This week we sit with Kiss FM hip hop/R&B legend DJ & remixer (and now  @lovethingldn  podcaster) Swerve to look at both the many opportunities that his DJ career has brought him, and the people who have helped and supported him along the way.


In this episode of the Once A DJ Podcast, DJ Swerve shares his journey in the DJing world. He talks about his early interest in DJing and scratching, starting with pause tapes and eventually getting his first mixer. He discusses his love for hip hop and the influence of artists like Public Enemy. DJ Swerve also shares his experiences gigging out, joining VIP Sound and the Starlight Crew, and participating in the DMC competition. He talks about his transition to full-time DJing, joining Kiss FM, and touring with the Pure Hip Hop albums. Adam Gow discusses his music collections, recording hip hop compilations, the politics of compilation albums, funny road trip stories, touring with Mystique, and transitioning from radio to Love Thing London. He also shares his thoughts on the future of radio and DJing.


- Compilation albums involve a lot of politics and negotiations with record labels.

- Touring with artists can lead to memorable experiences and encounters with other musicians.

- Transitioning from radio to other ventures can provide new opportunities for growth and creativity.

- The future of radio lies in creating unique and engaging content that offers a sense of community and connection.


00:00 Introduction to Once A DJ Podcast

02:15 Early Interest in DJing and Scratching

04:43 Pause Tapes and First Mixer

08:31 Getting Second Turntable and Mixer

09:30 Introduction to Hip Hop and DJing for Friends

11:31 Influence of Public Enemy and Hip Hop Culture

13:25 Making Mixtapes and DJing for Parties

15:22 Gigging Out and DJing for Bucks

18:59 Getting Turntables and Joining VIP Sound

20:49 DJing at Soul Nights and Joining Starlight Crew

22:11 Participating in DMC Competition

25:00 Experience in DMC and Influential DJs

28:47 DJing for Soul Nights and Joining Kiss FM

31:39 Transitioning to Full-Time DJing

38:50 DJing on Kiss FM and Life-Changing Opportunity

45:57 Transitioning from Day Job to Full-Time DJing

49:22 Touring with Kiss and Pure Hip Hop Albums

51:18 Adam Gow's Music Collections

52:31 Recording the Hip Hop Compilation

53:27 The Politics of Compilation Albums

54:54 Working with Warner's and Shorty

55:23 Choosing Songs for Compilations

56:20 Road Trips and Funny Stories

57:49 Secret Party Spots

58:10 Glasgow Gig and DJ Swerve

59:18 Passport Troubles and Taiwan Gig

01:00:44 Touring with Mystique

01:01:38 Working with Live Bands

01:03:06 Music Directors and Live Bands

01:04:05 Memorable Gigs and Tours

01:06:40 Transitioning from Radio to Love Thing London

01:10:57 Transitioning from Kiss to Love Thing London

01:11:26 The Future of Radio and DJing


Adam Gow 0:00


I'm Adam Gow DJ from the dj formerly and sometimes currently known as Wax On. Welcome to the Once A DJ podcast DJing and DJ culture have been a huge part of my life. For better or worse. They've given me a massive buzz at times and loads of stress at others, and taught me a load of valuable lessons along the way. On this podcast to speak to DJs from around the world who've made the names when it was just about skills and selection, not social media followers, will discuss their journey through ascendancy and what pie plays in their life now, whether they're still on the scene said goodbye to the decks forever or still get sneaky mixing when life gives them the chance. Whatever road that travelled, they were always once a DJ.

That was nice. Welcome back, as always, to the one to DJ podcast. I hope you are well rested after Christmas in New Year, though by the time you're hearing this, you probably ready for another break. I'm here today with former Kiss FM DJ, the man responsible for the legendary pure Hip Hop mix series. And now presenter of the live thing London podcast, the ever busy evergreen DJ swerve. How are you doing today?

Speaker 1 1:09

I'm Mariah. I've just finished my while I did one early I did a a bootcamp at the gym. I've started. I started at the end of the year, I started doing some personal training. And then a personal trainer does like a group class. So I started doing that it was vicious. Do

Adam Gow 1:27

you like the accountability of like, group classes? I feel like if I go to the gym, I don't do anything office hours if I've got someone shouting at me, or I mean it with me.

DJ Swerve 1:36

Yeah. Yeah, I got quite competitive. At the end, there was a tug of war. And on Powell ropes and my team won. There was three V five as well. Nice. I found I think I've found a superpower

Adam Gow 1:51

beyond being a legendary radio. Well, yeah. If that exists, I don't know. 20 odd years in the games. Not bad.

Unknown Speaker 2:05

All right. Yeah.

Adam Gow 2:07

Yeah, it's pretty impressive. I'm quite excited to get into it in kind of understand the key to it. Really? Yeah, sure. So the problem so what was it in the first place that were like, where did you grow up? And what was it that first got you interested in DJing? Well,

Speaker 1 2:21

I grew up in Bexley. That was we moved there from Ramsgate when I was around, always get a shovel work it out. But it was first year of junior school, actually. So it was quite quite a long, long time ago. And I remember coming back, seeing my grandparents, probably from the Midlands, funny enough. And I one of the BBC stations, they were talking about scratching and being this new hot thing from New York. And I think that was the first time I heard of it. And the next thing I remember, was going around my friend, Howard's house, because he had his own record player, which I didn't have there was like a shared family one. So we could then sort of stuff about with just any random sort of records. We'll see. Yeah, that is that that's just literally just doing jigger. jiggers. And just like taking interns, we're almost doing this sort of sci fi of just baby scratches, just randomly during any kind of record, whether it was a Michael Jackson, or like any pop record, it doesn't matter. It was the fact that you were just kind of just doing that baby scratch.

Adam Gow 3:46

It's mad that scratching because that that was kind of similar. For me, it was the first thing that I wanted to do, as I remember being around, it makes us need to start a couple of sevens. And you were just yeah, just going to cut Chicka Chicka back it was just what what was it about me that was just so simple, but captivating.

Speaker 1 4:04

Kind of primal, isn't it? It's really is this like a primal instinct, you're kind of making it, it's the closest you can get, I guess, to being a drummer without having a drum kit. So we didn't have drum kits. So especially if you catch like a kick drum or a snare, particularly, like that's quite powerful, particularly kick, if you're scratching your kit. That's a powerful signal that you're putting out.

Adam Gow 4:28

Yeah, definitely. So did you manage to kind of go on from there or was it because I remember for me it was that was something we did when we were 8/10 years old, and then I didn't get decks for another, I don't know. 12 years or whatever. What were you able to kind of keep on,

Speaker 1 4:45

I think, kind of innovated. So we're doing pause tapes. That was a thing. And with the Paul Hardcastle record 19 came out with all the stutters. Huh on it, as a couple of my friends were doing it. So you would literally do pause tapes where you'd have to record or a record, and then you would record it. This is just for people that don't know, of course tape. But it was just to make that and then and then and then 19, which you'd have been doing on a sampling keyboard, but clearly we didn't have that. So we would start doing cassettes, but literally only with one tape deck. So it was recording records. And yeah, just just putting them together. So we couldn't you couldn't mix anything at that point. It was just one, one signal going in and what you could do with it. And then I found out on my parents system. So it was a long, it was a long system. So you had the stack systems that everybody talks about, but we had a long one. So the turntable was on the left, then you had a tape deck in the middle. So it was kind of athletes, you call it a console is almost looking looks like a mixing console. But with a turntable, radio and everything in and I found that if I held down the tape button, as the same time as I held down the photo button, the tape button, excuse me, cancelled the tape button cancelled the photo. So you could start doing scratching without having to use the up and down volume control. And I put my headphones in. So we had a living room dining room, not three, as you can probably imagine. So I'm in the dining room. And my parents were watching television and they said it sounded like I was doing knitting. Because all you could hear click, click, click click of, of the switches. And I was just merrily just doing that as I look at a 1112 year old kid, making slipmats out of like carrier bags, and just stuff like that. It's just doing what I've done. No, no, no, no. I don't know whether or not I didn't copy anyone else as far as that when that was just oh, you work that out? Because you wanted to do a certain thing. Unfortunately. I mean, I'll tell you what, that that that was a belt drive turntable, and I didn't trash the record player. You would have thought that belt would have gotten or something. But no, it held I can't remember it. It was a Toshiba, Hitachi or something. But it was decent. But yeah, luckily. And then later on, I got I think I've worked way I don't know how again, how I worked it out. There was a way of getting a second signal going in. Plugging another turntable in. That was a clip that was kind of a bit of a breakthrough because my friend James, his dad sold me a turntable, an amp and something else. And it was like it had wood. It had like wood panelling. And somehow I managed to integrate that so then I could scratch on that. While another beat was playing on the main turntable. I don't know how I worked that out. But it must have been a mic somehow there was a mic input and then there was a way of I've got the right connection because my dad was into electronics for a profession so he would have known that how to do that. That's how that side and then I got my first mix a I think it was a realistic mixer. So one of the big the big ones with the graphic equaliser. We've got that from Edgware Road one Christmas. So that was pretty key. I wish I still had that. So I had that. And then yeah, I would I started making my friends tapes, mixtapes for Christmas, that one Christmas, I decided I would do the prints one for one of my friends that really liked prints. Because then I could mix the I could start doing mixes together with those with the equipment that I had at that point.

