You might have heard of this chap via Dalston Superstore' Sunday nighter, Tutti Frutti. He'll be doing their post-Lovebox event this month and we got to wondering who the heck he was. We sent some questions...
"Continue reading" and get the lowdown, some top tips and more...
Wanna hear his music? Check out SoundCloud.
What are you favourite gay nights and venues in London?
I don’t have many really, well not exclusively gay. I love Batty Bass, Trailer Trash, Paris Acid Ball (plug) Gutterslut, SOS, Wet Your Self, Horse Meat Disco, Gay Bingo. I think the scene in the east has more appeal for me and I’ve been working on the east side of town for the last eight years. Venue-wise obviously Dalston Superstore (ker’ching), Vogue Fabrics, East Bloc, George & Dragon, The Cambria, RVT, Eagle, Light Box, Fabric, Plastic People, Red Gallery, XOYO and of course my own night Tutti Frutti (served!). I suppose that’s quite a list really, but as a born and bred Londoner I find the wider Gay scene really quite stagnant. There is so much good music out there that really gets overlooked. In the eighties and nineties Gay clubs were leading the way in new music genres and promotion. The energy has fizzled out in a lot of places, very few promoters get it right these days but luckily I know the few who do. I have to mention The NYC Downlow; the place is amazing!!! I first went to the NYC at Glastonbury five years ago and I found something there I thought had vanished from the club scene. It is a truly mega production and all the people who work on it all come with the intention to give a great party. So having the NYC Downlow at Lovebox is a real treat (save’s a slog to Glasto with a coach full of trannies). The NYC Downlow on a Sunday is a little slice of what happens over four days in the Gay Ghetto at Glastonbury. It’s great that Lovebox brings the festival vibe to London and especially having a gay day. We need it! I nominate James Baille [Lovebox Sunday curator] for an O.B.E for services to SERVING IT!!!
What's been your most embarrassing moment DJing?
I don’t have any really, if you know me you’ll know I don’t embarrass easy. I just smile and serve. If I make mistakes I tend to style it out somehow. I’ve had a few occasions when I have stopped the wrong record whilst playing, but then when the dance floor all look at me I just smile and say “WHAT GIRL?”
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Lovebox on the Sunday?
Grace Jones, she’s going to be major. Mika as well. Azari & III are a must, then Felix da Housecat, DJ Hell, Tiga, Chic, Sam Sparro, Patrick Wolf, HMD, Optimo. There is so much on the line up I just hope I can see it all. Most of all I can’t wait to see Jonny Woo, John Sizzle and A Man To Pet, These girls are worth the ticket price on their own. I think Lovebox is the best Gay day out you can have really.
What can we expect from the Superstore Secret Disco Tent at Lovebox?
The finest selection of music of course, something old, something new, some tunes borrowed but never blue. We have a great family at Superstore and we all have our styles but essentially we all know how to werk the floor. Over the last three years Dalston Superstore has established itself as a place for quality music and entertainment. We are quite a hedonistic bunch but that just adds to the flava. This year I’m celebrating my Silver Jubilee in DJing (Liz ain’t the only Queen with something to celebrate. For me I consider this an official Jubilee engagement. I may even get some tea towels printed.
Sum up in one sentence why people should support gay marriage...
Equal rights for all whatever your sexual preference.
If your house was on fire and you could only save one record what would you save?
That’s really difficult to answer; I’d probably grab my hard-drive as that has most of my collection on it. But if I had to choose one I think I would have to stay with the records and burn, probably because I was taking too long to pick something. A true captain goes down with his ship I suppose. Playing music to people has been a big part of my life from such an early age; I have collected quite a lot of records over the years. I’ve been DJing for 25 years and I’m not sure I could deal with not having my music. I could probably equate it to which of my babies I’d pick to save because as a gay man my records are my babies. Sad as it may sound but they bring me and many other joy and happiness. OMG you’re really probing me with these questions! Enough with the Piers Morgan you guys.
How would you describe your DJing style?
I like to mix anything and everything. The longer the mix is the better. I don’t find it that inspiring mixing just one genre of music, I like to really mix it up. It’s all about the journey; the DJ should be taking their audience on a trip, hopefully one they won’t forget for the right reasons. I’m blessed to run Tutti Frutti every Sunday at Superstore where I can play everything from ‘80s soul and funk, r’n’b and hip-hop, sixties, pop and indie, disco and vintage house, underground and tech. All served on a bed of beats. A lot of the mash-ups I’ve created have be born on the decks at Tutti Frutti. I usually play a six-hour set so I can really work the bar to the max, I’m all about the length. It’s the best place to end or continue your weekend.
