Boiler Room (music project)

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Boiler Room
IndustryMusic & Entertainment
FoundedMarch 2010
FounderBlaise Bellville
HeadquartersLondon, England, United Kingdom
Area served

Boiler Room is a global online music broadcasting platform commissioning and streaming live music sessions around the world.[1][2][3] Founded in London, England, UK in 2010, Boiler Room has now hosted shows in around 100 cities worldwide, from Stockholm to Shanghai.[4][5] They have regular operations in London, Amsterdam, New York City, Berlin, Lisbon, São Paulo, Mexico City, Kraków, Tokyo, Sydney, and Los Angeles and produce an average of 30–35 new shows each month.[6][7] Their music programming originally focused on electronic music such as garage, house, techno, dub but quickly expanded to include additional genres, including grime, hip hop, classical, and jazz.[8][9][10]

According to The Guardian, Boiler Room "have streamed over 3,500,000,000 minutes of music since starting out, with audiences of up to 400,000 tuning in to watch."[3]


Early beginnings[edit]

In March 2010 Boiler Room's founder Blaise Bellville invited Thristian "Thris Tian" Richards and the founder of NTS Radio, Femi Adeyemi, to record a mixtape for his online magazine Platform.[11][12][13] The first Boiler Room session was recorded using a webcam duct taped to the wall of a disused boiler room, and the session was broadcast live online on Ustream.[14][15]

During this period, Boiler Room developed their format of filming a DJ facing the camera a projected visual backdrop of the Boiler Room logo overlaid on old rave video footage, with Time Out noting: "the artists are, after all, the sole attraction at Boiler Room: attendees are positioned behind the decks in a bedroom DJ style set-up so that the selector is always the main figure in view."[16]


Red Bull Music Academy explains how Boiler Room's initial visual style was developed further from the initial signature style: "the setup of a Boiler Room event, wherein the DJ faces the camera with the audience behind, left space for imagery in the background. The guys decided to add a big video projector screen to the mix during live broadcasts, and filmmaker Cieron Magat started placing the logo atop old rave footage."[17]

Graphic designer Adam Tickle, who created the logo, described it as a "cross between a Technics slipmat and the Pure Garage logo."[17]

2010–11: Expansion[edit]

Boiler Room's first session in March 2010 turned into a weekly show, becoming a Ustream "Supported Channel" and getting widespread press recognition, with coverage from the BBC, Fader, Time Out, Hypetrak, and Dummy Magazine, who noted that "from a small room in Dalston to a globe-spanning brand, in just over a year Boiler Room has emerged as one of the most important broadcasters in underground music."[18][19][20][21]

2010, the first year in Boiler Room's history, featured performances from a variety of mostly electronic musicians and DJs, including Theo Parrish, Jamie xx, SBTRKT, Hudson Mohawke, Jamie Woon, Mount Kimbie, Falty DL, James Blake, and Ben UFO, among others.[21][22][23][24][25][26] London based record labels Young Turks and Hessle Audio, as well as hip-hop collective Livin' Proof, also hosted Boiler Room takeovers in 2010.[22][25][27]

Boiler Room first began international shows in August 2011 with a run hosted in Germany by Michail Stangl, a Russian-born music curator and DJ who is involved in planning Berlin's CTM Festival.[28][29][30][31]

Radiohead hosted a Boiler Room takeover in October 2011, featuring sets by Thom Yorke, Jamie xx, Caribou, Lone, and Illum Sphere.[32]

Present day[edit]

The early focus on underground music scene and electronic music within London has broadened, with Boiler Room's music programming regularly taking in other genres including hip hop, jazz, experimental, classical, world music and talk-based podcast formats.[33][34] Boiler Room stated in 2015 "we're also diversifying our broadcast and editorial formats to ensure we can capture everything happening in quality new music, whether it's a Boiler Room show or performance live from the Barbican, panel discussion from our studio or Q&A with an artist from halfway across the world."[35]

2014 was defined by a push into classical music, launched with German prepared pianist Hauschka,[36] and followed by broadcasts from St Johns Church in Hackney featured Grammy-winning Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and Julia Holter.[37] A broadcast within the Pula Arena in Croatia[38] saw Nils Frahm perform.[39]

Boiler Room continues to partner with a number of music festivals including SXSW, Sónar, Dimensions, and Dekmantel.[40][41][42]

Boiler Room launched in China with a show in Beijing on 30 April 2016 followed by a show in Shanghai with Disclosure in May 2016.[citation needed]

Boiler Room's first full-length documentary, on Atlanta based collective Awful Records, launched in June 2016.[43]


Boiler Room has an ongoing partnership with broadcast provider LiveU.[44] It also broadcast Run the Jewels live in 360° format December 2015 before the technology was widely available.[45]

According to Wired, Boiler Room is "developing a content suggestion algorithm that challenges viewers' tastes, rather than pandering to them."[7]

They are building what is claimed to be the world's first purpose-built virtual reality music venue, in collaboration with virtual reality company Inception, set to open in 2017 in London.[46][47][48][49]

Notable events[edit]

A number of notable musicians and cultural organisations have worked with Boiler Room to celebrate key releases and other one-off events.


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External links[edit]