Adam Gow 8:59

So would you say like the sort of r&b was quite a big thing early on for you then? No,

Speaker 1 9:05

no. The first music I was into was like 80s UK pop. So I was like into Duran Duran, Adam in the hands, that kind of thing. And then my friend Neil came round. And he had a he had planted rock on cassette and he played it to me and I'd I don't know, I wasn't it wasn't a life changing moment when I heard that. The life changing moment I was hearing a double D and Stein ski the lessons and not having a clue what was going on. Because some of those records I didn't know that they were different records. I knew some of them. And I knew some of them were like, obviously clearly cuts from TV shows or just excerpts from films or whatever. So I knew something was going on, but I hadn't I was like what is this? This is amazing. I just remember thinking to myself, I've got no idea when one record finishes and the other one starts. It's just all this mash up. So that's like, that was probably the key. That was the key record for me.

Adam Gow:

I guess like, if you'd been doing past tape stuff, then that yeah, that would blow your mind. Like if you'd had an eight an 808 or something like that. And then you had Planet Rock, maybe be like, Oh my God, but but I guess with that you I mean, I list when I listen to music, a lot of what I do is like I'm just deconstructing and analysing not deliberately. Yeah, but just because I enjoy making it myself. And I enjoy sampling. I'm learning listening to samples listening to chops and try to work out particularly when it's something you recognise. It's like trying to work out where it's pulled from. So yeah, I think if you're just like, kind of get it, but I don't like it is gonna blow your mind a bit.

Unknown Speaker:

Really? Yeah. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

So was that like a gateway into hip hop and stuff, then? Yes.

Speaker 1 10:58

I mean, my first, my first love was definitely hip hop. My friends. Ironically, my friends were very much into soul music. And I didn't really like Soul music at the time, right? Because I wanted that hip hop was like, was super powerful. It was a completely different vibe, obviously. To to like Soul music.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, and I guess he talked about Run DMC and stuff like that. Because that's like hard as well, isn't it?

Speaker 1 11:26

Yeah, it's probably very it was public enemy. LL Cool. J. So it was a lot of it was definitely the Def Jam years. For me, particularly. I ll cool. J is my favourite rapper of all time. Yeah, Public Enemies. Got I mean, production wise, and like the whole package Public Enemy or just this musical anomaly. That's just incredible. Just the whole everything about it. Yeah, it's just yeah, I could just go on for hours about that. And the impact they had on like a white suburban kid was just was just nuts. It

Adam Gow:

must have been crazy, crazy. Been in that world as well, where they were one of those acts that were just global, like rap went global for a few acts. Didn't it wasn't like every year. So crazy time.

Speaker 1 12:20

And also the education and the message that they were putting across. I mean, it was it was a pro black message. And it was received by open minded people of all races. You can't there's there's only a few people that are even attempting to do it. I mean, Kendricks probably the greatest example that I can think of off the top. But for them to do it. I mean, gosh, think about it. They had the security of the first world. They would do a military dances. You know, their sister soldier coming in. I mean, crikey was quite something.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. Yeah. It kind of had that visual aspect as well.

Speaker 1 13:05

Yeah, absolutely. So they played a role in my music development. I just loved how hip hop was so hard hitting and soul music at that time for me wasn't what I wanted to hear. I suppose you're in that you're in that passionate, very, very passionate focus. And I used to do mixtapes for parties. So I support this time and effort into these mixtapes for parties. So when we, when we were having house parties when we were in sort of 1617. And so that I get put on and then I just remember how annoyed and disappointed I'd be when someone would take it off and put something else on. Because I'd spent ages and I'd think about what would go Yeah, I'm planning a I'm basically planning a DJ set.

Adam Gow:

It's quite nice though because it it kind of like puts you in good stead for that, you know, 10 years later or whatever and you do and if someone goes if you got anything good.

Speaker 1 14:00

Yeah, somebody we can dance to. Yeah, all that. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

So when did you start gigging out then? So

Speaker 1 14:08

I, interestingly, had my Kangol stolen. After a gig in Hammersmith, there was over 18 gig in Hammersmith. And we were getting some food afterwards. And then these kids came in and they just nicked they, they'd like snatched my hat, my red kangaroo was my my my bread, LL Cool J Kang. And then they disappeared down the road with it. I think it was my report. I had a couple I had a black one and a report. And so after a split second where my friends were like, No, we're not having that. So we read after them. And then when we were running after them, they dropped it. And then these group of guys picked him up. And I got to know Phil see mozzie bucks. They were like a crew was from Guilford. And Phil had a show on Starpoint FM. So we became quite we became good friends. And I did I think the first party I did was in sort of collaboration with Phil, we just he brought the sound system over, quite quite remember how we worked it, but we were doing them in like local scouts weren't even doing it for money, I'd never really made any money off them. It was just I think it was a good opportunity to go out and start playing services like local It was literally our own events.

Adam Gow:

So within being a radio DJ, then did he did he ever mic within video user mic as part of his performance?

Speaker 1 15:41

Yeah, he did. I mean, you wouldn't catch me anywhere near a microphone. I just remember I did someone's party at a golf club. And I had to make an announcement that the bar was closing and I did it sitting down on some crates, like behind the turntable wasn't gonna stand up about anyone see me. I did get I mean, it took some convincing. Because that jumped forward when I went to do the, you know, my kiss demos. I certainly wasn't expecting to do much talking. That scene changed. aren't as tall told that wasn't going to happen. But I was a jump forward. But yeah, I had. I had no, I had no desire to be you have have my voice to be heard at all. Yeah,

Adam Gow:

so why what age would you have been when you started playing out?

Speaker 1 16:29

Probably, that I mean, the the the those kinds of parties probably 1617.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, it's quite, it's quite a good age to be going out and doing it then, isn't it? Was there a lot of like, logging equipment around and stuff then?

Speaker 1 16:48

Yeah, I mean, I didn't do the parties a lot. They were only sort of maybe what, you know, a couple of times a year or something. And then carrying the records around, but uh, yeah, I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. There was this long, it was a long rectangular Scout Hall and the only lights we had with these two kinds of white scanners. So I was rammed out. And it was like, yeah, it was proper. It was serious. It was a serious rave. Like the music and everything wasn't, wasn't sugar coated or anything, was just like pretty basic. But I like that I wish we had some, we do have photos. But I wish there was some sort of video or something of it, because that was quite a thing because the room was like pretty much like pretty dark. And then you just have these scanners which is kind of going across this, like this dark, this dark Scout hall with all the lights off.

Adam Gow:

I don't want to sound really old. But I'm going to anyway. I just think there's something nice about when you when you're younger, and you had just like say like a small crater records like you start a pack or whatever. Yeah, just a pair of turntables and a mixer. It's like, you know, something like that simple light in and you just go in for it. And you don't have the opportunity to overthink things because you've not learned enough to stress out yet. Yeah, yeah. You know, it's a shame to not

Speaker 1 18:09

know. Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, you know, less is more with everything. Production. DJ and all of it. It's it's the simplicity is the beauty. The beauty is in the simplicity.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, I've gotten to this like paralysis stage now. I'm like, I don't even know if I know what makes a decent song. I couldn't even tell you that now. No.

Speaker 1 18:30

I mean, I'm Yeah, yeah. I've had that. are getting back and getting back into doing some production now. But yeah, I have I've gone through I've gone through many stages of of that.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. So what was the what's the next step up in the DJ career then?

