Darren Holland London, UK
Veteran DJ Darren Holland Playing Promoting and Branding House Music
Darren Holland is not your average DJ. Darren has chosen to do more then just rock parties. He has forged relationships with Adidas, headphone manufacturer Sennheiser, DJ equipment manufacturer Gemini and soon Logitech, created livedjunderground.com and the dance music brand Baldeelox. Through these many avenues Holland promotes and brands house music on a global scale. Check out what Darren Holland had to say about the current house music scene and his many projects. Read On..
- What led to you coming to the US to DJ? I just prefer the life plus England is really only London. In the US I can do the same thing in difference places. Ultimately it actually isn’t so much about the DJ’ing its more about the big projects that I have on the go which are a work in progress and the intel I am gathering to make them happen as well as making sure I keep up with consultancy work back home and other work I do on the label and promotion front. Also I love the great cities I have visited, the people who have become close friends and the places I have played at have been amazing. The music I play is from a lot of British and European producers but most of those tracks I could not play out in London. There are not as many underground house heads in the UK as I would like that’s for sure. Just the other day John Symms from Kinky Movement stated some facts about where DJ/producers live and where they play out and for the most part around the world. For a lot of us the grass is greener on the other side. So many of us up and move sticks because we are appreciated more elsewhere. I am no different. It also helps that I like US sports and can live in the right temp if I am in the right city and the right time. 😉 The other reason is that I couldn’t take some of the cultural things happening with England and its media in particular but what you saw last year with the London riots I saw coming but nothing like as bad as it was. That justified the move all by itself.
- How does the US house scene differ from the UK house scene? From a musical perspective and in terms of sound it’s hard to differentiate because of so many genres within House. I guess I agree with those who say that America is more soulful or groovy and the UK fit more into the techy euro sound. There was certainly a period when a lot of UK DJ producers jumped on the electro bandwagon which I found distasteful but to each their own. In terms of events the US still rules because of better parties period. More cities and clubs to choose from so its really down to size but also different licensing of venues. I find the US crowds dance more and tend to take the music part a little more serious.
- Most memorable gig? Been a few. Ministry of Sound is right up there but then so is every time I play in the Bay Area. I used to like playing in Basingstoke (England) too. So where ever there is a good house crowd where I get to play my fav music and they love it is a good shout for me.
- Are there any up and coming DJ’s that you like? Oh plenty! Just wish they got better bookings alongside the older generation. Johnny G in the UK, Maggs Bruchez from Philly, Lurob, Scott Watson, then my inner circle DJ Geo, Jfunk, Kris Muse etc. Sean McCabe is right up there and pretty much all my top ten charts feature a lot of up and comers as well as established DJ’s.
- Tell us about Baldeelox Records and Live DJ Underground. Baldeelox was born of the idea of the old saying “all natty dread and all bald- heads” meaning everyone on earth because you either have hair or you don’t. So in a way the name represents the brand as something for everyone that this is for everyone to feel a part of…if that makes sense lol. Baldeelox is now a dance music brand which has a digital music label , a party brand and operates a consultancy also which has worked and still works with the world’s top brands such as Adidas, Sennheiser, Gemini and soon Logitech. Too many to mention but proud of all its achievements. We have also worked with the top artists in the business and brands over time. Live DJ Underground is a great new project, which incorporates the new trend of Livestreaming and also showcases what dj’s use/wear. It acts as a great bridge between top brands and the industry they serve indirectly and gives both sides great exposure. We also host and partner up with special events around the world.
- Any projects from you that we should be looking out for? One is top secret but all will be revealed soon;-) To be honest I am just looking to serve the industry more from a brand and credibility perspective and give as many talented people in the business as possible a chance to be successful without having to fall into the “EDM” trap.
- The dance music scene has been pushed into the forefront lately by EDC. A lot of these “pseudo” DJ’s are more producers then they are DJ’s. How does this affect house music DJ’s? How does house music remain true to its form without getting pulled into the EDC scene? I wouldn’t say it was just EDC you have to include other events like Ultra and DEMF in that too and Ibiza has always been there too. EDC was huge last year too don’t forget. Having said that I think its VERY important as House music people we stop watching what these “others” are doing and get our own “house” in order so to speak. There are too many of us not educated in the business I don’t mean from a label perspective I mean too many of us either live in the past too much or are trying to reach too far forward. More importantly until we start selling more music any conversation about house dj’s is totally irrelevant because we need the right club space to play it in and we are finding out right now that not every place is right for true House to be played in anyway. More quality control and not resting on social networking is one thing and it would be nice if we spent time more on promotion of the music in terms of not just trying to get chart positions but putting our music into games and films and tv shows and ads and what not. Hit some different industries already. I said to someone the other day look at Grand Theft Auto San Andreas one of the biggest selling games ever which made more money than a lot of blockbusters and its got Keith Thompson, Robert Owen etc on the soundtrack! That’s king shit right there! Bigger news than being some 3 tent act at some big festival easily! We move so fast we forget to stop and celebrate what are some great achievements. EDM is the one of the new Coliseums House music cannot afford to have that tag attached anymore.
Author: Dante Scott
Editor: Rande Ross
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