Ruby Rose, Paris Hilton, and Kristian Nairn – better known as Hodor from Game of Thrones – are part of a massive influx of new DJ’s who were first famous for doing something other than music. Rose and Nairn star in the cult television hits, Orange is The New Black, and Game of Thrones, respectively, and (unfortunately) almost everyone in the country knows Paris Hilton for her exorbitant lifestyle, wild partying, reality television shows, and one very memorable Carl’s Jr. advertisement (at least we can all thank Based God for that one).
The question we must then ask about this new wave of DJ’s is, are they making a mockery of the industry by showing how easy it was for them to gain a following, or are they actually contributing something of value that’s worth listening to and sharing with others? Do they respect the culture and the profound impact the music has had on so many lives, or are they just exploiting the existing system to make a quick buck like countless other talentless button-pushers?
My gut reaction when I hear of another celebrity turned DJ is one of disgust. I can’t help it, the idea alone makes me cringe. I mean, Joe Jonas is a DJ. Yes, the same man who, together with his brothers, performed as a member of the boy band The Jonas Brothers for years. They preached abstinence and wore purity rings, you can’t really just roll out of bed one day and pretend like that never happened. No matter how good he may one day be, his past as a tween idol and heartthrob for 13-year-old girls everywhere can never be erased, just ask “Marky Mark” Wahlberg.
However, more often than not, I find that most of these crossover entertainer-DJ’s really aren’t doing any harm. Many seem to take their craft seriously, and it would be unreasonable for us to expect all of them to be musical geniuses. Some are much better than others, but most seem to be in the game because they genuinely love the music.
Now that I think of it, Paris Hilton is one of the few who seems to be actively tarnishing the image of electronic music. I mean, she has an actual DJ hiding nearby at all times, who gets up on stage to adjust the volume, bass, fader, etc. because she doesn’t know how to do it herself! Hell, even DJ Pauly D from the show The Jersey Shore has made DJing into his full-time career without sickening people the way Paris has. He’ll never produce “Adagio for Strings,” but the man takes his job seriously enough to know not to embarrass the pre-existing dance culture.
All of that being said, there’s still hope for electronic dance music, even if Paris Hilton and a handful of other despicable imposters are doing everything they can to break down what those before them have built. Dance culture is one of tolerance and acceptance, and I don’t believe we can legitimately question the motives of new celebrity DJ’s until they give us a reason to doubt them. Everyone who respects dance culture should feel at home in it, celebrity DJ’s included.