Where do you go record shopping?
I buy most of my new tracks digitally from Beatport as it’s more cost effective. Vinyl is so expensive these days. But if I’m feeling flush then I always go to Phonica, they have the best selection of new music and give good service, which can be hard to find these days.
What inspired you to start DJing?
Initially my friend Lindon who I had the biggest crush on aged 14, He was the one for me... Gorgeous!!!! An amazing hip hop DJ who was incredible at scratching (I’m an ‘80s child) But when I hit the club scene there were two DJ’s who inspired me to make it my career... DJ Breeze (who sadly is no longer with us) and the legend that is Jeffrey Hinton. I learned a lot from watching these guys work. Breeze taught me how to format a great set and Jeffrey showed me how to mix it all up, and to think outside the box really. Jeffrey has inspired me in so many ways, I don’t know of many DJ’s that are able to take any form of music and mix it into something completely new. Back in 1989-1990 Jeffrey made an amazing super mega mix of Kylie’s What Do I Have To Do using a four track recorder, OMG!!! She was beyond fantastic. I also have to two very dear friends who inspired me from age 16 and they are Ted Ainscow who pushed me towards the emerging house scene. He also gave great and sometimes harsh comments about my mixing/music. He really helped me not to be complacent and improve my technical skills. Secondly there is Steve Sleeve, who I learned so much from about the club scene. Steve helped me immensely when I first started promoting and gave me faith to carry on with the journey I started. We all need a big brother/sista to tell it how it is and Steve was mine. I’m a lucky guy to have had this input.
What are some of your favourite but now sadly defunct nights in London?
Well you do realise I’m an old bird so my list goes way back.... you may want to put the kettle on. Here it goes; Stallions, BAD (Soundshaft), Traffic (Birthplace of DJ Squeaky), 2XS (Salem Studios), SHOOM, Spektrum, Delerium, Mud Club, Pyramid (Heaven), Garage (Heaven), Troll, Daisy Chain (Fridge), SLANTED, Bagleys Warehouse, TRADE (Turnmills), FF, DTPM, Best Of British (M.O.S), T-Bar (Sundays), Public Life, Market Tavern, Essence, Whirly Gig, Universe, Lost, Methodair, Strawberry Sundae, Pumping Curls, Kitty Lips, Wish, Confusion (Bill Stickers), Shake and Fingerpop (Limelight), Soul Kitchen (Fridge), 2001 (Love Cormac), Detox, Retox, CK Family, Beyond (tranny night at Turnmills), Kinki Gerlinki, Sugar Lump.....I think that’s it. I’ve seen a lot come and go over the last 25 years.
Tell us about Paris' Acid Ball, the night you run with Dan Beaumont and Hannah Holland...
You mean the phenomenon that is The Paris Acid Ball? Well what started as the record launch for Hannah Holland’s Paris’ Acid Ball and it soon morphed into a full on house and acid Oooerque out. We initially hosted the nights at Superstore and then quickly moved into the warehouse arena. We hosted Paris Acid Ball at Trailer Trash’s New Year party at the Red Gallery and it was immense. A proper Ballroom experience and the children loved it right off. It took us all by surprise really I don’t think we expected the Acid Ball to gain notoriety that quickly. The music is about all things Vogue, Acid and New York, with our very own Paris Acid
Twist. I feel very Blessed to be working with two great DJ’s, Hannah Holland and Dan Beaumont. We had a three-way mix session at one of the parties and it was like the Witches Of East Bitch, pure magic! It’s not very often that you get to work with other DJ’s who all get each other. We have had some great guest DJ’s along the way, Josh Caffe has been a great addition to the line up (she knows how to serve). Luke Howard gave us the full New York flava when he played last. Smokin Jo was all over it when she joined us at the Electrowerkz Warehouse party, she is one of the UK finest DJ’s. Miss Honey Dijon came to Superstore to play for us a while back and blew the roof off!!! It was like church in the basement, she was preaching and the children were praying on the floor for more. I think that will always be a life changing night for me. We have our next Acid Ball on June 12th at Bar-A-Bar with Luke Howard and Severino joining the Acid Ball Collective on the decks. Most exciting of all CARRY NATION are jetting over from New York to perform “This Bitch Is Alive” which Hannah Has signed to Batty Bass Records. These Queens are it girl...the real deal! We have an Aviance in the House.... 3 snaps for the Ball. I’m sooo looking forward to it; it’s going to be legendary. This year has some more amazing guest DJ’s in the pipeline. The Acid Ball is coming at’cha with both barrels. Lock and load. OOOOOerque!!!!!