Tuesday, 28 August 2012

#ESPspotlight on...DejaVu FM's DJ D.Lux!

...DejaVu FM's

DJ D.Lux

First it was the A-Levels, then last week it was the GCSEs...although exam pass rates have dropped, the Government are still claiming both are too 'easy'. I still shudder from the memory of both those days, but figure if we must focus on education then like the last Spotlight Special, the least we can do is keep it based around topics that we enjoy; the kind where we listen without realising we're learning...

Recently, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with a Veteran of so many areas of this Industry, I don't think I could actually name them all. One of the most humble people I have ever met, DJ D.Lux has more than a few accomplishments under his belt but as I soon realised, is reluctantly shy to discuss them. Having met when I accompanied my friend, singer Leighanna to an interview with DejaVu FM's DJ Fearney last Summer (where I left a lasting impression by falling off my seat during their live radio show - don't ask...) and again when we worked together on Leela James' concert after party a few months later (I stayed standing that time); I had originally wanted to interview D.Lux about the complexities of running a radio station. Instead I accidentally stumbled onto a lot more than that (without bruising this time)...

Read a few familiar things about this musical pioneer, but be prepared for a string of revelations along the way...

D.Lux, it's an honour to have you Sir, Welcome! I've become a personal fan of yours through our past encounters and really want to showcase the multitude of things that you do at the Station. To understand how you got where you are though, I always like to look at the journey, so let's start at the very beginning...

Where did the name come from?

When I had a flat top? Or the jheri curl? There's pictures out there...We're going right back! I called myself 'Deluxe' as a DJ from the mid-late 80s and it stemmed from Hip Hop. Breakdancing was really the thing for youth at that time, it was that whole 'B-boy culture'. I wasn't really a good breakdancer myself or bodypopper, but I was into the culture and everyone had a name. I liken it to the Rock Steady Crew; you had to have a tag at that time. I went through a couple of different tags. 'Swift' was a name at one point that not many people know, but that didn't last long...Just speaking now, I've only just remembered that!

Why Swift?

Because of the moves! I wasn't a breakdancer, but I had a name that made me sound like one! Then I would say by '88, it was properly 'D.Lux', but it was spelled 'Deelux'. You have a Standard and the next level up. So as a DJ, I wanted to be above Standard. I wanted a unique way of spelling it but I didn't like how it looked when I used to write the tag, so I decided to take out the 'e's, so I became the first and original 'D.Lux'.

Your career goes 25 years deep - where did you start though? What was your first job?

Coming up 26 years. I know, I don't look that old...

When I first started, I was obviously not old enough to work, so my first job has actually been this. I started at 12 or 13 years old, but I grew up around music. It's very hard to pinpoint the actual start; but I can definitely go back and say, well I was definitely a DJ from then, because I was playing on two turntables and mixing tunes, things like that. I'll give you an example; my Dad was a Sound Man, so I inherited the Sound System from him. My older brother was also in a Sound System, so I also inherited his influence; these are things I'm picking up from when I'm 5/6 years old. My Step-Dad used to work in the pressing plant at Polygram Records, so in terms of record collection, I didn't want. I grew up in a 6-bedroomed house with a massive basement and three different rooms within. Underneath was a recording studio so from an early age, it was inevitable that I would end up doing something within music...

But this was 'Parents music'. 'Parents music' is not your music. My family is Calypso, Soca, music from the West Indies. The records that I would get from my Step-Dad, they weren't necessarily my music, but I had all of the Pop records from the 80s, going up. It was only when  other styles of music started to come out, like Electro, that it became a thing where I thought; I'm into music, I'm around music, my family all do music, etc. But my first thing where I said, I'm taking this element of music, was when I heard a German band called Kraftwerk. As a youngster, me and a friend, we were really fascinated with this electronic music. It was different traditionally, to what our families were listening to - it was futuristic. Even the way that they would look; they looked like robots. The stuff that they were doing was unlike anything that I'd ever heard. That was the 70s; but towards the 80s, their sound and style of music had started to branch out until it got picked up by Rap-Electro music, which the bodypoppers were using. Stuff like Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force...That was our generation.

