HAAi, whose real name is Teneil Throssell, is one of the first artists Boiler Room included in their “Streaming From Isolation” series. Boiler Room does a few things. They make clothes and content, including some solid documentaries about music subcultures across the world (my favorite is this one on the Awful Records and their house in Atlanta). Boiler Room is most known though for the techno and house parties they throw around the world and the videos of them they livestream and then upload after. Having your own set is like the electronic music world’s rough equivalent of a TED Talk but with way less baggage.
The move to having no people with the Streaming From Isolation series is essentially how the whole Boiler Room thing started to begin with. Blaise Bellville started livestreaming DJ sets by himself in a literal boiler room back in 2010. They’ve basically been ready for this moment for 10 years, where we’re all by ourselves and can’t do shit besides stuff on our computer or watch other people do shit through our computers.
The Streaming From Isolation series has been really interesting. DJ’s still play sets that sound like what they’d play in a club for a normal event, but almost everything else is different. Each artist plays from a set up in their living room instead of some basement or warehouse club and they’re by themselves. Normally there are people surrounding the DJ, who know they’re on camera and, accordingly, are weirdly posturing. It’s also just possible that club drugs induce a lot of weird behavior. Both are probably true. One YouTube channel has compiled highlights of the weirdest ones into a 39 part and counting series on “People of Boiler Room.” The first one features a dude going nuts with his afro pick and another guy having intense hallucinations that make him look like he’s possessed.
Instead of clubs with weirdos or even abandoned boiler rooms, DJs are streaming from their apartments, giving everyone a look at a sliver (probably a large sliver since the DJs so far have been based in London, where rent money doesn’t get you much) of your favorite artists apartments. Call Super’s is pretty cluttered and has boxes stacked. Sippin T’s is simple, and doesn’t show off much more than her Jamaican flag. Mall Grab’s is one of the most curated. He sacrifices good lighting by facing away from his windows, in exchange for a pleasant view of his neighborhood. He has some hip plants, a pink panther and an alien ukelele for decor. HAAi’s is maybe the coolest and most Boiler Room-like. Raw concrete columns separate the windows behind her with red and green neon lights under them.
HAAi also took advantage of the livestream to rep the U.K.’s National Health Services in her set, with her NHS x Nike, bootleg, by the streetwear brand for the lifestyles of the “poor, rich & famous” Sports Banger. The shirts were made in support of Britain’s single-payer health care system, which people in the country are pretty excited about, unlike Americans with the U.S.’s health care system. Funds raised from the shirt, which Sportsbanger keeps intermittently restocking, are going towards healthy food drops for British health care workers who are working around the clock to mitigate the fallout of Boris Johnson’s harebrained plan for coronavirus herd immunity, which he eventually backed down from.
Single-payer healthcare aside, HAAi’s music is good and very upbeat. It’s an amalgamation of deep house and industrial with a bunch of other stuff I’m not even going to try to name. Here’s a sampling of her first album and a few of her mixes including that Streaming From Isolation one: