Clubplanet Interviews Boy George

Clubplanet Interviews Boy George

by Marcos Colón
09.13.2011


The music industry is a phenomenon that's constantly changing, so naturally it's difficult to make a name for yourself, and reach the 'legendary' status that many strive to achieve. Millions have attempted it, and only hundreds succeed. One name that's managed to stay at the top of the pop and dance music world is Boy George. Known for his infectious songwriting and contagious hooks that became anthems for what popular music in the 80s stood for, he still works in a creative bubble that's unparalleled. Looks like selling over 100 million singles just didn't do it for him, as it's his passion for music that pushes him forward. While many may think that his sound is limited to pop stylings, think again. A massive fan of dance music, everything that he's created was intended for us to move to, and now he's on to a new venture that's geared toward doing just that.

Clubplanet recently caught up with the incomparable Boy George, and chatted about what he thinks has changed most in dance music, his latest musical venture, and what he wants to be remembered as.

Clubplanet: How do you feel music has changed in the club since the start of your career?

Boy George:
Dance music as a culture was very fresh and experimental when I started going to clubs in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Just being part of that whole scene felt like it was changing your life and everyone else’s around you, in many ways dance culture has lost that aspect of it because the music is so exposed and available today. However, that’s not a negative, I’m glad and in fact proud of the incredible journey dance music has taken over the past 20+ years. You only have to look at what the likes of David Guetta, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Chase & Status are doing with dance music to get a sense of how enormous this scene has grown to become. Twenty years ago we were all DJing in illegal raves and crappy backroom venues, today dance music sits alongside rock and roll filling massive football stadiums and arenas – it’s a beautiful thing!

Clubplanet: We see VG Records is featured in Skins. What kind of impact do you feel the music will receive since it's tied to the show?

Boy George:
Having a dance track featured on a show like we did, or an advert as many other artists’ have done recently, gives dance music a different avenue to reach an audience who perhaps are not into the sound or may not be old enough yet to get into clubs. These days we’re seeing more and more house, electro, techno, drum and bass, dubstep tracks being used in commercials, computer games, and films. It’s a really healthy sign that the music DJs and producers are making has more relevance than just on the dancefloor.

Clubplanet: With so many dance music labels out, what will distinguish VG from the competitors?

Boy George:
The intentions of my label partner Marc Vedo and myself have never been to set up the label to rival any other imprint out there but instead build something that was just about our own ideas and music, as well as allow us to put faith and support behind artists in whom we believe and wish to work with. One of our prime aims with the label is to merge established artists with emerging talent, as well as apply focus on strong melodies and good song lyrics.

Clubplanet: What are the aspirations of VG and what was the reasoning behind coming together?

Boy George:
I receive a lot of great music from talented producers, along with constantly hearing and being sent music from incredibly gifted vocalists. I was finding myself loving more and more unsigned material but apart from listening and playing it in my sets there was nothing else I could do to help get it out there. Speaking to Marc on a flight back from a show one time I found he was having the same problem, having worked together for so many years in the studio we felt it was a great opportunity for us to set-up an imprint that would enable us the chance to work with many of these talented individuals, as well as channel our own music through the label.  The ambition with the label is to put out good quality club tracks which merge the lines between underground and cross-over records. So far we’ve worked with Charlene Hector of Basement Jaxx fame, Desi Salva one of Bulgaria’s most successful pop artists, whilst put out a release by Nocturne the Blonde – a haunting cover of ‘Love Will Tear Us’ and have a new vocalist called Drew signing on mine and Marc Vedo’s next release on the label titled ‘Don’t take the night’.

Clubplanet: Is there an American tour in sight?

Boy George:
Due to visa matters right now, no, but I’d like to think so one day.

Clubplanet: How do you want to be remembered? For what you've done, or what you'll do?

Boy George:
As a performer, musician and songwriter. I believe I still have a lot of good songs inside me and I hope some of those will live on long after I am gone. I have had some great spells in my career, as well as some bad ones but I’ve woken up to those troublesome periods and realise the damage and waste I left behind me. I’ve never been more focused on my music than I am today and my life has completely changed because of it.

Clubplanet: Have you had your greatest hit, or do you still think there will be more to come?

Boy George:
Absolutely! On a personal level I am still yet to achieve my magnum opus so this is one of my aims with my music. You only have to look at artists such as Bowie and Prince to see that creativity can have longevity within your work because, as an example, both of those artists have continued to create seminal records throughout their careers. Once you stop believing in your music then there is no point continuing and right now I have never loved my career more.

Clubplanet: In the U.S. what is your ideal venue to perform in?

Boy George:
The dance scene in the U.S. has really exploded in these last few years. Speaking with many of my DJ friends and watching event footage on YouTube it’s incredible to see how much dance music has been embraced, not just in the obvious cities like New York and Los Angeles but all over the country. Given the pick I’d love to play at one of the key U.S. festivals such as Electric Daisy or Ultra Music Festival. The production behind these events looks outstanding.

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