You talk about Kraftwerk's style; how did the introduction of Electro influence the style of the times?

The Beastie Boys inspired nationwide, hood
ornament theft for fashion...
It's the same way that now a 12-13 year old would identify with Grime music; that's their thing now. For us, we had Electro, that went into the Hip Hop, that went into the bodypoppin, 'Wild Style'. Everyone used to go down to the corners to do it. We all had fat laces; particularly when the Beastie Boys came out with the Mercedez Benz chains, a lot of Volkswagen Golfs got vandalised. We even got told off at school for doing it...

So are we talking actual Street Dance like the films here and would you say that was when you chose your own personal direction musically?

Places like Stratford Centre where the Olympics is now, there used to be a shopping mall and they had the marble floor? Perfect place for the whole breakdancing thing. It was massive and it still exists to this day, there were Hip Hop Artists from the UK; groups like Hijack, Hard Noise, Duke, Demon Boyz...we had all of that growing up. That's when I started buying my own music, I wasn't relying on what was coming from my older brothers, my Step-Dad. I was doing a paper round, collecting money and buying music of my choice. So the first genre that I jumped on myself, was Electro Hip Hop / Rap.

Coming from a Soul, Disco and Classical background, I remember what it was like trying to bring 90s RnB, Rap and worst of all, Jungle into the household! What was it like trying to do the same with Electro, in a Soca / Calypso home?

It bubbled until about '87/'88, when I got to take over the basement. By then, me and some school friends had our own Sound System. Growing up around Blues parties, Soca parties, so from 13, I took it over and we used to do school parties. I knew what a speaker box looked like; my Dad used to do amps so I knew how to wire up by the time I was 12 year's old. By the time I was 13, 14, 15, I knew how to put together a couple of boxes, get some turntables...we didn't really know about pitch control then but we knew how to mix. By the late 80s though, music was shifting. Americans were really good at Hip Hop, but we had Acid House that swept the Nation. Obviously what the UK tend to do is any type of music that comes out, we stick an MC on it...Garage? Stick an MC on it. Jungle? Stick an MC on it. House, Minimal Tech...whatever it is that we're doing today...stick an MC on it! They were doing it back then as well. So Dance music, they stuck an MC on and it became Hip House. If you were around in the late 80s, you could not avoid being involved with the whole Dance takeover.

And at what point did you want to go from spinning the vinyl to being spun on it? When did the Production desire kick in and how did that new phase unfold?

By say 1990, that's when as a DJ, I actually started wanting to make music. But with the equipment I had, it wasn't for making music. If you listen to some of my early productions, I used to make music using a tape recorder...I used to record loops of music and piece them together. I wanted to be like Soul II Soul, so how I sought about doing that was obviously through DJ'ing. In the area that we grew up in, there was also another DJ called Bizzy B. There were a few DJs in my school and about at the time, but Bizzy B was the one that stood out as one of the 'Big Boys'. 

When I finally met up with him, auditioned and got on the label, I hadn't produced a proper tune. From going to Bizzy's studio a few times, by '91, I had done my first with his assistance; we basically did a collaboration and that's how I learned to build a tune using studio equipment. What he told me was, alright so you're on the decks, you can do all that mixing and scratching, but you can't use the equipment that all these Dance tunes are made on, so we're going to have to teach you.

The first few tunes that I did in his studio, I saw what he was using, Commodore Amigas, which was really primitive equipment and bought similar stuff. We were making Dance music and Jungle, although the name before was Hardcore; that's the first type of music that I remember actually making. That then became Jungle / Techno

In our area at the time, the early 90s, we had Bizzy and Lennie De Ice. Lennie had a BIG Jungle track called 'We Are IE' which, a lot of people point back and say that was the beginning of Jungle music. We would all do parties at places like the 'Dungeons' of Leabridge Road, a lot of the Acid House parties and play all these tracks that we were making straight to the crowd...

