It’s nearly impossible to turn on pop radio and not hear the distinctive beats of EDM all over it. Led by the likes of Avicii, Zedd and Calvin Harris, songs like “Wake Me Up,” “Stay the Night” and “Summer” are the very definition of EDP, as in “Electronic Dance Pop.” Marrying the 4×4 rhythms of dance music with the song structure and instrumentation of more traditional pop, EDP is quickly becoming the sound of summer 2014.
Back in the summer of 2010, Sweden’s Adrian Lux preceded the current trend with the release of “Teenage Crime,” his signature single that was championed by none less than his fellow countrymen Swedish House Mafia, who were moved to include a remix of the track on their 2010 debut, Until One, after member Axwell took a liking to Lux’s production.
According to Lux himself, the song came to be as something of a lark.
“At the time, I was heavily into producing and spinning techno,” Lux told Radio.com during a recent phone interview while touring the West Coast. “I made that song to be a nice little segment in my otherwise dark, techno mix. A friend of mine I was throwing club nights with knew Axwell (one-third of Swedish House Mafia), and he sent it to him, and he started playing it out. I couldn’t believe it. At that time, Swedish House Mafia was huge, but they were still kind of underground and nowhere near as big as they would eventually become. I always had such a tremendous respect for them, even though I was so deep into techno. For me, ‘Teenage Crime’ was more of an experiment. That taught me a lesson that you just never know what’s going to be the thing that sets you apart.”
Listening to “Teenage Crime” today, it could be said that the track was something of a precursor to the current EDM-meets-pop sound prevalent on radio, an assertion that Lux readily endorses.
“There are definitely a few tracks that I know are influenced by that song,” he said. “There’s one group in particular who openly said that their biggest track was influenced by ‘Teenage Crime.’ Tommy Trash played me a song recently that he said was basically him mimicking it.”
For Lux, the song was all about creating something that was bigger than just a song, but something for people to latch onto in their own individual ways.
“Ariana Grande will always have a bigger song, but for me it was important to do something that people could take and make their own memories around it,” he explained. “Not to make it about myself, but to give this piece of music to the world. So many people have their own stories about it, people getting tattoos of the lyrics. I even had this guy write me from prison saying he was regretful of what he’d done to get there, and that he listened to ‘Teenage Crime’ every day as an inspiration to change his life when he got out. That really felt good to hear.”