For The Record: we need more authenticity in dance music

Words by: I Voice
Posted: 7/8/17 12:04

Tiga's Facebook post and why DJs need to stop keeping up pretences


Last week Tiga stole the dance music watercooler conversation topic of the day with a heartfelt post admitting to a bad set. Hardly scandal of the week you might say. But it received a rapturous and unprecedented reaction from music fans and DJs alike and can only be applauded for being a rare moment when a DJ allows us into what’s really going on in their world.

Let us shed a little light into on our world. Interviewing DJs is an often tedious, thankless task.

The responses, whether by email or delivered in person, are often bland and devoid of character. The interviewees are often cold and withdrawn. They shy away from controversy or speaking their mind in fear of attracting untoward attention to themselves. And the music press needs to share its part of the blame. DJs are often annoyed with the same relentless tedious interview questions by underpaid, inexperienced writers who haven’t bothered to research the artist they’re interviewing.

There’s a tendency among DJs to maintain a facade of never ending success. To watch over their shoulders to see what their contemporaries are doing. To circulate the same identikit social media photos. The new record that’s just arrived. The DJ dinner. The shot in an airplane seat when you’ve just been upgraded to First Class. All too often a clammy, cloud of desperation and falsness wafts around the social media channels of dance music.

Every now and again we watch someone burn. Mostly by their own hands. Social media is not for every artist. And that’s why it is so great. It exposes the sexists and homophobes. The violent and the arrogant. It separates the characters from the caricatures.

In the past month at Ibiza Voice we’ve had the pleasure of speaking to DJs who have been willing to speak their minds and shed a light into their world. Dense & Pika gave a no holds barred assessment of techno which went viral across the rest of the dance music media. And Enzo Siragusa told us about his dealings with shyness. Not your typical admission from a high profile DJ, but nonetheless an applaudable admission of humanity that is so often missing from our favourite artists.

It’s no surprise that authentic heart-on-sleeve artists like The Black Madonna, Derrick Carter, Eats Everything or  Midland have the huge social media figures they have. The music fan craves personality. We want our artists to laugh and remonstrate, to get angry and to be hopeful. We want them to share their suffering and joy with us. Because ultimately we want to relate to our musical heroes. We want them to be human. We want them to be original.

The classic Faithless lyric got it so wrong: God is not a DJ. But the Danny Tenaglia/Celeda lyric got it so right: Be Yourself.  


Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson