Video: Deadmau5 on Highest-Paid DJs List, Mouse Head's Branding Power
Video: Deadmau5 on Highest-Paid DJs List, Mouse Head's Branding Power

Deadmau5 sat down for a keynote Q&A at Billboard's FutureSound Conference and discussed the health of the EDM genre, the changes he's seen in dance music appreciationn, and the big business behind the craze.

Check Out All Our Coverage of the Billboard FutureSound Conference Right Here

Talking about the health and vitality of the genre, Deadmau5 -- the alias of Joel Zimmerman -- twisted the acronym EDM to "event-driven marketing," and compared the craze to the disco of the 1970s. "[Disco] had some hangtime -- 10, 15, 17 years tops," he told Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde. "Not too many people are forward-thinking about electronic music."

He also brought up and slammed a Forbes report from August on " The World's Highest-Paid DJs" in which he was listed at No. 6 with a reported $11.5 million in annual earnings, a figure that he argued was inaccurate.

"After I saw the article, I called my manager and said, 'Yo, what the f---? I'm $9 million short, dude. We gotta talk,'" Zimmerman joked. "Nobody is making that kind of money."

Deadmau5 @FutureSound: EDM's Rise, 'Self-Fulfilling Hype' and the Branding Power of the Mouse Head

When it came to his own brand -- Zimmerman will always be associated with his famous oversized mouse head -- he said he had noticed a trend toward branding gimmicks in recent years. "I'm not gonna condemn them for doing that, because "oh, I was the first guy to put something on my head,'" he said. "I can't have any hatred for anyone doing that, but I can understand how hard it must be to have a unifying brand identity with your art."