A New Wave of Music: Deadmau5

By: TENZIN DORJEE In this generation that is dominated by rap, hip-hop, pop, and r&b, not many other genres receive the love and recognition that they deserve. One such genre which is slowly being more and more recognized is Electronic Dance Music (EDM), which houses the more mainstream subgenre of dubstep. Artists of this genre are referred to as EDM producers. Though many confuse the profession with those of Disc Jockeys, EDM producers are not all DJs necessarily. One such artist who’s at the forefront of the EDM genre’s wave of popularity is Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known by his alias, Deadmau5 (pronounced ‘dead·mouse’). Zimmerman was born on January 5, 1981 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. From a young age Zimmerman was creating all sorts of sounds that evolved into now what is loved by many. Deadmau5 is well-known for his rather large headdress, known as the mau5head. Its design is based on the artist’s logo and Zimmerman was inspired to wear a real-life version of the design by his friend, industrial metal musician Jay Gordon. With the flamboyance of the mau5head, it has become a sort of icon, and a trend, as many fans who attend his concerts show love and support by wearing their own version of the mau5head in an assortment of colors. Deadmau5 has been creating music since 1998, but only put out his first single in 2001, and became known recently. Zimmerman established his own record label in 2007, called Mau5trap, which features fellow EDM artists. He currently has released 6 official studio albums, but has many more discs such as 3 self-released albums, 5 mix albums, 3 remix albums, 5 extended plays, 2 live albums, as well a compilation one and an album featuring of his labelmates’ music. Throughout his career as an EDM producer, Deadmau5 has been nominated an extraordinary 24 whole times, winning 11 of those nominations. From the Beatport Music Awards, Zimmerman received 6 nominations, and missed winning only one. He was even nominated for a Grammy 5 times, though unfortunately, he didn’t take home an award. At the International Dance Music Awards, Deadmau5 was nominated 4 more times and took home 3 awards. Zimmerman also was nominated 6 more times for the Juno Awards and won half those nominations. Some prestigious awards Deadmau5 was nominated for and/or won were the ‘Dance Recording Of The Year’ for 3 straight years (2008-2010), ‘Best Dance/Electronica Album’, ‘Best Remix’, and ‘Best Progressive House Artist’ distinctions. Also, ever since 2008, Deadmau5 has had high ranks in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs list, a list recognizing the most popular DJs and producers of the EDM genre. Deadmau5 has been 11th, 6th, 4th, 4th, 5th, and 12th places in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively. Zimmerman has received his many awards, and as his popularity grows, so will the number of awards. Zimmerman loves his job and states that while he wishes his genre could get more recognition for all the hard work producers put in, he’s not in the business for the cash anyways. “If I wanted to make money for the sake of making money, believe me, I would go into real estate long before EDM,” he laughed.

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