The Evolution of Dance Music

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The one that started it all

We wanted to create a graphic that mapped out the evolution of dance music, showing where in the world different genres were born, and how they merged to give birth to new genres.

One day, I was passing the designer’s desk as he was working on the visualisation, and he muttered to himself, “This would work so much better as an animation.”

It stopped me dead in my tracks.

He was right.

When looking at the static graphic, it can be difficult to know where to start. But animation would allow the story to unfold in front of the viewer, and guide them through the journey.

We were already getting close to the launch date, but I decided to do something I’d never done before.

I picked up the phone to the client and said “I know we’re close to the deadline, but if you give us twice as much time – and twice as much budget – I guarantee this will do more than twice as well.”

The client agreed, we created the animated version, and it took off!

This was the first piece we had ever created at the agency (Distilled) that got any top tier coverage. When we heard it was featured in Wired, The New Yorker, and more, we were genuinely running round the office high-fiving each other. I wish we still reacted in the same way.

This content launched my career.

I wasn’t actually working in a creative role at the time. But after this, lots of people in the agency started coming to me for advice on their projects, so much so, that I eventually made a pitch to the bosses – I thought the company should start a creative team and I should be the one to lead it.

After a bit of convincing, they decided to give it a trial. And over the following 5 years, I grew the team from 4 people to 15, and we created some of the most well-known and frequently-referenced campaigns in the search marketing industry.

After I left the company, I went on to train numerous brands and agencies how to come up with better content ideas. And I continue to create content for brands to this day.

And this was the piece that started it all.

Still one of my favourites.

“Check out this wildly inventive infographic as it literally weaves its way around the world of music”

Trend hunter

“One of the more engaging pieces of music journalism we’ve encountered this year”


“An excellent look at how different music genres interrelate”


Featured in…

The New Yorker, CNN, O’Reilly, The Irish Times, SPIN, FlowingData, GOOD, Trendhunter, Internazionale, MusicRadar, Fast Company, WIRED, The Next Web, and 1,512 more publications

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