DJ ND: JFB, you've been active on the DJ scene for the past 10-15 years. How did it all start for you? How did you get in touch with DJing & turntablism? - It all started in the summer of 1996 on some 2nd hand HiFi turntables & a £10 mixer. Two weeks later, I got a residency playing on a pirate radio, where I met a lot of Brighton's underground DJs. The club & bar gigs came later in 1998/99 after I got a job in a night club & took my records to work every night, hoping to play 5-15 mins before the opening of the club. I fell in love with turntablism after watching a DMC VHS in 1997, but I didn't have a turntablist setup until 2003.
DJ ND: As a DJ, you cover many musical genres: Hip-hop, Funk, Dubstep, Glitch Hop, Trap, Swing, Breakbeat, and Drum & Bass. What is your favorite musical genre? What kind of records will I find in your vinyl collection? - I wish I had a favorite music genre; then, I could just focus on that alone. Music is too versatile, yet all the genres work for me. That being said, my record collection mainly consists of DNB, breakbeat, instrumental hip-hop beats from the early '90s to 2006 & random film soundtracks from the 60's/70's that I got from car boot sales (for sampling).
DJ ND: You won your first battle in 2003, the Vestax/Radio 1 Competition. Did this experience give you the desire to continue this path? Because the DMC titles arrived just a few years later. - This battle was an absolute game changer because the prize was a brand new Vestax mixer which I swapped for a Vestax 07. Two weeks after having this mixer, I improved my skill levels dramatically, which led to wanting to enter DMC battles.
DJ ND: In 2016, you entered the Redbull Thre3style competition. Was it easy for you as a turntablist to work on this format? - I really enjoyed this format because I was always more of a party DJ. But it wasn't easy because I entered using the mindset of a turntablist, trying to do a 'Thre3style set' rather than just being myself … Also, I didn't know there would be world eliminations, so I only had one routine. And I was more focused on renovating a bungalow to make a home in Brighton at the time.
DJ ND: In 2016, you entered the Redbull Thre3style competition. Was it easy for you as a turntablist to work on this format?- I really enjoyed this format because I was always more of a party DJ. But it wasn't easy because I entered using the mindset of a turntablist, trying to do a 'Thre3style set' rather than just being myself … Also, I didn't know there would be world eliminations, so I only had one routine. And I was more focused on renovating a bungalow to make a home in Brighton at the time.
DJ ND: It is not always easy for turntablists to stand out in disciplines other than DJ competitions. But you have always managed to use your skills and bring your own touch to parties, festivals, and TV shows. What's your secret there? - Just get a big track that everyone knows & make the most simple routine with it while trying to recreate the original arrangement using turntablism. This way, people recognize the track and can't miss seeing it's being manipulated. But if executed perfectly in time, they can still dance to it & they become educated by watching. The trick is to keep them interested & this is done mainly by making sure you keep the same or similar arrangement going & have everything simple so you won't make mistakes.
DJ ND: You've been traveling worldwide for gigs: from Europe to Canada, Australia & Japan. How did these trips influence you as an artist? - Traveling is probably the most educational thing I've ever done. If anything, it influenced me to enjoy what I do as an artist way more & opened up my thinking outside of the box.
DJ ND: You've also been very active as a producer. We all know the Fatboy Slim remixes, of course, but there are a lot of singles & tracks available online. Is production the discipline you will focus on more in the future now that you have won almost everything you could on the battle scene? - I was making & releasing a lot of tracks from 2009 to 2013. I got impatient with my production skills & released far too many tracks without the proper discipline. Luckily, gigs/touring & turntablism got in the way. But recently, in the last two months, I've been making a lot of new tracks, better tracks! Watch out for them :)
DJ ND: There's a lot of DJ content online today. It is not always easy for the younger generation to differentiate themselves and get visibility & recognition from other DJs, brands, or even promoters. What is the advice you would give to the DJs reading this? - You're doing what you do because you love doing it? If not, then I've got no advice for you. If yes, you don't need any advice. You are already doing what you need to do. But make sure you get out and talk to people, and don't be afraid to ask questions!
DJ ND: What are your thoughts on the future of DJ gear? How do you see Ortofon as a player in the DJ market? Do you have a favorite model in our range? - The future is looking to be very exciting. Technology is advancing faster than ever & we have already seen a dramatic evolution in DJ gear. I'm very excited about what's coming. It looks like Ortofon is dominating the turntable needle market. The VNL is definitely a model I'm looking forward to using. I don't want to spoil anything. We are working on it. Stay tuned!