Speaker 1 18:47

We go back a little bit, but it was getting a summer job getting enough money together, possibly for a turntable, which I got. And then my dad went out, he went to Red Hill when I was working at Sainsbury's, like, when I was at school, and he went to Red Hill, and he got me to 1210s and ortofon cartridges. I'd already got the mixer, so it must have still been the realistic mixer. And I just remember getting home from and that was for getting good. GCSEs it was like it was a big deal because I mean, those things are even then they were they're expensive. They were like 300 quid each back then. So that would have been like mid to late 80s So that's that's not cheap.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, not the funds as well. Did you bypass Stanton's? Yeah,

Speaker 1 19:34

he got I think he got a deal with the auto funds. Excuse me. I just remember just turning the lights on or turning the decks on and just seeing like the red lie seeing the deck lie and the green light come on and it's pretty magical. Yeah, so did that. So I was doing a lot at home a lot of practice. You know wrecking Records. She's having fun. So she's trying to think, I think the next step for me was, so I started doing some stuff with a buck. So the the guys from Guilford, so they were really like my main kind of hip hop, but in terms of, like, doing stuff and sort of going out, and well more, Phil's doing the radio, I'd go and hang with them. There was a time where we were going to do some music together, but I started DJing for bucks. He was doing some pas at some local stuff. And I do a bit of a showcase while he was doing his rhymes. And then

Adam Gow:

so like turntablism sort of showcase Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 20:51

So I was doing some just cutting up some stuff doing some doubles of whatever a big record was at the time. And then I decided I was going to enter the DMC which would have been when I was in my first year of uni the DMC que route, and I figured that was probably the one year that I could really kind of go into it, go for it, because it's not like the busiest year in terms of my exams and work and stuff. So I went for it. It was a Romford. So I made the finals of the London and southeast. He and really enjoyed that. And then the nighttime was just oh my gosh, this is serious. Now, wait in the afternoon there was like, I don't know 4050 DJs made it through to like the top 10. And then I just remember being up in the VIP area. There was a well known glamour model Maria Whitaker at the time, I think she was sat on a sofa I was and I was just sat there. And I was just like hugging my records. My friend day and was with me, he drove me and he was going to have me my records. And Gao went and did it. I had some technical problems. And this is where the inexperience came. So the guy that was before the DJ, that was before me had adjusted the height of the arms and stuff, right? I hadn't I hadn't factored in. So I had a tape of my records for tape. So it would it would put the needle on the record, it would hit the tape. And then as you slowly rotated it, it would knock it into the exact groove that you wanted for whatever you wanted to do. And so those had gone completely wrong, I think it the arm was too low. So it might have been the auto funds again, it was just catching the sticker. And it was knocking it on like two grooves too many. But luckily, I had my headphones. So in the end, I've got two appointment one record, I just thought this is silly. I just pulled both like tabs off and just went like normally. So I was quite pleased how that went. But I also saw the ones that I think I came fourth, right? I didn't come forth. But I thought I'd come forth. I was definitely but I felt I was definitely better than the fourth. But one, two, and three were just different. It was just they were, they were like, showing out, they were performing to the crowd where I was doing technical stuff that was good. They were doing stuff like that, possibly technically better. But also in gauging with the crowd. And generally with me when I'm DJing even to even to this point, I see myself as behind the decks. I'm providing the vibes for people out there. I mean, you know, I do a bit but I'm not I'll connect with the crowd. But I'm not like this huge showman that will be standing up on the turntables and that stage dive in and or doing whatever doing a dance routine or whatever. And that's fine. But that's not you can't get me to do that.

Adam Gow:

I mean, this is not going to work. It's it's two very different sides of DJing isn't it? Yeah, like it's a side I've never been comfortable with. Was there anyone in that DMC that is kind of irregular like in that top three any any of the people who've kind of had a pretty good sort of run it

Speaker 1 24:30

good is a good to struggle put it this way. It wasn't like a cry. It wasn't a prime cuts or a Mr thing or anything like that. Like it wasn't wasn't people operating at that level, but they were they were good though. They were I knew and I knew that this was my year to do it. I kind of achieved my goal, which was I wanted to make it to the nights I and my friends come down or friends come down and see me do my thing. And I'm like, You know what, I get it. You know, I mean, but I think also that That was probably going to be your toughest crowd you're ever going to have really? Yeah. Because they're not there to dance. They're there to literally stand there and watch you and you'll be like, right. Okay, impressed me. Yeah. I mean, you kind of get that a bit, sometimes just some crowds, but not to that extent where everyone is pretty much right. Okay, let's see what you got. And to do that early, it did mean, I did tell myself a few times, if I was nervous before doing the set at some of the bigger clubs. It's like, Well, look, you've done DMC.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. And I think probably, in that sort of era, I don't know what it's like now for competitors. But I did. I did it a couple of times. And one year. In the daytime, there was like, 30 people in the heat. Yeah. And then the next year when I did it, or the year after, I can't remember, which was there was like six people I just got through to the night by default.

Speaker 1 25:45

Oh, nice. Yeah. I should have kept going. If

Adam Gow:

you'd kept going to, I think it was about 2000. And I want to say 2006 2007. Yeah, yeah. Come to Nottingham. Easy. You know, what

Speaker 1 26:00

did happen? It did get political. And I think it happened in a lot of the competitions. Some of the DJs wouldn't go to their local one, they would go to what they would consider an easy Oh, yeah. Into out. I remember reading in some of the write ups that they when they knew that was happening, it will be a real kind of disrespect. Say if say if someone from London came up to Nazism, because they thought that would be an easy route into the fight or because they didn't want to battle. They would get booed. And like, Yeah, that wasn't that wasn't the one. That wasn't the one. Yeah,

Adam Gow:

that was the year that I did where it was really busy was. I think it was the last heat of the year.

Speaker 1 26:41

Okay, yeah. So people would keep coming out. Yeah. I mean, the people would also do that. They wouldn't just use that as their one. They'll be like, This is the last chance saloon. So

Adam Gow:

yeah, I think you're allowed to enter to I think, all right. Okay. But yeah, I mean, yeah, yeah. Racing. That's, that's impressive.

Speaker 1 26:58

So there was so yeah, so there was there was the DMC Oh, yes. So then, I admit, a couple of guys at a party, I went to this party with my friend, Glenn, who had this had this incredible pink Volkswagen Beetle. There was a bit beaten up, but Glen was our designated driver to go to all of these raves, like in Red Hill, there was a grasshopper, there was a slammer in graves end, which was really like the spot for me. In terms of going out clubbing and raving, and seeing DJs play, at this point, I wouldn't consider myself a DJ. I could DJ but I wasn't, you know, I wasn't doing a lot of I wasn't doing a lot of events outside of things I would do myself. So it was like, I've got a DJ, I was kind of dancing. So me. So they met me at this at this party out in the country somewhere one of these random ones. And we just sort of got on, we started going out and sort of we went out as a three at a certain size a dark with Glenn, sometimes a guy with Peter and D. And then iSlide DJ with D, we started vinyl impact productions. So that was VIP sound. And we've gotten this from student raves. We had friends like my girlfriend at the time was a Birmingham uni. So we would do some sets for the Asian society. And then we would do some and we did some stuff around Kingston, which is where D was based. So that was the next stage. So then we would I'd start doing sort of private, I guess you'd think like private bookings, so outside of my own, so that was like the next step.

