Detroit Swindle Rebrand to Dam Swindle Due to Cultural Appropriation Concerns

by | Nov 23, 2020 | Culture, Stories | 0 comments

Detroit Swindle now go by the stage name Dam Swindle. The Dutch DJ and producer duo rebranded over concerns of cultural appropriation, following in the footsteps of artists like The Blessed Madonna and Dave Lee.

The decision followed “careful deliberation and intensive conversations” according to a social media statement by the duo (real names Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets).

“When we chose the name Detroit Swindle back in 2011, it was done as a homage to the music from the Motor City,” they wrote. “It was our mutual love for Motown and Detroit hip-hop that brought us together and inspired us to start making music together.”

“We added the ‘Swindle’ to make sure people wouldn’t think we were claiming to be from Detroit,” the statement goes on. “We never intended to claim ownership over something that was not ours to claim.”

Although Dales and Smeets included this explanation in their bio, they said that conversations about cultural appropriation have made them think about their role in the music industry in recent months. “We want to be reflective, learn about our blind spots and be sensitive to how other people experience and view the world,” they wrote. “Dam” in Dam Swindle is a reference to Amsterdam, where they both live.

Black Lives Matter protests that erupted around the world in the wake George Floyd‘s murder in Minneapolis in May have reignited conversations about Race and dance music. Outcry has not been limited to artists alone. Renowned brands like Native Instruments and R&S Records have come under fire for practices deemed insensitive in the months since.

Dales and Smeets closed out their statement by promising new music on the way in the near future.

Image credit: Lauren Murphy

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