Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

◙ Last Night A DJ Saved My Life was a song by the 'one-hit wonder' post-disco band Indeep (1982) from New York. The lyrics tell the story of a house-wife bored at home. She wants to speak to her man, but cannot reach him and considers leaving him, until a DJ plays a hot song on the radio... Yet that is pop-history and the 'titivating' tune has been remixed and sampled by Producers and DJs many times over...

➡ Fast forward into the new millennium - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life is an international charity initiative which is actually involved in 'saving lives' and 'empowering communities' in need of assistance. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life based in the UK, currently enables DJs and Artists from the dance music industry to make a positive impact by supporting children belonging to communities in need and in crisis. L.N.A.D.S.M.L has conducted several empowerment and development projects in Africa and India since 2010. Currently the highlight of their efforts is the Have A Drink On Us Project. In association with 'Eats Everything' the project has built 22 fresh-water wells at various locations in India (Andhra Pradesh) and Africa (Uganda, Tanzania) effecting lives of almost 24,000 rural folks. Read more about the vision of the organization. L.N.A.D.S.M.L is one of the few sustainable and dedicated initiatives towards creating awareness amongst DJs, Artists and the Industry.

We spoke to founder Jonny Lee recently about his vision and the need for the industry and artists to come forward for those communities and children in need of help.

► How did 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life' start? What was the motivation?
I ran a half-marathon in 2008. There were some 52000 people participating, all giving towards a cause and charity. It made me think! I put on an event to raise funds soon after which lead me to the big idea - About the dance music industry and what was happening in terms of social responsibility. Having come to the conclusion very little was being done... it became a challenge for me : About how to inspire those in the industry by leading with an altruistic example. Being aware and having shared the beautiful energy we feel collectively on dance floors so many times : I felt the same energy could also save lives...

Tell us about the artists and DJs who have come forward to help/support? - The response has been big... Yet to name a few that we started out with, pioneers like Danny Rampling, Nancy Noise, Trevor Fung, Alfredo. Later on big artists like Fat Boy Slim, Paul Van Dyk, Carl Cox, Joe Smooth, Nightmares on Wax, Matthew Bushwacka , Ralph Lawson have also contributed. As of now, recently Seth Troxler, Dubfire, Eats Everything and Radio Slave are on-board the initiative. And more ...

► What are the big challenges faced by Last Night A DJ Saved My Life as an organization? 
Mostly about finance and it's generation. One of our biggest challenges is to be able to support and pay a professional team : which is eventually responsible for our project's execution. It's about a balance, that helps us to grow continuously as well as have create time for ourselves to think and expand. At times, getting past certain agencies and managers to reach across to the artists, to persuade them to perform for non-profit funding raising events. To make artists aware and create further commitment towards certain global needs - For example, that clean water and sanitation is a human right and almost 663 million people don’t have it.

► Is the industry or the big institutions aware of such projects?
I feel over time, in the recent years industry is getting more positive in it's commitments towards charitable causes and empowerment projects. Even artists as individuals seem more attuned to such calls. Similar awareness is reflected in increasing editorial space dedicated to featuring such initiatives like ours. Altogether it helps us to create further momentum and awareness... For example as a part of the 'Have A Drink On Us' project. Nightmares on Wax and Loopmasters have donated for building wells for rural people to access clean drinking water in many places such as Andhra Pradesh India. 

► What about music education as a tool to empower people ? especially youth and children ?
As an organization, we speak highly of the power of music which can empower all, especially young people. In the past our 'House the House DJ competition' created an interaction between young people to share and discuss opportunities. We have extended our supported to Nordoff Robins (the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK). We worked with Key Changes, a music therapy service, helping young and old who have social, personal, developmental and learning issues... As part of a new initiative 'Get Equipped' : Recycling 2nd hand kits, we have gifted Pioneer CDJ's to an NGO supporting a group of young boys in Tanzania : they have gone 'DJ crazy' and it has brought them hours of joy through music...

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