Everyone loves heavyweight music, but according to one Ibiza promoter it’s not about the audio dominating his club but more of the visual component for example how his DJs look. Is this an isolated incident or the head of a very serious issue impacting clubland from behind the scenes
Sizeism or size discrimination is as much an unacceptable activity as much as any other social slur. This is a term based upon a person’s body size and needless to say a very unwelcome facet within today’s society, let alone the electronic music scene. We fully appreciate that music sits in unison with fashion and other worldly influencers but to witness a promoter suggesting image holds more leverage than the music is a truly sad state of affairs. Especially that the original scene was more of a faceless role in comparison to today’s pedestal style approach.
As we are all fully aware some of the greatest House hits of all time pronounce messages of unity, love and respect for our fellow man, so this comes from complete left field to witness in a recent online social media spate between a prominent club promoter (that missed the equality memo). This ripples throughout the trade as the DJ demographic is widely known for their unhealthy habits at large and potentially provides a magnifying glass at how we are perceived as a current commodity, hopefully this will either split the debate or bury the appearance led concept down the drain and return clubland to its more underground focus. Nonetheless this debacle has undoubtedly thrust this DJ further into the limelight after publicising his cancellation due to his apparent abundant physical make-up with the promoter citing non-alignment with his event attendees and what they expect to see at his curated shows [excerpt below].
In lieu of championing a whole new political agenda for the industry to exploit, it is immediately prevalent that many notable names have already fallen foul with their lack of humility, homophobia and now an imbalanced opinion towards the un-fathoming look of the DJs they choose to book, thankfully, once again the internet kicks back.
The Story Starts Here
Posted via Scott Diaz Twitter account 6:45PM 26th February
“Just got told that, after *they* contacted *me* about booking, a party now doesn’t want to book me because my ‘image doesn’t fit’. When pressed on what this meant, they said that I was ‘overweight’ and ‘the way Scott looks doesn’t fit with the people attending our parties’. The conversation and public outcry then took to Facebook to express their distaste at the promoter and investigating further to the Who, What & Why?
“And I mean, I am a bit overweight, which I’m honest about but what the fuck does that have to do with my ability to play some records?!”
You can follow the feed here https://www.facebook.com/scottdiazmusic/ or https://twitter.com/scott_diaz and share you’re opinion but we’d assume all parties involved to date are now wanting either a swift and positive resolution or to address this in an appropriate manner.
Current day we are bombarded with genre snobs, purists pounding the less is more approach, and music tourists leaning on the more mainstream agenda before discovering quality not quality is the rigour of the day. All is down to the eye (and ear) of the beholder but nonetheless elitist in form. Like a well trodden path people often feel they have earned their experience from on the dance floor or servicing the scene constantly vying for an attainable credibility or validation from their peers. In the real world this doesn’t make or break anyone’s future, other than something publicised by a well timed PR agent picking through the bones of an out dated marketing manual. Our perception is that of community and courage to believe in yourself and adjust your own frequency to incorporate everyone else as a common collective will service you and the world best. In the wise words of Bob Marley “One Love”…. But it seems in this case, not if you are marginally overweight!
A preview of public support and feedback :
Aren’t DJs Cloaked In Character?
A Little Bit Of Comedy Goes A Long Way (well if delivered on a not so personal basis and not as a double negative). Whilst many promoters, producers and DJs all work towards positioning themselves as future influencers their thick skin is often ruffled with straight talking and abrasive humour, after all our tender ego’s is what actually provides a little of the right performance fire.
Platforms such as Wunderground which is a well known fictionalised and satirical publication, have introduced a comical comeback to the over-serious and zealous population fest of the current scene by delivering an invisible thread of comedic laughter, all interwoven with well placed puns we can instantly relate; on the flipside many articles have actually begun life in reaction to an age old question of the ideal experience, but we have never heard of this style of booking protocol before. Next thing we know Fatboy Slim and Eats Everything will be singled out?
Everyone essentially needs to eat along the food chain, so the perfect balance is the sweet spot between guest DJ cost and the right numbers through the door to equal profit. It has to be said well thought out programming and production all matter turning the event into a success. Desperate promoters wreak and we can see openly their tiered promotion skills unfold in advance, but not so often publicly. We could easily suggest this is a mistake of Jeremy Underground or Ten Walls proportion. It would actually be very easier to understand if there was something tangible to the dispute other than an exceptionally poor reasoning for a cancelation (hasn’t the promoter heard of the ‘licensing / fire marshall’ excuse before, possibly best to stick to a tried and tested formula?)
Where Does This Start & Where Does It Stop
Scott is still a relatively underground producer that has hand built his own career with a relentless production and release agenda so it could be argued he was offered a back-handed reply in total disregard for his calibre. Profile DJs can sometimes come with over inflated ego’s and pose the query of being overpaid, under the influence and under-performing, either way it becomes a consistent drop in gigs that can restart their approach. Here, Scott will either need to add a gym request to his forthcoming riders (joke) or use this unique opportunity to dig deeper into the mix with a solid manager to filter out the weeds and ensure that professionalism resides. It has to be said, some of the greatest laughs in the world of social media have come at the enduring expense of some industry icons, many take it firmly on chin as part and parcel of their positioning.
