There is seemingly no minimum age requirement in EDM music these days. As the festivals grow larger and more grandiose, many of the artists manning the decks, keeping the party going and travelling the world are becoming increasingly young. Enter Will Sparks, the 20-year-old Australian DJ who headlines at Studio Paris tonight as part of his “Melbourne Meets America Tour”. His arrival in Chicago was prefaced by an inclusion on the Beatport Chart, an online EDM barometer of who’s got next.
Beatport operates as a sort of Billboard Hot 100 for the burgeoning electric dance music that has exploded from underground raves and one-off festivals to traveling circuses and a full-fledged business, complete with trade expos and conventions. It is in this Gatsby-like atmosphere that a literal kid from anywhere in the world can vault himself into an international from his bedroom in the matter of a week.
Sparks made the enormous jump from playing Aussie clubs to traversing the globe after his remix of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” topped out in the top five and garnered over 250,000 Soundcloud listens which earned him a release on Pharrell’s Star Trak Entertainment.
“The whole thing has been a bit of a surprise and a shock, but I’m kind of just embracing it and working really hard,” said Sparks, Australia’s Breathrough Artist for 2013. “It’s grown a lot over the past year. When it happens, everyone’s different and I try to keep my head, I’m still the same person.”
The EDM world today is similar to a hyper-active Disney channel in a sense-rushing young adults through a wringer that makes them famous, preparation be damned. It is in this vein that the increasingly young have found fame and, in many cases fortune.
23-year-old Avicii came in at No. 2 on Forbes’ list of top-paid DJs in the world, taking in right around $40 million.
For his part, Sparks is simply trying to continue to ride the positive trajectory his production skills have put in motion for his career, focusing on the music itself and continually progressing the sound.
“I’m just going to keep on working my hardest,” said Sparks. “There is a lot of pressure, you have to come up with new things all the time, create these newer things like this Melbourne sound people are talking about-I didn’t exactly mean for it to blow up like this, I just did what I did.”
Before his 21st birthday, the current king of Melbourne electronic music is Will Sparks. Carrying the torch for his hometown sound, Spark signed a joint venture with Lucky Entertainment and Interscope Management to set up this 24 city tour, effectively introducing himself and Melbourne to the world.
“We all want to be progressing the sound and doing something different,” said Sparks. “It is nerve-wracking in different countries, man. When I’m on my home turf it’s easy and I know what to expect but I’m enjoying the excitement of it.