From DJ to Producer by '93, through the transitions of music my road went from Electro to Hip Hop, Hip Hop to Hip House, House to Hardcore, Hardcore to Jungle, Jungle Techno. I interpreted it as 'Jungle' was seen as too 'Black', so it became 'Drum'n'Bass'. Soon as that got seen as the same, it became 'Liquid Intelligence' and so on and so on. 

My first few releases were all Drum'n'Bass and House on a label called Brain Records. I did a bag of radio stations as a DJ,  as a part of Brain Records. They were very big then; a very important Drum'n'Bass label and I was sort of Bizzy B's sidekick. I started doing more productions, got exposed to more bookings at various events...It was easier to get a booking, because I had a Sound System. If I wanted to do an event, I'd do my own; I didn't have to rely on X, Y, Z, together with the fact that I wasn't 18. I wasn't old enough to get into any clubs, so when I first started, it would be Community Centres, illegal parties...there were no Under 18 events in those times. That's where I made my name.

So I did the Brain Records stuff, I was doing radio; Conflict, Impact, Pressure FM, Rinse FM...From '91 to '95, I went through so many different radio stations, I wouldn't be able to name them all. Towards the latter part, me and the boys ended up having a record shop called 'Togetherness Records' in Leytonstone. I got exposed to more music, my collection was growing even more, so I was into my Drum'n'Bass, but I could still afford my Hip Hop, anything I liked, I was abusing it...

How did having your own record shop impact you, as a DJ and Producer?

I'd say from '94 to '96 was probably my worst period as a DJ, for that reason. I'm very critical of myself and I say that simply because  - and this is why I pity some DJs today - all of the music I got was free. People were chucking tunes on me because I owned a shop, so my quality control dropped. So when I was doing my sets, it wasn't like before when I quite liked a tune, but would I buy it? When I was relying on my pocket change, I would make sure that the only tunes I was buying were the ones that I really liked. I remember doing a couple of the dances back in '94/'95 and I didn't do as good as I could have, because my selection was too wide and I had too much. 

By '95/'96, I had released several tunes, I'd done the James Bond tune, which had done ok; House'n'Garage started to raise up a bit because Drum'n'Bass Producers were holding onto their tunes and DJs used to hold on to dubplates for so long. I personally experienced a decline in good tracks that I knew my customers wanted, so as a record shop, we were getting starved...

So do you think that House'n'Garage got as big as it did because Jungle started pulling back?

I experienced it from a DJ's perspective. Because Jungle music wasn't as accessible, I would have to go to Music House to cut dubplates. If I didn't get there on time, I wouldn't get that dub. They were then staying on them for far too long, so the customer in the shop wasn't getting it...Well the customer wants his music. I mean this wouldn't happen now with the Internet, but you had the customers getting starved, together with the scene reaching fever pitch. As is always the way with this Country musically; when something's 'in', that's when you get all the bandwagon people. So a lot of events were getting sabotaged by people that weren't in it for the right reasons

Trouble started happening and venues didn't want the events; anything that's popular has it. It happens, it's gone through all of the music - Garage had it, Grime had it, House is having it now...So there was a shift in how Jungle handled itself through '97/'98 - it went back underground. It left room for a new style of Drum'n'Bass to emerge, that I personally think people like myself had an influence that was so colourful musically, in terms of I grew up listening to so many different kinds of music. With early Hip Hop there was a lot of samples of yesteryears; so I got to know Soul, Funk, James Brown, Bobby Byrd...all these different Artists. I liked the fact that I could identify with the samples in Jungle music. I loved the Ragga element. Where I grew up around Sound Systems, that appealed to me and some of my customers.

So when all of that phased out, House'n'Garage were making really good tunes and I had them. I was on Rinse FM originally as a Jungle DJ; half were DJ'ing Jungle, half were House'n'Garage and I would fit between the two. 

So even with my questionable Maths, we're now in your DejaVu FM era. For someone who had spent time with so many stations, what was it that led you to strip away all the others, leaving only that one?

