US House Producer Paul Johnson Dead at 50, from COVID-19

US House Producer Paul Johnson Dead at 50, from COVID-19

The international DJ scene is in mourning this week, as the world bids farewell to one of the most influential US house producers of his time. Best known for his hit ‘Get Get Down’, Paul Johnson has tragically lost his life to COVID-19 at the age of 50. His passing was confirmed in a statement published on his Facebook page, which read: “Our greatness passed away this morning at 9am the house music legend we all know as PJ aka Paul Johnson.” Johnson contracted Coronavirus last month, after which his condition quickly deteriorated, and he was placed in intensive care. Highlighting the potentially devastating effects of COVID-19, all efforts to save him were unsuccessful and he eventually succumbed to the virus. ‘Get Get Down’ reached No 5 in the UK charts back in 1999, making the Chicago-based DJ a household name on the club scene. Tributes have been pouring in since Johnson’s death was announced from across the  international DJ community. “Today we have lost a great legend of our world house community. Thank you God for his work that you installed in him,” said Chicago producer RP Boo. “Paul Johnson taught us how to bounce to the beat. A groove like no other, honestly. This is so depressing. But the records, the music will remain timeless and uplifting. We will always have that Chicago groove,” said DJ Mike Servito. “Paul Johnson… Rest in peace, thank you for the music,” added Defected Records. An Irreplaceable Talent Originally a professional breakdancer, Johnson developed a passion for house music in the 80s. He was permanently disabled in a shooting incident that...
14-Year-Old DJ Books Slots Alongside Basshunter and Cascada

14-Year-Old DJ Books Slots Alongside Basshunter and Cascada

It’s at times like these we could all do with an inspiring uplift. Things have hardly been fantastic for the UK’s entertainment scene over the past year thus making now the perfect time for some good news. In this instance, we’re talking the incredible achievements of the youngest professional club DJ in the UK. Schoolgirl Tayha Rodric – just 14 years of age – has managed to get herself booked alongside the likes of Basshunter and Cascada on this year’s festival circuit. According to her family, she’s also taking home way more cash for her efforts than any other DJ in her age group. Though as far as Tayha’s concerned, it’s the thrill of the whole thing that matters most. The Best of British Talent Despite being a newcomer to the live performance scene, Tayha’s headed for a summer playing shows the likes of which she could never have dreamed of.  Having been spotted by a promoter at a recent club night for over 400 revelers, she’s now on her way to the big time in a big way. “It makes you feel happy,” said the teenage superstar. “I am at my happiest when I do it. I like to see people happy when they are watching me too.” Tayha has been inspired and encouraged by her parents all the way, who’ve done everything they can to nurture her talent. “She’s got thousands of fans and followers and views,” beamed her proud dad Dean. “The smile on her face when she reads the online comments is priceless,” “We reply to every single one if we can,” “She’s always loved...
Is it Normal to Experience Pre Gig apprehension?

Is it Normal to Experience Pre Gig apprehension?

The term ‘apprehension’ is an understatement, irrespective of talent and experience; all DJs occasionally experience outright dread before a gig or in the vast majority of all gigs. Being a DJ is a gift, especially if you’ve managed to turn your craft into a career. However it is not without its downsides, a foreboding sense of fear happens in the run up to a big show. Why is it that so many DJs get so nervous before so many gigs? Pre-gig jitters can be attributed to a wide variety of factors, including the following: Normal nerves – the kind of everyday stress and anxiety we all feel in the run up to something important Lack of experience – if it is your first ever show or you have not played live very often, you are guaranteed to be nervous Past experience – it could also be that one of your more recent shows did not go to plan and you are scared history will repeat itself A long gap – millions of DJs are dealing with nerves right now having not played a decent-sized live show in over a year Bad venues – something could be not to your liking about the venue, or the crowd expected to be in attendance Lack of confidence – of course, some simply lack the confidence in their capabilities to approach gigs with optimism All scary enough, there is plenty that can be done to get your nerves in check. How to Deal with Pre-Gig Apprehension Of course, the right way to deal with nerves will be determined by what it is that...
Covid Insurance Scheme Announced for the UK’s Live Events Sector