Adam Gow:

So you were playing, say you so you were gigging sort of rave or hardcore or something then? No,

Speaker 1 28:52

no, no DJ in hip hop, right? Reggae jungle D kind of specialised a bit more in so we were it was like a black music, open format. I really was what we were what we were doing there. So we were kind of operating a bit like a sound system without the sale system. So we will go out and do we'd go out and do those. I've been trying to think where we go from there. Yeah, and and I think I was just out raving one time locally in Bexleyheath and the DJ that was booked on a Sunday night for a soul night was just playing too old for the crowd. And so I decided at the end of the night, be sad outraged by this. I just thought you know what, I could do this right. So I went up and I met Wendy the the manager afterwards and just asked that, who does the bookings for this? And she said it was this guy eager to talk to mozzie so I got in, got in touch with mozzie And he was definitely one of the most influential people in helping me get on really because he gave me a child. So I was covering for him there when he was coming back from Southport, so he was doing the Southport weekend, too. He couldn't do the Sunday because he was travelling back. So I would do it. I think maybe the first one myself indeed did it. And then he said, you know, he got good feedback from me doing that he probably would have come back and then heard me finishing off the night or wherever. So then he got me into 809 know, where he was also resident. And that was where Dave Morrison hurt me. And Clyde Johns. And then Dave Morrison asked me to play again, he put me sort of outside of what, what Maziar brought me in to do. And then then Dave put together the starlight crew, which was a group of MCS and DJs the Dave's concept was to do that and the starlight. Well, the sky. Sorry, 8090 with the starlight crew, that was a kiss night. So that was where the kiss connection began. From there. So it's all very convoluted. But you could argue if I hadn't gone up and had that conversation, complaining about when you can, why is this DJ playing this? I could do better than that. If I hadn't have done that. There's a lot of things that I met my wife ate and I know as well. So there's so it's mad when you actually look at your life and how things you know that the branch that

Adam Gow:

kind of sliding doors moment think isn't? Yeah. Because, yeah, I listened to that episode of loving London that you did with Dave and Clive on that was really available on Spotify. Yes. Yeah. He's Spotify exclusive. That Yeah. Shout outs to Spotify. And it was really interesting hearing you guys talk on that about about the times it Cox? Yes, yeah. And something that was really nice. And that was hearing you guys talk about someone else's mix technique, where we talked about how I can't remember Oh, yes, they'd like to talk about how they used to like to sort of punch something in and yeah, and it's nice. Like I was thinking with this. I've not talked to people a lot about other DJs that they've learned a lot from. So like when you're sort of mid 2000s. I hang out with DJ Angelo quite a bit. And we'd say CMC vase with jam with each other Iron off. Yeah. And that was where I learned a lot. I always try and tell people I'm is kind of mentor, but let's be honest. But yeah, it was it was really, it was a really kind of fertile time than when when Yeah, you know, you've not got many responsibilities. And yeah, yeah, it was nice that I mean, was there other people sort of around at that time that you were learning different things from?

Speaker 1 32:53

Yeah, I mean, these days swing would always get brought up and come conversation, he was a very technical, incredibly charismatic, he could just get away with stuff that nobody else could like, I remember hearing a story of, there was a time where him and MC Special K, they were doing a unique gig. And people weren't reacting. So I think they just stopped the music. And they both went to the bar to get a packet of crisps and a drink. So they got served, and then came back and then special cake got on the mic and just said, right, you ready now then? Because you weren't ready before. And stuff like that, or swing was asking, or a couple of girls that stopped dancing on the dance floor at Hanover Grande. And he actually asked them why they stopped dancing and why they were going to leave. Because it's a new tune in you haven't heard it before. So you would have a there's no way in a million years, I'd have the confidence to do that. Even if you might think it's so I mean, swing was incredibly technical. I always enjoy listening to shorty blitz play Freddy M. Another influence on me. I used to love how he played he played he will play a very aggressive set. So he was a I'm sure he was at Seoul survivors at the starlight club in Paddington. And he started with just like, bash machines, the first five, three or four tunes and you just turn the place upside down by playing a different genre, like almost breaking breaking the rules really. And so there'll be things like that that idea and I think Oh, okay. I definitely listened to jazzy be on kiss because his show was an eclectic one. But he would always play some reggae bashment jeans during his set. So I'd know that those ones were the key ones. So I'd pay attention to those and I'd be thinking right okay, do I like these ones because these ones obviously the big ones. So those are those are the kinds of people I would listen to. I mean, growing up Mike Allen was definitely was the first radio DJ that I would say I was like a fan of Yeah. Because of his music during the capital rap show. staying up late, listening, you know, in bed with an earpiece in how important the groove electro chart was. So there'll be a lot there'll be lots of influences. I mean, cash money. DJ scratch. Jazzy Jeff, Kuba, just fascinated by Pete Rock. Some of the just just the techniques, some of the techniques that these DJs were were performing. I absolutely shredded my copy of the symphony. Marley, Marlin and juice crew Symphony for the Rampage line that called you wrap says because that's what he cuts on EPMD rampage, I was trying to replicate it, because I didn't have anyone particularly that I was training with. So a lot of it was I was having to try and work it out myself either watching DMC videos or just listening to the records and I would like slow the record down to try and see if I could translate and the actual rampage scratch that I wanted to get was easier than I thought. But I just didn't understand it. But the execution that scratch did it with made it sound even harder and even better than what it was just because the idea is his execution is just a one. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, some of these guys are just ridiculous. It's like with Cuba. You see what he was doing in like, nightie night. Yeah,

Speaker 1 36:48

yeah, it's insane. Yeah. I mean, I was always a fan of the scratch perverts as well. Brian Kurtz I think has done the one of the best. Probably my favourite Hip Hop compilation mix compilation he did I'm sure it was thing was hip hop don't stop. It's just an absolute masterclass. His one was just Yeah, that one was just incredible. And, Mr. thing, I think he's just the funkiest juggler like ever. His tribe. His Easy, easy back it up. That one, he did one DMC I remember just being in the crowded DMC and it was all a bit robotic and a bit like, let's just smash out as quick as possible what I'm gonna do, which is fine, but after a while, it just gets a bit relentless. And then Mr. thing just comes on and just just gives it some funk. And I'm just like, okay, yeah, I can be here all day for that. Yeah,

Adam Gow:

I think he really it really plays in the pocket doesn't a Yeah, no, everything's funky music

Unknown Speaker:

is music. Yes. Musical. This musical. Yeah,

Adam Gow:

like some something I can't really. I struggled to watch with DMC sets in. I'm as guilty as anyone from this one you would scratch in front of anyone is just trying to do your fastest tightest combos, rather than just doing something funky. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1 38:06

And just keep going. Oh, it's not quite fast enough. I'm not quite tight enough. I'm just gonna keep going. Yeah, I mean, I've listened back to some of my old mixtapes and there are some old mixtapes I'm like, why am I still scratching? Yeah, like one record, I mean, isn't not as big but I was like, I've definitely scratch through the half of this record. I've just done hoo ha, for like, the whole of this record.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, you've forgotten that there's a new verse coming in or something 16 But I'd like

Speaker 1 38:36

steamrollered to steamroller through it. Here we go.

Adam Gow:

So was it shortly after joining that crew that you got into case I was that a bit further down the line? But

Speaker 1 38:46

again, it was GM was relatively quickly. Yeah. Because Dave was Dave Morrison was pitching to kiss two to have a starlight cruise show. But they already got firing squad on so they weren't really going to be open to doing a another cruise I have two different crews on which I can't get so I just done the shout out to Jamie top and with BMG, by the way. So there was a mixtape the BMG, Sony BMG did twice a year as a cassette. And it was a big one to get on. Because they would, they would write up. They were produced 1000s of these I would imagine, and then they would distribute them at Southport and other events. So DJs wanted to get on those and I, I would see, I started seeing Jamie at events. So I met him. I guess I was getting my hustle on really and I've said look, when am I going to do one of these? You know, I knew I could do it. When am I going to do one of these? So I think I did volume three I think I did via the devoting three of volume for I think it was three, short he did one. I think there was an Irish DJ DJ mech, did one and then I did the next one. But it was a really big look. And then when they were pitching, so when Dave was pitching the show, there was also Karen and Patrick Tustin at kiss clubs, they were very much advocating for me to get a show. So there was a lot of campaigning that was being done by on my behalf. And it certainly takes it takes that you need people that believe in you is really important. Not say it's impossible without but I mean, to go and then to get on case at that time. I remember Patrick, when I got the call. And I'll jump in for a little bit. But remember Patrick, speaking to Patrick about it. After I'd had the call to come in and think that I would I've got the show not even to do the demos. And he just said, Well, that's your life changed now? Yeah. And I didn't. I didn't I kind of, I didn't quite believe him at the time. But he was absolutely right. It's a life changing opportunity. So yeah, I got a call from Andy Roberts. To come in and to do suit to do some demos. So I thought that would be interesting. So I went in and met Melissa Johnson, who I've told her was incredibly scary. Because I was like, you know, okay, you know, when in our story, this is when kisses in Holloway Road. So she was like, okay, so what we're doing today, then, and I said arms and come in and do a mix. And then here we go. He says, No, we're not doing that. So it was like, right, you present in the show, so you can put a record on? You're going to then talk between us like what talking? She was like, Yeah, that's what you're gonna do. So then there was the process of learning how to do that. And yeah, learning, I suppose in your head while you're talking counting bars, because genuinely there'll be a four bar insurer in a boring show never took over the vocal. That was just like cardinal sin. It's just a sound good anyway, I mean, obviously we're coming back out of a tune is different but certainly don't talk over the first part of the chain and then learning to fire the the ideas or the jingles as you call them. As I did that, I did maybe three or four of those and then yeah, and the, gave me a call and said, Yeah, I'd you'd like me to do it was Monday night to two or 4am

