I grew up in a household where only classical music and the occasional experimental piece was played. All this changed overnight when I was 14 and visited my cousin (who is 4 years older) who was venturing out to hear DJs such as the legendary Froggy play. He recommended the Robbie Vincent Show on Radio London and Soul Spectrum on Capital Radio. I suddenly became aware of 12” versions, imports, Soul, Funk, Jazz and proper Disco that never got played elsewhere on the radio. I used to tape off these shows, and switched to buying Record Mirror and Black Echoes.
I never looked back from that day on, and by the beginning of 1979 had my own record player. My first UK 12” was Nightlife by Blair, my first import 12” was Paulinho Da Costa’s Deja Vu and my first album was The Crusaders’ Street Life. The playing of Joe Sample on that album made me a lifetime convert to appreciating the electric piano, and the Fender Rhodes in particular.
Living as I did, out in Hertfordshire, the explosion of pirate radio in the 80s was very significant to me, as it opened up the sounds of the underground and the best club DJs to being a daily experience. From those days on I have maintained admiration and affection for all those pioneers Fast forward to 2012 when good friend and DJ/Producer KDA (who has since achieved a national chart No.1 with his debut single) invited me to be a resident DJ at his new night Tramp at the Dalston Superstore. It was his respect for my musical taste and knowledge that inspired him to give the opportunity, certainly not my DJing experience, which was zero. This led to a few other gigs at the Prince Of Wales in Brixton, Peckham’s Bussey Building and Madame Jojo’s in Soho.
Whilst attending a DJ Harv gig at Brilliant Corners in Dalston I met Perm Braxton who had a great show on Back2Back FM at the time. We became good friends and he suggested I should do a show on the station. About a year after that I was offered a place on a newly starting station called Likwid, consequently I then moved into making 2 editions of my show each week. I pre record my shows weekly at the On Air Experience studio.
My show’s name ‘Organised Chaos’ refers to the strangely haphazard yet focused way I approach music. I can forget titles within minutes of learning them and often buy the same tune twice. However, the way sounds and styles fit together and their relationships to one another are quite distinct and ordered in my mind. I currently live in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire in a sea of yet to be filed CDs, vinyl and legal downloads. Finally, respect to the music makers, original players and current keepers of the flame.
Q1. What first attracted you to Soul Music, is this relevant today?
It’s range of expression, Soul in its widest forms includes music for dancing, addressing the human condition and voicing social consciousness. Also, the variation in its instrumentation, with percussion, brass and strings in abundance, and of course the unequaled vocal talents. It’s very relevant today still, as music has become so corporate and the human element seems to be scarcer than ever.
Q2. What are your top 5 favourite soul tracks?
Madeline Bell – That’s What Friends Are For
Donald Byrd – Wind Parade
Paulinho Da Costa – Love Till The End Of Time
Merry Clayton – Southern Man
Ray Barretto – Pastime Paradise
Q3. What are your favourite three record labels?
Q4. Who are your favourite five artists?
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
Q5. What are your top three soul clubs of all time?
Q6. What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar?
I had shows on Back2Back FM and Likwid.
Q7. What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay?
If I like it and think others will as well, then it’s on the show, sooner or later.
Q8. Why would you recommend Solar to a listener?
It’s a legendary station with a top roster of DJs.
Q9. Which other DJs do you admire and why?
Robbie Vincent and Greg Edwards – The original sources that shaped my tastes.
Jazzy M – No one embraced House earlier or presented it better.
Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay – Discovered a lot via their genre-spanning tastes.
DJ Harv – Great radio man, knows many musical styles, and can play them all exceptionally.
Nick Hosier – One of the most knowledgeable DJs out there. A witty and generous presenter.
David Mancuso, Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles – Legendary pioneers.
Patrick Forge and Kev Beadle – Essential contributors to clubland, radio and many record releases.
Q10. How would you like to be remembered by a listener?
If someone is motivated to buy a record because they heard me play it, that is more than enough for me.
Q11. What do you do to relax?
I like following Watford Football Club, eating out, and hearing DJ friends play out and on the radio. Plus maintaining websites and proofreading, something I do for a few friends at present, it satisfies the perfectionist streak in me.