As a Scottish singer reveals she was offered a gig in exchange for sex, some bizarre stories from one anonymous female DJ – prepare to be astonished!

After five months of running Amateur’s House, I like to think that I have some idea of what I’m doing. There have been a couple of hiccups in that time, but I remain of the opinion this has been a sharp learning curve yet also one of the better ones in my life.

However, a good idea is a good idea. And one of my readers threw this suggestion in my direction after reading on BBC News about Iona Fyle, a Scottish singer who revealed she was offered help to get a gig – in exchange for sex. The story was as depressing as it was entirely unsurprising.

A while ago, this reader – who is a female DJ – told me a few stories about her experiences. It was all in confidence – but she’s now given me clearance to publish those stories, with any names redacted. There’s three in total and what follows are her own words – the only edits are to remove names and correct the odd spelling mistake…


Such a lot of orgy-bargy!

Yeah, I’ve been asked for sex to get a gig before. The one I remember most was around 2005. This guy worked for ****** at the time and it was an open secret within the industry that he had, shall we say, peculiar proclivities. Nothing illegal, just stuff most people would think was weird.

We arranged a meeting at a nice restaurant over lunch to talk about some shows that were coming up at ******. He was very polite, asked all the right questions and came across as really professional.

Then he mentions he can get me extra work if I agree to come along with him to a party he’s going to on Friday night. When I asked what kind of party it was, he said it was most likely going to be an orgy. I made my excuses and left…

Is this REALLY a photoshoot?

When I was starting out in the 1990s, I’d just arrived in London and didn’t have much money. I’d been advised to get press shots, but there was no way I could afford the prices I was being quoted. So I looked in local papers and found an advert for a photographer who was just starting out. He was cheap, so I booked him.

He invited me to this house in Peckham and explained he’d done some work in the dance music industry before. So he knew what they were looking for. The photos started quite formal. I’d gone down there in a cute little dress, but things soon changed.

Before you know it, he was taking pictures of me in my underwear, covering up my boobs with my arms. I assumed this guy knew what he was doing, so went along with it. Anyway, he went into another room afterwards to make a phone call whilst I got dressed.

I overheard the phone call and was horrified to hear that he wanted to sign me up as a prostitute! I took the film out of the camera and left quietly before anyone noticed. Funny looking back now, but f***ing scary at the time!

Was he having a bleeding laugh?

I’ll tell you about the ridiculous one, though. It was in the late 90s and I was starting to make a name for myself. After finishing a gig one night, a promoter came to see me. He told me he had some work lined up and gave me an address where we could discuss things.

So I went to the address about two days later and found out it was his house. Anyway, I went in and he was very professional. There was a woman in the house too, who turned out to be his wife – so at least I knew he wasn’t likely to try anything naughty.

After talking for a while about dates for gigs, money and all that, he turns round and tells me does need me to do him a favour. He then hands me this key and asks me to go round his house and bleed all the radiators. Easily the weirdest thing I’ve ever been asked to do for a gig! But I bet he hope no one ever finds out about the gimp outfit I saw in his bedroom…

As Rebecca Ferguson refers to R Kelly as “one of many” after he’s convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering, who could she possibly be referring to?

I’m a firm believer that when a legal process is underway, you keep your mouth shut. You don’t say anything. No matter how shocking or horrific the evidence coming out in court is, you allow the process to play out. There’ll be plenty of time to have your say once proceedings are over.

And the proceedings certainly are over for R Kelly, who now faces a very long spell in prison after he was found guilty of eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering. The details coming out in court each day have been shocking – Robert Sylvester Kelly has been well and truly exposed as an evil, manipulate and dangerous man.

As far as I’m concerned, he can go to hell. But are there others in the music business who have, shall we say, questions to answer over their own behaviour. The very plain-speaking Rebecca Ferguson thinks so…

The tweet is somewhat vague and that’s entirely intentional. You never know when a solicitor – especially someone claiming to represent a person who portrays themselves as pure as driven snow – might be watching. So when she speaks of “you would never watch certain shows”, she could be referring to TV, theatre, live shows, other things or even all of them.

