About a month ago we received a call from a teacher at Ãcole Senator Riley in High River. The call went something like thisâ¦ âHi, Iâm Chad, a teacher at a school in High River. You guys interested in a Ted Talk-type of presentation for my students?â Our initial reaction wasâwhy on earth would someone want us to talk to a bunch of students about sound? And why especially PK sound? Donât they want to hear from Robert Munch, or an athlete, or even a local celebrity? But, being the curious creatures we are, we packed a truck and headed south to meet up with Chad and his students.
When we arrived, a number of students were eager to help set up, and we were all a little surprised at how knowledgeable the kids were with regard to signal flow and our brand of speaker in general. But the real shock came when we were talking with several 11 to 14 year-olds about some of our artist partners. They were all fans of Skrillex, Excision, Datsik, 12th Planet, Bassnectar, etc. We couldnât believe the level of knowledge these kids possessed when it came to the EDM world. They were talking about sub-genres even a few of us had never heard of! For the first time in a long time we felt old.
After setting up, the remaining 300 kids filed in and we began our presentation by showing pictures of the shop, our staff, and some of our partners. When showing pictures of some artists we work with, the kids immediately recognized each and every one. Once again, we were blown away by the young fan base and their knowledge of the artists. After the brief presentation, we began the interactive portion of the visit, a school dance with a giant PK system. We had a few PK DJs playing House, Glitch, DnB, Drumstep, Dubstep, etc., and the kids ate it up. They actually knew most of the songs we played, and even sang along to some of the Skrillex tunes. Where was this type of school dance when I was in school?! The kids stayed until we had to turn off the music, and during the changeovers we were signing autographs and answering questions from students and even staff. True storyâthere were a few kids slow dancing to some of our dubstep tunes - you know, the hands on the shoulders, swaying side-to-side type. It was pretty rad.
So, short story longâ¦this was an amazing experience. I donât think any of us had realized just how far the EDM community has come in North America, and the impact dance music is making on younger and younger generations. So often we concentrate on our own generation when it comes to industry feedbackâwhat are the critics, promoters, agents, managers, 18+ fans, and artists saying? But what are the implications for our industry now that we have new sets of eyes & ears on us? Perhaps the biggest implication is that kids love to dance, and they love music that makes them dance. Itâs our job to make sure they keep dancing as they âgrow upââor maybe itâs our job to ensure that we all stay kids a little bit longer. We are incredibly proud to be a part of this movement and give thanks everyday. We work with amazing artists and people who genuinely love what they do, and weâre excited that these kids will be taking over for us somedayâmaking the scene better, faster, stronger
Paul and Steph.