EDM Watch: Marshmello teams up with Khalid for ‘Silence,’ his most complete song yet

Marshmello has been riding a wave of crazy momentum over the past 18 months, and his latest song — “Silence,” featuring Texas teenager Khalid — might be the one that pushes him firmly into the mainstream.

Crossing into the pop charts is a tricky balance for many dance music producers, because it often involves the appearance of “selling out” in fans’ eyes — at least in terms of the artist’s style.

But “Silence” retains most characteristics of a Marshmello song — happy brightness mixed with a hip-hop beat — except it’s smooth enough to be palatable to Top 40 pop radio stations. Personally, I hope mainstream radio gives it a chance.

Khalid’s vocals are, of course, the star attraction here. You wouldn’t expect anything less from this quickly rising talent, whose soulful tone is clearly beyond his years. Meanwhile, Marshmello does excellent work in blending in enough of his style to make sure you know he’s there — but he seems content to stay in the background on this one.

That’s why, taken as a whole, “Silence” is Marshmello’s most complete song yet. And it deserves to end up being his most popular, too.

Check out the lyric video for “Silence” below and get ready to put it on repeat:

Major Lazer embraces NASCAR theme at Indy’s 400 Fest

I’m not going to try to convince anyone that getting 5,000 or 10,000 Millennials to show up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a concert is going to suddenly create a lot of race fans.

That’s obviously not the case. The vast majority of the music lovers who came to see EDM megastars Major Lazer, rapper Mac Miller and DJ group Cheat Codes on Friday — the first day of the inaugural IMS “400 Fest” — have no interest in following NASCAR and never will.

But what if the track could expose new fans from a desirable demographic to NASCAR while making some money in the process? Even if a half percent of those people decided to take a second look at NASCAR, wouldn’t that be worth it?

Thanks to Friday headliners Major Lazer, IMS got a little help.

Before Major Lazer members Diplo and Walshy Fire took the stage (Jillionaire, the third of the trio, was performing in Ibiza), crew members passed out giant checkered flags with Major Lazer’s logo on them. Fans waved the flags around throughout the concert, and Walshy Fire also participated during one song.

In addition, the group’s four dancers sported checkered flag pattern booty shorts — which they emphasized through extensive twerking. And at one point, the DJs themselves wore shirts that appeared to say MAJOR LAZER in the style of the NASCAR bar logo (I think they also had a stock car on the shirt, but I couldn’t quite make it out).

Diplo seemed impressed by IMS and at one point urged the crowd to turn up and take advantage of “this great racetrack right here,” which he called “amazing.”

Again, I’m not saying all that is about to create thousands of new fans or even dozens. But it can’t hurt when Major Lazer tells an 18-year-old that Indianapolis Motor Speedway is cool and then shrouds its performance with checkered flag imagery.

 

Conor Daly, IndyCar driver and friend of EDM stars

How many American race car drivers are buddies with the likes of Deadmau5, Marshmello and Zedd?

The answer is: One.

That driver is IndyCar’s Conor Daly, a friend to many DJs in the electronic dance music community. That’s pretty badass if you think about it, since racing and EDM have dramatically different audiences for the most part.

But Daly can go between both worlds with ease, and has been doing so since he struck up a friendship with Deadmau5 in 2013.

Deadmau5 had followed Daly on Twitter and they started messaging back and forth. When Daly had an open weekend in 2014, he went to Vegas and met up with Deadmau5 — which led to connecting with other DJs and their friends. (Deadmau5 has since been to several IndyCar events and even taken a ride with James Hinchcliffe at Indianapolis.)

“I’m like a really business-to-business relationship type of person, so I connect with people through other people and we become friends,” Daly told me Thursday. “And suddenly you’re in different groups of people.

“It’s a small world in there (in the EDM community) just like it’s a small world here. If you know someone in the racing community, they probably know 30 other people that you know. So it’s the same thing, just a different environment.”

Daly said there are many people in dance music who “appreciate cars and racing,” but just don’t know much about it. So they’re curious and end up asking questions — just as Daly asks questions about music.

Marshmello, who Daly met last year, is playing at the Indy 500 Snake Pit on Sunday (along with Zedd and several others) — and expressed his enthusiasm for learning more about racing.

“Marshmello texted me at the end of last year after I met him and he was like, ‘Hey, my dad just saw some of your crashes on YouTube. That’s crazy! You guys are nuts,'” Daly said. “So apparently they were talking about that. He’s excited about it for sure. Apparently one of his video guys went to (Indiana) as well, so they’ve been hyping up the Indy 500.”

Daly said he’s been trying to get Zedd up to speed on Indy ahead of his Sunday appearance, but Zedd isn’t super into racing yet.

“I’ve been trying to tell him as much as I can, but until you see it here in real life, you don’t really know,” Daly said. “So we’ll see what he thinks.”

Last year, Skrillex and Martin Garrix — who is friends with Formula One driver Max Verstappen — were the headliners at the Snake Pit (an EDM concert in Turn 3 that takes place before and during the Indy 500 itself).

Daly obviously can’t attend the concert while the race is going on, but went to Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see friend MAKJ perform last year and saw Deadmau5 in Chicago earlier this month. Daly plans to attend EDC again in Las Vegas next month.

