Skip to main content

Fabled techno producer and music entrepreneur Richie Hawtin recently opened up about the lack of income equality between DJs and producers in dance music.

In a new interview with Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst for their "Interdependence" podcast, Hawtin delved into a number of timely issues in EDM, including crucial changes to the economic infrastructure of live DJ sets.

"The driving force of this economic community is DJs. They are the ones making the money. They are the ones predominantly playing other people’s music," Hawtin said. "We know that it’s not always going to the right people, and we know that now, after 30 years, there’s some other things that need to be put in place to assist this community from the past—where things weren’t done correctly—to the present and how we set up the future to never have those things happen again."

The moth-eaten financial logistics of live DJ sets have long been a topic of consternation in the dance music space, since astronomical booking fees are secured by DJs who play music by other artists in order to flesh out their sets. Those other artists, however, are not compensated for the usage of their music—a vexing problem made more conspicuous by the struggles brought on by the pandemic.

While the impact of COVID-19 has certainly illuminated the plight of electronic music artists, Hawtin asserts that he's been aware of the income issue for quite some time. In his "Interdependence" interview, Hawtin said that we must establish a "mechanism" to ensure a healthy ecosystem in which funds from a DJ's booking fee are routed to the artists whose music is played.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

ace aura nytrix

Ace Aura and Nytrix Team Up for Cinematic Banger, "Echoes": Listen

Ace Aura and Nytrix have cooked up a haunting, heavy-hitting track befit for Ophelia's selective roster.

283217113_558360918987304_3064876497759124588_n

Bear Grillz Explores the Duality of Mental Health On Two-Sided Album, "Prismata"

The album aligns with the start of an eponymous tour comprising over 50 dates.

ray volpe

Ray Volpe Unleashes "Laserbeam," the Most-Played Record at EDC Las Vegas 2022

"Laserbeam" became the most-played song at this year's EDC Las Vegas—before it even came out.

"For me this is not a COVID epiphany," Hawtin continued. “This is just a deeper understanding of this problem now and we really need to create some type of…a membership or a…like a guild…some type of mechanism that takes part of a DJ’s fee and goes back into the community. Into a structure."

Hawtin goes on to say that gender and racial gaps in the electronic dance music world are also factored in, and while many in the industry are trying to fix them, the efforts were contrived out of a need to "fix a problem that we’ve lost control of." He then says that he believes those issues need to be remedied more naturally out of a genuine desire for inclusivity.

"The dance floors I was on in the late 80s and 90s were inclusive and diverse," Hawtin continued. "That’s not the case [now]…how do we bring that into the producers [and] to the DJs that in the future, we’re not sitting here trying to figure out, ‘Well how do we make a lineup that’s more inclusive?’”

You can watch Hawtin's full interview below.

Related

Dreamstate SoCal 2021_brphotoco_113

21 Stories That Defined EDM In 2021

Despite another vexing year for the electronic dance music community, it remained as captivating as ever.

10382420_10154189583555074_4885370105800582823_o

Richie Hawtin Drops Mesmerizing New EP "Time Warps"

"Time Warps" arrives as the debut release on the new Plus 8 sub-label From Our Minds.

richie hawtin deadmau5

deadmau5, Richie Hawtin, More Raise $3 Million for Innovative Streaming Company, Volta

Volta is looking to revolutionize livestreaming in the metaverse.

Richie Hawtin

Listen to Richie Hawtin's New Prada Runway Music

"Inxtro" is one of four lengthy tracks conceptualized around the fashion house's 2021 runway shows.

Diplo

Diplo, Richie Hawtin and Junkie XL to Release Sound Packs for Sounds.com Series

Diplo, Richie Hawtin and Junkie XL will be featured in a Sounds.com series called Sounds Originals.

deadmau5 richie hawtin

deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin's PIXELYNX to Bring 3D Avatars to Metaverse Gaming Platform

The company inked a partnership with cross-game avatar platform Ready Player Me.

deadmau5 richie hawtin

deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin Launch PIXELYNX to Bridge the Gap Between Gaming, Digital Collectibles and Virtual Worlds

It’s like buying brands’ merch as collectibles—for a digital version of yourself.