As well as juggling his 9-5 job, DJ Chef manages to be a banging presenter on his Monday to Wednesday show on Whoa 90.4 FM and one of the biggest up and coming club DJ’s. His style is all about how you present the tracks rather than playing every track that is supposed to be hot so I wonder how long it will be, before he gets his Michellin Star?
How did you get into DJ’ing?
I started dj’ing at house parties and making mix-tapes from 1997. I took a break in 2000 for a while whilst I concentrated on my 9-5 career and then I re-started in 2004. All the while I was still collecting music and mixing but just not on the circuit. I started putting events together and it all rolled from there.
Why did you not take on a fancy dj name?
My name came about because my friends used to say I looked like RaeKwon from WuTang. I could not think of a better one at the time so DJ Chef it was. I even named the show I do on WHOA FM ‘Da Cook Out’.
Is vinyl a dying art and what do you like about the whole vinyl aspect?
Love the vinyl but unfortunately it is dying. I think if it was all still vinyl there would be a lot less ‘wanna be’ DJ’s though. The feel of vinyl and contact brings you closer to the music. I think you have DJ’s who play music and then turntablists for who it’s an art demonstrating what they can do with the vinyl. If you really want to see what can be done on vinyl you have to look for The Scratch Perverts and DJ Qbert, they are amazing.
What’s great and not so great about the UK scene at the moment?
UK scene is growing and there’s a lot of talent that’s already made it and still coming through. The only unfortunate thing from my perspective if the market dictates this pop sound that R&B and Hip Hop has turned to, but some raw tunes still make it through.
In your genre who do you think is the best dj (apart from yourself) and why?
There’s a lot of good DJ’ out there that inspire me. I figure that I would list it like this: Westwood for his collection of Hip Hip and R&B at his disposal, DJ Longers for his ability to turn out a club and DJ Legs (Rampage) for his turntable skills.
What’s your style of dj’g/presenting?
More music and less talking … I play old and new bangers and then drop a 45 minute straight mix on my Radio Show on WHOA 90.4 fm Every Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 8 pm. In the club I prefer to have a good mic man so I can concentrate on the 1’s and 2’s and jungle the tracks. It’s not just about playing the hit’s it’s how you present them.
What projects are you up to right now for 2011?
As well as dj’ing clubs in the UK and US, I’m working on bringing over US artist to the UK at present, stay tuned for that one. Linking up the model circuit Belle Entertainment is the US and Butterfly Models and iCandy in the UK and improving my international profile.
What’s the best advice you can give to up and coming DJ’s?
Know your music and genres that you play. It’s not always just about the current bangers… Also watch the crowd, don’t get lost in your own little zone and loose everyone else.
Words by Semper Azeez-Harris