by E.P Pirt II, ELCO staff writer
There are a thousand reasons why we love EDM. Maybe it was that first song that really grabbed you. Or maybe it’s all you’ve ever known. Maybe an older brother or sister listened to it when you were growing up, and that was all it took. Maybe you were sick of the radio or simply looking for something fresh and original, and then you found it in EDM. Maybe it’s the dramatic build-up to the hair-raising bass drop of your favorite dubstep anthem, that shakes the walls around you and gets you jacked up like you’ve had eight Mountain Dews. Or perhaps it’s the groovy, melodic bassline of a house track, coupled with the emotional and ethereal vocals of your favorite singer, giving you goosebumps and forcing you to dance no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Regardless of why you love EDM, the one consistent theme since the very first rave, the very first synthesizer note, or the very first mention of the term “electronic music”, has been love. While EDM has reached unprecedented heights, and the once exclusively underground genre has become arguably commercialized, the theme of love remains at the forefront. There is no better example of this than Tanner Seebaum.
Tanner Seebaum was a talented DJ, and a Denver native. Tragically, he passed away last year at the age of 16, after a courageous and inspiring fight against brain cancer. He was diagnosed with the illness when he was only two years old. Determined not to be intimidated nor controlled by the life-altering diagnosis, Tanner made the most of his short time here, living life to the fullest. As are the dreams of so many young Coloradans, Tanner’s was to be a DJ. In not much time at all, Tanner experienced more success as a DJ than most ever will in their careers.
Tanner had been djing and passionately pursuing EDM for a while before some big players caught wind of his story. Once they did, they were immediately inspired. Denver bass music veteran Ishe was the first to act. He booked Tanner at one of Whomp Truck’s First Friday events. Soon afterwards, Ishe arranged a benefit show at Cervantes for Tanner and for brain cancer research, at which Tanner was a headliner alongside house hold names Downlink, Reid Speed, Dirt Monkey, and Fury. But Tanner still wasn’t done. Later, he was invited to play during Electric Daisy Carnival at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s Rehab pool party in Las Vegas. Then, Beatport invited him to perform a live streamed set prior to Blond:ish and Sagar V.
While the cause for the show(s) was undeniably noble, the highlight surely must have been the joy that Tanner experienced from playing with some of his idols and peers. But he didn’t just play. He played well. “The kid is good, like, it surprised me. He probably jumped through five tempos in his set — clean mixes. It was an honor having him play in our truck”, said Ishe of Tanner’s Whomp Truck set.
Less than a month later, at the top of his game, Tanner’s body finally succumbed to the cancer. As heartbreaking as his story is, Tanner undoubtedly inspired so many. DJs and EDM fans everywhere have been inspired. Cancer patients have been inspired. His parents, Matt and Stephanie Seebaum, were inspired to create the Tanner Seebaum Foundation for funding pediatric brain tumor research. And we here at Electronic Colorado have been inspired.
We encourage you to check out the foundation’s homepage, at www.tannersfoundation.org, where you are free to donate to the cause if you wish. No matter what corner of the EDM globe you come from, we’re all one big family, and we hope you’re as inspired and moved by Tanner’s story as we are.