One of our forum members writes: “I’m wondering… after the Ten Walls scandal, is it OK to play any of his songs at my gigs? I’m not playing at any gay clubs but I still feel a little dirty playing his (admittedly good) music. Any advice?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
For those who missed the controversy, the producer Marijus Adomaitis (stage name Ten Walls) – the man behind smash hit “Walking With Elephants” – posted and then deleted a crude rant on his Facebook page linking homosexuality and paedophilia. He later issued an apology, but the damage was done, and he is pretty much a dance music outcast now.
So should DJs still play his tunes? My personal opinion is that a good tune is a good tune, and that art lives apart from those who make it. Enjoying art doesn’t mean you agree with the views of the creator or creators. I also believe in forgiveness, and it’s not like he’s the only one with such views (sadly). You’d have to hope he’s learned to be a better person through all of this.
As DJs, though, our judgement should also be influenced by how we think our crowd would react to us playing a track or tracks. If you’re playing to a gay audience who know the track and the story behind its creator, and you feel they would be offended by the tune, maybe you shouldn’t play it… but I guarantee you that if I played “Walking With Elephants”, I doubt a single person would even have heard of the controversy, and actually, only a few would be able to name the tune!
It’s a touchy subject though, for sure, so I’d like to throw this one over to our audience.
So, when is it OK or not OK to play the music of people who have caused offence, or worse? Can art live apart from its creators? Does any of this really matter? We’d love to hear your views.