I come to remember this suggestion that would be made to me Stateside back in the mid-90’s to come up with an English written version of the (French) mag I was working for. A situation that to me was quite illustrative of the cruel lack of exposure that the House Music scene was facing despite the existence of a prolific press in UK. And U know what? This was no surprise to me, judging by the editorial choices of a big majority of UK-based publications financed by a growing amount of club promoters focusing on the way to make fast money by any means necessary (and mean it!). Not to mention that tabloid culture that most of them had progressively adopted, leaving the sole Nicky Trax having a really interesting column about House Music on Blues & Soul at the time!!!
All in all, some of you may say that House DJ’s have nothing to complain about; something you could hear back then from Frankie Feliciano, happy to be paid to travel worldwide for doing what he loves. But what would his earnings represent as compared to the £ 60,000 that some UK big name would get to spin for 2 hours in London during 2003 New Year’s Eve??? And how to explain the differences of rates from what US DJ’s get paid in their country and what they’re offered abroad (that could sometimes be multiplied up to 20 times!!!)?
On the other hand, seeing what some others have done for being ‘commercially’ accepted makes me tend to think that the best things come from the underground, where people tend to give their very best from their own sufferings. Even though what’s considered as good reminds the prerogative of each of us, as confirmed by Dimitri from Paris… “It’s mainly up to you to be accepted whatever you may do, and there’s nothing to say about this as it’s the public who’s got the final word at the end of the day.” Another interesting observation coming from the mouth of Baltimore diva Ultra Naté, pointing out the fact that things usually go in circles… “(Good) House Music was around some 25 years ago and resurfaces regularly.” Something that we got to compare with Norman Jay‘s sayings: “The fact that you may be under or outside the spotlights varies from a period to another with the successive arrivals of new generations that have to get to know you.”
One thing for sure though is that there will always be good music around, be it underground or not. The big problem residing in finding the right tools (and eventually establishing a proper way of communication as far as too many of its actors are concerned) in order to reach a wider crowd. Is this possible? The response is no one else’s but ours, and be assured we’re gonna do our best to contribute to this…