Getting to know: Gennaro, Boiler Room's Senior Curator

Boiler Room is coming back to Utrecht for a second sold-out party in only one year’s time. Some of you might know them as the organisation programming and streaming some of the best DJ- and live-sets of electronic music artists in a variety of places all over the world. 

With the London music project entering its 10th year of existence in 2020, we thought it was the perfect occasion to ask none other than Boiler Room’s senior programmer, Gennaro Leone, for a little peek into his process, love for Utrecht, and vision for the future.

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Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. It’s the end of the year, so you must be crazy busy. Could you tell us something about how your first collaboration with WAS. came to be?

At Boiler Room HQ, we’ve been following WAS. since the very beginning. The programming and ethos are very much in line with our vision at Boiler Room. You could say that it came naturally to approach them and look into ways of doing something together.

You say that you’ve been following WAS. since the very beginning. How would you then describe the scene in Utrecht from a programmer’s perspective?

Well, The Netherlands has always had a very fertile and vibrant scene for underground music. This is even more so the case these days. The innumerable selections of very talented DJs, clubs and promoters make the country one of the most pioneering places for new sounds. WAS. is definitely somewhere at the top of the list when it comes to that.

As a programmer, you are constantly keeping yourself up to date on what’s happening locally. This is not an easy task considering you are not and can’t be a local of all these places. What does the process of getting those right artists on that line-up look like for you?

I can’t tell you more than trust your ears and try to experience every party and every scene as much as possible. Being physically part of it is definitely key.

Boiler Room has long been on the forefronts of club culture broadcasting. Now, we’re seeing more and more initiations of similar, more local streaming platforms popping up here and there. How has live broadcasting shaped contemporary nightlife according to you?

Generally, I think that broadcasting has made underground music more accessible to a wider audience. Of course, there are pros and cons to this. But either way, it has increased the audience drastically and therefore generated diverse opportunities across the whole industry.

So, how do you see the future of the global night- and club culture landscape?

This is indeed an interesting topic and we could touch different angles for sure, but I will try to keep it short.

Nowadays we’re facing a multitude of pressing matters like climate crisis, gender inequality, social politics – and club culture has become a tool that helps to create awareness. It has a major influence on how people view and approach those causes.

Despite the radical progress, clubbing is still being threatened though. With many shut down venues being turned into property, dancefloors are not yet seen as socially valid or even educational spaces. This is the case in many countries as opposed to others such as The Netherlands where there seems to be a good balance and understanding between the government and clubbing-goers. Looking ahead, I think it is all about finding new ways to protect and safeguard the longevity of nightlife by continuing to create new spaces for marginalised communities; new homes where everyone can feel safe, protecting each other and learning together.

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The upcoming Boiler Room event on Saturday, December 14 with JASSS, J-ZBEL (LIVE), SOLARIS, LEIF, KONDUKU, PIETER JANSEN & TALA DRUM CORPS is currently sold-out. A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door. Please get familiarized with our house rules and door policy before heading over. More info can be found in the Facebook event.

11.12.2019 | Words by Manal Aziz | WAS. image by Tim Buiting