By Hazen Witemeyer @Hazengirl
If you listen to EDM, even the mainstream stuff, you know the format: a DJ drops cool beats, punctuated with alluring vocals, delivered by a featured soprano with perfect pitch. The combination is fantastic: danceable, memorable, karaoke-able.
There’s just one problem: when you go to see the DJ perform live, hoping to sing along to your favorite track … all the vocal tracks are pre-recorded.
Which is why I was so excited to hear that Vassy would be opening for Alan Walker at Shepherd’s Tiki Bar in Clearwater Beach a couple weeks ago. Vassy who? She’s the vocalist who made David Guetta’s hit “Bad” feel so good, and made you avoid keeping Tiesto’s “Secrets” single a secret.
In person, she’s a huge voice in a little brunette package. With the crowd pressed tightly against the stage, in the small venue, she came forward and owned the space physically. She sang her best collaborations, including Showtek’s “Satisfied”, and her first solo hit, “Nothing to Lose.”
My best guess is this was one of Vassy’s early performances in preparation for more touring. It was a practice run for a bigger venue. One where maybe fans wouldn’t be close enough to see that she was fumbling words. (frowny face).
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trashing Vassy. In fact, I love her more. Her raspy, bronze tones will always get me singing along. And she has guts to be putting herself out there when she isn’t perfect. I am instead acknowledging a gap in the genre I love so much – a gap wherein only one part of a winning team have ejoyed the live performance spotlight at more mainstream venues. And, as EDM gains fans and revenues, I’m predicting that will change.
So, I hope Vassy and other great vocalists like Delany Jane (who performed in an awesome set with Shaun Frank at SMF) practice as many times as they want in my town, and they get it right live – and by so doing, help the genre evolve. As long as they get their cut of those bigger profits!
Which vocalists do you want to see more of in 2017?