My beautiful friend Ashes57 lost her soulmate and colleague DJ Rashad last Sunday. I’m so so devastated for her, I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on anything else this week. I can’t imagine what she’s going through, but I can say that admirably, she’s decided to carry on with her solo show in Manchester which opens this Thursday, as a tribute to DJ Rashad. All proceeds will go to his family. Please show your support if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not – you can donate here: http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/Twenty-Twenty-Two/Ashes57-Exhibition/12159758/
I’m sad for the rest of his crew too, Teklife, for Hyperdub who posted this moving statement; for Chicago, Rashad’s home city; For everyone that knew him globally and of course, for his family & his friends. I’m sad that his incredible and prolific musical career has been stopped short at the age of 34.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard his music, in my little apartment in Paris. It sent me into a trance, it got me excited about new music for the first time in ages, so much so that I tried to write a decent article about Footwork, for a French magazine called Shoes-Up. The few times I experienced Rashad playing live (with DJ Spinn and once with Litebulb dancing, with a paper bag on his head) sent me and my mates and pretty much anyone in the vicinity into a frenzy.
I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that sonically he was a game-changer, inspiring and befriending many, many a global producer and DJ. On this side of the pond – DJ’s Oneman, Kode9, Addison Groove and Ikonika, did a heartfelt tribute mix on Boiler Room yesterday; as did Bok Bok and P.O.L Style on Rinse FM on Sunday (see below).
Despite all this sadness & feeling of injustice on my brow, the cliché about death making us feel grateful for our own lives is ringing in my ears, more loudly perhaps than it’s ever done so. I think this is mostly to do with the epic creative output of a man that died too early and how evident the love that people all over the planet have for him.
Kode9 wrote on Twitter last Sunday:
“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly @DJRASHAD“
For what it’s worth, Rashad makes me want to live my own life much more brightly, more truly, more happily, more positively. “Have fun and live life,” as he said himself in this recent interview.
R.I.P Rashad, thankyou.