Founded in 2010, Boiler Room nights are famous for their intimate settings, high-quality line-ups and of course the fact that the whole shebang is filmed and streamed live on the internet. What started in a little room of an empty East London warehouse has grown into a hugely successful global brand. And this week the legendary party series is coming to Belgium for a night out you definitely should not miss: not only is the line-up selected by Belgian DJ star Lefto, but the party will also take place “inside one of Belgium’s most important cultural landmarks”…we are intrigued! Read on for our interview with Boiler Room’s Harry Benson.
I love going to parties but can’t imagine to watch one in a livestream. What is the idea behind that?
What we do allows everyone to experience music from across the globe, no matter how remote or intimate. Before joining the team at Boiler Room it allowed me to discover music I’d never have found otherwise. It has democratised music culture and given a platform to so many performers. The audience varies from show to show, from techno fans in Sao Paolo, to hip-hop fans in Russia, to beats fans in Belgium!
Boiler Room has grown into a hugely successful global brand, but at the same time you have to keep up a certain underground image – is that a challenge and how do you bridge that gap?
It’s always a challenge to balance the huge artists with the emerging, but we believe as long as music is exciting and challenging, we want to showcase it. In Belgium we’re giving a platform to emerging Belgian talent mixed with a couple of firm Boiler Room favourites.
What’s Boiler Room’s relation to Belgium? Who do you work with here?
It’s been a long time since we’ve broadcasted from Belgium so we’re very glad to be back. We’ve handed over the curation reigns to one of the Belgium’s favourite selectors, the incredible Lefto. Not only is he an excellent DJ but for us stands up as the most trusted source of new music in the country. For our second event taking place later in the year we’re teaming up with an incredible Belgian label, so keep your eyes peeled!
What would you say makes Boiler Room stand apart from other party series?
Whereas other parties DJs might feel they have to play the hits and play as the crowd expects, with Boiler Room it’s all about subverting expectations and creating a space for an artist to experiment and play. Once we’ve introduced a DJ, it’s totally up to them where they take it… and of course, the sets from the night live on far after the last track has finished. We often describe Boiler Room as a living library of modern music, creating moments in the real world and capturing them online.
Where in the world do you find the most exciting music scene right now, in your opinion? Why?
Honestly, there’s too much amazing music happening right now to decisively pick, but there’s a few key scenes that we’re super excited by. The resurgence of Jazz in the states, the evolution of Classical music in Europe, Grime crossing the atlantic, the hotpot of Portuguese Kuduro in Lisbon, to name a few.
What was the most memorable Boiler Room party for you and why?
Our fifth birthday last year was pretty incredible, we ran 5 parties across the globe (Tokyo, Berlin, London, New York, Los Angeles) which all happened simultaneously – something we’d never done before. To be able to showcase all that music at once was a huge achievement and without a doubt one of the most ambitious things Boiler Room has done. With the super special secret venue tonight in Belgium, we all have a feeling this party is going to be incredibly memorable too!
You’ve already achieved a lot with Boiler Room, do you still have goals and dreams for the projects? Which ones?
Simply put, we jut want to continue to travel the world and showcase the most inspiring music and performers. We’ve now evolved from just curating & documenting music, to fostering musicians to create original works, with artists like Actress & the LCO.
Sign up for this very special night here!