DJ SOAPBOX
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The Ushuaïa Magazine May 2017 MUSIC Read in PDF format N13/2017
DJ SOAPBOX EATS EVERYTHING on Music Snobbery

Music snobbery is essentially elitism. It’s this whole thing where if you like a certain type of music then you’re instantly more superior to everyone else. To me, dance music culture is the complete opposite to that. It’s about inclusion and the essence of the rave spirit… love, peace and unity. However, due to the age of the Internet it has become so easy for people to spread their opinions and everything you do is under scrutiny.

Elitism is beginning to take over dance music. An industry that was once about self-expression and going out to forget about what’s going on in the world has become a place where it’s more about who you know or what you know. There’s this whole obsession with music that’s unknown and underground meaning it’s instantly cool, the idea that popular music with a hype surrounding it is shit and shouldn’t be included in these music groups that populate Facebook and there’s this identification group ran by an absolute idiot that has these ridiculous rules that you must abide by, otherwise you are banned from the group. The stupid restrictions include the venue; capacity of the event and what label the artist is affiliated with. Its all these things that this one guy thinks are ‘cool’ and it’s stupid - music shouldn’t be this restricted. At the beginning when Acid House was born there wasn’t any hatred or separation towards what kind of music you played – at the end of the day it was Acid House, regardless of who it had been produced by or where it was played. This same theory should still stand when it comes to genres such as Tech House, Techno and House etc. This whole ‘my music is better than your music’ way of life is infuriating - like fuck off, it’s bloody dance music – we just need to get off our heads and have a good time. One version of the genre isn’t cooler than the other just because it’s ‘underground’. There should be this appreciation for any genre of music – you shouldn’t hate something because it isn’t to your taste or insult someone because they like different music to you. The only time where this would be acceptable is if that person was listening to racist death metal, but then that’s not because of the music, that’s because of the content. I don’t like EDM. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to slate every EDM DJ because that’s the genre of music they play - for some reason it’s become very easy for people in the electronic music world to hate on EDM. These people are incredibly close-minded and live in their own world where they like what they like and everything else is wank in their eyes. They won’t even give you the time of day to consider otherwise. Nine times out of ten these DJs play more than the genre or vibe of music that they are known for. For example, when I play in the UK I tend to steer towards big room, eclectic sets filled with absolute bangers that are going to make you dance. If I play a gig in Berlin I’ll experiment more and play more dubby, loopy tracks – it’s about respecting your audience and understanding your surroundings. I’m known as a ‘party DJ’ - a type of DJ that has taken years to become accepted in this industry – I’m an entertainer (not in the Steve Aoki sense) and I’m here to make you dance. That doesn’t mean I will stick to one type of music throughout my sets. But I’m on that periphery of a chav and could be considered as cool by a small minority, that periphery of being respected and being hated for several things, so it’s easy for people to put me in this box. That’s another side of this elitism, these people that live for this whole ‘music snobbery’ thing and hate fun. There’s parties like elrow that exude so much positive energy and really bring the essence of the rave spirit back to parties and they just get absolutely slated for it. People will comment going ‘this is my idea of hell’ and you’re like, what? Having fun is your idea of hell? It’s so bizarre. It’s really heartbreaking to see snobbery become so prominent in a place where it shouldn’t exist. Music is so close to home for me and this is why the topic of elitism annoys me so much. I don’t care if people act this way towards me, it’s water off a duck’s back, but when they go against my friends and the parties I play for that have worked so hard to be where they are today and have contributed so much towards the industry, that’s when I need to step in and speak up about it. Unfortunately it’s not an issue that we can tackle. People have their opinions and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The internet makes it so easy for people to sit behind a screen and speak up about things they don’t like and exclude people from groups. I’m seen as a ‘public figure’ now so I can’t respond to these people anymore on my social media but there’s no point fighting them, they’re not going to change their mind about you, they won’t even give you a chance. You can be into whatever you like, but don’t be an arsehole towards other people’s choices.

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