At the time, I enjoyed Rinse (FM), but I didn't feel that it was my home. Simply because I was a little bit older than the average DJ on the station. Someone said: "You're a pretty good House'n'Garage DJ, have you ever thought about going on DejaVu?" By then, the owner of deja at the time, used to come to my record shop regularly to drop off tickets for dances. I got to meet everybody at them and basically chat to any promoter that I wanted to. I spoke to the management at the time, told them who I am, what I do; I was pretty useful to them as a resource...He's got a studio, he can do the adverts for us, he can do all these different things...Oh and he DJ's as well. So I was brought on within the first year, I think as just a resource. I would do like a Friday, 2-4am...

And what kind of 'resource' were you?

I started getting more and more bookings through deja and I was helping out the management. I was very experienced with equipment; if an amp blew, turntables, mixers, whatever, I was the Sound System guy, so they'd bring them to me. I'm in my element if I'm wiring up stuff...I'd often undo my studio, just to wire it back up. When I do events, other than playing, my favourite thing to do is set up the Sound System. Figuring out logistically, where things are going to go, I love that. I got work through going to events, amps were blowing and the guys were going "Is D.Lux in the house tonight?" and I'd go "Yeah I'm here, I'm just raving?!" I'm a good DJ, but I can admit people were mainly bringing me to things as a resource... Have him on the team because he's a DJ, but if this goes wrong, you know that he can handle that. That's been a thing throughout my whole career now. 

I looked all over the Internet and found some confusing results so I think I'll come straight to you for an answer - What and who are The Dek Collectors and how did they fit into all of this?

By the late 90s I'd slowed down with the Jungle / Drum'n'Bass productions. I'd met up with a Producer called Rob D'Riche. We sat down and said right, let's do this whole House'n'Garage thing then. Crews were coming up so we said ok, we'll call ourselves 'Dek Collectors'. Started releasing tunes under that with Rob D'Riche who is now a fairly big dubstep Producer called Rednek, as a DJ/Producer type thing. He used to do a bit of singing and MC'ing. We had several different MCs pass through as well. Then what happened was that Rob was really more of a solo Producer, so we went our separate ways shortly after our first few releases. By '99-2000, Garage was taking a bit of a turn. We've got a stack load of tunes that never came out. I found my old DAT (Digital Audio Tape) machines not too long ago. We're good friends now, we talk quite a lot. I was even commenting on the fact that we made so many tunes that we made and forgot about.

By then, I was getting a bit older and (DJ) Diesel used to do work experience in the shop. I used to teach some of the guys that came through and he was ready by then; he was quite a good mixer and became the next person within the Dek Collectors, replacing Rob. Being a lot younger than me, he also had a lot of his mates coming through that were MCs as well. He had joined Deja by then so we were both DJ'ing, so he would do some sets, I would do others. The Garage scene started to go a bit more 'Grimey' and for me personally, I was finding that it was starting to be less about the DJ and more the MC. I came from a time of giving out flyers and people asking "What DJs are playing?" By that time, it had turned into "What MCs are gonna be on the night?"

I produced Grime tracks with several of what would be considered Grime MCs...Lethal B's verse on the 'Oi' tune, he actually performed on a track that he'd done with me, but 'Oi' came out first, so I deleted our version and put it out as an instrumental. I pulled away from it I'll be honest with you, because it wasn't really about me as a DJ. It was "D.Lux, don't bother mix it, just play the tune!" I'm a Mixer, I've got skill! Don't tell me I just have to play one tune and 20 of you MC! So I said to Diesel that I'm not on that. He could do it if he wanted, but I'd rather just DJ...

So is it fair to say that you had developed into a Specialist in those genres by that point?

I went back to music that I could mix and show, that's when I  went back to doing Hip Hop and became considered as more of a cross-genre DJ, mixing up all the styles. I still kept a show on Deja, but also had a show on an Essex radio station called Renegade FM

I hadn't realised how important Youth Work is with you until now. How did the music side of that come about?

