Our founder and editor, Kornelia, made a short interview with the Boiler Room founders, Blaise Beville and Charles Drakeford, for Invader Magazine. You can read the whole article + interview in German over at Invader and you can read the English version of the interview below.
How did you come up with the idea for Boiler Room and what’s the story behind the name?
The concept initially started as an attempt to start a mix series, where Thristian and Femi would take some records down to this studio space we had - and maybe invite some friends along - and just to record it over a few hours. Then we had the idea of streaming it online, after seeing DJs like Oneman doing similar things.
The response from the first show was great, so we set about doing it the next week and that’s when the name for it was settled upon. Basically, the room where we originally did the show from had a sign on the door saying ‘Boiler Room’.
Boiler Room used to be a London thing. Now, you brought it to Berlin and Los Angeles. Why did you decide to expand to other countries and will you also bring it to a few other cities such as New York or Paris?
It seemed like a really natural progression for the show to be honest. We were getting all these labels getting in touch from all over saying they’d love to do something together, but it was always a case of waiting for them to come to London. Then we had a chance meeting with Michail who runs the Berlin show along with Alex, and it all just seemed to fall into place. They even found an actual Boiler Room where we could do the show.
The whole ethos of Boiler Room has always been to represent music scenes locally, by teaming new talent with local heroes. Berlin seemed like the kind of place where you could apply that model really easily, and we’re all huge fans of the music scene over there. The same thing with LA, and the two shows there so far have been great. We’d love to experiment with doing shows in a host of different places. New York, Paris, Detroit, South Africa.. as soon as we can afford all of that, we’re there.
Before Boiler Room, there used to be Platform and you also had another project called “I Saw You Standing” now they are all run on different websites. How did it come to this decision and are you still involved with “Leisure” and “ISYS” or do you only focus on Boiler Room right now?
Yeah, well they were all started off on the same website originally - but as they grew it was kind of apparent that there were slightly different audiences for each. So they each got their own website and it all seems to make a lot more sense. We all share offices and work together, on stuff like Boiler Room FIVES where ISYS made some great videos. They’ve each got dedicated teams of their own though really.
Boiler Room got really huge over the years. What do you think makes it so successful?
I think it’s because Boiler Room provides instant access to music scenes globally in a format that both artists and audiences truly engage with. It started as a totally grass roots project with no money to spend on production and all that, which meant we ended up using webcams and cheap cheap equipment to get the shows out there online. The result is that we can go and broadcast where other media outlets would deem commercially unviable, so for underground music (or whatever you want to call it), Boiler Room is a pretty unique and effective resource for music discovery.
Do you have any plans with Boiler Room for the future or will you get involved in any other side projects?
The plan at the moment is to maintain the monthly Berlin and LA shows whilst programming more regular London shows. We’re going to be experimenting with the London show quite a bit, in doing some daytime shows. We’re in the process of building a dedicated studio space in London, which will free us up to experiment a lot more.
What are you currently bumping and which producer should we keep an eye on this year?
Errrrrrm, there’s so many. Face + Heel who were on the show this week have a really good live show. There’s a guy called Rivet who has put some amazing record recently. I’ve been listening to as many Andrés mixtapes I can possibly find on the internet.