Guestlist

Issue 36 - Feb 2012

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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10 THE GUESTLIST NETWORK NORMAN JAY Oshi Oshi@guestlist.net You've been travelling lots, glad to have you back? I love playing anywhere in England, overseas trips are great but they are the icing on the cake. Your bread and butter is earned right here in the UK. So where have you been travelling? Well I just got back from an amazing time in Australia a couple weeks ago. I consider the gig of the year for me to be Sydney festival, Tonight I'm at Westbury Kilburn. Yeah, I saw a video of you playing Singing In The Rain with the whole crowd in the rain! Yeah that was fantastic. Australia has been a permanent fixture in my annual calender for the last 10 years. I love going there. In new Zealand right now it's summer for them and I usually end up there at this time of the year. And I usually end up in Singapore. Now you have said the Notting Hill Carnival is one of your favourite places to play, that's where you're King Of The Castle Yeah it is. It's the one. It's been a 30 year reign right? Yeah that's right 30 years, on the streets of Notting Hill. It's a great part of the UK and the international party calender. Yeah it's absolutely one of the best things the UK has going for it, and I have a lot friends who swear by good times who aren't into the violence. Are you still getting the same feeling as when you first started? Yeah only it cost me about 10 times more to do it. Like most things in these times it's a big issue and major factor whether we return this year. I've heard you've been performing since you where 8 years old? Yeah, glad to hear you've done your homework. How did you contribute back then heard you came back with the idea from America? Yeah luckily I was of the right age, and luckily to have travelled there and take in the culture and loved it . One thing I didn't want to do was to replicate it here in the UK, a lot of people don't realise that the London club culture goes back further than that of the UK. We have outgrown history and put a twist on things, not just in London. We have always been into British youth culture: fashion, arts and been interested in how youth culture has evolved. Now I'm old school everything but if I was still younger I would be playing an active part in maybe the grime scene or the dubstep scene if I was 18 now. I felt I was born at the perfect age You are born when you're born and you're at where you're at. I looked at your story. You were involved in disco in New York, then the hip hop scene, then back here and to be involved in the House scene. You hit every nail on the head. Yeah I'm lucky but I never strive to be the head of anything. I travel around the country, play music make people happy, make them feel good about themselves. Then I move on to the next place. We have our music champions and I'm not one of them. I know I'm not and have never aspired to be one of them. I'm a party DJ. So can you give me any dirt on any of these guys like Trevor Nelson? Yeah when my book comes out (laughs). We're from the same peer group, all old now but all those guys are amazing. They left an amazing legacy, inspiring, aspiring artists, musicians djs, with a lot of young black artists. Some are only able to do so because some of the doors we kicked down. Now is it right you were the first black musician to be interviewed by NME? Well actually I was the first black DJ to be interviewed by them who wasn't part of the rock scene. So fair play to them because they had their finger on the pulls. It was then I realised the work jazzy b. Trevor nelson was becoming relevant, being acknowledged. Now unlike most DJs you've been able to play anything that you like. A lot of DJs would like to do that. Do you have any regrets about not jumping into one scene fully? No not at all. My whole head is different. One of the reasons 'Goodtimes' is called Goodtimes is because its about giving people a good time, now there are a lot of DJs out there who are technically gifted who have perfected the art form. Others who are masters of a genre who are constantly on top of the developments, of say black music. But I'm not any of those things. I'm a party person, we have a huge female following. Loads of girls come and that's precisely why you guys come because I bring that party vibe. Now I've been called a lot of things mostly complimentary. That I'm a maverick, I take risks with music outside of carnival and my own gigs. I conform to the statuesque. If you wanted me to play 2 hours of house I can do that, if you want 2 hours of hip hop I can do that. Similarly if you want 2 hours of drum n bass. I call on a lost 50 years of music knowledge to play my sets. I love old music, I love new music. I like music that's out there, that's left field, and I like music that's populist. OK right. So, music selection Music selection is what's important. So I understand your son is a bit of an artist now? I'm not technically gifted, I cant mix I cant scratch. Really? Well I can do those things if I really have to but am not driven by toys. I'm driven by history and knowledge (pointing at his head). That's the library and no computer can replicate that. Something you have, has taken you to many places. I understand you was at one of the Obama inauguration parties. So you got to play out there and sink in the vibes then? Yeah both my sons are involved in music. My newphew is aswell. Now do you ever let them into your record collection? Yeah, they're the only people that have any kind of access to my music library. You don't really have to give them much more if they have access to that? They are all great DJs and musicians in their own right. They are out there to carve their own niche. I'll let them go forward and Issue 36 / FEBRUARY 2012 I'm here with the man who brings the sunshine wherever he plays. The first man to be awarded by the establishment for his services to music. Though he didn't need that award to know, he is the undisputed king of the good time Norman Jay. Yeah absolutely. I have played for diplomats, politicians, not just celebrities any one can reel off those things but DJing has many fascists. I've been able to explore many of those. I closed the world economic forum in Dallas, for 500 people who basically run the planet. It's the gigs at that level that takes a special skill to entertain. Those people in suits, but if you get them to loosen up their jackets and undo their ties you've achieved something. Well I can imagine you've had all kinds of requests? Yeah I've even done classical music gigs, I have had invites from ambassadors from around the world that want me to do a classical music gig. My love of music is not just club, not just black. It's almost total. Now you're the first DJ to have been given an MBE Yeah the first, give props to Mr David Rodigan MBE who really should have got it before any of us for his contribution to black music, to reggae music. Now I don't know that you're the only DJ not to, but you never take any drink or drugs? Yeah it's lifestyle choice and it's just not for me. In my life I have seen too many tragedies to deter me. Now You're such a nice guy. Often behind a cause, often trying to make a difference. Are there any particular things your championing right now? Well I could sit here and use this media opportunity to brag and boast about what I do, and use it to embellish myself in a certain way. I believe actions speak louder than words. Those I choose to help I do so in a quiet way. Yes I have a social conscience. I try to give something back to the community in certain ways. When I was in Australia I did a DJ workshop with the indigenous kids in red from Sydney. I spent time with underprivileged aborigine kids. I want to do more of that stuff here. If I had more time I would do more for it but in my own way I do my own little bit. make their mark. If they need any help I'm there. So tell me more about you? Yeah I watch movies. I'm into the, you know kind of heritage scene. I guess I wanted to be a mod when I was younger, but was too young to be an original mod. The whole mod ethic has always remained with me. What's that? Well it's kind of a lifestyle. Attention to detail, always be smart, stylish as opposed to fashionable. Have a love of classic British things, classic British cars, classic British scooters the Italian ones as well. Again I guess it's harking back to an age when first generation blacks like me were born here growing up on the estates, mixing with everybody, getting on with everybody and loving it. But mostly we were free thinkers, creative. America has always been great for giving us music genres gave us jazz, gave us soul, gave us rnb, gave us hip

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