By 2001-2002, I had set up a Music Production school. I got asked if I wanted in on a Charity teaching kids how to do music and I was brought in to run a project. I had done teaching, showing kids how to mix, so that was when I set up my first proper DJ'ing workshop. I liked it and it was stuff that I was doing anyway. So just the same way that I taught Diesel and a few of the younger MCs around, I did more and I enjoyed it - I found it quite rewarding. So I started to balance what I was doing professionally with what I was putting back into the Community. I got a buzz from teaching, mentoring and setting up projects. I was fortunate that because I had so much life experience, I was able to show these guys...I'm from the Old School; my record collection - you won't see many people with more. You get a lot of people who might criticise DJs of today - I could easily criticise; "You don't play any vinyl, you don't do this, or do that, you 'laptop' DJ..." I use a laptop to this day, and?! I've also got twelve turntables in my studio. I've got a house and a studio and a garage and a shop full of vinyl, but I choose to use a laptop as well now, and?! I use Serato - and?!

People like to criticise DJs today for what they're 'not'...Don't just criticise them, use your experience and help them! When I teach, I don't teach on a laptop, I teach on turntables. I go to schools, bring vinyl with me and get them to experience. So you can sit and criticise younger generations and tell them that they're cutting corners, or you can give them the experience. My role now has changed; I see it as I've got a bigger job to do. I'm a DJ and a Producer, but I'm also someone passing on experience that someone showed me. You don't know things unless you are shown. So I'm going to use all of my experience to assist.

If you see a younger guy not doing it right, say to him, "Nah, this is how you gotta do it." I know that there's plenty of people that I've helped out in their early days and they're Superstars now. When they see me they say "D.Lux, Safe!" I don't want your money, I just want you to do your thing. I just look at it now as, I'm from way back when. I'm still active and I still get bookings to this day because I'm a resource to many people. But I'm going to use that to my advantage, to put back in and that's all I do. Invest into the next person and build.

Whether escapism, a love of the artform or purely in a professional regard, how has music and your opinion of it changed since day one?

Towards the latter part of 2000 I got really frustrated with Hip Hop music. I wanted to play more, but I had a personal view that the Hip Hop was being made around 2009, 10, 11 was crap. It became really bland and people kind of fell out of love with it and again. Whenever this happens, another genre benefits. Let's put my 'trying to educate and talk from past experience' hat on...Music has become throwaway. I'll give you an example; I have got hundreds of tracks that have never seen the light of day. Some I listen back to and think: "Why didn't I release that? That would have been a massive track..." I will tell you why I didn't. I had the computer, I had the Sound System, I had all the equipment, I would go and make my tunes - Bizzy taught me, but...

When I finished, I would have to sit in front of people like Bizzy, Lennie De Ice, this person, that person and play it to them, so I had to come correct. All my early stuff, Bizzy would have to record it onto his DAT machine and that's how I'd get it cut. I had a certain quality control, where if the track wasn't ready, he would send me back to the studio and tell me "You need to sort that bit out". Because Bizzy was a busy guy and he had the DAT machine everyone used to record, I couldn't waste his time, so I had to make sure I was ready, because I didn't want to miss an opportunity when it came around and have to wait another week. I mean it's all opinions; sometimes he might have turned round and said "D, dat one nuh ready" but 5 years down the line, he might say "Actually, that's a BAD tune!

When he finished the mix, I would have to go to Music House to cut it. When you step into a Music House waiting room, you've got Grooverider sat in one corner, there's DJ Hype, there's Jumpin Jack Frost, there's Ray Keith...Oh and there's Goldie...and Fabio's behind him and so on and so on. And I would have to sit in this waiting room, waiting to cut my tune, next to all these Legends...Do I really want to play it? Some people would cut their tune in front of them and they'd laugh! So I had so many checks that I had to go through, that I probably released maybe five percent of the music that I've actually made and finished. That's the most that's out there in the public. For my 26th year, I'm actually going to release some of the stuff I've done - there's a little exclusive for you - that's coming...

Now, with your computer, you can make a tune. What started happening you didn't have to have a DAT machine, you could just  record your stuff onto CD; you wouldn't have to go to Music House and cut, so a lot of tunes started not getting mixed and mastered the right way and people were making music that wasn't going through the ears of their peers. People were bunging tunes on CDs and playing them on CD-Js in clubs that night. That's when we lost the quality control. It goes even further; people can now do .mp3s and put it straight onto MySpace, or just email it. 

