How Jaguar is Bringing Her Vision of UTOPIA to life
Sep 16, 2022
2 min read
From its roots in gay, Black and Latino U.S. communities to the U.K. acid house revolution to post-reunification techno clubs in Berlin, electronic music has long instilled egalitarian feelings in its participants. Jaguar is committed to giving this ethos a life beyond fleeting moments on the dance floor, and she’s doing so under the fitting banner UTOPIA.
UTOPIA started out as a post-pandemic party series, the first installment of which took place at Venue MOT in July 2021. Artwork around the event brand derived inspiration from West African Moon Masks that Jaguar fell in love with during a family trip to Ghana.
“UTOPIA is unity, UTOPIA is the future,” reads an event description. “Let’s move into the light together. You ready?”
Artists billed to perform at UTOPIA events have included Bklava, Cici, Jacana People, Kessler, Groovy D, and Jaguar herself. Each lineup speaks to an extension of Jaguar’s curatorial style as presenter of “BBC Music Introducing” — and before that, her own Reprezent Radio program. Her approach has historically placed women, non-binary, and POC musicians front and center with an emphasis on breaking new talent.
UTOPIA is not confined to parties. In June 2021, Jaguar announced a podcast series called “UTOPIA Talks” based on a conference of its namesake in which she speaks with guests from all across the dance music spectrum about issues pertaining to the scene as well as society at large. Among the figures to join her on the podcast are The Blessed Madonna, Sama’ Abdulhadi, Fat Tony, Sherelle, and Avtomat.
“My generation is passionate about creating change and breaking boundaries, and this podcast is a space for in-depth, meaty conversations about issues in dance music culture and the wider world," said Jaguar of the series. “I’m excited about having a platform to give my generation a voice, and I hope it becomes a cornerstone to young music lovers and artists.”
What lies ahead for Jaguar’s multifaceted UTOPIA brand? The possibilities are seemingly endless. At least one common thread will likely continue to weave through every manifestation of the concept: an inclusive sensibility that evokes dance music’s rich origins.