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From A Webcam To A World Stage: Boiler Room | @boilerroomtv

In a market that is as oversaturated as the music industry, paving the way for yourself as a brand or an artist is not for the faint of heart.

With so many trying to reach a seemingly similar goal, how do you find your own differentiator that sets you apart from the crowd?

We find ourselves in a time where digital platforms and their fleeting content reign supreme, meaning that just because you’re popular today, there can be no guarantees for tomorrow. 

Artists and brands alike aren’t just attempting to find their own niche; the aim of the game is legacy and longevity. 

If you’re looking for a masterclass in what it takes to carve out a space of permanence within the industry, there is one brand that you should have your eyes on.

Enter Boiler Room, a sensation that emerged from the depths of the underground music scene. It started with an empty room, a DJ and a webcam taped to a wall. 

Since its humble beginnings, Boiler Room has become a global powerhouse in electronic music culture. With over 8,000 performances by more than 5,000 artists across 200 cities, this brand won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Join me as we look at how Boiler Room launched itself from a webcam to a world stage and how the impact of their individuality allowed them to build a brand that sticks around for the long haul.

Tracing The Evolution Of Boiler Room

Conception: Seeds Of Innovation (2010)

We find ourselves in the vibrant musical landscape of London, where Blaise Bellville and his friends were working within the industry in varying roles. Some were writing content, others DJing or producing. 

As a collective, they had a singular aim. To curate a space where the bubbling underground music scene could thrive, away from the paywalls and confines usually brought to creators when taking the usual routes.

They decided to take their turntables, talent and a couple of friends to an abandoned Boiler room next door with the intention of creating a mixtape. At the last minute, the decision was made to tape a webcam onto the wall facing the DJ. 

At this moment, Blaise and his team weren’t aware that they had ignited the flame to something much bigger. While only around 10 people were in attendance, they woke the following day to see their livestream gaining traction.

The world was watching as a last-minute decision in an old abandoned boiler room birthed the beginnings of a global phenomenon.

Expansion: Breaking Boundaries (2010-2015)

The Boiler Room team started with what they knew. Within its first year, Boiler Room mainly focused on electronic musicians and DJs. Heralding some big names such as Jamie xx, SBTRKT and James Blake, the energy and anticipation around the brand began to build.

Boiler Room was making waves that were felt further afield than UK soil as they began to host international shows from Germany to LA.

During this period, the brand began to spread its wings, becoming a hotspot for legendary and upcoming Grime MCs to perform. As ever, Boiler Room focused on creating an experience without the airs and graces, earning the interest of grime lovers and artists alike.

Kano, Ghetts, Logan Sama, Skepta, Stormzy, Lord Of The Mics and more were added to Boiler Room’s esteemed list of artists.

Legacy and Continuity: The Future (2015 – Present Day)

Boiler Room’s impact reached its zenith during this period. With events spanning the globe and an ever-expanding online presence, it solidified its position as a powerhouse within the music industry.

The brands’ early focus on the underground music scene broadened, seeing them welcome hip hop, jazz, experimental, classical and world music into their offerings.

They didn’t stop at live performances, with their first full-length documentary being released in June of 2016. Boiler Room connected its brand to the people, producing TV shows and documentaries aimed at artists and culture. Most famously, Gasworks, a 20-minute grime-focused talk show hosted by Alhan Gençay & Poet.

Boiler Room’s ability to continue breaking boundaries is second to none, as this time is where the innovation of the Boiler Room team truly began to shine.

In February of 2016, they broadcast DJ EZ’s 24-hour DJ set, which raised over £60,000 on behalf of Cancer Research UK. Later that year in May, they were the platform behind Skepta’s ‘Konnichiwa’ release, curating and streaming a Boiler Room live from Tokyo.

Boiler Room became a household name within the festival circuit, propelling them to announce their own Boiler Room Festival in 2019.

The platform shows no sign of letting up anytime soon, with Charlie XCX’s Boiler Room Performance receiving 37,000 RSVPs in 2024, despite the venue only having a 400-person capacity.

The Impact Of Individuality

One thing is sure: Blaise and the Boiler Room team have created a platform that will be discussed long after it is no longer in production. But that leaves one question – what about quality does Boiler Room showcase that has led them to such massive success?

One element stands out as paramount: Individuality. 

It’s the heartbeat of authenticity, the driving force behind innovation and the cornerstone of success for brands like Boiler Room. From its inception, Boiler Room has embraced individuality, harnessing its power to revolutionise the music industry and captivate audiences worldwide.

At the epicentre of Boiler Room’s success story lies a deep understanding of the value of individual expression. It is with Boiler Room’s influence that we often see the focal point of live DJ sets being the artist instead of the crowd. This choice pushes us to engage with the artist and their own personal flair. 

Boiler Room encourages us to remember that it is about more than how many people are willing to engage; it truly is about the art and the artist. If we keep this in mind, the rest will follow. Something to remember in an age that focuses more on engagement than the impact of individuality.

The impact of Boiler Room’s individuality has been the driving force behind Boiler Room’s ability to stay relevant and adaptable in an increasingly crowded market.

By eschewing cookie-cutter formulas and embracing the unique perspectives of its diverse community, Boiler Room has remained at the forefront of cultural trends, staying ahead of the competition and cementing its status as a trailblazer in the industry.
If you’ve not yet been lucky enough to experience a live Boiler Room set, click here to find out when they’ll be in a city near you!

Jojo Dixon

Writer, Activist and Creative with an ear that finds your faves before you do!

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