Death to the DJ “bio”

Written by Michael

July 9, 2010 9:38 am

bioDJs used to be interesting characters really. Beardy, geeky men who spent far too much time in their bedrooms having arguments over the sound characteristics of different cartridges. These days, to be a DJ is to be a model, it’s a career that attracts a high level of glamour. It’s unattainable, for the vast majority of us, and therefore highly desired. Being a DJ is no longer a hobby for the enthusiast but the chosen career of celebrities and lifestyle icons. Nowadays, it’s cool to be a DJ. And of course, for those few who do make it to the “top”, there must be a certain degree of satisfaction.

Sadly, a lot of modern DJs seem to be lost in a world of club nights and club girls, and reading DJ bio’s accentuates an air of smugness that is almost vomit inducing. You can beat match, well done, but you haven’t cured fucking cancer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of DJs. I love what they do and I enjoy seeing DJs perform. But so many these days are far too sure of their own ability. That geeky passiveness is all but gone, DJs these days are superstars, fashion icons, sex symbols. That’s not to say that those guilty are talentless – we love the production skills of Gareth Emery and Mat Zo – but their heads are so big you have to wonder how they can even stand up straight. Lets take a look at Gareth Emerys bio, for example.

To say Gareth Emery has had a good year would be a vast understatement. Over the past twelve months, the popularity and buzz surrounding the young Brit reached explosive proportions, culminating in him being voted no.9 in 2009s definitive DJ Mag Top 100 poll: one of only a handful of DJs to crack the worlds top ten before the age of 30.

It’s not a bad start, but “explosive proportions”? Really? He’s a trance DJ, and let’s be realistic, people who do not listen to Trance are not going to have a fucking granny who Gareth Emery is. He could be a TV Chef for all they know. So explosive proportions? When you’re as big as U2, Oasis, Tiesto – maybe.

Was this down to producing pure club anthems like Exposure and Metropolis alongside stunning remixes for Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond, all of which led to him spending more time at the top of Beatports trance chart that any other artist in 09? Oh I don’t know, why don’t you tell me Gareth?

This was the UK in the mid-90s with Britpop and indie the order of the day, although as one might expect, Emery was no slouch, following the footsteps of Green Day and Oasis by headlining Southamptons legendary Joiners venue at the age of just 15 with his band at the time.

That’s an extremely rich link to star quality there. Playing at the same venue as Oasis and Green Day isn’t proof of anything – plenty of venues support big acts and small ones. It’s nothing to shout about, and completely irrelevant to what he’s doing now. Hey, I did this, look how talented I was!

At just 29, Gareth Emerys well on the way to conquering the electronic music world.

Really, that should be like saying I’m on my way to conquering level 42 on Guitar Hero. It’s not that someone like poor Gareth shouldn’t be proud of his achievements, nor is it to belittle his achievements, talent and success. But the vast, vast majority of people who know who Gareth Emery is don’t need to read any of the above. It’s nonsensical, egotistical drivel. We know he’s a good DJ – it doesn’t need a fucking essay. Gareth, you’re a geezer from Southampton. This isn’t jealousy – just a call for modesty.

If you’d like to read the full 800-word Gareth Emery Essay Bio then click Read More.

Words: Adam Perry

 

 

To say Gareth Emery has had a good year would be a vast understatement. Over the past twelve months, the popularity and buzz surrounding the young Brit reached explosive proportions, culminating in him being voted no.9 in 2009s definitive DJ Mag Top 100 poll: one of only a handful of DJs to crack the worlds top ten before the age of 30.

Was this down to producing pure club anthems like Exposure and Metropolis alongside stunning remixes for Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond, all of which led to him spending more time at the top of Beatports trance chart that any other artist in 09? Maybe it was the launch of his new Garuda label and club night, responsible for selling out Manchesters iconic Sankeys club four times in a row whilst releasing his critically acclaimed compilation The Sound Of Garuda. Or perhaps it was the sheer amount of people he played to, banking half a million air miles travelling to over one hundred gigs at some of the worlds finest clubs and festivals. Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain: hes on fire like never before.

Of course, what seems like overnight success is usually the result of years of hard work, and Gareth Emery is no exception. He started learning the piano at 4, and whilst hed completed his classical music training before hed finished school, his real interest lay elsewhere, initially in guitar-based sounds. This was the UK in the mid-90s with Britpop and indie the order of the day, although as one might expect, Emery was no slouch, following the footsteps of Green Day and Oasis by headlining Southamptons legendary Joiners venue at the age of just 15 with his band at the time. But it was a chance trip to Ibiza in 1998 that opened his eyes to the appeal of dance music, and after spending the next three years learning to make music with computers and midi, rather than guitars and pianos, he wrote his first electronic classic: the seminal Mistral, famously made whilst on holiday in France on a £500 laptop. Plenty more were to come.

These days, his records (which are composed, produced, and engineered entirely by him), span the worlds of trance, progressive, electro, techno, and a few other places. Languid, spacey grooves, juddering basslines and original melodies that take your breath away mean that its a given that Armin, Tiesto, Oakenfold, and Judge Jules have all been fully paid-up members of the Emery fan club for years. But more importantly, hes firmly established as one of those rare producers who values quality over quantity, preferring to make five amazing records in a year then twenty average ones, and even happily refusing to release a track if it doesnt feel just right, to the occasional frustration of his fans. Its this uncompromising attitude, that drive for something unattainably perfect, that has made him one of the most sought-after producers and remixers on the planet.

But if theres one place where hes even more at home than in his studio, its behind the decks, where hes morphed into the consummate superstar DJ, unequivocally demolishing dancefloors the world over. From global superclubs like Zouk in Singapore and Guvernment in Toronto, to epic festivals like Global Gathering, Trance Energy and Dance Valley, to the mega-brands like Ministry of Sound and Godskitchen, the utterly unique, instantly recognisable Emery sound continues to pack out more clubs, in more places across the world, than ever before.

The rise of Gareth Emery to dance musics premier league has been untraditional in almost every sense, and looking at his career, one gets the feeling he almost likes being the underdog. In 2009, when he was advised against launching his Garuda club night in the midst of one of the harshest recessions in living memory, he went ahead regardless, going on to totally sell-out every Garuda party that year. He also chose the road less travelled in 2006, when he turned down numerous offers from established radio stations to instead experiment with a virtually unknown format known as podcasting. It was a gamble that paid off, as four years and 100 episodes later, The Gareth Emery Podcast is now one of the most popular and influential dance music downloads in the world, with Emerys famously diverse track selection and charismatic broadcasting style resulting in TGEP being nominated for Best Podcast at the Miami Winter Music Conference IDMA Awards three years running.

At just 29, Gareth Emerys well on the way to conquering the electronic music world, and if he finally cracks that artist album, he might just do it. Whatever happens though, 2010s set to be a big one, as the worldwide Garuda massive eagerly await to see whats coming next from this uniquely talented artist. We cant wait – see you on the dancefloor.



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