Last week, an interview with M83 by Result went semi-viral after sharing his thoughts on the EDM community and the respective DJs who regularly play his 2011 hit “Midnight City” in their sets.
To refresh your memory, he said, “For me, the struggle to be a successful artist with this album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, and especially with this track, ‘Midnight City’, is that everything suddenly I had this huge EDM next. EDM is probably one of the styles of music that I hate the most. All of a sudden I have these EDM DJ brothers playing my music, and I don’t care. Sometimes I wish I could erase that fan base, but I don’t think it’s possible to do that.
Yesterday he shared a follow up Instagram Stories regarding the interview and the backlash he received for his words. “I don’t hate the EDM community, no!” he says. “I’m always grateful for the love and support. I’m French and my English sucks so sometimes the reporter has to understand… and it’s often wrong. Apologies for that.”
As a member of the community, I appreciate apologies. However, the double on DJs, “What I hate is this community of DJs using my songs without any permission, waving at the crowd and doing nothing but pressing the af* button. ***** This is really disrespectful and rude. […] When you’re using someone’s music, maybe you can ask first, right? »
Part of M83’s hatred for DJs playing his music seems to be a blatant misunderstanding of how rights and royalty management works. Festivals, venues, even small bars and restaurants pay license fees to organizations like BMI and ASCAP who manage, among other things, performance royalties for artists. By holding these licenses, the original artists are paid for their work. No DJ has to ask to play a song (in the vast majority of cases), especially at an establishment or setting that holds one of these licenses.
“If I was a DJ playing in front of a huge audience, I would ask before doing anything. I would be too afraid to offend the artists,” he continues. “But maybe I live in an imaginary world…the story of my life.”
From an outside point of view, it’s hard to believe that he doesn’t understand when French DJs like David Guetta, Daft Punk, Madeon, DJ Snake, Kavinsky, even legends like Laurent Garnier, have surely been in his observation sphere at a given time. But we don’t know either. Hopefully this experience will be an educational moment for him while touring his new album.
Photo by Rama via Wikimedia Commons