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Can electronic dance music inspire climate action?

When sweaty revellers are cutting shapes on the dance floor, can they be inspired to think about climate change? Dilo and Robin Perkins from DJs For Climate Action tell the Eco-Business Podcast how dance music can drive climate action.

Can electronic dance music drive climate action?

Music has long been a force for change. From Little Steven’s Artists Against Apartheid to John Lennon’s anti-Vietnam war ballad Give peace a chance, music has driven political movements and agitated for a better future throughout history. 

But can the boom-boom beats of electronic dance music drive the same sort of change? Some DJs think so.

In 2011, a New York DJ named Sammy Bananas formed a non-profit called DJs for Climate Action (DJs4CA) when he became conscious that he was flying too much to perform. DJs4CA encourages DJs to think about their climate impact, and to spread the word about the climate change through their music.

DJs4CA puts on events such as Earth Night, an annual follow-up to environmental movement Earth Day when DJs play music and experts discuss culture and climate. This year, DJs4CA produced a compilation of music called Climate Soundtrack inspired from sounds from nature recorded by campaign group Greenpeace for DJs to use in their music.

Now more than ever we need a hopeful soundtrack for saving humanity.

Robin Perkins, DJ name El Búho, organiser, DJs for Climate Action

Joining the Eco-Business podcast to talk about how DJs can drive climate action are two members of DJs4CA: Robin Perkins, a former Greenpeace activist, organiser of the group and DJ who goes by the name El Búho, and Dilo, a DJ and music producer from the Indian Ocean island of Réunion.

Dillo and Robin Perkins

Dilo and Robin Perkins, AKA El Búho

Tune in as we talk about:

  • The birth of DJs for Climate Action
  • How can climate themes be weaved into dance music?
  • Isn’t dance music about escape?
  • Music that drives change

The music featured on this podcast includes: Aguas Claras by El Búho. 

The music of Dilo, or Eat My Butterfly.

Belbel an Ier by Zanmari Baré.

And Alegria, Alegria by Caetano Veloso.

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