The partnership between Boiler Room and Ballantine’s was created to support and showcase underground electronic music scenes from around the world.
Launched in 2014, for the past five years, Stay True’s pledge has collaborated with more than 220 artists, visiting 28 cities, scattered across four continents. It has produced globally broadcast energetic live events, instilled cross-genre collaboration, and held four industry Forums where international artists and music industry professionals exchanged ideas with the local music community. The stories collected locally are distributed using Boiler Room’s digital platform, that has since elevated these underground music scenes to a global audience of more than 115 million viewers.
“It’s a natural evolution” – Tom Elton, Ballantine’s representative comments on this year’s campaign – “For more than four years we have celebrated and showcased amazing artists from all over the world; now is the time to take it a step further and work alongside these communities to give real support where it’s needed.”
“By doing these shows, we meet promoters, artists and people within the business in all these places. We use the Boiler Room platform to bring these scenes to a broader audience and give them as much help as we can, but once we left, we left. It occurred to us that there was more than we can do to support music scenes locally.” – Steven Appleyard, Chief Business Development Officer at Boiler Room – “We want to empower these individuals so that they can keep on doing themselves.”
Be it venue closures, lack of community support, regulatory pressures, remote geographic location or limited ways to promote music, the extended collaboration and cultural interchange between representatives and local cultural communities allowed them to collect insight directly from the people who birthed these movements. Over the years, they have grown increasingly aware and familiar to individual intricacies they face to self-sustain, leading to this year’s reinvigorated commitment to promote and empower these trailblazing movements from around the globe.
For their 2019 chapter, True Music will continue to champion the artists at the helm of these musical movements, but also will work in close collaboration with those behind the scenes to provide tangible support and help develop a long-term strategy to encourage local communities in taking action against identified challenges.
Promising to Take A Stand For True Music, is a longstanding commitment to push True Music scenes forward. Whether it is by providing support through financial, or mentoring initiatives, it will focus on helping these creative communities in developing a self-sustainable infrastructure. The new True Music program also marks a renewed three-year partnership between Boiler Room and Ballantine’s.
This year, Ballantine’s True Music x Boiler Room will visit four important cities across four countries – Russia, Poland, Spain, and South Africa. On each leg of the True Music Tour, Boiler Room & Ballantine’s will bring together diverse contributing voices for research and conversation, and this process will be documented in a series of films, broadcast via Boiler Room.
Their first stop was Moscow. The team has traveled to Russia in October last year and worked closely with Natasha Abelle, the founder arts institution Arma 17, Sergey Golikov, who founded Rabitza (the club that violently was shut down by authorities in 2017) bass producer A-Fruit, Gosha Rubchinskiy’s producer Buttechno, and many more for the project’s first documentary: Moscow Underground.
The first episode is now available for streaming, and you can hear how each has delineated the challenges facing Moscow’s underground music scene below.
In the True Music’s spirit, each leg of the tour will culminate with a live show. The first one up is Russia on the 28th of February. Featuring international and local artists and DJs who contributed to the research, the event accounts with performances from Shadowax, Buttechno, Abelle, the Founder of iconic Moscow arts institution Arma 17, Techno stalwarts Karenn and French-rising star Bambounou.