HOSPITAL RECORDS co-founder & CEO, LONDON ELEKTRICITY, speaks publicly in an interview for the very first time about allegations of racism that consumed the label in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter movement, in this the final part of ROAR’s engrossing marathon three-parter with one of the most influential figures in rave music.
The DJ & producer – AKA TONY COLMAN – admits he was initially “furious” Hospital had been accused of being a racist organisation by Black former employee CHRIS INPERSPECTIVE, which went viral online causing a huge storm in the jungle drum and bass scene.
Although admitting Hospital did not at that time employ any BAME staff, Tony rejects the notion he or anyone at the label is racist and felt they unfairly become the focus of a wider societal backlash despite other big DnB labels having less diverse artist rosters than them. Coming though at a sensitive moment for global racial equality, Tony feared Hospital might not survive at all.
Yet more than a year on, with the label still going strong even amid a pandemic that has stopped most live music events, Tony concedes Hospital could and should have done better, and even says he’s “glad” to have gone through it because he’s spent the past year educating himself, and putting in place policies to improve the situation, including plans to create a more diverse board of directors at Hospital.
Unveiling some of his musical plans for the future and discussing what the scene might look like post-pandemic, Tony – who is stepping back from running he label to focus on DJing and production – swore Hospital will never be sold to a major label and will always remain independent.
Hospital, he says, is always on the look for diverse new talent and he told young jungle DnB artists to get in touch if they want their tunes released on the label. Producers, you know what to do….