Adam Gow:

How did you feel after you've done those demos? Like in terms of your performance? Did you feel like I've got this or is it like,

Speaker 1 43:04

I've never really been I've got this kind of person? And I think that's kind of It's a nightmare mentally. But it kind of does keep you kind of on your toes. Yeah. So I just thought you know what, yeah, I kind of got used to it. It took me a while to get used get find like my voice when I'm talking because it sounds weird but start off with I was just doing impersonations of or versions of the DJs who had listened to which was that's not gonna work. That's just not gonna cut it. Finding

Adam Gow:

Your voice is kind of about knowing yourself isn't it and understanding who you are and like not trying to be someone else was

Speaker 1 43:51

for me it was more the delivery it was for me though it was more of a delivery right and not trying to imitate famous DJs deliveries but not doing as well as them because you're not them so I think all I tended to do I think I just pushed my found those a way of just pushing the air out a bit harder than I would do if I was talking normally. And I mean yeah, I mean, my voice has definitely changed over the years I think there's everyone's does with SAS hilarious have heard some are like there was one where I was in with Matt why and Matt was introducing me as taking over a slot because he was moving to Sundays. A Sunday show was like classic. So he got he was doing he moved to doing Sundays and then I took one of the evening slots that he was doing. And I just remember hear myself on that and I'm just like, barely recognise the voice. It was like, proper. Have you?

Adam Gow:

Did you have a job before you did? Kiss the devil? Like a day job? Oh,

Speaker 1 45:01

yeah, yeah, I was working in I was working in Chancery Lane. I was working as a hotel, and leisure consultants. So they were doing financial feasibility studies for hotels. Office

Adam Gow:

hours, then.

Speaker 1 45:12

Yeah, yeah. So I was doing a few gigs. Before that, when I had the kiss show, I still, when I was doing the tutorial fall, I would go and do that I would after work, so I'd be wearing more work. See, I'd have more techniques. satchel is one of those flaps satchel bags that we used to have back then. And I used to take my records in a playlist that I'd printed out and I'd just go in and do the show masu as

Adam Gow:

a pre record, then, yeah, I was gonna say, cuz yeah, getting into a tutorial for is gonna be rough. Yeah, yeah. So how long were you doing the two things? Was there a major sort of thing that made you think I've got a ditch the day job? Yeah.

Speaker 1 45:56

So yeah, the the company was struggling a little bit. And they wanted to make me volunteer, volunteer voluntarily redundant. So I was offered that. And that was kind of the push that I needed. Really. Because I was working. I was doing DJ gigs as well at the time. Not like, to the extent I was later. But there was like, right, okay, I'm gonna do DJ for a bit more as well. So that's so I started doing that.

Adam Gow:

So with the mic work, I'm absolutely fascinated with this. In case you can't tell. Yeah, that would the might work. If you've had a bad day. Are you just feeling low energy? Like, is there a way that you would kind of get yourself into a certain zone, so that you can just execute as per normal? I'll

Speaker 1 46:52

be honest, if you do in live, if you're doing live radio, particularly at that time, and you can't get up for that. I think you're in the wrong job. Because he was that was prime. That was prime, particularly prime r&b Time for a lot of for the late 90s. I saw I saw I started in, I guess, or almost around 2000. So if you think about the records that were out, I mean, then I was always on the jiggy aside of hip hop anyway, right. And the r&b that was coming out, you're hitting prime timberland prime net chains. You've got Redman coming through, you've got like cuts, like nori. Like you can't not get up for that. I mean, that is exciting. And for people, you can see people texting. Yeah, there's just a buzz. There was just a buzz about it and doing it and doing it live, you know, driving in doing the show might have a friend or two with me, who's coming in might have guests and staff. I mean, it's just different. It was different. Now there was there was a buzz. And

Adam Gow:

so what what time was the live show? Sorry.

Speaker 1 48:12

So were they varied, but I think mainly 10 to 12. There might have gone slightly earlier, but it was around, it was around, you know, 10 to a midnight. And people there were lots of people would listen. Yeah, lots were listening at that time. That was the time.

Adam Gow:

And that I think a kiss is a brand was pretty big then Right? Yeah.

Speaker 1 48:37

I mean, it's still big. It's just kind of changed in terms of, I guess, the music offering but I mean, it kind of has to do that. But I mean, there it was just like it was absolute. Pretty much boss. Yeah. In terms of like r&b and hip hop music, it wasn't there wasn't really much messing with it. Because what extra came in and what actually were doing their thing as well. One extra was one extra was smacking it. But I think in terms of the branding, and how everything was set up the reputation, the perception of the brand, it was like it was just the perfect. It was the perfect time for me. It just fitted it's this fits so well for me.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. And from there then you started going out touring with kiss, right.

Speaker 1 49:30

Yeah, they'd be Well, the other thing that was quite key was you can almost see them behind me where the pure hip hop album. Yeah, so I got a call about those while I was still doing the Monday to sorry, the Monday to till four. Right. So the pure hip hop albums came out. So I was actually doing tours with those as well sort of like launch parties. Oh, like say it was there was that there was that as well. So yeah, there would be there will be kiss booking Was there would be, I guess, like private individual ones, and then there would be kind of launches for those. Those two in particular were very significant. The pure hip hop and the pure Hip Hop 2003

Adam Gow:

Were they would they decent moneymakers?

Speaker 1 50:17

What doing the compilations? Yeah, doing the compilations compilations, not really, but you've got to see the bigger picture. Directly. No. But indirectly, yes. Because I know I got I would get work off the back. I definitely got a month residency at this bar in Southport based on the fact that Sinclair, excuse me at the time had picked up the CD, found my website that was listed in there and I ended up doing, you know, maybe close to a year going up there. Which so yeah, I mean, with the most of these things, you do have to look at the bigger the bigger picture and you know, I've got got those on the wall. Yeah, that I did. I had a run of doing a lot of compilation their goals,

Adam Gow:


Speaker 1 51:10

However, the well we have one snow one silver 60 1000s 60,000 Is that silver? One was 60,000. And then the other one was 100,000. And then there's a hip hop collection kits presents a hip hop collection. That's 100. So I think there might be silver, the first one was silver, and then the other would be other two were gold with 100,000

Adam Gow:

snapped back to silver and a couple of gold records. Really? No,

Speaker 1 51:35

I mean, those are the ones that mean the most to me. Yeah. Oh, there was also there was another one there was urban, there was an urban kiss one, which,

Adam Gow:

then that's the one where you did one desk, and someone else did the other, isn't it? I've literally been looking at that earlier.

