Boiler Room said they launched Honey Dijon’s career in order to get a government bailout last year – but just one question: did you really, Mr Bellville?

Yesterday, someone sent me some documents relating to the bailouts Arts Council England gave Boiler Room in 2020. And there are quite a few things which you curiously won’t find mentioned by themselves or any of the other dance music press.

For starters, there’s this claim that their workforce is, er, too white, basically. They also manage to contradict themselves by pointing out “we’re dedicated to improving our diversity – this does not affect our audiences”, yet feature a section on the same page about “broadening the diversity of our audience”…

Next, there’s a question about how Boiler Room culturally benefits England. The question specifically notes England, because these grants are a devolved matter, with seperate bodies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their answer is… well, not terribly convincing.

It fails to reference England even once. At this point, I started to wonder whether anyone from Arts Council England even read the application before stamping the £800k cheque. But there’s more**…

Yes, Boiler Room seriously claim to have established the careers of Honey Dijon, Jayda G, Four Ter and Sherelle. Really? To use but one example, Honey Dijon started her DJ career in Chicago in the 1990s and was originally mentored by Mark Farina and Derrick Carter.

A search of their website brings few results, and I can’t find anything from earlier than 2016. Boiler Room was set up in 2010, by which point Honey Dijon had been DJing for roughly 15 years already. So unless there’s something I’m missing here, Boiler Room’s claim to have “established” her career is pretty weak…


** Credit for this particular spot goes to 5 Magazine

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