During the 2016 League of Legends World Championship season, world-renowned EDM DJ and producer, Zedd, released a song made just for the occasion. The song took the League of Legends community by storm and instantly became a major success. Including only the official League of Legends Music video and the official "finals" remix by the same YouTube channel the song has 30 million video views in 6 months. Though this a song mostly contained within the League of Legends community and die-hard Zedd fans, it still allows for massive commercial success of the song due to League of Legends being the most played video game in the world with tens of millions of players worldwide. The song expertly combines the extremely popular genre of EDM, which is especially popular among gamers, with gaming tropes and themes to create and truly intoxicating and motivating piece. Listening to the song on its own has its own merits, but to truly understand and appreciate the full beauty of the song, watching the accompanying video is a must.

One of the focuses of the course was a closer look at EDM and its massive growth in recent years. Electronic Dance Music is a blanket term for many genres but is simply defined as electronic, techno, or synthetic beats combined with heavy percussion and bass and sometimes accompanied by relatively simple vocals. The rise in EDM is largely thanks to the adoptions of it by youth culture around the world and this new found fascination with EDM is especially prevalent among young gamers around the world. This is because of the nature of EDM music, it allows the listener to focus on other things since the songs are not lyrically complex and distracting. The strong beats and fast tempo provide a stimulating force for the listener allowing for the listener to get pumped up and focused, which is especially desirable in competitive video games.

League of Legends has adopted this theme in full force in recent years with them commissioning increasingly famous acts over the past three years and imparting heavy EDM beats on these songs. Starting with a small indie pop star, Nicki Taylor, and in 2015 having Imagine Dragons create an original song for them with heavy EDM influences, this eventually culminated in the bringing in an already established EDM superstar, Zedd, to create an original track for them. The League of Legends community has been involved with EDM even before this, however. They released their own remix EDM album where they had DJs from around the world remix some of their themes and loading music into EDM anthems and it was a commercial success. Esports (electronic sports or competitive video games) and EDM have risen together to the forefront of popular culture in recent years and they have been garnering worldwide attention.

The song itself is pretty simple. A relatively simple techno piano chord plays on repeat in the background throughout most of the song along with a pretty stable snare drum beat. This is accompanied with the quickening of the pace and addition of more percussion elements as the song reaches critical points in the lyrics in preparation for a bass drop. After the bass drops heavy techno beats accompany and these heavy techno beats also intersect at key lyrical points for emphasis, like at "Stand and fight" in the second stanza. The heavy techno beats almost act as an intersection between the different ideas of the different stanzas.The lyrics are a culmination of six unique stanzas arranged and repeated with some variance with bass drops at each iteration of "And ignite."

There's a fire that burns inside
It's an instinct that never lies
The target's tattooed between our eyes

Stand and fight
Under the lights on the high stage
A part of your life it can take away
Just like the blood running through your veins

Everyone's watching through your eyes
There's only two options
Win or die, win or die
Win or die, die, die, die, die
It went from a spark to an open flame
Now destiny's calling out your name
So reply, so reply

And ignite
Ignite
Ignite
Ignite

There's a power that's underneath
And you can't see it 'til you believe
On the edge of infinity

Feel the rush
Under the lights on the high stage
A part of your life it can take away
Just like the blood running through your veins

Everyone's watching through your eyes
There's only two options
Win or die, win or die
Win or die, die, die, die, die
It went from a spark to an open flame
Now destiny's calling out your name
So reply, so reply

And ignite
Ignite
Ignite
Ignite

It went from a spark to an open flame
Now destiny's calling out your name
So ignite, so ignite













































The title and main theme of the song is "ignite" which actually refers to an in game elements in League of Legends. "Ignite" is a summoner spell, which is a spell any of the 140 plus characters can cast, which lights an enemy on fire and does irreducible damage over time. It is primarily used as a way to finish of a weakened enemy and is only used when the enemies death is certain. This is relevant to the songs theme and lyrics because the invocation of this spell has a certain timing and when you are being called on to ignite then it means victory is within your grasp. The lyrics, "Now destiny's calling out your name/ So ignite, so ignite" is calling on the player or simply the listener to act, that their time is now and they must seize their victory before it escapes them.

The main theme of "Ignite" is encapsulating the feelings and high stress of competing in something extremely important, like a world championship match, and speaks to the whole world watching you, "Everyone's watching through your eyes/ There's only two options/ Win or die, win or die." This can be applied to other situations outside of a competitive sports situation, it simply speaks to the final culmination of years of hard work and dedication and it's now or never to achieve your dream. The bass drop that follows the act of "igniting" gives a sense of triumph and success that portrays the feeling of accomplishing your goal and everything being worth it. The build up of this song is very tense and ominous but as the beat speeds up the feelings of hope begin to rise and with the relief of the drop also comes the jubilation of success.

"Ignite" is definitely one of Zedd's least known and popular songs even though it was a massive hit in the community it was intended for. Zedd produced the chart topping and popular radio and club hits, "I Want You to Know," "Clarity," and "Stay the Night." However, there are similarities between the songs that brand all of these songs as distinctly belonging to the same artist. His songs have the common theme that a lot of EDM have, the slow and kind of melancholy start with a tense and eventual build up that finally just explode into a massive bass drop that is supposed to make you forget about the problems and tribulations that led you to this moment because at the drop the problem is resolved and you have succeeded. I think this is one of the big draws of EDM as a genre. Almost anyone can relate to the structure of these songs and the ability to be able to let go of whatever is plaguing you at the time is a welcome release to anyone.

I chose Zedd's "Ignite" not only because it is one of my favorite songs to game to, but it is also a great representation of the combining of two of the world's fastest growing youth led industries, EDM and esports. Both things that I thoroughly enjoy and many of my peers do also. The millennial generation is almost plagued with the expectations of our parents and the older generation and these two mediums are distinctly ours and can be used as an escape. Video games and music have long been heralded as the great escape, other worlds where you can be who you want and feel how you want and that is what "ignite" truly personifies. The rebellious youth that has found their own path and at the end of their years of hard work and dedication they finally reach the summit and truly "ignite" their lives and passions and succeed.