A&Rs and producers distance themselves from R&S Records after racism accusations

Label A&R Raj Chaudhuri has now quit

14.10.20

Words by: Felicity Martin

R&S founder Renaat Vandepapeliere has been accused of racism after an exchange between him and artist Eddington Again was publicised on social media.

Former label A&R Raj Chaudhuri has now quit, posting a statement about why he is leaving the company. “I am not comfortable with working with Renaat Vandepapeliere and putting energy into a company that doesn’t support Black and women artists sufficiently,” he says.

In an email exchange with Eddington Again, who was signed to the R&S sub-label Apollo, Vandepapeliere used the phrase “full pure breed Black artist”, although he has since apologised.

In a statement given to Resident Advisor, Eddington Again said he “felt disrespected and disregarded by Renaat and Andy Whittaker at R&S … Since the death of George Floyd and the global uprising for the Black lives, R&S has said nothing on the matter.”

Raj Chaudhuri described this as “dehumanising language about a Black artist,” and explained that his decision to leave the company had come immediately when this news came out, but that he had been taking legal advice about his departure.

Chaudhuri, who DJs under the name Raji Rags, is an NTS resident and co-founder of the popular Livin’ Proof party series and had worked at R&S for over 12 months, releasing records including a joint label venture with Ahadadream’s More Time Records and the ‘In Order To Care’ charity compilation, which raised over £50,000 for the NHS. In his statement, he wrote: “The NHS compilation alone with one release had more non-male artists than had released on the entirety of R&S’s 37-year history.”

Concluding his statement, he wrote: “The future of the label was shifting. None of this will sadly happen anymore.”

“I cannot work with Renaat when I know that his views on race and gender are not as progressive as some of the music that has been released on his record label”.

Paul Woolford also spoke out against the label on his Instagram Stories, but as a time-limited post it has since disappeared.

Read Chaudhuri’s statement in full below.

UPDATE (22/10/20): Forest Drive West has announced that he will no longer be working with R&S.

“I was shocked when I saw the language that Renaat used when talking to Eddington Again,” the London producer wrote in a statement, adding that all profits from his recent R&S-released ‘Terminus’ EP will be donated to the Stephen Lawrence Trust.

Read his statement below.

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