Who is making the money in dance music these days? Mostly the rich old white men at the top of the business playing the music is the short answer. Some of it trickles down the pyramid, but nowhere near enough to make this house of cards sustainable.
Rest assured it doesn’t go to the artists who make the music that make their careers possible. Of course, it wasn’t always like this. Yes, it was heavily skewed towards the big names at the top from early on – but there was typically more than enough to be made elsewhere, so no one cared too much.
This is the era which Pete Tong comes from. Aside from a couple of remixes and original productions from the mid-2000s onwards, Tong hasn’t really made anything. He’s just good at selecting records and playing those records. I have no problem with that, incidentally.
But I do have a problem with him travelling around with an orchestra performing other people’s music. As he heads off to Malta on September 28th for a show, rest assured he’s making money. The orchestra are making money. The venue are making money. But are the likes of Energy 52, whose song “Café Del Mar” is in the repertoire? Somehow, I doubt it.
Yet no one else seems to have an issue with this. This show wouldn’t exist were it not for the artists who made them in the first place. But it’s Tong who gets to travel around with an orchestra performing the songs, making the money. Hardly seems fair…