We've gone past that now...people don't even send their tracks to radio stations, they don't bother with MySpace; now they get their .mp3, put it on YouTube and count the amount of views as some kind of recognition. So now the way of thinking is; I don't care if I'm making music, making any money, I ain't gonna release anything, you can't buy this in the shop - but you can watch it on YouTube though and I got ten thousand views. People can even buy views. So really, you've just got a lot of people of today, making music that's only going through their own ears, making a tune today and by later on tonight, it's up on YouTube

I don't want to accuse any one person, but you can pay for hits. When people are doing this and they're releasing music professionally, this one's got a million views, but when they get signed, the tune doesn't sell - so where did the views come from? I watched some music programmes this year, some festivals and you could really see it - their line ups consisted of a lot of people who are big on the Internet. But when they were performing to a live crowd, there was something missing. These were Internet Stars; they're not Stars in the real sense of those who came up in a certain way. Not taking anything away from them, but you could see that certain people performing at this one particular festival didn't have the crowd on lock. They did by their Twitter, they had millions of views on YouTube, but there was something missing between them onstage and those twenty-thousand people watching them.

So keeping your Teacher's hat on, how would you suggest anyone reading this go from Free Internet Star to Money-Making Artist?

How I made my studio - I'd make a song, cut it, press one, two, three thousand. I'd go around to radio stations, go around to record shops and I'd sell them hard copies. Let's say I sold three thousand of a vinyl, I'd make back six grand. That would buy me something. These days the Artists are making potentially good tunes, but they have to give away a thousand, ten thousand, give their music away for nothing, just to get exposure.

I liken music today to flyers. You know when you go to a rave, come out and get flyers you might not even read, just toss it. Artists today are making music as business cards, with no intention of making money from it. They could if they understood the music business, in terms of royalties, PRS and such, but they need to be educated. If they do well enough, where they get shows and concerts, that's where the have the potential to make it back. Wiley released how many tunes for free? Prince put out his album for free; but then did a 25-date tour, where you had to buy a ticket for 'X' amount. That's where he makes his meals!

As you know from our past discussions, this is an area that I consider a bit of a black void, because you've seen and heard the very talented Artist that I work with in action. How would you advise not just myself pushing someone else, but anyone trying to break into the music Industry to stand out from the crowd? How do Artists get on your radar?

'The Raise EP' by Lekhem (download)
I remember the guy you're working with and I think he's a very good Artist. But I'm going to show you my phone so you can see exactly where the problem lies...I'm pretty organised, but look at what I have sitting there waiting for me; nearly fifteen HUNDRED emails. Now I'm really good on mine, but you get sent so much. Because technology has made it easy for people to do, everyone does. You are having to compete with a lot more people, so you have to be more than good - my advice to anyone is be more than good, become a resource. If it means that people have to bring you on for a skill - let them. I'm not being big-headed, I know that I'm still a very good DJ because I've always kept that at the centre of everything I do. But I will happily admit that I know many people don't book me because I'm a good DJ; they book me because they know that there is something that I can do for them. People do not book me because of my name, they book me for what I can bring...

So we've talked about how music has changed, how the hungry should go about getting ahead and the way that accessibility has changed the game in a relatively short period. But what about attitudes? What's the biggest difference between when you first started out and the current day?

It's too easy. I'll give you the example of July's We Play Music show. I want to make it ten times harder for these live bands to perform so they appreciate it more. There were two Artists that did not turn up. I didn't beg them for the booking, I went through the correct channels, we communicated. They accepted their soundcheck times, they accepted their stage times, I sent the full brief on what the show is, what we do, what our aims and objectives are - it was an official booking, I do my things properly. I will hold flyers back until I get that final confirmation, so there was no question that they knew they were booked. I'm a respectful person, you will not really find too many people with anything bad to say about me because my pride and my name is everything. If you give me a soundcheck time, I'm going to be there - there are ten other Artists, so I need to make sure that I sound en pointe!

