The dynamics of the global electronic music scene have become more complex than ever. With crazy things happening in the world of politics and business it is only fitting that we see shifts taking place within the arts. Through a variety of media, artists, promoters and collectives are unashamedly voicing the their concerns and making efforts to correct some of the wrongs that exist within our broader society today.
In the words of Tom Morello, “100% of music is political… music either supports the status quo or challenges the status quo; and so, every artist is political…” Given this, we cannot simply pass electronic music off as a hobby or trend void of any real-world impact. Beyond the glitz and glam of blockbuster festivals and millionaire DJs, there are roots that run deep. From Paradise Garage providing refuge for the New York queer community in the 70s and 80s to the recent protests of club shutdowns in Tbilisi, there has been no shortage of socio-political engagement within electronic music and clubbing in the course of the last few decades.
More recently though, the (mis)representation of women within this community has truly come to the fore as a concern of particular urgency. With Top 100 lists and club/festival rosters being undeniably male-orientated, a whole plethora of female-driven booking agencies and collectives have been making resilient pursuits for change. This has also given rise to groups representing people-of-colour, queer individuals and others that may have previously experienced forms of marginalization.
Not Sorry Club is one such collective based in the bourgeoning environment of South Africa. Led by three women, namely Stacy Renecke, Nadia Sanetra and Anthea Duce, their main agenda is ‘aimed at building a more inclusive rave community’. They have created a platform for artists to hone their skills, build networks and gain exposure, all with the end goal of assisting their entry into the professional music world with a strong foundation. Whilst all three of the founders come from different professional backgrounds, it is their deep passion for underground music and culture that drives their desire to inspire change – and as a collective that is ‘not sorry’, it is clear that their ethos is one of focused direction and no compromise.