Speaker 1 51:48

Yeah, that was 100,000 as well. Wow. So that was me on one side and then more fire crew on the other? Yeah. Yeah, I got to me a really good friend there. There was Adam Mosley, who was the engineer and he engineered I think all of those mixes he's fantastic. He was the engineer for roots manoeuvre witness he was sound engineer for that. But he was really really good. We'd do the one track at a time. He'd engineer and like re EQ every track, when he was going in, we would discuss whether we thought that was good enough. Here Yeah, the number of times now you can do better than that mate. After after we knew each other. He was like, No, you can do better than we do another take, we do another take. I mean, I, I will listen to them again. I rarely listened. I haven't listened to them in years, I wouldn't. You know, the, the pure Hip Hop one was just amazing. Because I just started going. I just started, I suppose being the sort of professional full time DJ. So I was there was definitely the novelty and having a car pick you up, take you to your recording studio, spend all day in the recording studio. And then, you know, me, MJ Cole, me grand Nelson. And the other guys people that were just passing through the studio, and I was just like, oh, wow, this is just like, the coolest thing, right? You feel like you're fully in there. And I remember, it was a long process it took we were there for two or three days doing it. And things would get cleared and not cleared. So you do a mix and then they'd say are no, we're going to use this instead. So then we'd have to go back. And then look at how this was how that record was integrated. And then reintegrate the new I remember running off to get a tallied quality tune because I hadn't got it with me and they just added it for some reason. It was the it might have been one of those ones where the other one hadn't got cleared. We had to replace it or they wanted this one in is there's a lot of politics in that in that compilation game because my one was with Warner's and shortly did one the same time for Sony. So I don't know who found out who was doing which and then it became an arms race as to who could get what out fastest. Literally, they were they were to go head to head. Yeah. Because whoever started it first, I don't really know who did it. First. They would have asked permission from the other record label to clear certain songs for the other from the other category or from the other like catalogue. And then there you'd ask well what's it for? Be a hip hop compilation we were like, Right everyone we're gonna do a book. Ah, this guy who? So I got that was a great that was a great one. A very great opportunity for

Adam Gow:

me it was huge but they have certain things where it's like white right we want you to use this percentage of tunes from our label or anything like that are specific tunes from there find

Speaker 1 55:12

off yeah, I did have some I did have some say so on tunes you Yeah, I remember now. I was so luckily with Warren is it was great because he was Elektra. So you can think brand Nubian, Luiza the new school, all that you could. So you could put a once this three, but then they would also won a big commercial one that they would want on so we just have to go on. I remember on one of them. There was an m&m chain that they wanted on. And it wouldn't necessarily have been one that I would have had, it wouldn't have been that wouldn't have been the Eminem tune that I would have chosen. But because it was the new single, and they were that would possibly drive the album sale. They would want that on. So I remember thinking heart, man. Okay, right. We'll work away of getting this in. So it's not just your own. Not just your own choice. But I remember I did have a good. I did have a good choice of chains, like a lot of them that I wanted on got on. Yeah, which is really good.

Adam Gow:

And then the next thing I wanted to talk about our friend Rob purse, he said that I should ask you if there's any good sort of stories from those road trips that you will be doing.

Speaker 1 56:35

Oh, man, well, the weekend that we can talk about? Yeah, I

Adam Gow:

guess that's the tricky bit. Well,

Speaker 1 56:42

yeah, I mean, I don't want to really I mean, I've been incredibly well behaved as you can imagine. There will be there are a few things where I really just died some two soft things that were quite funny, but I was one of them were. So I've been I've been with my wife for like, we've been together since almost as long as you know when I joined kiss, right. So I was always the one that was working and I was going out. I was, you know, hooked up. So I wasn't looking for anything else. I was literally just going to work going to have a good time with the PI. But then obviously, I had some really good friends that were in different situations. So they will come along. And I got booked to do a Sunday night at liquid in Windsor. And so the guys came along. And they I think there was just must have just been an incredible ratio of females to males. And in the car on the way home afterwards, like they were like, don't tell anyone about Windsor on a Sunday. Like, we can't have people spoiling this for us. Like certain places, they were like that this is a secret. This is the secret Ron. There was one where my friend Patrick. We were doing a gig. So I think it's my first gig up in Glasgow. And he came up with the idea. We didn't fully go through with it. But he said why don't I be DJ swerve? Like Patrick? Who is six foot three black guy said I'm going to be DJ suave, right? Because the if they don't know if they don't know who you are, and then I'm and then he's gonna be taken ill. And then you're gonna go on the details. He wanted to try that IV. I was just like, come on. Yeah, I mean, in terms of, like, travelling. Yeah, a bit to some amazing places doing did I remember doing like Taiwan was was amazing. Although, although I tried to get on the plane, but my passport was close to expiring. So I missed the gig. Because it was like less than three months left on my passport. And the travel agent hadn't spotted it. And like my dad good rest. His soul helps me get out there. The only way to get out there was like on a first class flight or business class way. Yeah. Yeah. He knew how important that was. And he Yeah, I mean, goodness knows how he did it. But dad was doing dad things. You know, he brought my turntables and got me over to Taiwan. He was like, you can't miss that and I I just remember that was just how right because so he's dropped me down to the airport. I've been bumped I've had to phone them back. He's picked me up. can't work out what to do. How to find out the passport office in the morning. Had to go to New ports. To get an appointment first thing in the morning I remember Staying in like a travel lodge in Newport, just to get up at nine o'clock for the first appointment, got a passport, then drove back to Heathrow to get on must be the next day or the day after his flight. And then get over there and do some shows over there and then nearly getting rinsed on the way back with how heavy the bags were gone. I think I got it. I got it reduced. But I was only taking two bags. It wasn't even like massive crates, but it was like 210 quid for overweight, overweight baggage, and it was just like, ah, that wasn't that wasn't the one but yeah, I mean, was tore DJ with with mistake that I just think that was just incredible. Doing Top of the Pops doing I mean, they would they were doing stuff with a live band and then wherever they could I would be there with them. I need to I've got recordings I need to start like literally ripping them and putting them up. But yeah, multiple Top of the Pops.

Adam Gow:

I'd like to think that you'd stopped scratching over the over the vocals by that point.

Speaker 1 1:01:08

Oh, trust, because I met Howard Francis, who is amazing music director but also musical director. But he also does the big thing, which is a really big community based to get people into to get people into singing a lie. Well, yeah, my friend deal that I spoke about his his mother, Rosemary is a part of the big sing. So it's funny how it is things just get interconnected. So I met, I met him and then working with the live band, knowing where the pockets were knowing where I could scratch. I remember there was one time we were about to do a tour and then there was a bit where everyone did their. Everybody did their sort of solo, as was sort of tradition. But they had some polyrhythmic Brazilian flavoured be that I was supposed to scratch over. It was fast. And I only had they were like, Yeah, you kidding me? Can you go over this word and I'll, I'm gonna need it. I'm going to need to work out what the hell I'm doing with it because I couldn't hear a pocket for the life of me. And I remember the first time doing it in rehearsals and like, kind of how it looked at me like really, I was like that do it. This is why I've got at the moment. I managed to get it getting right. But this honestly the rhythm that they were doing was just out because these are all like gospel musicians. And they are a lot of them were and they are just top of the game when it comes to performing. I mean, you know, talking about improvisation. She's just like she's here.

Adam Gow:

Some of these live bands are incredible. I saw God knows it might have been some like channel 44 at the beach or something like that. And blue we're playing in that did fly by. But it had this really slick sort of r&b backing band on it sounded amazing.

Speaker 1 1:03:13

They may have been members in there because I know Donovan. Donovan regularly is a drummer. So he used to have like cornrows. And I would always look at the I was always looking at the drummer but yet there's Donovan. Yep, there's Howard. Yeah, I could spot those like Femi.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, like I really want to find this this version of fly by like, it's awesome. But like I've tried on YouTube and stuff. And it's because they just use all the different sort of chord patterns. It's a lot more like Isley style. Yeah,

Speaker 1 1:03:52

but honestly, Howard is on the keys a lot. And I've worked with it. We've done some remixes and stuff together and honestly, it's just inspirational. Honestly. Something else. Yeah, absolutely something else. So it did. So yeah, we did mystique. We did a couple of dates in Japan, which was just incredible. had the craziest afterparty, in one of the nightclubs in Japan where the record label in Japan were paying and drank them out of regular champagne. And then we had to go on to I think it was they had black currant flavoured champagne. Wow, it was it was one of those and fairplay that that goes took us out. We were with them. And I was my like my main role was to kind of make sure that nobody got kinda too close when everyone was dancing. As you can imagine they have people with guys are trying to come up and dance with so my job was to politely intercept and so you

Adam Gow:

were security. Yeah,

Speaker 1 1:04:57

just very writing in interferon they had like they would have had I think it would have had security but yeah, it was near would never have got to that stage but it was just like this just avoid any whining any any uninvited? Like carnival type whining Yeah, yeah. So yeah, I was more than happy to provide provide that service but I mean they were it was great honestly and then going around the UK during the UK tour. I do remember that one of the first dates, or one of the first shows they did was a Shepherds Bush empire. And then my job was to, obviously I'd go out first. And I would actually even introduce, I think I even introduced like them as well. And I introduced a Jamelia, I would start doing the introductions on it. She remembers sticking my head grab a curtain and I was like, I have never seen that many people know nine on a stage. I was like, wow, this is serious. Yeah. And otherwise the lights are up. Yeah, it was just so dope. A the most nerve wracking one though, was there was the there was one at SCADA, which was an industry party scholar. And that was the first light mistake with live band and I cut up. Let's get ill Crooklyn Klan, that was my thing. And it was just me cutting that up. So that was before, before Serato. So needle jumping could have been real. But fortunately it didn't. And it was alright, I've got that I might have it somewhere. So that was that was a really that I was still doing radio at the time, but that was that would have been about 2003 2004. But that was That was fantastic that that

Adam Gow:

was going to be my next question. How How did you manage like the mystique as well as doing radio? It

Speaker 1 1:06:50

was a right. I mean, there wasn't there wasn't that I wasn't doing. I wasn't doing the four nights a week I was still doing I think I was still doing one night a week. So it was fine to that was fine to work around. There were r&b and hip hop shows or hip hop shows. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So think I had I was Tuesday. firing squad were Monday, I was Tuesday. Think show em big Ted would have been Wednesday. Current Thursday. Could have been studying study was on for a bit. The

Adam Gow:

MC scaly MK Yeah.

