The Prodigy’s lead singer has exploded across social media and music press today, as fans pour their hearts out to an artist who defined a crossover between punk and rave, frontman persona and electronica.
It’s also been revealed by the band that Keith Flint took his own life, adding to the heartbreak many in our electronic music community feel. As one reader told The Guardian today, “people like Keith allowed a lot of people to crucify their own torment and demons.”
Music making is a beautiful and endlessly constructive outlet for so many of us channeling emotions. Yet we have to face a music industry that often does quite the opposite, and a society that amplifies illness rather than provides support and love. This applies to music technology, too, which often lets its own fortunes become intertwined with the entertainment business and all its dangers. I think that has to give us pause, again, for personal reflection about what we can do for ourselves and our friends, and the kind of music world we want to build.
At the same time, to create music and personas that can express feeling and joy – well, that’s something to be thankful for, even when we’re deeply saddened when someone leaves us like this.
Flint’s work for The Prodigy stands alone. But I’d also take issue with MusicRadar’s idea that he was the last frontman. Screw the major labels and the industry. Around the world, punk rock and electronics mix freely, and outlandish men and women find every kind of persona they can imagine as singers and out front of their machines. Certainly for some of them, The Prodigy gave them the feeling of that freedom to be those people, directly or indirectly. And more of these characters will arrive.
All that inspiration remains, and that love for music spreads.
seeing keith flint in the firestarter video when I was 10 years old was the single moment that turned me on to a lifetime of raving. thank you and rest in peace.
— Kornél Kovács (@KornelKovacs) March 4, 2019
RIP Keith Flint. I damn near burned a hole through The Prodigy Experience in 92 when there wasn't a lot of accessible dance music in Kentucky. It was a huge deal for me. I can't overstate it. I'm very grateful to have had proof that this world I wanted so badly actually existed.
— THE BLACK MADONNA (@blackmadonnachi) March 4, 2019
— Bill Kouligas (@bill_kouligas) March 4, 2019
And in a lighter anecdote:
Keith Flint kept a swearbox above the fire in the pub he used to own (The Leather Bottle in Pleshey, Essex). Whenever he put the logs and kindling in and someone piped up with the obvious joke, he'd point to it and charge them a quid. RIP. pic.twitter.com/lEYZPXfrFj
— Steve Anglesey (@sanglesey) March 4, 2019