House music is doing just fine. It’s some of the most popular music at clubs around the world, and gets regular radio play as well. That said, its leading artists don’t always get the same attention as those in other major genres. When you think about it, someone who doesn’t care about rock music has probably heard of AC/DC and the Foo Fighters; someone who doesn’t care for alternative could likely name a few Coldplay songs; and even people who hate rap or pop can tell you who Eminem and Ariana Grande are. Those who aren’t interested in house music might have a little more trouble naming prominent artists – even if people like David Guetta and Calvin Harris have become extraordinarily famous within their genre and the modern billboard charts.
This isn’t to suggest any major house artists are in need of publicity. They’re doing just fine appealing to their own fans. But there also seem to be some marketing and brand expansion opportunities that artists in other genres take advantage of and which DJs have yet to tap into as thoroughly. These are a few that come to mind.
There could be some debate over whether or not Daft Punk really constitutes house music in the traditional sense. Regardless, when the electronic duo took on the soundtrack for Disney’s TRON: Legacy, it felt more like it might be the beginning of a trend. The group has called it the most challenging thing they’ve ever been involved with, so perhaps it’s a more daunting task than it seems like from the outside. But tying their music to a major film release effectively made for a bonus album with built-in, lasting publicity. That’s something just about no artist or group in their right mind would turn down, and particularly with more major films (Baby Driver, La La Land, Straight Outta Compton, etc.) embracing musical themes, it’ll be interesting to see if more artists try to make similar arrangements in the coming years.
Music and gaming don’t blend together as often as some might think, but there are examples of artists using games specifically for exposure. Consider NetEnt, which is one of the more influential developers in online casino activity. They’ve made someo of the most popular games, and always aim to attract new players while keeping existing ones entertained – partly by adopting all kinds of themes. Among them have been rock bands and artists. NetEnt now has games based on Jimi Hendrix, Motorhead, and Guns N’ Roses (which happens to be in the midst of a huge resurgence). Perhaps a little closer to home for house fans, Steve Aoki famously designed his own mobile puzzle game a couple years ago as well. These types of games – in which an artist is just used as a sort of thematic backdrop for a popular gaming format – can conceivably be picked up by any kind of artist. House musicians who want to raise their profiles should seriousl
y consider contacting developers.
Easier said than done, right? Well, house musicians may dominate the festival and club scenes these days, but they still don’t seem to appear very often at other major events. You seldom see them at All-Star games, major halftime shows, setting the stage for big speeches, etc. And these may seem like one-off events, but they can make for unrivaled exposure. It was just a few years ago that Bruno Mars absolutely nailed a Super Bowl performance and prompted publications as big as USA Today to ask if the show had made a star of him (and the answer in retrospect is an unequivocal yes). Now this isn’t the type of show someone can simply book if he wants it, but it’s something house artists should possibly be striving harder for.