I wanted to say a few words about the show’s end. I’m going to start off with the thanks instead of ending with them: first and foremost to Jamie for giving me a chance and being a good friend, championing what I was doing, later taking me into the official fold as music director. I’m proud with how you’ve developed as a writer and voice that is sorely needed. Thanks to Tomas in Poland (who’s no longer on this site) who has been my biggest fan and supporter for a long time now, dziękuję za bycie przyjacielem. Thanks to Grant (who is also not on here I believe) for both being an early support and also giving me my first DJ residency, letting me perform for some excellent artist and quietly hone my skill up in that very tasteful booth. Thanks to Mum and Nana for their eternal love and support, and not least for routinely driving me to and from the studio at 2 AM some nights in the winter. Thank you to every guest who has appeared on the show, to those who couldn’t make it, and to those I wish I asked. Thank you to Geoff & Marc-Andrew, Tyler, Matt, Anne, Olga, Sean & Ryan, Dennis, and not least Michael.
When I started the show I had never DJed before with actual physical DJ equipment. I had only seen what DJing was like from the sides of the booth but never tried it before. Those first episodes late on Tuesday nights were a mix of playing stuff in Ableton through the aux cord and testing out the turntables and CDJs without knowing how the DJ mixer worked with the radio mixer (see the 2nd episode for a chaotic mess of sound and audible cuing that would make Christian Marclay proud, or wince). I don’t think it was for another few weeks that I figured out how it all worked and transitioned away from the computer, doing all future in studio episodes live on the equipment. A lot of the time I’d pre-planned the tracklisting but not the timing, so I’d just improv off of it. other times I’d just bring a bag of vinyl and some USB sticks and see what happened. It’s fortunate that they had such top-line equipment (two 1210s and CDJ-850s, like this was a proper club setup) to work with as well.
I certainly didn’t expect the show to go on as long as it had, or that I had the stamina to do a brand new show every week for 7 and a half years. Things have come and gone but it’s essentially been the only constant in my life for a while now. 400 seemed like a good place to end things, nice round number, and it feels in many ways like shedding the last connection I had to living in Hamilton as well, or the main one anyway. But also I’ve had so many thoughts about this whole part of me for a while now. I kept on telling myself not to make music the focus of my life because I’d convinced myself that it wasn’t sustainable and it would be too easy to fall into being another casualty even though I’d had more experience, even second hand, than a lot of people who have more success by one metric or another. If I had over 10 listeners in a show it was a miracle, and I was doing all the things I thought you were supposed to do to promote and make yourself known. Maybe it was the wrong market, maybe I was too eclectic and hard to pigeonhole, but at my low point I felt I was wasting my time, that the only reason that I was continuing was because it was either all I knew or that having something this long-running would look good on my resume. I never started this to be used a factoid of my worth to an employer. I did this because I wanted to play music that I liked.
There are so many who have said and continue to tell me to be patient but there’s a fine line between patience and apathy, and I was worried I was going to fall on the wrong side of it. I was upset with myself because I was jealous of my friends who had seemingly less experience than I had but either knew the right people or were playing the right sounds and then all of a sudden they were also getting shows on wider platforms and gigs abroad and all the shit that I was hoping to get. And it made me upset because I was PROUD of them. These were my friends, I wanted them to succeed, because they had the same vision I had, they had messages, they had a strong ethos, and they still do, and they deserve every ounce of praise that comes their way. I will champion them unsparingly. So why is it that I feel like this and STILL jealousy rears its ugly head? I’ll assume a large part of it has to do with the fact that I just don’t have the mental or physical energy to go out clubbing, not right now anyway. Things will change but I’ve felt completely disconnected from any semblance of a scene in London; like in New York there is very little dialogue between people that I’ve witnessed who are at least like the same type of music. It’s extremely territorial, not least because if you live southeast like I do it can take 2 hours or more to get home from the club at night.
I ask this to you: how the fuck do you even get gigs? Is it just knowing the right people? Greasing the right palms? Do you have to produce to even be considered plausible? Does asking people straight up if you can DJ their party constitute bad etiquette? It’s not like there’s a shortage of them here, heh. It’s a bit of a rhetorical question and, yes, patience, but I know I’m not the only one thinking this. When I moved to London I had a lot of mental and physical maturity and experience to live through, and early on I realised that I could have that or I could go into the nightlife world, because I wasn’t going to have the energy or finances for both. I don’t regret my having these experiences later in my life, but I feel know I was spending a lot of energy trying to become someone I didn’t want to be just to get friendship, attention, and connection, knowing that there was a world I felt more natural in and less necessary to posture and say the right things in order to feel accepted, when few would bend that way for me in those worlds. The few people I know in the scene here are near and dear to me, and regardless of what comes of anything you’ll always have my love.
So what of the future? I have plans, that’s for certain, knowing now that whatever life throws at me I’ve finally admitted that yes, this is what I want to do with my life. I have the skills to hustle elsewhere and am going to be spending a lot more of my time honing my craft. And there are some things coming up: I’ll be posting the recording from my debut London gig soon (the non-dancefloor one), two possible guest mixes podcasts are in the future, and if anybody knows people at The Lot Radio in Brooklyn I have an idea for a show there (have drafted a proposal for them already) – I want to get into internet radio, something either monthly or biweekly so I can hone things in and keep it fresh, and something that I can do live so that I don’t lose my physical skill. There’s also another project coming up with my side-hustle…but that’s still under wraps. Needless to say I’m going to keep on making, and hoping that someone out there in the void hears me. You haven’t heard the last of me yet.
Thank you all so much.
Space is the place.