Speaker 1 1:07:27

All right. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, that was that was how that worked out before. I think it was like 2009. Andy wanted to make the output consistent. Monday through to Thursday. So that was when he said he wanted me to do it. Which was like, that was massive.

Adam Gow:

It's a big jump in responsibilities, isn't it? Yeah.

Speaker 1 1:07:56

You know, I remember him saying he says, oh, you know, I want you to read my guide for this. I was like, okay,

Adam Gow:

yeah. To How long were you doing the four nights then? That

Speaker 1 1:08:07

was spell three years. And then I need to be to be absolutely honest. I was plummeting towards burnout. Yeah, I was gonna ask about that. Because I was doing I was doing that I was doing the shows. I was doing a chart show for kiss TV, which I was voicing. I was doing Yeah, I was doing a lot and I was using my I was incorrectly using my paid time off from the kiss shows to go, oh, I can do I can do more gigs. Rather than taking holidays. And it was just it was absolutely unsustainable. I remember coming back from a holiday with my wife in LA. To my even have been straight back to doing a gig the next night. And then the day after that doing part of a kiss sponsored thing with maybe a Jason Statham film that I ended up doing like some, you know, one of those mud, those mud things, you know, where you're out doing all of these physical activity in the month? Oh, tough. Mudder Yeah. And I actually had to stop I actually had to stop, because I think my body was just what you do me? Yeah. What are you doing me? And so it was a bit of a it was a bit of a it was a real boy at the time. When again, Andy phoned and said, Look, we're going to, we're going to change up things. AJ King was brought in the AJ was going to do it but what was happening during the process of that year, where I was doing 100% programming myself of like everything gradually I was then putting I was having free picks, rather than me being able to programme the whole show myself. So that the, the nature of the show was changing. So, like the writing was sort of on the wall as far as that show, as it was, was kind of was kind of going, yeah. So the contract committee came up at the end of the year, and they were gonna go in a different direction. And yeah, and he was like, Look, this, just have a chat about what you can do next. And you know, true to his word. I had about a month or two off, and then we came up with a mix show. I then started doing kiss jams on a Sunday, which I think was was really good. And then yeah, we then the specialist got moved to kiss fresh if we're going to fast forward through everything. Specialist got moved to kiss fresh and then Andy left. And then there was another rejig. And I was at a point where I was playing music that could only be 12 months old, which was really playing to my strengths. I knew what I wanted to do, if I was going to do something, it was probably going to be like a throwback. So this would have been fairly recently. So this would be like 2020. So I would have been like that. I think a good offer would be a throwback, r&b Hip Hop show 90s r&b to early 2000s r&b and hip hop I think would be great. wasn't something that was particularly being it wasn't wasn't being delivered anywhere. But it just wasn't wasn't the flavour that was won it. So it's like, okay, cool. It's time to go and find something else. I don't think it would have been, I wouldn't have wanted to have been playing sort of that r&b Dance hybrid stuff that came in, which was kind of ushering out a little bit of that was maybe some of the reason why the show they wanted the show to change because this sound of r&b in house was coming together you know, like the wheel I ams and all those kind of things. That was a very popular style, which I wasn't, I wouldn't be picking for the show that I was playing. I don't know. It's just that's just how it goes. It's like with that it's like swings and roundabouts. And having stepped away for a few, a few a few months. I certainly like the don't regret any of that. It's got me on this. This love thing, London. Ironically, like I say going back to soul, funk, Boogie and disco really going back to the roots. Before, you know the first musical love of hip hop. Like my love is still primarily rhythm driven. So it's the drum is still first. As far as that goes for me. So if I'm, if I'm hearing something, he's got to have fat drums. Yeah. Well, we've taken that's probably 10 years in like four sentences.

Adam Gow:

It's but yeah, it's not often a really sort of linear time on that. There'll be bits that you get loads of random bits that you don't. Yeah. So was it kind of weird that first sort of week or two have been that I'm not on the air anymore?

Speaker 1 1:13:27

Yeah. Yeah. It really was. It really was it provided a permanent structure? Pretty much for 20 years. Yeah, this needs to be delivered at this time before this. But what was happening was, and this is before, locked down as well, was the shows were live anymore. So they were I was set up at home and I could do them at home, which is fine. And I did miss going in vibing with your producer and then you know going in sometimes you would just be going into record the links not to do the show the show had been prepped, which is you know, it's great. I mean, because time resources and stuff. But you know, that's not the same. That's not the same as going in doing the show live interaction. Just the energy. Yeah, the energies the energy is different, but it's different. It's different types. Not so 2000 anymore. I don't want to be that guy. Have you ever seen the film? Napoleon Dynamite? Yeah.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, Rico.

Speaker 1 1:14:36

I don't want to be that quarterback guy. I'm not going to be uncle Rico. Just go out there and with my video camera, just filming sets. It's just not like that. It's not like that things change. You know, things are, you know, commercial radio stations or business. It's just this is how it is. And I'm incredibly blessed to have Been a DJ on radio for me during like Peak Peak times for so many reasons. And it's not just it's technological reasons as well, I was thinking about this like we were gatekeepers, because the music was on physical. It was a physical medium. So if you didn't have that record, you couldn't play it. You couldn't download it. You can even burn it to CD. That wasn't a thing. Yeah, you had to have the record. And in order to get that record, you needed to either be working on a record label, have a hookup with a record label, or you will be sent those records because you were on radio. And then it's almost like a vicious cycle because then you've got the records you play the records, you get more of the records and it's like, and and people were wanting to hear those records when you were when you were out.

Adam Gow:

And so when you were doing a lot of r&b, would you still get Hip Hop promos? Always you only get r&b. Yeah,

Speaker 1 1:16:00

I mean, I was never, I was more on the r&b side, but I was always play hip hop. I never, I never didn't play hip hop, there was certain hip hop, I wouldn't play. Like I wouldn't go into his deeper, I wouldn't go into it as deeply as a hip hop show. But again, I suppose in a way that the DJs that I used to listen to, you know, like I said, we've we've jazzy, when jazzy was doing his show, I would sit up and really take note to the, the reggae that he was playing. So in a way, you know, the hip hop that I was playing, they would have been the big hip hop. Probably more on the jiggy side. Yeah, those are the ones those are the ones that I played in a lot of ways. I think my show was like, pretty much like 5050 really, it was never an hour. It was never put when I was doing maybe when I was doing the four nights a week, but particularly when I was doing the Tuesday the Tuesday when I started the Monday the Monday was actually Hip Hop pretty much. And then when I started doing the Tuesday it was like, it was like a mixture of hip hop and r&b. But yeah, I was definitely more on the r&b side.

Adam Gow:

We you getting like an insane amount of promos. Yeah,

Speaker 1 1:17:11

I mean, I would get I would get a lot that the lockers would get you they have lockers at the station and they would get rammed

Adam Gow:

because I've talked a little bit with people about about that world of being on mailing lists. I only really started DJing as vinyl was going out and I never really got I never got kind of residency so I was never I remember trapped Yeah, into them. And gonna is some flyers. Oh, yeah. But it was never that sort of thing. So I'm always a little bit jealous of people. I

Speaker 1 1:17:39

got free records. Yeah, yeah, I mean, I used to go down and swap them out down in Vinos in Croydon, so there'd be stuff that I just absolutely didn't want. And I would just swap for stuff that I wanted. Whether it was like old school hip hop records. Nice. Because there were people that would want those you know what's gonna happen to them? They're just gonna sit there you can't throw it out. I wouldn't want to throw them all out. checkable bins so we swap them and put them back into the record ecosystem.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. Nice. So just coming on to what's now then so after you stepped away you've what what's been the journey in setting up love thing London? And could you kind of explained a bit about it?

