Dance music is second most popular UK genre – BPI

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Dance music is second most popular UK genre – BPI

LF System
LF System’s debut single knocked Kate Bush off the top spot

Dance music becoming the UK’s second most popular genre is a sign “people are more connected to it than ever before,” LF System has said.

The Scottish duo have been among rising stars who’ve helped to fuel the rising popularity of dance music.

British Phonographic Industry (BPI) analysis found the genre accounted for about 25% of the weekly top 10 singles.

LF System member Sean Finnigan said it was “incredible” to see dance acts topping the charts.

“There’s definitely a few things that are influencing this trend at the moment,” says Sean, who performs alongside fellow DJ Conor Larkman.

“One of them being social media – big moments at raves are captured and go viral online and people want to be a part of it.”

‘Pure fun’

In July, LF System knocked Kate Bush off the number one spot with their debut single Afraid to Feel, going on to hold the position for eight consecutive weeks.

“We made Afraid to Feel years ago and never expected any of this to happen,” says Sean.

“We made that track just out of pure fun and wanting to play music.

“For it to connect with such a high amount of people is just crazy to us.”

Image caption, BOTA by Eliza Rose was an underground hit before breaking out at Glastonbury Festival

It was Eliza Rose who toppled the Scottish duo with her own dance hit BOTA (Baddest Of Them All).

In an interview with Newsbeat at the time, she credited post-Covid life with driving the resurgence of dance anthems.

“We want to move our bodies, which is why house music is just growing and growing,” she said.

“I feel positive, there’s a growing scene and we’re kind of at the helm of that which is really exciting.”

The BPI said dance music’s popularity had consistently increased over the past three years to the point where it was now second only to pop music as the UK’s most popular genre.

It also found female talent was playing a leading role, with women featuring on half of the tracks making it to the top 10.

Jaguar Bingham
Image caption, Jaguar Bingham said the lack of female dance producers was “systemic”

However, a study in August revealed that female solo artists or all-female bands accounted for less than 1% of the dance music played on UK radio.

The research, by Radio 1 DJ Jaguar’s foundation – found female acts had to collaborate with male producers to get their music heard.

Data from the Official Charts Company analysed by the BPI reflects this.

Artists including Becky Hill, Ella Henderson, Jazzy and Ava Max are only included on the list of the top 10 dance hits of 2022 in collaboration with the likes of David Guetta, Belters Only and Tiesto.

Image caption, Ava Max’s collaboration with Tiesto, The Motto, was one of 2022’s most popular dance hits

Geoff Taylor, from the BPI, said the genre’s surge in popularity was being “powered in part by homegrown talent,” highlighting LF System and Eliza Rose.

Sean praised the Scottish dance scene, saying it was “giving us a lot of inspiration at the moment, and always has done”.

However, 2022 also saw dance music adopted by heavy-hitters including Beyoncé and Drake.

“It’s fascinating to see how other genres such as hip-hop and pop are morphing into dance and to see dance music being embraced by global superstars,” Geoff added.

Written by: Lee

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