Foojay's on his way
By Amy Byers, BBC Blast music reporter
Foojay was recently named as the best DJ in Derby, now he's preparing to take on the world...
Foojay celebrates his win
Nine DJs battled it out in the Derby heat finals, but there could only be one winner.
Foojay aka Jamie Radford mixed his way to success last Saturday at the Royal and will be representing Derby in the Midlands final of the Movida Corona World DJ Competition.
The competition aims to find the best new DJ talent in the world, starting off its search in towns and cities across the UK.
Foojay came out on top after being tested on his ability to mix records, interact with the crowd, select tracks that get the crowd dancing and to use technical effects and tricks.
I spoke to him after his memorable win to find out more about what makes him tick...
Foojay at work | Photo: Ben Gray
How did you get into DJ-ing?
Before I got into DJ-ing, I was in bands, although I was always into electronic and hip-hop music throughout my short-lived times rocking out on the guitar. Then I remember when my cousin Alan (aka DJ Abrupt) bought his first pair of turntables and I thought "wow!" I think I was 17 at the time. It just triggered something off inside of me.
This was when I first started to produce music as well. So I already had a good understanding of beats, tempo and musicality. I just watched my cousin for a period of time, had a go, took to it pretty well and I've never looked back.
What is your approach to a DJ set?
I used to have sets practised to a tee. But these days I just play what I feel at the time and/or read the crowd. I feel that I've got to a point now where I have a good understanding of song selection and crowd reaction. Although saying that, I think I might have to get something down for the next round. No room for slip-ups!
What do you think makes a good DJ?
Everyone is a DJ these days! A good DJ is passionate about what he/she is doing. The music you are playing has moved you to a point where you feel that other people have to hear it. That is what you are doing. You're interpreting what you originally heard the first time you listened to that track to strangers. Originality.
I know that this is such a hard thing to push within the scene, but as long as you see something a little bit different in a DJ, that you don't usually see, you're going in the right direction. Along with these two points there are the obvious ones: Mixing ability, technicality, song selection etc.
Foojay | Photo: Ben Gray
How did you feel when you won the Derby heat of the Movida World DJ competition?
When I won the competition I felt that I had accomplished something quite special. I knew that what I have been doing for the past five/six years is staring to pay off. Although I'm glad it's over because having a 15 minute battle at the end of a competition because you came joint 1st with one of your closest mates is something I never want to experience again.
It was so surreal. Obviously when I won at the end I was ecstatic. I felt a great sense of pride at what Luke and I accomplished that evening.
What happens next?
Well, next I take a trip to my favourite venue, The Custard Factory in Birmingham (Saturday 5th September) to compete against the top 5 in the Midlands with Yousef headlining on the night.
This is going to be so tough. I'm going to do everything I can to get through to the Grand Finals at Ministry of Sound in London. I've got to pull out all the stops.
What do you think made you stand out from the other DJ's in Derby?
I'd like to think my passion of what I'm doing makes me stand out. I never go on stage thinking I'm playing out to Ibiza. I just get up there, have a boogie and enjoy myself. Usually I'm in my own little world.
Who is your favourite DJ?
I haven't got just one so here's a few, James Lavelle, Carl Cox, London Elektricity, Jack Beats, Kentaro, Alix Perez, DJ Format, Kraft Kuts, Plump DJs, Stanton Warriors, Sasha, John Digweed, Duke Dumont, Logistics, Klute, Lynx, Tayo, DJ Marky, Spor, Mr. Scruff, Daddy G, Giles Peterson, Adam Freeland, Alex Metric, Skream, Mala........I could go on, but I won't bore you!
What track do you enjoy playing the most?
At the moment anything by Lee Mortimer, Jack Beats, Chris James, Alex Metric, Alix Perez, Bcee, Lomax, Blu Mar Ten, Nero, Lynx, Donnie Dubson are really doing it for me.
What music do you enjoy listening to when you are not DJ-ing?
New-age-Reggae-Soulful-house and bass is the one genre that I can't stop listening to.........only joking. My collection of music is quite vast and varied. I listen to everything from Hip-hop to dub-step, techno, drum & bass, future beat, broken-beat, break-beat, all forms of house music, punk, ska, rock, and electronica. It has to be underground and it has to be good!
Tell me an interesting fact about yourself...
I co-run a night at the Royal the 2nd Friday of every month called Filthy Boots/Bad Habits. We are the only ground-breaking night in Derby to play the best and freshest Dub-step, electro, jackin' house, fidget house, drum & bass and breaks. Past guests have included, Andy George (Radio1,) Jack Beats, Foamo, Bcee, Lomax, Kubiks, Komonazmuk, Hostage.........with big, big things to come. Trust me!!
last updated: 24/08/2009 at 14:49