Annie Mac is lifting the lid on a new generation of superstar DJs

From The Guardian:

There’s a new international class of jet-setting super-rich party boys. Unlike the bankers, these men have been unfazed by the recession. They work for themselves, living lives of excess and getting up when they want. They garner little attention but have an army of disciples under their command.

“People have no idea,” says Annie Mac, who believes DJ culture is more than just a musical phenomenon, “because DJs don’t really do press; they don’t go around telling people how mental they are. And no one understands the level of money DJs earn. They’re just people who love music and have managed to make a fucking fortune out of it.”

We’re sitting with Mac – real name Annie MacManus, 34 – in a posh restaurant near Radio 1. She’s ordered sticky chicken wings and is diving in, fingers first. “It’s crazy, Skream and Benga are like the Sex Pistols!” she exclaims. “They are everything that’s wild and anarchic about underground music. You know bands like the Who or Led Zeppelin were famous for their excess? It’s spoken about, revered. But that’s happening every day in DJ world. Even compared to Oasis and what went on at [Noel’s famous 90s home] Supernova Heights … Mate. Go to Croydon on a Friday night. Skream and Benga are gonna make Noel and Liam look like pussies.”

A lot has changed since the first generation of DJ playboys. Oakenfold, Tong et al transformed dance music from a communal to a theatrical pursuit, a lucrative ego trip for the men behind the decks. But DJs had a glass ceiling. Even the biggest DJ in the world could only play at the biggest club in Ibiza.

“I think Norman Cook was the first one who made the transition from the club to the stadium,” says Mac. “He was more of an entertainer than a DJ. Now it’s regular for quite underground DJs to be playing massive shows.”

DJs are among the few arts professionals in Britain still in high demand. While record companies cough up blood and most bands can scarcely afford to pay their rent, DJs are living through a boom. Teenagers who would balk at the idea of paying a tenner for a record will happily pay £25 to see some bloke play them.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Guardian