Posted by Cila Warncke
An excerpt from my interview with DJ/producer and philanthropist Jay Haze about his
DJs for DRC charity project.
Read the original at Ibiza Voice
Jay believes music can help save the world and he’s leading by example with his charity project DJs4DRC (DJs for the Democratic Republic of Congo).
Jay has changed since he gave Ibiza Voice an unforgettable interview chronicling his chaotic journey from teenage jailbird to musical powerhouse. Then, he simmered with ideas and outrage, drawing a self-portrait of the artist as a bareknuckle brawler. Today he is equally sharp, still occasionally self-aggrandising, but he has the confidence and urgency of someone who is pushing towards the future, rather than meditating on the past. Here’s what he has to say…
What’s new with you, Jay?
I’ve been travelling a lot – Thailand, Brazil, all over. I’m working on DJs4DRC, trying to raise awareness within the club culture and motivate people to do something.
What is DJs4DRC?
It is a charity project I started by donating 100% of the proceeds of my Fabric mix to charities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is [the site of] the world’s biggest peacekeeping operation right now. There are children being used as soldiers, women being sexually abused. It’s bad. What I’m trying to do is kick people in the butt, remind that even small efforts can have big results.
What are asking people to do?
I’m donating 50% of all my DJ gig fees from September through December to the charity, and asking other DJs to donate 50% of their fee from one gig. Tiefschwarz, Tiga, Loco Dice, Luciano and DJ Sneak are some of the DJs who are contributing.
Where do those donations go?
In January I’m taking the money to the DRC. We’re going with a film crew and we’re going to shoot a documentary. We want to raise clubbers’ awareness, as well as DJs and promoters. We want to create a picture of what is going on [to educate] club culture as a whole. Right now the face of club is one of ignorance.I want to represent dance culture in a positive way, through my charity work…
Does this mean you’ll retire from music?
No! Music is my passion. I’ll never stop making music. But I make music to express myself. I never made music to get a gig, never made music to be cool. I make music to feel. This is why I have so many musical styles. It’s a form of expression to me.
What about paying the bills?
Art and money should be completely separate. One is an expression of thoughts and feelings; the other is an expression of ego.
What’s next for you?
Just keep doing what I’m doing! I want to represent dance culture in a positive way, through my charity work. Through releasing what I believe in and doing projects I believe in. After we shoot the documentary [in DRC] I want to set up DJs4DRC as a foundation.
What kind of work will the foundation do?
I want to build schools to teach music in Africa, to promote peace through creativity. Tapping into my creativity changed my life, and I want to share that. I see my future doing music with children, with people from all different kinds of backgrounds. If people in conflict zones can go and put their mind into something creative it can have a huge impact.
Dance music has a reputation for being self-centred – can you change that?
This industry is not filled with people who only care about themselves. It is full of people who don’t yet know how they can help. DJs4DRC is showing a way they can.
DJs for DRC