How did you get into DJing
“I grew up in a small town, so the first real experience of nightclubs I had was at university. I’d always liked loud music, but I remember being amazed by sound and lights in my first few weeks of uni. I bought decks with my student loan and taught myself to DJ instead of doing my degree...”
How much opportunity is there in radio these days?
“More than ever. With technology as it is, there are new radio stations popping up constantly and you can even do live shows from your bedroom. You really can make a radio show with your phone, some free software and a few YouTube tutorials, so I’d recommend anyone who has an interest to have a go. I started out on student and then community radio and learned most of what I do from there. Once you have your sound and style, it’s about putting in the hours and being patient. Some of the most talented DJs I know are still waiting for their big opportunity, it’s certainly true you need a bit of luck on your side too.”
What’s your career highlight?
“I’m lucky to have had some amazing experiences, but doing my first show on Kiss is probably the highlight. As a specialist DJ, you dream of being able to play the music and artists you love on national radio – it’s an honour and a privilege that doesn’t get old! I love finding and playing artists that have never had national radio play before, even when streaming is so important, you can’t beat the look on someone’s face when they hear their music on the radio for the first time.”
I love finding and playing artists that have never had national radio play before
Tell us a dance music secret...
“Trance music is slowly taking over again! In the UK, ‘trance’ is almost a dirty word, but in the last year or so, as DJs and audiences are tiring of tech house, many of the biggest underground artists are taking influence from trance – with new aliases, labels and sounds emerging and releasing heavily trance-influenced music. It’s a touchy subject, but there are resounding similarities between what we’re labelling melodic or progressive and a lot of trance.”
How would you change the biz?
“Dance music has a diversity problem for sure. The stereotype that the industry is dominated by white men is depressingly accurate and although it’s getting better, we have a long way to go. Looking at festival line-ups or even dance charts, you’d easily forget the founding role that black and LGBTQ+ society played in making dance music what it is today.”
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