Kevin Saunderson: ‘It feels like somebody is eliminating Black artists from being a part of the scene’

Kevin Saunderson: ‘It feels like somebody is eliminating Black artists from being a part of the scene’

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Kevin Saunderson said it feels like ‘somebody is eliminating Black artists from the scene’ in a recent interview.

Speaking with Billboard Dance, the Detroit techno originator discussed racism and inequality in the music industry, highlighting his personal experiences when starting his career alongside the likes of Derrick May and Juan Atkins. 

Saunderson also discussed the commercialisation of dance music through mainstream “EDM”, and how many of the big producers, DJs and mainstage acts are white artists, with Black originators and pioneers of the sound often falling behind.

“I haven’t seen any of the young upcoming producers cracking through,” Saunderson told Billboard, speaking about young Black artists and bookings/signings. “I don’t see Kyle Hall from Detroit playing that many American dates. I don’t see my sons. I can put them on shows, and I put them on some shows with me, but I don’t want to over put them on shows. I want talent to shine through. You wonder like, ‘They’re making music. How come an agent won’t or hasn’t taken them on?’ They are the future, and you have other people like them out here. We need the youth to continue the movement.

“I hate to say this, but you almost feel like somebody is basically eliminating Black artists and producers from participating and being part of the scene,” he continued. “So once I go off and die, and other people who’ve been around from the beginning are gone, who’s left? We’ve been doing this 35 years. If there’s talent, they should have the same opportunity or better opportunities.”

You can real the full interview between Kevin Saunderson and Billboard here.

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