A Salvatore Ganacci guide to marketing

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The two words that you just can’t escape in dance music right now continue to resonate throughout the electronic industry: Salvatore Ganacci.

Dance music went to war with itself this week after seeing the theatrics of Salvatore Ganacci at Tomorrowland in a cleverly cut up video that only showed him dancing like a fool on stage. This brought out the old heads, DJing purists and many others on their side who thought this was a disgrace to the art, the culture and an insult to the fans. Others felt like it was all in good fun, unique and making light of those who exact individuals who are mad at him. It is a debate of old and young, new versus veteran. It isn’t exclusive to dance music, but it rages all the time as we try and adapt to the future and hold on to what makes the craft of DJing so great.

So where exactly does this fall? Well, many argue that he looks like a clown, but it is good to have fun and dance in dance music. The backlash has been swift and fierce but was prepared for this, as his intro would suggest.

“I think he is a clown and embarrassing himself and the DJ, EDM culture. If he was a real DJ, he wouldn’t be moving at all – just raise one finger and play deep house and progressive,” a British voice complains. “Why is he f**king dancing on stage? He is a DJ; he shouldn’t be f**king dancing on stage. Who the f*ck dances to music anyway?” asks the voice as Ganacci jumps up on the decks and stares down the crowd.

This has been part of his performance for a long time. If you follow him on social media, he likes to post short videos of him doing these various dances. Is this the end of DJ culture? Well for what old heads considered DJ culture, that ship has probably sailed long ago with the theatrics of stadium-sized events and these massive festivals where the focus isn’t on the art, but the production and performance.

Where do you draw the line? Is it at making out with the speakers? Is it taking a short nap on the DJ booth? Or is the Zumba routine he is trying out to the crowd? He isn’t alone with these types of theatrics. Diplo jumps up and down on the decks all of the time, but Ganacci has taken it to another level. He is making somewhat of a decent point in a very roundabout way. Unless you are in a dark room with the DJ nearly invisible to the crowd, seeing the DJ stand unmoving, stoic can be a little depressing. Maybe they are going through some tough times of their own, but this should be fun.

He knew this would happen as we heard in the intro. This backlash was expected. Maybe not the level we have seen, but he expected some of it. His set didn’t crack the top 25 on 1001 Tracklists on Monday, but by Friday it made its way into the top 10. Now he can release a new song or announce a tour and you bet the eyeballs will be on whatever he does with his quick moment of fame. The troll won the day against dance music, ignited the debate again of what is DJing and found himself in the spotlight, but will it be more than just a flash in the pan as the new cycle ping-pongs between one crisis and another?

It seems people aren’t very happy about Salvatore’s set, they aren’t very happy at all. The Bosnian has received an absolute barrage of hatred, ill-wishes and general bile from anyone who’s watched the video. People seem genuinely affected by Salvatore’s set, they feel like they’ve been personally attacked by his dance moves, ethos and behavior on the main stage of a major festival. You don’t have to be a fan of the set, you don’t have to even like Salvatore, but to get so worked up about it and to be angry about his existence is kind of unnecessary. The crowd at Tomorrowland loved it, his fans love him, so why again, must we pour negativity all over something that’s clearly born from the tongue being firmly in the cheek.

What most people seem to be missing here is that Salvatore’s antics have provided the music industry with one of the greatest marketing stunts of modern times. Despite releasing tracks like ‘Ride It’ – a collaboration with his mentor Sebastian Ingrosso, who signed Salvatore to his Refune label – So far, Ganacci’s career has not taken off in the way of Ingrosso’s SHM colleague Axwell’s pupils; acts like D.O.D and Shapov. Despite being shoehorned into Axwell Ingrosso line-ups as a support act, notably the pair’s huge London show at Alexandra Palace, or Ushuaia Ibiza residency, Ganacci has not made the huge impact that Ingrosso would wish for his friend when he namechecks him numerous times in interviews as one of music’s most exciting up and coming talents.

By creating this ‘character’ for himself, Salvatore has become the hottest name in the dance scene right now, and you can guarantee his booking agent had a red-hot phone following the Tomorrowland set. There’s a saying that all publicity is good publicity, and it’s a phrase that Salvatore Ganacci has taken, and ran – or in this case, danced – off with.