year; his best songs either were made with Diplo and Skrillex or of the tropical house-variety that Kygo made cool.

He’s polarizing, hard to take serious and rocks a ninth grade-emo “No, it’s not a phase, Mom” haircut.

But Bieber’s comeback is real, and his hyper-trendy new album Purpose is his best to-date.

Currently, he has 17 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and owns an even more prestigious honor: my top artist played this week on Spotify.

Ever since I listened to the electronic beat of “Where Are U Now” this past summer, I’ve been riding the Bieber wave to his new era of music.

Now, what sets him apart from other pop artists also dominating the charts this year? Drake and Fetty Wap have killed it this year, and Adele is primed to do the same.

But Bieber has used one thing to his advantage that none of these artists have (although they probably didn’t have to).

Bieber has hopped on the Electronic Dance Music bandwagon at the peak of its mainstream popularity, and it has in turn given him a ride to the top of the pop mountain.

With artists like Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Kygo and Diplo spearheading the widespread growth of EDM, we hear more and more of it on our radios. It is now the music of choice for many of our own age group.

In an interview with The New York Times, Michael Rapino, the CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest concert promoter, said, “If you’re 15 to 25 years old now, this is your rock ‘n’ roll.”

Like a sly businessman getting into a partnership with a more successful companion, Justin Bieber has switched up his music to align himself with the sound of the moment. And right now, I love it.

Purpose might not have the longevity of a lot of great pop albums, but it captures what is hot and trendy at this very second. And pre-teens and college graduates alike can get on board with that.

You’ll find that many people, including me, who you wouldn’t expect to be fans of Justin Bieber, avidly touting this album. The rise of mainstream EDM plays a huge role in that.

“What Do You Mean,” “Sorry” and “The Feeling” are all songs off the new album that stand out to me as very EDM-influenced and are all currently on queue to play on my Spotify.

So for all the hating we all did on Bieber during his earlier, more immature days, is it too late to say we’re sorry now?

Follow Scott Baca on Twitter.

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