It’s curious to know who really makes the cogs turn in EDM. Who is really making and breaking the deals and how much power do they have? You’d be surprised to know that many DJs have been self-starters and have created labels of their own to help push their career forward as well as to nourish the careers of young hopefuls. Not all have stood the test of time, but if we shine the spotlight on big players like Skrillex and Diplo, we find that these household names are doing much more than just playing us a hit or two, they also have the key to the candy shop.
Skrillex for instance is the founder of OWSLA, signing on some of the newest players in EDM such as Zedd, Porter Robinson, Jack Beats and Kill the Noise. So not only has this six Grammy Award winning DJ and producer been worshiped by our mainstream radios for his music alone, but he has also taken a gamble and succeeded in controlling some of the next biggest EDM artist around.
This goes for Diplo too, who spearheaded the label Mad Decent in 2005. Baauer’s Harlem Shake is under this label, along with artists like Flosstradamus, Rusko, Zeds Dead and Snoop Dogg’s reggae project Snoop Lion. Furthermore, Mad Decent made Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Music, at a well earned number five.
Armin Van Buuren and an abundance of other DJ/producers are playing the same game and reaching further than the decks to take on a whole other side of business. Some may fold, but for a decent number of players, they hold a royal flush.