I’m proud and honored, being one of the pioneers of Drum and Bass & Jungle music has given me a life that I never dreamt I’d have. To come from nothing and become an icon is something I’ll never take for granted. I’ve just returned from a tour of Australia & New Zealand and the love and respect people show me is so nice and humbling. After all, I’m just a “be lucky DJ from the hard streets of Hackney”.
After doing this for over twenty five years, I feel like this year is one of the best in my career in regards to enjoying shows all over the world, I love the diversity that’s in the music at the moment, the way the crowds love all the different styles, and I love putting it all together in to a set – good times!
You’ve got your residency at Fabric, what’s the difference between playing in London and playing in Liverpool? Do you notice different reactions from the crowds?
Both crowds are awesome. I’ve had 140 Playaz nights at Fabric and this year we’re 12 years deep and our latest Playaz night sold out two weeks ago!! I would love to get a Playaz at Chibuku in Liverpool. That’d be really great, hint hint!
You started your career on the pirate radio stations and you’ve had a long running show on KISS FM. How important is radio to you, do you use it to try out tracks and see what feedback is like, does it determine what you play in Fabric that weekend? Or is it just a bit of a laugh?
I love radio as I get the chance to play more than just dancefloor bangers. Plus, people get to hear a bit of my personality. When I DJ I don’t look that happy but trust me, I am! It’s just that the crowd see my concentrating face. I’m not a DJ that stands there doing silly dances… unless you give me lots of vodka.
What are your top three favorite tracks that aren’t Drum and Bass? Your ultimate records of all time, that if you were at a wedding reception and it came on you’d be on the dance floor like a shot.
It’s forever changing but at the moment it would probably be:
1. Mikey Dread – Warrior Style and Israel Style on Fashion Records. One of my all-time favorite dub tracks.
2. Booker T and the MG’s – Green Onions. I’ve played this song throughout my life and I never get tired of hearing it.
3. D-Train – Music. If I’ve had a drink and this plays, I proper sing it out!
And your top three DnB tracks?
1. Hazard – Foodfight vip
2. Original Sin – Therapy remix
3. DJ Hype – Peace Love and Unity (Basher remix)
Who would you tip to watch on the DnB scene?
I rate anyone that puts in the hard work in studio and leaves their superstar egos at home.
And what advice would you give anyone just starting out?
Work hard and be honest about your music, just because you made it doesn’t mean it is always great and be as original as you can as there are so many clones out there. I do believe if you have that natural talent then you will get there in the end. It doesn’t always happen over night. Above all, expect constructive criticism from your peers.
I think I ask this in every interview I do but it’s something I’m genuinely interested in. Technology wise, the DJing industry has moved on massively over the past 10 years, there’s been a complete shift from vinyl into CDs and then in recent years into laptop based DJing, Serato, Ableton etc. How has this affected the way you play? Is it something you embrace?
I was dead against it at first for various reasons, but, I’ve been using Serato for two years now and I love it. I can incorporate more into my DJ sets and I think people have definitely noticed it. A lot of different DJs over the last couple of years have been impressed by the way I use it, so it’s all good. I’m currently looking at ways of enhancing my DJ sets again. At the end of the day it’s all about the music but computer technology has helped me start having fun again after 30 years of vinyl.
At the risk of sounding like I’m interviewing you for a job, which achievement in your career are you most proud of?
Being a pioneer of drum and bass music and still selling out shows after 30 years! I’ve also won awards over the last 23 years including best DJ, best radio DJ, best international Drum and Bass DJ, life time achievement and hall of fame awards. These days I just love what I do and as long as I get to play to people, I’ll continue. I hope to be doing this when I’m eighty years old!
And finally, what have you got lined up for the rest of 2012?
I’ve got loads of events coming up, I’m looking at doing EDC festivals in Las Vegas and New York, plus Dour Festival Belgium, Hideout in Croatia, Global Gathering in UK and loads more. Basically, I love my job!
We’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away for Chibuku’s Easter Thursday show at The Masque. Like this post on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, and we’ll pick a winner on Wednesday 4th April.
2manydjs (DJ set), Felix da Housecat, James Rand, Roni Size // Shy FX // DJ Hype, Fred V & Grafix, Sessions Faction (Dan Danko & Dalema), CMDMWMSM (all night long)
The Masque, Seel Street, Liverpool
Thursday 5th April, 10pm – 4am
£16 NUS / £20 other
0151 706 8045 / www.chibuku.com / buy tickets