Knowing the two groups of fans as well as he does, Daly said the Snake Pit represents an important part of building the Indy 500 tradition.

“It’s a huge group of people who would never entertain the idea of a race unless it was involved with this type of concert,” he said. “Even if it’s 10 or 15 people, if we can turn their heads and say, ‘Whoa, this race is actually really entertaining, too,’ then who knows?

“It gets people to the venue, gets people here and gets people talking about the Indy 500. (The 500 experience) is the race, it’s the Snake Pit, it’s everything.”

 

 

 

Danica Patrick responds to Nicki Minaj shoutout in Major Lazer’s “Run Up”

It’s pretty great to be a famous race car driver, but getting a shoutout in a pop song? That’s an even higher level of awesomeness.

In Major Lazer’s song “Run Up,” the EDM trio features a verse from Nicki Minaj — who sneaks in a shoutout to Danica Patrick.

“I told ‘em, ‘Pull up on me faster than Danica,’” Minaj raps. “That’s on the low; I’m tryna blow him like harmonicas.”

Since I ask important questions here at JeffGluck.com, I had to know what Patrick thought of the shoutout (which she believes is her first in a song).

“Very flattering,” Patrick told me. “I’ve never met her, but I’m flattered she knows who I am. She could have called — I would have danced in the video!”

Patrick said she’s actually a fan of Minaj; she often plays Nicki’s Pandora station (along with Beyonce) while working out.

“So that (coincidence) is kind of funny,” Patrick said. “I’ll have to be listening while I’m working out to hear that song pop up.”

(Hat-tip to FoxSports.com for first noticing this.)

EDM Watch: Martin Garrix’s new song with Brooks — Byte — is awesome

So it’s 4 a.m. and I’m sitting in the Albuquerque waiting on a 5 a.m. flight to Dallas. Did you know they even had 5 a.m. flights? I didn’t.

I should be tired, but I’m not. You know why? Because I’m listening to Martin Garrix’s new song — a collab with Brooks called “Byte” — and I’m HYPED.

Seriously, this is way better than caffeine (even though no coffee shops are open right now anyway).

Garrix unveiled this song during his Ultra set two weeks ago, and it caught my ear right away (along with all other Garrix fans). I’m so pumped we didn’t even have to wait a month for it to be released.

Byte is decidedly old-school Garrix — sorry if you were expecting another future bass single like “Scared to be Lonely” or “In the Name of Love” — and there are no vocals (it doesn’t need them).

Holy crap, I love this song. Just picture him dropping this at a concert with tens of thousands of happy people jumping up and down, surrounded by fire and smoke and lasers.

You can’t help but get into the beat.

NASCAR vs. EDC: Photos comparing setups at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

I’ve had the biggest smile on my face while walking around Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend — and not just because I’m happy to be covering another NASCAR race.

There’s another reason why I’m so pumped: It’s the first time I’ve been back to the track since attending Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) with my wife last year.

EDC was one of the most fun experiences of my life. We’ve become huge dance music fans, and many of our favorites played EDC last June — Martin Garrix, Zedd, Marshmello, Alesso, etc. And really, the whole atmosphere — the lights, lasers, fireworks, confetti and 135,000 happy people — was really something to see. Take it from me: You don’t need to be on drugs or whatever to enjoy it.

But wow, it looks SO different for NASCAR weekend. I’ve been coming to LVMS for races since 2006, and seeing how it was set up for EDC compared to how it looks normally was really wild.

If you ever get a chance and like EDM even a little bit, do whatever you can to attend EDC.

Here’s a few pictures comparing how the track looked for EDC and how it looks during NASCAR weekend (all photos were taken by me):

The Cup garage was completely transformed into a rest area — complete with turf and bean bags to relax.

 

The Circuit Grounds were an open area surrounded by giant columns, tucked into Turn 2.

 

kineticFIELD, EDC’s biggest stage, was 450 feet wide and 100 feet tall last year and could hold 70,000 people. It was built between Turns 3 and 4.

 

A look at part of the LVMS infield during EDC, featuring the Cosmic Meadow stage (a 40,000-capacity stage built on pit road that used the infield grass and stands for fans to watch).

 

A big part of EDC is the ‘C’ — the carnival. Here’s an overlook from the Neon Garage (looking toward the backstretch).

 

There were rides and concession stands located where the Cup haulers park now.

 

Vendors set up outside where the Cup cars would park nine months later.

 

Need a break from the heat? This cooling center was a popular place during EDC — now it’s the Xfinity Series garage.

EDM Watch: The Chainsmokers, Coldplay drop ‘Something Just Like This’ overnight

I didn’t see this coming so soon, but it was a great surprise to wake up to a new song from The Chainsmokers and Coldplay this morning: “Something Just Like This.”

We knew from social media accounts the two groups had been working on a collab together, but there hadn’t been any sort of countdown or hint it was going to drop so quickly. But with The Chainsmokers on a European tour, they brought out Coldplay to unveil the new song Wednesday night and then released it to coincide with the performance.

I love the tune. The Chainsmokers continue to crush the sweet spot between EDM and pop, and Coldplay’s presence really brings out Alex and Drew’s creativity.

Similar to “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Chainsmokers let the song build to a crescendo with the third drop being the memorable one (it even has guitar riffs!).

But enough talk about it. Take a listen for yourself: