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DJs urge young people to vote in UK election

The youth vote could make all the difference in a close-run campaign...

DJs are urging young people to vote in the UK election, which takes place this Thursday 8th June.

In recent times, more than half of young people didn’t vote — but this election looks set to break the mould. 

After the general election was announced on April 18th, more than a million youth registered to vote in the following month. And, according to the polls, the youth vote can make all the difference to the campaign.

Some polls assume that young people won’t bother to vote. But when they take account of all age demographics voting, the polls show the two main parties — Labour and the Conservatives — are virtually neck and neck. So turnout is crucial.

A last-minute social media push to get the youth vote out is going on, using the hashtag #votingforhope. DJ Mag was contacted by the organisers to see if we wanted to participate.

There’s such a strong strand of hope and aspiration for a better future in many forms of dance music, we asked a bunch of UK DJs to pick a track that embodies these values for them — and why people should vote on Thursday 8th June. The responses are below.

Any other DJs — international or bedroom — who want to participate, simply pick a track and tweet why you think people should vote, using #votingforhope.

Anyone else — clubbers, promoters, whoever you are — can join in too. Let’s ensure that the UK dance community is well represented in this highly important election…

Sounds Of Blackness ‘Optimistic’

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice!”

Mr C
Mr C ‘Stand Up’ 

“As people in the dance music community, we are huge in numbers and can make a difference towards creating ourselves a better future — by standing up to be counted. This means to get out and vote on Thursday.”

Joe Smooth - Promised Land

“There is a reason some of the major parties don't encourage you to vote — because they know you can actually make a difference. Don't let them fool you, and don't be silent about things that matter.”

Happy Clappers ‘I Believe’

“It's so easy to become complacent and to think these things won't affect you but looking at the results of the past year of elections and referendums, here and around the globe, you can see how important it is to exercise your given right and have your say.”

Matthew Herbert
Harddrive ‘Deep Inside’

“This track is our generation's version of ‘All You Need Is Love’. At a time when so many (mainly male) voices are raised in violence, division, cynicism and bitterness, it's become an increasingly important and clear political message: that love is the foundation of any healthy society.”

Bill Brewster
Curtis Mayfield ‘Power To The People’

“Nobody expresses deeply held, positive opinions better than Curtis Mayfield. Somehow, when Curtis is singing, you always feel the world is a better place. Vote on Thursday.”

Jim Stanton (Horse Meat Disco)
Sounds of Blackness ‘The Pressure (Knuckles Classic Mix)’

“The reason this song is important for me is the message is so strong. It’s a celebration of the human spirit, it has everything there — pride, joy yet indignation and and ultimate redemption, transgression from the troubles in the world, and ultimately UNITY. It never fails to raise the spirits in the best and worst of times. Timeless and empowering.”

James Hillard (Horse Meat Disco)
McFadden & Whitehead ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’

“For socially conscious dance music, you can’t go much better than the music from the Philadelphia International Records archives. This track is that quintessential (and yes kind of obvious) clarion call for the people to rise up. And that’s what this election is all about. Rising up against all the bullshit in our society.”

Sophie Lloyd
Chuck Mangione feat Esther Satterfield ‘Land Of Make Believe’ 

“Our future is what we make it, it’s up to us to change things. VOTE!”

Gilles Peterson
Tenor Saw ‘Ring The Alarm’

“Ring the alarm, the Tories are dying…”

Jane Fitz
Fun Boy Three ‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum’

“Actually this song embodies anything but hope — it's a blunt and effective dismissal of executive powers and lack of personal freedoms from the mid-‘80s, but it could easily have been written today. If this doesn't make you want to take stock, rise up and fight the power, then nothing will. Vote for your future, for what you believe in.”

Danny Howells
James Brown ‘Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved’

“People need to get out and vote for change — their future doesn't have to lie in the hands of the self-serving elite, and by voting Labour we will have better hope for a smoother Brexit, as well as fairer, more principled politics and a leader we can trust.”

Dan Beaumont
Underground Resistance ‘Transition’

“Make the transition!”

Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols)
Razzy ‘I Hate Hate’

“If you believe in the NHS or in an education system that is free and available to everyone, not just the wealthy few, then you need to vote Labour. Do the right thing.”

Gideön (Block9, Glastonbury)
Fabe ‘High Stakes’

“The stakes couldn’t be higher really. If the Tories get back in then the terrible decisions they have been making over the past few years will become enshrined in law, unchallenged — we will be dragged back into the dark ages. Jeremy Corbyn is hands-down this country’s best hope at averting disaster. PLEASE go out and vote — before it’s too late!”

Code Of Practice ‘Can We Change The Future (Dub Plate Mix)’

“The answer to the question posed by Photek in the title of this track from 1993 is obviously a resounding ‘Yes'. A high turn-out amongst young people is our best chance to force an end to the catastrophic failure of the Tories' austerity project, and to tangibly improve the lives of everyone in this country. Please go out and vote tomorrow, we can change the future for the better.”

Charlotte Devaney
DJ Khaled ‘All I Do Is Win’

“My grandmother was Labour MP Renne Short, and the Labour Party is all I’ve known all my life. Growing up, my grandmother was a big influence and always taught me to be a strong woman and to treat all people as equals. Young people must come out to vote this Thursday to help make that change for the country’s future.”

Guy Williams
Sterling Void 'Alright’

“It’s really important for young people to get out and vote, as they can really make a change this election — and we certainly need one!” 

Alice Clark
Nick Beringer ‘Impulse’

“This track embodies a feeling of positivity and hopefulness. The dreamy and bouncy vibe resembles the power of the young voter — full of anticipation… It’s time to vote to make a difference. We should all make the most of this opportunity.” 

Pandit G (Asian Dub Foundation Sound System)
The Beat ‘Stand Down Margaret’

“The lyrics to this are as relevant today as they were at the start of the eighties. I was a teenager when Thatcher came to power. Throughout my adult life I've always felt I'm only voting to keep the Tories out. For the first time at this election I'm voting for something I believe in. So I'm campaigning for Labour. Get the Tories out.”  

Hilit Kolet
Erasure ‘Chains Of Love’

This track describes a romantic, if realistic, era. It relates to it in past tense, but if we all do our bit it could well become our future and even our present. It’s up to us!”