Following the circulation of a Google form online, asking for ADE to remove Konstantin from its line-up, the Giegling co-founder has issued a statement in response.
A statement to Mixmag reads: “When I first discovered dance music, I fell in love with its freedom. How every kind of rhythm and musical influence can be integrated into this music. And I felt the same about the spaces, where this music took place. People from all kinds of backgrounds came together with an open mindset to connect on another level. This kind of diversity and freedom is what brought me to this music in the first place.”
“The fact that I am now considered as a symbol of sexism and discrimination is the opposite of what I want to achieve. This breaks my heart. Because I don’t think women are worse DJs than men. There are DJs with different levels of skills, but this has nothing to do with gender.”
He continues, “I realised that I treated sensitive topics with a lack of knowledge by taking only my own experiences into consideration. Through the conversations last year I realised that from my own perspective I didn’t understand the levels of discrimination and sexism that still exist in our society. If I had seen this clearer and actually felt it, I wouldn’t have discussed this topic so carelessly. Therefore, I now comprehend the huge importance and the need for people who make this discrimination visible and try to bring things into balance.”
“I deeply apologise to the people that I have hurt,” he adds. “I would love to know what I can do to make amends.”
Last year, Konstantin was called out for making sexist comments in a feature by German publication Groove Magazine. In the article, he was quoted as saying that DJing makes women look “manly” and to take on the decks, women must lose their “female qualities”. He also expressed that he thought women, who are “usually worse at DJing than men”, are disproportionately promoted over male DJs. Following the article, artists such as The Black Madonna have spoken out about their own experiences.
So, I’ll read the article but last week Konsti said and I quote “You’re a feminist? You might not want to be around me. I’m a chauvinist.”
— THE BLACK MADONNA (@blackmadonnachi) June 21, 2017
The open letter that’s been circulating since last week states: “Sexism is not a problem exclusive to this DJ, nor to the Giegling crew. Yet, the fact that [ADE] have failed to adequately address his views, and have continued to stand by him, should be taken seriously by everyone in our community: bookers, agents, promoters, audiences and other DJs alike.” It’s been signed by industry insiders including Eclair Fifi, Discwoman and Object Blue.
The team behind the open letter also released a FAQ saying, “This is not a private matter between us and Konstantin. It’s not just about him. This is about putting action to our words. Didn’t we all agree that sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bigotry are unwelcome? That the electronic music scene originated as a space to protect those who don’t feel safe in the outside world? Is it so difficult to stand by those values and not invite those who clearly don’t understand what harm their words or actions can cause?”
ADE has booked the producer for a Giegling show at SkateCafe, a Circoloco x Loveland party at Mediahaven and a NGHTDVSN x NMH ADE showcase at Het Sieraad. After seeing the online petition, ADE said they were planning on asking Konstantin to speak about sexism in the music industry at a panel.