I've seen that backfire on Artists in the past who chose not to soundcheck and come stage time, they've forgotten the track they were meant to perform. The band played one song and they started singing another, so they had to reload and start again. I try to help people; that is why I want to make it so these Artists have to practically fight to get on the bill. Because when you get on there, you are so going to appreciate it, you are going to do your best, you are going to wear the right clothes, you are going to take time over every bit of your preparation and you are going to nail it.

Are there any standout moments from those times where you can go back and say, I'll never forget that?

Within a couple of months of joining DejaVu FM, one of the guys that I used to engineer for, a Jungle guy, he said "I've got this Garage tune, could you help me engineer it, mix it down?" He gave me the tune, I said this is NOT Garage; this is something else, slowed-down Jungle...I finished off the tune for him, put it out and it ended up blowing up. That tune was 'Dangerous' by Same People.

Now I laughed at this because it carried so many Jungle samples...He offered me that tune and I said "No, thanks!" I tried to tell him that I was DJ'ing House'n'Garage, I said "Let me play you some...Grant Nelson, that's House'n'Garage, I don't know what this is?!" But it blew up! It's really funny because I so disagreed with him, that after he left, I changed the tune to show him what it should sound like. I forgot I'd done that and I never got to play it to him, so there is still another version of that tune that's not been released yet. I actually found it the other day, I might play it on my radio show one day...

How is We Play Music different from typical shows?

I am Underground and proud of it. I support the people that the 1Xtra's and the others, will not. All these channels that are now 'championing' the Underground have become the commercial. The basis of it is, if you want to hear club bangers, do not listen to my radio show. If you want to hear the Top Ten tunes, do not listen to my radio show. If you want to hear something new, fresh, something that really needs to be heard from someone who is really talented, but not necessarily on Flava - that's what it will be. Now we're eight months into doing the live venue show. People are hollering at me now, not realising I've been doing this show for nearly five years. The live show at the Queen of Hoxton is the new part! But the bottom line, is it is only to support the Artists that I think need to get heard.

We talked about how you have made yourself a resource. I've always seen you as deja vu fm's Station Manager but, I know that is never how you would describe your role, so in your own words...

I don't run that Station. I've never, ever said that I have. I've been on there for a long time and I guess I'm very influential and I can make things happen. I'm a DJ and a resource, that's all.

So for anyone reading who wants to move from being a DJ into a similar position of far-reaching influence, with involvement in the day-to-day running of a Station - what guidance would you give them?

In that respect, I don't suppose that everyone can come up in the way that I did. The first thing that I would say is Do You. Understand what it is that You are, understand what it is that You want to do, what You dream about, what You see. A lot of the things that I'm doing today, I dreamt that I would be; so I was able to visualise. When you visualise, you start putting things into practice. As a kid, I would visualise playing at big parties on the green, or on the estate. A few years later, I was playing them. I would visualise making music...A few years later, I was actually making it. Because I was able to, things fell into place and started happening. I don't always necessarily know how they will, but I will think that if it is meant to be, then I will do it. I think positively. I know that if I put my mind to something then most times it will happen.

Be realistic with your vision and put what you need into place. Because of how things are, you need to become multi-skilled, have multiple resources and not just be a one-trick pony. A DJ needs to play music, be a blogger, know a bit about the Internet, know how to do a bit of video, know how to promote...pick up as many skills as possible. You can't just be a talent anymore, that is not enough. You have to be the full package. I've seen so many talented people who were brilliant; but they have the wrong attitude and that alone, stops them from making it. Have a package, become self-sufficient. Look around, see who else is doing something similar to you and maybe work with them. 

But for me personally, as far as the radio station goes? I'm 'just' a DJ... ;o)

I have to say a massive Thank You to DJ D.Lux for taking the time out to speak with me. It was striking how little recognition he claimed, having been responsible for so much growth and accessibility for so many Artists. Personally and professionally, Dlux is a rare man who truly makes a difference.

Interact with him directly via his Social Media Catalogue:

...Catch his weekly Sunday night show on Dejavufm

And don't forget to find yourselves down at We Play Music Live at the Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch on the last Sunday of every month! If you made this one, leave a comment below and share your thoughts on it!

Enjoy the rest of your week, folks!
ES ;)