I get the feeling some could be facing some queries about their pasts soon. In the shorter term, Drake certainly has one or two questions to answer. Such as why on earth did he think it was remotely appropriate to release a song with R Kelly credited on it in the middle of his trial? And why did no one at Republic Records – part of the Universal behemoth – put their foot down and refuse to release it?

A lot of people in the music industry – and believe me, dance music is far from immune to this – will be hoping the fuss about R Kelly dies down soon. Because they know he’s not an isolated case. Inappropriate behaviour of all hues permeates music from top to bottom – why do you think the industry never does anything to stop these people?

The only question is who’s next? Only time will tell…

Is that another night off for you, Derrick? The Poland orchestral gig seems to be off following an online backlash – so does ANYONE want to book desperate May for a show?

Not one, but two helpings of the dismal life of Derrick May in one day! Never let it be said I don’t look after my readers well. Fresh from his recent cancellation by the Detroit Historical Society, it appears that May has another evening at leisure to enjoy.

Remember that he was going to do an evening online with an orchestra in Poland this weekend? That looks like it’s off as well. The venue didn’t reply to an email from me on the subject, but they did respond to Annabel Ross.

Reading through the broken English, it did sound like they were saying the event was no longer happening. And by the looks of the website, the event isn’t on the schedule – although the event page is still online at the moment.

Oh well, look at the bright side. At least the poor schmuck who has to listen to what May “plays” is now spared the ordeal…

UPDATE 11pm: I’ve since had it categorically confirmed that May will not be appearing.

What DOES Derrick May actually do during his orchestral shows? He didn’t play, that’s for sure!

Last Friday, I exclusively revealed on this blog what the setup was at one of Derrick May’s orchestral scams, sorry I mean shows. I revealed that May was plugged into a small mixing desk on channels 48 and 49.

What I wasn’t able to reveal at the time was exactly what Derrick May did at these shows. Journalist Michael James has previously showed footage that establishes beyond doubt that May isn’t actually playing along to the song – and this explains why May barely appears in this 9 minute video of a “Strings Of Life” performance.

So, what is May actually playing? I’ve been sent an email by someone who actually worked on one of these shows and had access to the feed which revealed what everyone was playing. Let’s see what he said:

“I’d worked on a few different shows and could never work out what Derrick was playing. It didn’t seem to be in time with any of the music and I would sometimes notice him still playing for as long as six seconds after the music had stopped playing. When I checked the feed, all I heard coming back was gibberish.”

And how many people knew that May couldn’t play?

“Very few. The orchestra themselves were never made aware of it. Only a small number of people knew. I couldn’t tell you for certain exactly who knew, but my boss was very keen for me to stay quiet when I worked it out. Reading your blog, I now understand why.”

Yet it looks like this scam is going to continue – the orchestra has an online show going ahead next Saturday…

BREAKING NEWS: Derrick May’s appearance at the Detroit Historical Society is cancelled!

It’s official. Says the Detroit Historical Society…

Full story from me in around an hour…

Derrick May’s latest gig: Speaking at the Detroit Historical Society – but what would he make of just being another relic?

You’d imagine that a society with a name sounding as prestigious as the Detroit Historical Society would know a little bit about, well, the history of Detroit. It turns out that they don’t know one of their own sons very well at all.

They’ve got an event coming up on May 30th that celebrates the electronic music festival in Detroit – Derrick May himself ran the festival himself for three acidulous years. During that time, he made a bigger loss each year than the last – but that’s the subject of a seperate post coming soon…

May – a serial abuser of women and a fraud who cannot play yet proclaims to be an innovator – has been invited. Carl Craig is there, and so is Kevin Saunderson. Craig’s presence is not surprising, seeing his wife is now May’s manager, but Saunderson? The fact he’ll share a stage with this man truly demeans him.

The Detroit Historical Society has been approached for comment.

H/T: Juanita Atkins.

As Mixmag gets a pat on the back from The Drum, managing director says they don’t “shy away from telling the truth” – but is that REALLY so?

I see that Mixmag won some awards last week. Good for them. It’s always nice to be told you’ve done something good, although I find it highly curious how media organisations seem to want to be given awards for doing their jobs.

