I started Dj-ing in about 2000 through learning from a friend. I then bought my first pair of decks from another friend for £90 mainly for my house warming. Following a house fire I started moving house quite frequently and left my decks at my friend’s house for him to look after. In the mean time I practiced as regular as possible anywhere I could as long as there was a deck and a mixer.
THE RADIO YEARS
It was only until 2002 when my housing situation settled that I really started taking the Dj-ing thing seriously. It all started when I was at a Christmas do at a pub with my Aunt Jean, I was talking to the Dj there and started selecting some really eclectic tunes and he turned round and asked if I was a Dj, reply with surprise he went on to tell me about a guy he new who was starting his own radio station Style UK and was looking for Dj’s. He gave me his number and to cut a long story short I got a show on Tuesday mornings 1am – 3am. I held this show down for almost a year and after a series of raids on the station we just didn’t come back on air.
A few months later I heard of another station Bounce Fm that was about to launch through a Dj named Skyjuice and tried to get a slot, it took me a couple months but I got a peak time Friday night show but the broadcast wasn’t consistent enough and management weren’t as professional they should have been so I left.
2003 my cousin in Harlesden all the while was setting up a organisation called BANG EDUTAINMENT, which essentially works to educate and empower young people.
One of BANG’s projects was a community radio station Life Fm broadcasting mainly on the internet but were regularly been awarded RSL’s (temporary licenses to broadcast on air for a 5 mile radius around Harlesden/ Wembley).
The first time I went on Life Fm I had a Weds afternoon show at 2pm-4pm, the show was OK but I didn’t promote it like I should’ve.
I stayed on for a few month’s but other projects started getting in the way as well as a new breakfast show on Genesis 91.6fm on Tues, Weds & Thurs mornings 6am-10am, this later changed to Mon – Fri (which was blimmin hard work!). After a couple months I had to change, I then secured a Thursday drive time 4pm – 7pm.
Again after a while I had to leave as I had just launched a Flight Distribution Services, a company me and a friend started to provide home delivery services to Caribbean restaurants and other businesses needing a delivery service.
In summer 2004 I rejoined Life Fm for their RSL (air broadcast), this time holding 4 shows (2 mixed music breakfast shows, an Rnb & Hiphop show and an energetic Bashment show) and supporting an afternoon talk show with another cousin.
All my show are energetic, edgy and plain crazy during the last weeks broadcast we had listeners from all over the world which tallied up to 65,000! That chat room had people from various States and from non-English speaking countries spanning all the way from South America to Indonesia.
The strangest thing that happened on air was a caller who phoned in half way through me interviewing someone, thinking it was someone wanting to ask a question I put him through directly live on air.
The first thing he said was…
“Is this the dry cleaners on Church street”
Baffled and dumb founded all I could do was repeat myself again saying
“Life Fm, caller you’re live on air”
The caller went to tune into us – confused and apologetic started laughing along with half the listeners probably. He funnily enough went on to ask if I knew the number of the dry cleaners on Church St.
THE RAVE SCENE
This was around the time that my bookings really started to increase, especially in the west end. A friend hooked up with a Promoter named Jo who runs a Promotions company called
HOTLIPS MUSIC PROMOTIONS
After a gleaming proposal email, being quite subtly boastful, then playing for her Jo made me one of her number one Dj’s and up until now she gets me slots wherever she can. Jo also showed me about the whole guest list game in the west end and how to make money from nights that other people were running and not even have to be there. If I ran a paying guest list, I would get a percentage of however much each person paid to get into the club. So I could play in one or two clubs and still make money of as many other nights as I had guest lists at. Hence the beginning of my mailing list and my following.
Opportunities and links just flooded in after hooking up with Jo Hotlips, everything from Single/Album release parties to VIP party’s and exclusive guest list only celeb after parties including Busta Rhymes, Roc-a-Fella, Kanye West, Jay-Z, the list is endless.
We (Special Selexions) have played at almost all of London’s top night Clubs from Cameo’s to 10 Rooms to Click and Rouge, and secured residencies at some of these high profile venues.
At present since the beginning of last year I had about 6 or 7 Friday and/ or Sat nights to myself. Even now as a crew we still at times find ourselves almost over stretched. I didn’t even see the guys on New Years Eve, we had something like 5 sets to play between the three of us.
Special Selexionz (the crew)
The Dj crew ‘Special Selexionz’ came about by me, Knowl-edge, Senior P and Dr Hyde combining forces. I’d played alongside Senior P and Dr Hyde before and the way we played really complimented each other, funnily enough at one event a someone actually approached us and asked if we were a crew and insisted we should be.
Special Selexionz came together in about April 2004, just after the Roc-a-fella after party, when one of my record bags got stolen with all my bashment (dancehall) and all my cd’s.
At this time I had a lot of bookings to which I needed to play bashment and a lot of west end raves to Dj at. I knew Senior P and Dr Hyde wanted a lot more central London plays so it just kinda made sense as I would ask them to come and play alongside me as if we were a crew anyway.
Senior P and Dr Hyde were already on Genesis 91.6fm for a long while before I joined them. Dr Hyde then moved over to www.invincibleradio.com and I to Life Fm with these being internet radio our exposure dramatically increased and gave us the accreditation and respect to get V.I.P. backstage passes to Joe Budden and Fabolous’ concert and sets at after party’s.
