The results for the 31st edition of the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) has been announced, and the outcome is pretty much exactly what we have come to expect from the ‘most anticipated’ award show in the global music scene.
It should come as no surprise that the same tried old scenario is in play as it has been every other year before. Repetitive winners, misplaced genre acknowledgements, and irrelevant nominated categories have once again dominated this over-glorified award ceremony.
Indeed, with more than two million votes coming from all over the world according to the website, the IDMAs, are likely the largest and longest running dance music award ceremony to date. But, it doesn’t automatically make them THE voice of the industry. In fact, this year’s results just strengthens our point on why dance music doesn’t need award shows.
Armin van Buuren, IDMA's Best Global DJ winner for four consecutive years, nominated for ten years in a row, via
The Best Global DJ category was won once more by Hardwell, and he has won the same category for the past two years, spectacularly knocking off King Armin van Buuren’s crown. Armin seems to be an honorary member of the stale category, racking up ten nominations in a row since 2007, and winning it for four consecutive years from 2010 to 2013.
Strangely enough, Hardwell and Armin’s win almost coincides with them being voted as top dogs on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ poll. The nominations itself is repetitive with Armin, and Tiësto being listed there for more than a decade, with editions of current ‘favourites’, like Calvin Harris making it into the category for three years in a row.
The IDMA’s also has a habit of misplacing artists in their genre categories. For instance, one doesn’t need to be a bass head to know that Skrillex, and Diplo's, Jack Ü Grammy winning tune with Justin Bieber, ‘Where Are You Now’, doesn’t even come close to a drum n bass or dubstep track, but still, it was nominated for Best Dubstep/Drum & Bass Track. The same goes with Tiësto’s track with KSHMR featuring the vocals of Vassy. ‘Secrets’ has EDM written all over it in bold, italics, and capital letters, but yet, it wasn’t just nominated for Best Electro/Progressive House Track, it won the damn category too.
IDMA's Best Dubstep/Drum & Bass Track
Another big yawn fest is DJ Mag winning the title for Best Music Publication for the 14th time in a row. Before you judge us, we are in no way hating for nothing. We’re big supporters of the likes of RA, YourEDM, and Dancing Astronaut, all of which have been churning amazing content and defining the wide spectrum of dance music, But surely it's time to honour Mixmag, the longest running, most widely read and influential voice of dance music culture, with more than a courtesy nomination.
Despite the expected results, underground music was aptly honoured with Shiba San’s ‘Burn Like Fire’ getting the nod for Best Underground Dance Track, and Nicole Moudaber’s remix of Alcatraz’s ‘Giv Me Luv’ getting the love it deserves for Best House/Techno track. However, those achievements doesn’t change the fact that award presentations like the IDMA are merely distraction, and tend to completely miss the point of dance music.
In the wise words of our comrade, Chandler Shortlidge: “If we really want to spend money, time and energy handing out awards, give them to the pioneers and innovators the general public hasn’t heard of. The Chicago, New York and Detroit originators, the Belgian wizards and Dutch game changers—the men and women who put this style of music on the map and made it is what we see today, before there were award shows, multi-million pound record deals, or even the promise of an end game.”