Billboard recently featured an article on the legendary Boiler Room, taking a moment to look back on how things started, and also reveal where founder and CEO Blaise Bellville plans to take the live streaming music show phenomenon in the near future. Since it was first conceived in 2010, tucked away in an East London basement, it has literally embodied the essence of underground music culture, while also managing to grow its audience numbers exponentially. The unique duality of intimacy and expansiveness, exclusivity and accessibility is unprecedented, allowing droves of online voyeurs to “experience” what in reality only a chosen few could actually see up close (by invitation only).
As their 2013 Reel video states, Boiler Room is now the biggest underground music show in the world, with hotspots in multiple continents, drawing artists as widely known as Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and as elitist as Sven Väth. And rather than sell out on the foundational underground spirit by pursuing the commercial EDM market, Bellville has another plan.
Now that his project has redefined the concept of music TV, he wants to continue the expansion into the American hip hop scene via smaller “living room” sessions in private homes, an idea which apparently came to him recently at Miami Music Week. Bellville will begin this new installment in Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens, New York, already recruiting the partnership of hip hop artists including Just Blaze, Smoke DZA, Action Bronson, Mobb Deep, and Big Daddy Kane. As Bellville explains, this will also be a way for Boiler Room to continue the global interplay of particular music hubs:
“Up until now, we’ve provided America and a lot of the world with a very good keyhole into the U.K. music scene, or into the Berlin techno scene…What we haven’t fully explored yet is sitting in the U.K. and being able to understand what America is about. So, when we’re actually comprehensive in our coverage of music in America, that’s going to be really exciting, because then we’d have two of the biggest markets in the world feeding off each other and being able to discover each other.”