We have been making waves not only in the hiphop/ rnb scene but also the Dancehall scene and nothing demonstrated this more than the live telephone interview with "BEENIE MAN" Senior P held 3 hours after Beenie landed Friday 18th March and "BASS ODESSEY" one of Jamaica’s Top Sound Systems) prior to the World Cup Sound Clash @ Stratford Rex on the 16th April.
We describe ourselves as a ‘Ghettopolitan Sound’ securing residencies at London’s most ‘no frills’ and straight bashy raves all the way to London’s prestigious venues.
||Of which Residencies
|10 rooms, Piccadilly Circus
||10 rooms, Piccadilly Circus
|Rouge, Tottenham Crt Rd
|Shh Rooms / Rococo, Leicester Sq
||Shh Rooms / Rococo, Leicester Sq
|Brockwells Wine Bar, Herne Hill
||Brockwells Wine Bar, Herne Hill
|Meantime Lounge, Greenwich
|Rainforest Café, Piccadilly Circus
||Rainforest Café, Piccadilly Circus
|Q-bar, Regent St
||Q-bar, Regent St
|Graneries, Croydon – South London
||Graneries, Croydon – South London
|Click, Wardour St
|Cameo’s, Oxford Circus
|Swiss Tavern, New Cross
||Swiss Tavern, New Cross
|Sound, Leicester Square
|Corks Wine Bar, Oxford Circus
|La Fez, New Cross
|Daniels Bar, Blackheath
||Daniels Bar, Blackheath
|D Bar, Wandsworth
||Trap, Wardour Street, Oxford Circus
||D Bar, Wandsworth
||Corks Wine Bar, Oxford Circus
…The list goes on
We all came from varying angles of the Dj-ing world, Senior P came from playing in the Eveready Crew, a very well known crew from south London, especially in the under 21’s raving scene. Dr Hyde is very well known in the Dancehall scene as this is his (and Senior P’s Speciality - as well as Rnb/ Hiphop/ Soul.)
We are all conversant with some of the biggest names in the Urban Music Industry, from the lead figures from THE HISTORIC SAXON and COXSONE SOUND SYSTEMS all the way to the newer day sound systems such as RED HOT, SECRET WEAPON and CRYSTAL BLUE. And this is just in the Dancehall scene, in the Hiphop and Rnb scene our links are off the scale… put it this way = anyone who’s anyone is a couple phone calls away-UK & US. Shouts out to Estelle, Marvia Providence, I’Wayne & Joe Budden.
We play the way we play because we have figured out the formula to a hot set… its all about crowd interaction.
We listen to every Dj we can especially the top ones just to see what makes them strong.
I ran into Mr and Miss Black and Beautiful's (C.E.O), in Blacka Dread Record Store, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, she was talking to Senior P and I just happened to be passing by. We got to talking about what we both did, at this point Miss Hartwell didn’t know I Dj’d, we were talking about networking and advertising ‘Flight Distribution Services’ on the Mr and Miss Black and Beautiful website.
After attending one of Mr and Miss Black and Beautfiful's events at Z- bar, Brixton, (and thoroughly enjoying myself) I jokingly jeered Miss Hartwell for not knowing I was Dj and also for Miss Hartwell still not offering me a slot and having me involved. Miss Hartwell immediately replied “you didn’t tell me you wanted to be involved” and asked me if I wanted to play at the next one. I love positive community driven efforts and got involved to support the organistion and heart of the movement.
I have since been asked to become a contestant… I always thought I was beautiful (haaa haaa haaa…jokes!)
OTHER THINGS I’M UP TO…
I also involved with a young peoples magazine called LIVE MAGAZINE which mainly circulates around the Lambeth and Lewisham Boroughs but finds its way all over London. Furthermore LIVE Mag are setting up an internet equivalent of the mag and have asked me to become one of the lead figures in this.
I’m also chasing up links with another mag named ‘HIMTM’ (Hardcore Is More Than Music) which is also another free urban culture magazine.
I’m currently delving into the whole world of production, sound engineering and artist development and media training.
For the last 7 years or so I’ve developed my skills as a Photographer and Cameraman (film).
Being a vocal artist myself, I’m planning a marketing campaign for myself and am in the process of locking down all material and avenues of promotion.
As if I’m busy not enough I’m also a youth art tutor I worked for two and a half years with a Youth Arts Company called Second Wave, centre for youth arts in Deptford, South East London. I now freelance teaching courses in Stage Skills, Dj workshops and am involved in dance workshops.
Through out all of this I’m able to keep God first – never calling myself religious but say ‘I have a relationship with God’.
This may sound contrary to some as I Dj secular music, but as I’m going to enter the mainstream industry I need to know its ‘ins and outs’ and what makes a hit tune – what people like especially as a producer/ Engineer/ Marketer.
There are many an artist I won’t play on radio to promote their foolishness but may play them in a rave because the that’s what the crowd dance to.
What’s the difference you may ask; Radio play allows you to here the full tune and through constant play will make you like it more and wanna get the single or album, that’s what radio is for. Club play - no one really pays that much attention to lyric and by this time they like it already and you will not believe how annoying it is to have 10 people in a row ask you for the same tune but still some artists I will not play for anyone’s sake i.e. Khia-My Neck, My Back.
Thank You for reading