February 06, 2017
Zon Pann Pwint
The dawn of EDM in Myanmar

It may be too early to expect reports of Myanmar economic growth in the first quarter of 2017, but there’s clearly another growing trend worth watching out for in this country of 51 million people.

If anything, the electronic dance music scene in the country’s commercial capital is really getting underway. As The Myanmar Times put it, it’s “a sign of changing tastes in Myanmar, where electronic dance music (EDM) is catching fire”. Rightly so, as between October and December alone, there have been four A-list electronic dance music DJs who have come to perform in Yangon. Despite relatively high ticket prices – sometimes ten times higher than the country’s daily minimum wage of USD 2.80 – it seems to be a non-issue for EDM enthusiasts, who continued to flock to the concerts.

I have to admit I’m not one to listen to blaring music. Little did I know, Rice was going to be the PR partner of APB Alliance Brewery Company for We Are Connected, one of the biggest EDM festivals in Myanmar, and I, was on my way to meet DJ Armin van Buuren, who was ranked No.1 by DG Mag five years in a row. It didn’t take long for me to appreciate the music though. DJ Armin’s music especially, was captivating. It’s definitely unlike any other I’d heard before.

Within the five days that we had to prepare for the press conference, my colleagues and I learned about the A-to-Z of EDM and, of course, DJ Armin, as we rushed to arrange the details and invite to journalists. It helped a lot that there’s already a growing passion for EDM among Myanmar’s millennials. More than 60 journalists, local and international, attended the press conference, generating extensive positive coverage of the event.

Personally, it was a revelation, almost as if a new day had dawned on me. As DJ Armin’s Grammy-nominated song goes, it’s got me thinking, “This is what feels like.” Welcome to Myanmar, EDM, I have a feeling you’re here to stay.