On this Sunday morning, I thought I’d start the day with a bit of reflection. I’ve been looking back through the archives of this blog – and I have to say I’m quickly becoming very proud of what is being created here.
A bit of background first. I came up with the idea of this site back in 2019. I was using my Facebook page to write about Sterling Void and how he’s essentially created an entire career on the backs of other people’s work. I wrote extensively about him for months – but the dance music press never picked up on it.
Approaches by myself and a few others were either ignored entirely or rebuffed with claims about being “too busy”. The episode left me thinking there was something seriously wrong with the dance music press. What else weren’t they covering?
For some years now, I’ve thought you can either be part of a problem or part of a solution. So I thought I might as well try it myself – that’s the only way to find out. I started in January and by April, I decided to take the blog to the next level. I wanted to run things that weren’t being covered elsewhere and try things the dance music press weren’t doing.
In just a few short months, here’s some of what I’ve accomplished.
- I got a plague rave DJ to agree to speak to me. Under the condition of anonymity, he wrote a substantial piece for this blog and agreed to take difficult questions from me afterwards. A one-man operation managed to beat the entire dance music world to get a detailed first-hand account of DJing during a pandemic.
- With the noble exception of Michael James, I have covered Derrick May since the start of the year. Most recently, I’ve written about the way he tried to deceive the public over a booking at Club Shelter and his attempts to start a new life in Europe with his “passport” girlfriend.
- I’ve written about internal matters within the dance music press, making more readers aware of what’s going on inside these secretive companies that don’t like scrutiny. I also hold people to account on their promises, such as Whitney Wei’s promise to “raise the calibre of music journalism” – for which I make no apologies.
- I’ve taken on anti-vaxxers and the dangerous messages they spread from day one. Whilst I do not believe the Covid-19 should be mandatory, I also do not believe people within the dance scene – yes, that includes you, Danny Rampling – should be able to use their position to promote falsehoods. I deal with them head on whilst the dance music press looks away.
- On the issue of vaccine passports, I’ve taken a much more nuanced line than the dance music press and written more about it. Despite it being an issue that directly affects clubbers, the dance music press is reluctant to cover it properly.
- I’ve spoken out about the business side of the scene – such as Defected being on a mission to buy huge catalogues of house music history, or the business interests of Sacha Lord.
And that’s just some of what I’ve covered over the space of a couple of months. There’s a demand for what I’m doing too – traffic on this website has grown substantially over the past few months. July’s figures were 81% up on June and that growth continued during August, adding another 17% on July.
Social media growth is a little slow – and I’ll be starting more work on that soon – but the email list has exploded. Industry insiders are amongst those subscribers – I see their email addresses when they sign up. I also know they are more than outnumbered by readers who might not be insiders, but who are cherished just as much by this blog, if not more.
Of course, I have got some things wrong over time. When this happens, I seek to correct the record as quickly as possible – and I firmly believe my record shows this promise is being kept. This blog is the fastest and biggest learning curve I’ve ever been on, but there are few things in life I’ve enjoyed more.
With such growth, it’s little wonder that mainstream dance music journalists are taking notice. And many of them do not like what they see. Thankfully, they’re not my target audience, so I don’t care if they don’t like it.
For the truth is most journalists are absolutely beastly people. They’re used to dishing out criticism of others, but are the most thin-skinned individuals you could ever meet. They’re used to asking questions of others, but never answering any themselves.
And dance music journalists – with a few honourable exceptions, I must note – are the worst of a bad bunch. So don’t be surprised to see them taking fire at this blog. Because the truth is it scares them.
I am one person. I run an extremely busy household with three young children and a wife who runs her own business. I can also run a blog like this and post an average of 4 or 5 times a day – and I have total control over the subjects I write about. Unlike the staff at dance music magazines who are told what to write.
I can work faster, harder and better than any of them. This terrifies them, so rather than doing the right thing and getting better at their job, they resort to character assassination instead. But the thoughts of analogue journalists who don’t understand they’re no longer the gatekeepers in the digital age don’t ultimately matter.
What matters in the end is what you, the wonderful readers of Amateur’s House think. Typically, you’re not shy about telling me when I’ve got it right and when you think I’ve got it wrong. It’s you who I’m ultimately accountable to – not a small minority who think they’re more important than everyone else.
And the readership continues to grow every single day. I must be doing something right…