Music is truly the great unifier, and our favorite DJs and producers have a truly unique and powerful platform. Thanks to the prevailing global popularity of EDM, DJs have the ability to communicate with people around the world, through their music and through their social media platforms. However, there has been one rather thorny topic that has sown dissension among the EDM ranks: politics.
I completely understand that music is a way for many of us to escape the insanity and frustration that fills our day-to-day lives. And let's be honest, we live in a very scary time right now. Forgetting is the easiest thing to do. But when our favorite DJs get involved with politics, the common refrain is "leave politics out of music" (or some variation of this phrase). And I get it, I truly do. Music is a form of escape, it's a balm, it heals. But telling DJs to leave politics out of music won't help anyone.
DJs are tweeting their political beliefs
The story begins a couple months ago on Twitter, where a lot of EDM drama begins.
Ghastly and Jai Wolf became embroiled in a political discussion that involved white supremacy and racism. The discussion quickly devolved as other Twitter users and DJs chimed in. You can read the full dumpster fire HERE.
I was less interested in the DJ drama and more interested in what other Twitter users were saying. Some Twitter users chimed in with their (wholly unasked for) opinions while still others attacked both producers saying the following:
Be right back, I rolled my eyes so hard that they got stuck.
Invalidating someone's opinion is never okay, but invalidating someone's political opinion because they're a DJ and they should "just stick to music"? That's ridiculous. That's the same thing as someone telling Colin Kapernick "you're a football player, stay out of politics." Or telling Laverne Cox "you're an actress, stay out of politics." You feel me?
Let's be completely honest here. The EDM industry is a white male dominated industry. Don't believe me? Look at any festival lineup. Ultra Miami. Lost Lands. Holy Ship. So if a DJ wants to make a statement about race, gender inequality, religion, environmentalism or their favorite brand of toothpaste, let them. If a producer who is a minority wants to make a political statement, they have a powerful platform that affords them to do so. DJs have the unique power to get their voices heard all over the world, EDM is a universal language.
I will keep my personal political opinions out of this, because it's irrelevant to the point of this article.
My point is simply this: stop telling DJs to stay out of politics. They have opinions and they have a platform. Producers are more than just robots churning out beats and drops. If you want to argue with someone about their particular political view, go for it. But stop trying to muzzle DJs because "their job is to make music".