By Reform Radio
on Wed Dec 06 2023
We’ve wrapped up another two incredible weeks of DJ Sessions at Reform Radio, with our good friends Do As You Please, funded by MAES. Over the course of the project, our participants have been getting hands-on experience in beatmatching, self promotion and more. It’s been a lively time in the space throughout the programme, with all of our participants building their own unique sets and styles behind the decks. The project closed with a brilliant celebratory showcase, for all of the new DJs to share what they’d been working on.
We have already witnessed some remarkable successes from the project’s cohort since they completed this collection of sessions. Our participants have been getting stuck into playing sets around Manchester, with support from our partners GigPig, the city’s live music marketplace app. Meanwhile, we were delighted to hear an individual from the project who had been unemployed for two years, following mental health struggles, neurodiversity access barriers and a history of offending and substance abuse has since been offered a job.
Their support worker stated: “I genuinely believe that without this course, [he] wouldn’t have had the confidence to attend his job interview independently and secure paid employment. It gave him a purpose, got him back into a healthy routine, reduced his social isolation and helped equip him with the necessary skills to succeed in life”. We pass on our huge congratulations to this participant, and we can’t wait to hear where their course-mates end up heading following the course.
In the meantime, we got to know Scott and and Bola who took part in the course to find out their favourite things about DJing and what their plans were moving forward from here.
Tell us your name, pronouns, and what you enjoy getting up to in your free time.
S: My name is Scott, AKA DJ Tez, and my pronouns are he/him. In my free time I play a lot of football as a Manchester United supporter, and I produce and listen to a huge range of music.
B: My performance name is Bolli Bubbles, my pronouns are she/they and I’m non-binary. I love listening to music and I go to the gym a lot.
How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
S: I would say definitely loyal and caring, but I can’t think of a third one!
B: For me, I would say effervescent, uplifting and chaotic.
If you’re heading to a DJ set, what’s your favourite genre to go and see and why?
S: Definitely house music.
B: I love going to see techno, disco, and specifically Italo-disco.
Did you have much experience in DJing before? If so, what’s your favourite thing about it?
S: Most of my experience was computer-based virtual DJing where I was able to do everything automatically behind a keyboard. So this has been a new challenge, learning to do everything myself behind the decks. My favourite thing about DJing is finding new combinations of tracks to blend. I love it when you blend two tracks you’d never think to combine, but then you do and they work amazingly together.
B: I didn’t have any experience directly in DJing, but I spend a lot of time dancing and experiencing music from that point of view. My favourite thing about learning to DJ has been understanding which tracks work together side by side in a set, rather than just playing any songs I like.
What prompted you to get involved with the DJ Course?
S: I wanted to refine the skills I had already built through virtual DJing and be able to translate those into real life. I also have a lot of DJs in my family who inspired me to get involved.
B: I have a lot of experience in dancing, performing and attending and holding events. So the natural progression for me was to learn how to DJ so I have it under my belt for working in this industry.
Let’s throw it back to your first day at Reform versus now, tell me a bit about your first impressions/feelings/emotions in comparison to how you feel now. What has changed?
S: I’ve learnt so much more about finding the right time to drop the music and feel much more confident performing the skills I would have previously done on my computer automatically.
B: A lot of the things I would do when I dance makes sense now. I’ve really learnt to feel the music, and trust the beat of it to know when to blend.
What will you take from the DJ course moving forward & what are your plans from here onwards?
S: I can’t wait to apply the practical skills I have built in real life scenarios. Moving forward, I would love to go and play at events as a DJ personality all over the place. I don’t want to based in one city; I’d love to get to a point where I get invited to specific locations to play.
B: I really want to keep people moving and play sets that get people dancing. I am super eager to travel with my work and experience new places through my DJ practice.
Do you have any role models on the DJ/music scene that inspire your practice and why?
S: In terms of the way he manages the crowd and the decks, I would have to say James Hype.
B: DJ Paulette, for sure. I also am a big fan of a DJ called LEXII, who always dresses incredibly and is a model come DJ.
What’s your favourite tune to close a set with?
S: I don’t think I could choose a singular song because it depends so much on the crowd and how they’re feeling. It’s impossible to choose one record – there’s so many I love.
B: Right now there’s a song I’m loving, it’s a Brazilian remix of a disco song and I’m hoping to close my set at the showcase with this track.
Who would your dream B2B be with?
S: Either James Hype or The Martinez Brothers.
B: I recently saw a DJ in Berlin and he closed the Horsemeat Disco. It was jivey, loud, bangy disco tunes and I was thinking how insane it would be to do a B2B set with him.