Speaker 1 1:18:19

Yeah, I really wanted to connect back with music again. I was a bit hamstrung on the in the later times, which is because I was only really allowed to focus on new music. And there was there was great new music I did this thing called case jam sessions where remotely I would DJ breaks. And there were we are invited in Seoul singers to do to sing freestyle over the top of the beat I'd done. So there was there was there were artists that I'm really really into but it was just quite a challenge for two hours every every week to find two hours of new music that was really really good. Yeah, all the time. And then having to go through just an absolute tonne of stuff that was either mid or worse than mid which just became really like searching for music was became very laborious and a bit stressful actually, because I'm like, how am I going to find this this week's show? Oh my gosh, what we're going to do so stepping away from that I was trying to find what was gonna get me excited again it kind of a reconnecting with vital because a lot of the stuff that I'm into, like now, the some of them aren't available on the streaming platform. So you've gotta go You gotta start digging again. And learning. So if I'm going to do an 80s soul funk and Boogie set, I I wanted to be authentic. I wasn't out there at the time. So I'd be listening to mixes the DJs had done like Larry and van. I was doing a vinyl set actually, Nobu. I do a couple of nights a month there is Japanese restaurant upstairs. And there was one Friday where Huey came through from fun loving criminals but obviously soul DJ had. He was there early and then common rolled through. And then P Tom came through with like his families that all like, in the same night. And that it was really nice because all of them like Colin was like, are you killing it? Like Huey came through that me up. And Pete Tong at the end. I just wanted to sort of say said hello to him. We started chatting. He said, All the stuff you were playing tonight, he said was stuff that I used to play because obviously before Pete had the the IB through epiphany, Soul cell phone company, so I was like, right, I'm on the right track with my selections. They need to be like, correct. So I'm on that, like, literal learning, learning journey. And I was wanting to do something. And I think, Well, I've been reminded that I wanted to do soul, funk, Boogie and disco for some reason before this is before loving London, I was like, I just need something that's going to be a bit different because I've done. I've done like hip hop and r&b for so long. Yeah. It's time to change it a bit, is freshen it up. I still love doing it. I still do do it. But I'm not doing that all the time. And I think that's what makes the difference. So I was actually doing a bar, there's a bar called clays, which when I was getting back into things that opened up, there was jewels from loose cabins who used to be they used to be like on Kiss, they were a big, I would say electro dance act. So I knew them. So from when I started in the 2000s. But I bumped into him randomly on the street. And I guess I was a little bit lost. I was I wasn't quite sure what I was doing. He said look, bro, you'd be perfect for this. So it's the change is really random. There's a chain of virtual clay pigeon shooting bars. They do these. So that if they do it's very like the drinks are amazing. The bar food is really really good, right? And they have these I call them pegs but the basically the small rooms. So for the old school heads, it's like duck hunt basically on the like the Sega or wherever. But you've got decommissioned proper shotguns. So this is all going on. And then your job as a DJ is just to play like music for them to vibe to after they finished and while they're still sort of playing. So I said to him, Look, I really want to start playing so funk Boogie and disco Can I play? So fun? Just play so fun Boogie disco, and he was like, Sure. So that was kind of how it started. And I was looking for a tune. I couldn't find it on my stick because I was doing off USB. So I did it by alphabetical order by title and love thing came up three times in a row. So there was it's a love thing. First Choice, there was intro, love thing. And there was it's a love thing with whispers that all came up, and I just it just stuck. I was like laughing. I was like, Oh, I like that. So then while I was sort of playing my mind was site started work working on that and DJ stylists heard done. He'd started a brand called compound up in Manchester and he's honestly it's elite level by events, everything I've known him for a while and I'd started having a chat with him because he got it trade bots. And I thought nothing London I thought LDN kind of makes it International. You know, I'm proud of London, with its musical heritage is fashion is culture. It's very much mixed. Everything from you know, your sexual alignment, your race, your background. It's very creative. And I just think this is what it's all this is what I want the brand's kind of all be about is for everyone. And I wanted it to be about soul. I feel people needed. Particularly now people need uplifting soul music, like gospel music, everything you just need that lift so I wanted to brand that with like, reflect that as well. And you can see from the logo. So you've got like the smiley face, which is like the rave, you've got the daisy Daisy age de la, you got kind of a lot of signifies the people when they see the logo. You can kind of get what it's about you kind of get that it's about sort of love in a way. Yeah. FlowerPower all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I and then I wanted to start wanting to start a podcast, I thought you know what, rather than doing radio, why don't we start doing a podcast and Joel I've known for many years he I met him at bump there was a legendary night in Brixton, run by Marthy. And Simon Anderson got me in there, so love to cyan and it was just an incredible Friday night that kind of rivalled in terms of luck. I say on a smaller scale, just in terms of numbers, how the smooth nights at ministry on a Friday night where it was absolutely poppin like absolutely poppin it was such an exciting night. And I met Joel there. And then Joe went to do the bookings for visions, which was an equally legendary spot in East London. And I just thought Joel is very kind of call and reserved. And it works well. In that I can be quite chatty and loud. And then he doesn't have he doesn't say much, but he says a lot. He conveys a lot in what he says. Yeah. I probably use like 20 words. And he could nail it in five.

Adam Gow:

That's kind of like with them with sports commentary, isn't it? You play by play? Yeah, Heitmann. I suppose yeah, play by plays you hype and then you've got you kind of bring it down and go Yeah, I

Speaker 1 1:27:05

just really enjoyed doing the podcast with him. It he's got we've got different tastes. He's He's younger than me. He's 10 years younger than me over 10 years younger than B. And so and he's got a different a different speciality. And I think it works in a you know, I think it's a it's an enjoyable listen with W don't fight to get over each other. It's not an ego thing. And yeah, it works. I'm definitely looking at growing that we've done DJ sets together, which worked really well. But as you know, like with a brand, it's about getting eyes and ears on air. Probably going to look at getting other people involved. Think you know, the marketing and yeah, there's just so much. Yeah, yeah, it's about getting visual. Again, I need to get more visual. With my stuff. You know, at home, I really want to start pushing the vinyl only, you know, when I do the Dhobi says vinyl only. So we're going real back to the origins and what makes it harder is when I started and when you started DJing even though we were DJing vinyl it was there was sequenced, it was sequenced by machines, right? So these mixes that we're doing now, these are live dramas. And so some of those can get pretty wild. So you're not doing 16 Bar blends. Unless you know that these dramas are like metronomic ly accurate. Otherwise you are in a world of pain. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

It's like when you're mixing things where to start the first bar and a half just drifts wildly, and then they get into it. Even when you move your tracking and mix your try and ride the pitch to make it work. Yeah,

Speaker 1 1:28:49

some of them. It's like you're trying to get on a wild stallion and it is just not happening.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, but but this is like the magic of vinyl as well as an existing it's nice having that limitation because if you were using that in Serato, or some of the systems you can have a beat grid, and you can see it can kind of quantize it and stuff and you'd

Speaker 1 1:29:06

be staring at it. You'd be looking at the screen. Yeah, that was the first thing I told myself when I got on Serato. So I was at the one nine to one club in Croydon and I was DJing vinyl before Jazzy Jeff. And I thought right the last thing you want to do is try and play those big tunes that Jazzy Jeff would want to play so I just thought I'm gonna finish off with just some party reggae stuff, which will be fine. That's just it will get higher top but he's not going to be chillin on anyone's toes. And then he rocks up and he's using his laptop and I'd heard about Serato and I saw it was saw what he did with it. I mean, the first the first thing that was outrageous was he played like a minute sort of Brazil, Brazilian flavours. And I was just like, mate, how the hell you get out this but then then you realise that it is Jazzy Jeff he can do what he wants and his taste is immaculate, and people will respect this taste. He Yeah, and we are going on a journey because I'm like, I'm not planning on Stein eight minutes, and we're sick with it. But then he just shreds on Serato with and I'm like, what? Okay. And as soon as I saw that, I was like, I need to be on that bike. I need to be on that.