This unassailable truth can’t be stressed enough: ‘Popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality’. Moreover, though it may sound radical, the saying, ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’ isn’t necessarily unimpeachable especially when talking about expressing the love of the arts in general and music in particular.
Case in point: DMX Krew’s (Ed Upton) prolific and enduring career in the underground electronic music scene. For more than 25 years, the unrelentingly audacious electro-pop/breakbeat record producer from London never had a bonafide ‘mainstream hit song’ or enjoyed a commercial/crossover success but he’s perfectly fine with it. In fact, he relishes his ‘almost never famous’ cult-like status as he’s not under any illusions about his popularity.
In an interview with Resident Advisor he explained: “I don’t think I’m famous, and I don’t think I ever will be. And I don’t care. I just love doing the thing. I love being in the room that I’m sitting in now, playing with this stuff. It’s like what Buddhists are looking for. The feeling where the whole world goes away, you don’t know where the time goes, and you don’t think about what you’re doing—you just do the thing, and in the end you get this little piece of music that’s come from somewhere. And that’s what I love.”
I couldn’t have worded it any better. DMX Krew’s career may have been lacking in popularity, but it’s never deficient in authenticity–which what the music industry sorely needs this day and age. He doesn’t pander to anyone or anything in exchange for fame or money. He just makes uncompromising music in record speed because he simply loves it.
DMX Krew’s drive, dedication and love for the craft are the very same reasons why he remains afloat in the ever-changing tides, the ebb and flow of the music industry. Such enduring qualities are necessary to persevere in an industry rife with cookie-cutter one-hit wonders that the ‘fame machine’ feeds on and spits out whenever it sees fit.