SBTRKT calls out ‘streaming culture’: “The systems of gatekeeping have changed, the gatekeeping hasn’t”

The UK producer recently released his third studio album, The Rat Road

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SBTRKT aka Aaron Jerome has spoken about his frustrations over “streaming culture” and how the industry’s over-reliance on Digital Service Providers (DSPs) has un-levelled the playing field for artists.

The British producer — who recently released his third studio album The Rat Road — made the comments in a new interview with Mixmag, saying “The systems of gatekeeping have changed, the gatekeeping hasn’t.”

“I’m not interested in doing a lot of opportunistic things,” Jerome admits. “I’ve only put music out on my own terms. I want to only perform within spaces I’m comfortable in. I don’t write records to fit a certain shape and box to work.”

“I’ll create something that responds to my emotional place at that time and [that] will grow with collaborations. We’ll take it to a whole other level in emotion with wherever that person’s thoughts and processes are.”

According to the artist, the music industry’s heavy reliance on DSPs has also resulted in a culture where “who you know” often outweighs the music itself — a phenomenon that extends to social media as well.

He references Brazilian musician Amon Tobin’s recent tweet where he states, ”we can’t let fire emojis be the measure of our worth and absolutely have to build our own communities,” a sentiment Jerome himself is firmly behind.

“Because of streaming culture. There’s no languages, there’s no commentary as a way of being able to decipher things,” he says. “Everything is broken down into singular songs and driven through a stats-based culture.”


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