Flashing back through our feeds we see the ‘one-note keyboard ’poking fun at the suggested monotone drone of David Guetta’s production palette. We’ve even heard the almighty Masters At Work falling prey to the merry pranksters, suggesting being they were mistaken for Phats & Small at the Ibiza airport one summer (without doubt the augmented, overactive imagination of an English clubber gone awol)…. Sadly in this instance it wasn’t any of the above nor rolled in jest, just one seemingly incredibly rude and egotistical promoter that bypassed the infamous words of Chuck D “Don’t Believe The Hype.” If he had actually heard them in advance he could’ve potentially saved an entire shit storm under the realisation that short-sighted promoters overfilled with self belief and low level cocaine to primarily attract second hand girls really don’t last that long run in the marathon of musical integrity. Kiss your punters and performers, goodbye.
As The Record Spins
Scott, himself known to occasionally fly the odd opinion out in triumphant click bait remains relatively well mannered about the whole affair, yet, openly perturbed that this wasn’t actually a lucid dream following an extensive tour without sleep. Posted in response to the ever unfolding saga Scott lays comment:
“This thing has become a beast with many heads. I originally shared the post and email thread with the intention of having a bit of a laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but it’s really taken on a life of it’s own with 150 shares, 600 or so comments, multiple emails and around 50 private messages (20 of which have come overnight). I guess that’s what they call viral, right? (Almost).
Anybody who knows me well knows that I am somebody that doesn’t court drama. Integrity is important and I wish to have attention for only the right reasons, so there’s a lot about this situation that doesn’t sit well with me. Contrary to how many of you feel, there’s actually little to be gained in the long-term by ‘outing’ those involved. I never intended for it to become such a big thing and it’s all a bit overwhelming, not to mention it’s making it hard to get any work done!
I understand that people are upset on my behalf but after careful consideration (and some good advice – legal, PR and friends), I am going to stick to my guns and keep the information to myself, including setting the original posts to private.
Some unintended consequences have been:
– people reaching out to me insisting (in some cases quite aggressively) that I *must* ‘name and shame’ the person involved.
– Posts on other people’s pages that have shared the photo, making their own comments about my image.
– Other promoters reaching out to me asking that I publicly state that it’s *not* them.
Many people reading this or the previous posts will not have known me beforehand, and it bothers me that their introduction to me isn’t my music, but is instead based around something negative. This doesn’t make me feel good, hence why I’ve been awake since 4:30am. If I were a cynical person I could ride the coat-tails of this for some time, (I’ve already had approaches from media and there’s certainly plenty more material in terms of funny memes and all that social stuff) but I’m not, and attention, for the sake of it or for the wrong reasons, goes against why I fell in love with this culture in the first place.
I thank everyone for their displays of support, both public and private. I’ve been at this for about 20 years in one form or another, I truly hope I come across as a humble person and I realise that despite this email and a few other small things over the years I’m extremely fortunate to have made the progress I have and to be able to do this for a living – that’s why I reply to pretty much every message, say thank you to DJ’s when they play my music on radio/club sets, and try to work with smaller labels for remixes and so on. These won’t always be sustainable, but while I can, I will.
I think this experience shows what a lot of us already know – that there’s a bunch of people doing things for the wrong reasons for the wrong crowd. I think they’re easy to spot. I don’t think that this is a big shock to many in our community (The TOWIE / image-obessed / celebrity / Insta-famous culture has been a thing for a while now) but it certainly surprised me to see it so overtly for a bloody DJ booking. This, to me, is just a distillation/extension of a culture we’re already living in. It’s a societal problem that naturally is going to permeate everything, in some way.
However, other people experience much worse, and truly, I’m not angry (I’m very lucky) – it just makes you feel a little bit sad, doesn’t it? Not for myself, but for the dance community and the culture that we all cherish. I’ve made so many great friends of all shapes, sizes, persuasions, backgrounds, languages and more. I wouldn’t change that for anything. It’s part of my DNA.
Music, and how it makes you feel, truly is king. There’s nothing like this community and these experiences have quite literally changed my life for the better. We can all do our part by making sure we seek out those experiences that make us feel transcendent, carefree and happy – and not those where a value judgement about any part of you is made on how you look, or those where the music is secondary to anything else.
I have a lot of really vibey stuff happening this year – 2018 is shaping up to be a really positive one and I don’t want this to become a distraction. I hope that’s okay.
I’m going to be in the UK for 6 months from April for gigs and conferences and loads of music related goodness so I hope to see you on a dancefloor real soon!
Hopefully this starts a greater awareness and accountability within the ever expanding dance music scene and fat returns the focus back onto the actual music that drives our clubs. We believe it high time to rebalance talent over talk and hope this doesn’t ignite a longstanding issue for bookers, promoters and club owners who by and large can be trusted to honour both performer and punter alike. Seriously the last thing we want here is another self styled ‘Me Too’ campaign based on a heavily blinkered bias on what should matter most to the millions of patrons that frequent ever night club institutions expecting transparency from the promoters ultimately taking their hard earned money.
A classic record from Scott Diaz, hopefully (Therapy) won’t be needed :
One Final Plug
For Scott we wish him luck and no doubt will be seeing an extra special ‘fat’ related title to his extended discography in the very near future.
Support his music here :