As Traxsource release their 2021 In Review graphics to artists to tell them how they did on the site this year, are they relevant in the dance music scene today – or just a pointless vanity badge?

It’s that time of year once more. The dance music scene is mostly winding down now for the winter. Clubs may well remain open – at least where Covid restrictions permit it – but as Christmas approaches, many producers retreat back into their studios to start making what they hope will be next year’s hits.

And naturally, it’s also the time of year when Traxsource release their Year In Review graphics for the DJs, producers, singers, labels and everything between on the site. These little badges basically contain information like how many charts the entity in question has has their music featured on, the number of top 100 entries and so on.

In the interests of transparency, here’s mine. Not too bad seeing I’ve only released a handful of things this year…

Anyway, one question I see asked every single year is why anybody should care about this information. It’s nothing more than a vanity badge that producers can stick on their social media pages, right? It doesn’t have any effect on how many gigs you’ll get in the future or how many labels will come knocking on the door, no?

Speaking as someone who has released music for five years – and I’d never say never to returning – my view is they are important. A great paradox exists in the music industry for me – despite the fact we live in a digital age, finding out how many streams or downloads or whatever a song has had remains stubbornly difficult. So I welcome any kind of information like this that Traxsource can provide.

It’s also difficult to keep going at times when you’re making music. Sometimes, you get periods where the ideas don’t come as freely as they usually do – and things like this can result in disillusionment. So knowing that there are DJs and other people out in the world listening to and playing your music is a useful thing to help push through those difficult times.

Yes, some people clearly use these as vanity badges. The square size of the photo makes it perfect for sharing on the likes of Instagram – but so what if they do use it as a vanity badge? In a world where thousands of new songs appear every day, let them have their moment to be proud of what they’ve achieved.

There isn’t much else to keep you going sometimes, trust me…