Electronic Music For Hotels?
To the untrained ear the subgenres of electronic music might all sound the same. Even the names can get confusing: house, deep house, tech house, techno, progressive, melodic, microhouse and melodic house, are just some examples. The list – a seemingly ever-expanding one – ranges in the hundreds.
To the electronic music aficionado, however, it is a different experience. To these dedicated fans and the talented DJs who compose the music, the subtleties and nuance of every synth lead, drum-kit and bass line is fully appreciated. Yes, some genre distinctions are razor thin. And yes, there’s a rich debate over what constitutes the broader electronic music scene. What does (or should) the music stand for? Who are its leaders? And what is the right balance between mainstream versus experimental underground sounds?
But what’s most important for electronic diehards and newbie’s alike (whether they realize it or not) is what sets it apart from other forms of music. To borrow a phrase from physicist Michio Kaku, it is its ability “to be everywhere and nowhere” that makes it unique.
Fittingly, Kaku was talking about computers. And how in echoing the history of electrification, computers would reach a point of extreme ubiquity where they would become embedded in nearly every aspect of our lives. They would be everywhere; essential and enjoyable, like electricity, but they would become part of the background.
“Everywhere and Nowhere:” Electronic Music’s Special Appeal
Electronic music has a similar everywhere and nowhere quality to it. Many of its signature tracks are composed in such a way that fosters a sense of timelessness. Like flipping a switch in the listener’s brain, the mostly lyric-less sets create a mood and an ambiance that when played at the right speed, makes the music an essential background component.
Unshackled from pop music’s 3 or 4-minute song duration rigidity, and let loose from traditional chorus-and-hook structure, heavy on references to teenage angst, a freedom of feeling rapidly overtakes the audience.
To be sure, if you’re a hotel brand looking to incorporate this more sophisticated sound it can still be a daunting task. Let’s be clear: electronic music is not only about Ultra Music Festival and similar live entertainment events. In fact, by some definitions, it’s the furthest thing from it.
Mood really does matter. Done right, with a laidback vibe filling your event space, and your guests will stay longer. They will likely consume more drinks. And they will also share their experiences on social media, effectively becoming your brand ambassadors. Done wrong and the erroneous selection could have the opposite effect on patrons and guests, resulting in lost business.
Electronic Music: Where Culture and Sound Coalesce
The mood/ambiance-enhancing aspect of electronic music is a point many hotel managers miss. Electronic music can and should be about experiential branding. That is, linking the sound your hotel generates with the brand itself and building an emotional experience around it.
It’s a point often missed in the mainstream media too. Whether they intend to or not, events like Ultra – and the shenanigans that go with it – have a propensity to crowd out the reporting space, sucking up all of the oxygen in the room.
Adjusted for scale (meaning your hotel bar, outdoor patio/pool and bar), global gatherings like Sound Tulum and All Day I Dream parties are two examples of the type of emotional experiences hospitality brands can emulate with specific electronic music. Subgenre titles aside, tracks with fewer beats per minute are considered more melodic mood music whereas faster beats usually in excess of 120 bpm are the sounds that gets crowds onto the dance floor.
At Sound Tulum the focus is on promoting a harmonizing atmosphere, propelled by the music. Earlier this year Sound Tulum kicked off 2019 along the Mayan Riviera, in Mexico. Billed as a “point of union and harmony between promoters, artists and brands of the underground electronic music industry worldwide,” the event is also heavily tied to raising awareness of the Mayan indigenous community and in support of social projects.
All Day I dream is turning dreams into reality too. What began in 2011 as a concept on a Brooklyn, NY rooftop, has transformed into a series of annual live entertainment events to promote what it calls electronic music’s “technicolor emotionalism.”
A Branding Lesson
Examples like Sound Tulum and All Day I Dream underscore how your hotel can use electronic music to power an entirely unique branding effort. After all, hotels aren’t just about throwing a suitcase in a room and calling it a day. The best brands know what should be obvious: hotels are lifestyle destinations, not waypoints on a journey toward something else.
At Dry N Wet, the leaders in providing entertainment solutions, there are decades of combined experience working with hospitality brands to select the right DJ or live performance that best meets your entertainment needs.
In the end, to borrow from freelance journalist Edith Johnson, who writes about North American music festivals and its cultural significance, “Music is a shared experience. No matter the artist or genre, we can all come to common ground on how music makes us feel and why we continue to go back.”
For the most innovative hospitality brands eager to remain on top, this is a lesson they must learn. And electronic music can be the vehicle to help them learn it.