Saturday, August 16, 2014

How Porter Robinson Created His Own World Separate From The EDM Scene

If you haven't heard of Porter Robinson, that's probably a good thing. I'll tell you why: the reality is Porter Robinson has been a big-name electronic music producer and DJ for several years (see "Language" and "Unison"). He's performed at big festivals and mega clubs and hangs in the circles of now popular artists Zedd and Skrillex.
So, how is Porter Robinson supposed to launch his newest album Worlds without being sucked into the polarizing EDM bubble criticized for commercializing the scene and diluting the music? He creates his own world. And, his world has brilliant marketers. 

To avoid being associated with the garbage in mainstream EDM, you basically have to avoid it all. Robinson skipped this summer's festival season and is, instead, headlining his own North America tour. Rather than having Billboard or Dancing Astronaut leak his album, he had a 'First Listen' on NPR music. And of all places to attract a new niche audience, he had an interview with It's not to say his team isn't doing any mass marketing, such as Youtube pre-roll ads and companion banners, they've just chosen to be strategic with its targeting.

Of everything I've seen for the promotion of Worlds, I was most impressed by Robinson's choice to livestream his entire album and himself answering fans questions on, a platform typically used by videogamers. Robinson sources video games as a big inspiration for his album: "For the Twitch stream, I'm going to wander around a few of my favorite virtual environments while streaming the record. I'm hoping it'll give people a sense of what inspired the album."
Additionally, his own site is smartly designed to keep users engaged with large video player and running playlist of music videos and his social streams.  

While Robinson tells Vogue that his "new music isn’t a reaction or an intentional subversion of EDM,” you can't deny that he's paving his own path away from the bubble. At 22 years-old, Robinson's approach to his album, attention to the details and restraint in selling out sets him apart as an artist. Especially when many artists today choose antics and gimmicks for stardom (Miley Cyrus?). I admire his hard work and hopefully can experience how Worlds comes to life on his tour.

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