Electronic dance music, or as it is more commonly known “EDM,” has officially crossed over into the American mainstream. Artists like Swedish DJ Avicii are in the US pop charts. Electronic music festivals are springing up all over the country. While the EDM scene has been going strong in Europe, Asia, and South America for years, it has only recently been embraced by the American public. In short, it’s the perfect time for Northeastern University to get its very own EDM club.
Joel Hirsch is pretty new to both Northeastern and the city of Boston. He moved here in the summer of 2013, took some classes at Harvard, and has just completed his first semester at NU. Having discovered his love for EDM in his late teens, he studied at the Sound Training Center in Dublin, Ireland perfecting his craft. Hirsch has already experienced a minor DJ career both in Europe and in the US. He has headlined shows in New York and the UK. But after encountering the not-so-great side of the music industry, he decided to focus on his education. Now he’s studying the music industry and business here at NU arming himself with the knowledge he’ll need to further his DJ career.
Originally, Hirsch wanted to start an astrophysics club at NU. He intended to make this club one that appealed to everyone, not just astrophysicists with a strong handle on the field’s mathematical concepts. When this idea fell through, he was inspired to start a club based around his biggest passion: EDM. Shocked that this type of club didn’t already exist at NU, he and friend Nathan Reynolds went through the motions at the Center for Student Involvement to turn this idea into a full-fledged student organization. EDMNU was “officially” born on November 22, 2013 and already has 25 members. EDMNU will gets its major launch in January after we’ve recovered from both the holidays and final exams.
Hirsch makes it clear that EDMNU isn’t simply a club where DJs can come together and discuss their craft or favorite records. EDMNU is open to everyone, regardless of musical ability. Hirsch already has members on board without any DJ skills. Instead, these members contribute the skills that they do have, be it marketing, web design, or anything else. Hirsch and the other production-savvy members of the group hope to hold workshops teaching basic DJing skills to the EDMNU members. Hirsch also hopes to bring in internationally-known DJs as guest speakers when their tours bring them through Boston. EDMNU will offer its DJs for fraternity, sorority, and other student organization parties and events. Hopefully, EDMNU will be able to eventually partner with Notheastern label Green Line Records in creating a dance sub-label. Hirsch also intends to raise money for charity with EDMNU.
Support for EDMNU is strong. Hirsch’s professors in the music department have already offered him use of the Critical Listening Room in Ryder Hall. The club’s faculty adviser is Professor Bradley Hatfield. Hirsch hopes to “bring the global culture” of the EDM scene to NU and give its up-and-coming DJs exposure. EDMNU is on both Facebook and Twitter. When you “like” EDMNU’s Facebook page, you are then eligible to download free DJ mixes from Hirsch and Reynolds.