The awards they’ve won are in two categories. One is for the work they’ve done, courtesy of Funk Butcher (real name Kwame Safo), who highlighted how the Black Lives Matter movement related to dance music and the wider industry.

There are no qualms from me on this one. The work from Safo on this was nothing short of exceptional. I believe the issues were approached in a sensitive manner aiming to raise understanding. I do, however, question whether Mixmag has the bottle for what could be a very long campaign.

The second award is for an article by Annabel Ross which basically exposed how Erick Morillo got away with his appalling behaviour for so many years. You can read it here. What I found most shocking was not the details, but how long this had been going on for.

Whilst not directly quoting Mixmag’s managing director, the Drum’s article says:

“Mixmag’s Managing Director Nick Stevenson said the Morillo investigation was very much in the public interest. While it may not have the same infrastructure or budget as mainstream media outlets, he believes it is an editorial platform that does not shy away from telling the truth.”

Really?

So why does Mixmag have nothing to say about plague raves? Why do they never ask any difficult questions in any of their interviews? Why do they have nothing to say about serial abusers like Derrick May?

No, the truth is that Mixmag, like most of the dance music press, are failing in their duty. Their job is to hold the dance music world to account. It is not simply to tell us about drugs or about the latest release from an artist. They have a duty to inform their audience on what is really going on.

Yet the matter is – and this is not a situation unique to Mixmag – they are too close to the industry in order to report on it with any real objectively. If they run an unflattering article about an artist, nightclub or whatever, they run the risk of losing access to them.

Scared of being put on a blacklist, they’re cowed. It’s the same with most of the dance music press – they rarely bother to practice journalism anymore. There should be distance between those making the music and those writing about it, and it’s time that fact was remembered.

Yes, the exposé from Annabel Ross is extremely powerful work. The same with Kwame Safo. But this should be the norm in dance music, not merely the exception to what is a very dull magazine playing it safe.

How you play live? Fans baffled as video of Derrick May playing live features Derrick May not playing any instruments

Derrick May fans have been left mystified by a video with their favourite techno musician – tantalisingly titled Derrick May: How I Play Live – appeared to show no footage of May doing any playing.

The video, which was originally uploaded in October 2019 by DJ Mag, has recently been the subject of renewed interest online, purports to show “the setup behind his orchestral show, how he turned techno into sheet music and why he needs this tour more than ever”.

Yet fans were left as none of those questions were actually answered in the documentary. For example, the vivid description notes that May will explain “the setup behind his orchestral show” – but all of that is, in reality, explained by Dzijan Emin.

And anyone expecting an in-depth explanation of May’s love of synths and how he comes up with his chord progressions was also left disappointed, as he appears to trip over his own words – even seemingly complaining that the keys to several of his songs have been changed for the orchestral versions.

He bizarrely explains that his job is “triggering different patches and editing the sound as the song goes on” – and in reference to the orchestra, says “they’re simply playing straight from the instrument… and they stay in key, I am finding a different key throughout the song”.

I approached a friend who knows considerably more about music theory than I do. Would it be possible for Derrick May to play his synthesiser in a different key to the rest of the orchestra, and for it to still sounds good?

“In a word, no. Whatever the key a song is in, that is the key that all the instruments must use. It’s that simple. It would be possible for May to use relative keys that work with the original key, but not a different key altogether. This would result in a dissonant sound that could be very hard to listen to.”

Tellingly, he had this to add at the end of his answer.

“There are only three possibilities here, and that’s being kind. One is that Derrick May does not know music theory or how to play. The second is that he does, but that he explains himself with a very poor choice of words in the video. And the third is that May has defied the whole world of music theory and come up with a system where instruments can play in different keys on the same song.”

He finishes off simply with…

“If Mr May really has accomplished the seemingly impossible, and found a way that musical theory – which is essentially mathematical – can now have two instruments playing in a different key on the same song without it sounding atonal or dissonant, he should make a video showcasing his method immediately, for the world to see!”

So what are you waiting for, Derrick? I’ll even sweeten the deal. If you upload a video in the next 10 days (I’m in a generous mood!) showing us this revolutionary new method you seem to have devised, I will withdraw all the allegations this blog has made against you and publish a big, hefty apology.

I’ll be waiting!