Covid Insurance Scheme Announced for the UK’s Live Events Sector

After what feels like an eternity of unacceptable inaction, a Covid cancellation insurance scheme for the live events sector has finally been announced by the UK government. Having been battered and bruised over the past 18 months, the live entertainment industry is currently hanging by a thread. Campaigners have been calling on the government to take decisive action since long before the summer of last year, when the first draft of concert and festival cancellations dealt a hammer blow to those involved. This week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a partnership with Lloyd’s for a “live events reinsurance scheme” worth more than £750m. “This scheme will support live events across the UK that are open to the general public. It will cover costs incurred in the event of cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to government Covid restrictions,” read a statement from the Treasury. Is it too Little, Too Late? While the news has been welcomed by some, most have also criticised the government for not taking action sooner. Chief executive of UK Music, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, said that something should have been done a long time ago, the sector had been warning the government of the challenges it was facing for several months. “The inability to obtain insurance has already caused many cancellations this summer – these have been devastating for the entire music industry and there were fears that without action we would have seen major cancellations continuing well into next year too,” he said. He went on to state that the introduction of the scheme will prove invaluable “not just for the...
The Five Pieces of Kit Every Aspiring DJ needs

The Five Pieces of Kit Every Aspiring DJ needs

Being a professional DJ is a pretty cool profession. Whether you are taking to the stage on the summer festival scene or working your local area as a mobile DJ, there’s something seriously amazing about being the life and soul of the party. Wherever you’d like to see yourself five years down the line, there are two things every DJ needs as the basis for a successful career: Talent and creativity A decent setup of equipment As every aspiring DJ will probably know, hardware costs vary from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous. You can spend as little or as much as you like on DJ equipment, but there are five essentials you will need to get your career up and running. There’s room for manoeuvre in terms of brands and specific models, but these are the five pieces of kit that will help take you from where you are now to where you really want to be: A Controller This is essentially ‘mission control’ for your DJ rig, featuring all the jog wheels, mixers and faders needed to get the job done. The latest controllers on the market from the likes of Pioneer DJ and Numark make it easier than ever before to put out world-class music at an affordable price. DJ Controllers can be used as standalone units or connected to laptops and their music libraries, depending on the exact model you go for. As this is the heart and soul of your setup, quality needs to be your top priority. A Set of Good Headphones Unless you’re already performing on a high-profile professional level, you’ll easily...
Pro DJ Turns Successful Entrepreneur During Lockdown

Pro DJ Turns Successful Entrepreneur During Lockdown

While the pandemic has brought nothing but misery for established and aspiring artists up and down the country, there are those who have well and truly made the best of a bad situation. A prime example of being Chester-based Omar Meho, who before the pandemic was well on his way to hitting the big time. Omar was studying at the University of Brighton when he decided to turn his interest in DJing into a part-time hobby. It wasn’t long before he was spending way more time making and mixing music than studying, ultimately landing him his first gig. Omar taught himself to DJ from scratch and subsequently found himself playing live shows, making a decent name for himself. ‘I got my first ever residency in Brighton while I was uni. I gigged in pretty much every club in the city, managing to build good relationships with all the club owners as I went,’ says Omar. It didn’t take long for his talents to catch the eye of promoters overseas, with Omar subsequently spreading his wings and hitting the club circuits in France and Ibiza. Everything seemed to be going pretty perfectly – especially when he was offered a prestigious residency in Dubai. An offer which, unfortunately, was presented to him at the beginning of 2020.  A few weeks later, COVID-19 came along and completely wrecked his plans. Turning the Tables Understandably gutted, Omar needed to immediately rethink his short and long-term prospects. There wasn’t a great deal of work available in any sector in the UK at the time, but he still needed to make an income doing something....