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Dele Fadele September 19, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

A name known to some of us from NME. Shocking to hear that he had died two years ago – a tragic event that passed many of those who knew him by in part due to his private nature. He was always an entertaining music journalist and he added vocals to this from Chapterhouse, perhaps their best moment where their dance tendencies really won out over their shoegazer roots.

The article raises some fascinating and in a way difficult questions. For example:

When Tomashevski made contact with Dele’s family in Nigeria she says they weren’t fully aware of the details of his achievements as a music writer. But they were also a little suspicious – if Dele was such a big deal, why had nobody contacted them for two years?

To understand this, you perhaps have to understand the unsteady world of music journalism; the people it attracts and the support system – or lack of – it offers. For many of us, music writing didn’t offer a step forward into the real world, but an escape from it.

“The music industry attracts waifs and strays, people who maybe struggle with the basic stuff,” is how Tomashevski puts it. Writing for the NME offers extreme highs – meeting your heroes, travelling the world, getting into gigs for free and hearing records months before everyone else. But even back in the 1990s it paid badly, and wasn’t exactly a career geared towards longevity. Before closing its print edition in 2018, NME had been constantly downsizing, cutting off one of Dele’s few remaining financial avenues. Add to this Dele’s reputation for disappearing, his mental health, and it becomes clearer why news of Dele’s death took so long to emerge.

And I think that’s true of music itself – for many involved in it.

Dele Fadele was a great writer and a real fan. Here’s a link to a selection of his works, unfortunately behind a paywall.


1. oliverbohs - September 19, 2020

In a review I saw of Ian Penman’s It Gets Me Home This Curving Track, it mentioned in passing about a former music paper hack reduced to selling off old albums of his on the street near a train station. One of those narrowly defined vocations that the Internet made nearly impossible to maintain unless yr hustling instincts keep you in the game (at the expense of proper critical judgement)

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 19, 2020


BTW, isn’t there quite some irony that all those articles linked above are behind a paywall.


2. sonofstan - September 19, 2020

Very sad, didn’t know either.
Some people used the music press as a step ladder to ‘better’ things: Burchill, Parsons, Dannys Kelly and Baker, and more. The ones who got left behnid were the ones who were actual music geeks and who saw writing about it as an end in itself.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 19, 2020



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