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Fist Pump The World: Tracking The Global Spread of Electronic Dance Music

By Tara Graham
Dec 23
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Fist Pump The World is a website produced by U.C. Berkeley undergraduate student Kyle Meshna in my international reporting course during the 2011 fall semester.


Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is overwhelmingly popular in western contemporary culture. The 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival, a “massive” music festival, attracted nearly 200,000 attendants over a two-day period, according to the LA Times. So where did this music genre come from? Who and what were the major influencers? EDM owes much of its origins to the late-1970s underground club scene in Chicago, when artists began spinning Disco records in garages and warehouses in the city. But a major moment in the rise of EDM was when it found an audience in the United Kingdom — and from there, it kept moving. This website tracks the history and momentum of EDM, while paying tribute to the artists who keep the scene fresh today.

Initially created as a side project by an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley in 2011, this site now serves as a community for producers, remixers, and DJs to promote their creative works.

Since its inception, Fist Pump For The World (FPTW) has grown to become a vibrant multimedia website with a team of writers, reaching thousands of readers globally, many of which contribute their own productions.

Many such sites exist; so what makes FPTW different? The answer is its commitment to bringing readers the highest quality content possible. This means well-written articles, insightful interviews, high-quality audio, high-resolution pictures, and the best music we can find.

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The Narrative #Selfie


Lose the shirt off my back? Nah.

When life got dicey, I opened my closet doors, bypassed the blouses, and earned a (modest) payday by selling used hangers in 25-pack bundles.

More recently, I put my hustle into play at 500 Startups, the world’s most active venture capital fund and startup accelerator, where I led content, branding, marketing, operations, and corporate partnerships for business development and global programs.

Before transitioning into tech, I worked in higher education, teaching online research and media production classes across a variety of disciplines at the University of California, Berkeley. During that time, I also worked as the Director and Executive Producer of Digital Media Projects at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, where I co-founded and led The #GlobalPOV Project, a mixed-media approach to thinking about poverty, inequality, and undertaking poverty action.

In addition, I was the Director of Media at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where I had the opportunity to interview Bashar al-Assad in his presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, in late December of 2010. I asked Assad if he considered himself a dictator. He dodged the inquiry, but his actions in the immediate weeks, months, and years to follow answered the question . . . and then some. Sadly.

Before that, I was a practicing journalist and graduate fellow at the University of Southern California. During that time, I worked as a web reporter and photographer for KCET’s “SoCal Connected,”​ as an online editor for the London-based New Statesman magazine, and as the co-editor-in-chief of USC Annenberg’s award-winning digital news website. I got my start in journalism as a full-time associate editor (and employee #20!) at P✪PSUGAR, a Sequoia-backed content and commerce startup turned global media empire.

My freelance reporting has been featured in NBC, CBS, and ABC news broadcasts and in online publications, including The Huffington Post. I have also done manuscript editing for various authors with recognized commercial and university presses.

You can find me tap dancing in the dark corners of my imagination to a sold-out audience of — none. Like most everything else, it’s all for fun.

Let’s connect! Join me on Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn.


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