I was born in 1966 in Epsom.

"My Mum and Dad were listening to James Last and stuff like that so I didn’t get much influence from them. I got to about 14 and realised that I enjoyed dancing ­ I started listening to early soul stuff, Motown, that kind of thing. I actually got into a bit of rock when I was 15. That was my brother’s influence really ­ his room was next to mine and I had to listen to it every day. I wasn’t into school really. I wasn’t really very good at school but I went. I was better at art and crafts than the academic stuff. Later on my Mum and Dad thought I was wasting my time. All they could hear was ‘BANG-BANG-BANG’ coming from my room, they thought I was just wasting my money on records and staying up all night when it would never go anywhere. They are really proud of me now. It’s the same for any walk of life that’s not the norm I suppose. When I was eight my mum made me take Cha-Cha lessons. The neighbour’s kid went so I had to go. I got my bronze medal actually. I remember getting booted off the course for not paying attention. But it was definitely the start of my rhythm!"

"I’ve always collected music. I never bought pop stuff really ­ even the rock I was into was stuff like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Dub reggae was the next thing, listening to David Roddigan on Radio London on a Sunday while I was outside fixing my moped. I met this guy when I was 16 that got me into more black-orientated music. I got heavily into funk and soul, was going round buying old disco records. The same guy gave me some early house records: ‘Can You Feel It?’ was one of them I think, some really early Blaze stuff too. I got into it that way ­ through him. I progressed into that 80’s funk; Aleam, Get Loose, Soul II Soul a little later and then the house stuff."

"When I was about 15 I wired two tape decks together into one, trying to blend the music so that I could do a tape. I got my first decks when I was 19/20 and I had no idea what the pitch controls were for. I taught myself, totally. I started doing my mate’s bar in Leatherhead. It was this rockers’ place ­ I knew they wanted music and my mate knew I had decks so it made sense to run a night in there. The first couple of weeks we did it the rockers were like ‘what the fuck’s this shit? This is terrible.’ They was all ‘avin it about three weeks later. I’m well known for working at Swag Records [a shop in Croydon, South London] too. That just fizzled out really, although I still go in and rob records off them ­ I was working there for 7 years."

"I’ll be doing loads more stuff on Wiggle and quite a lot of bits for the labels around me. And I’ll be doing more stuff with the Strangeweather [Hans and Nils from London’s Eukatech record label and others] crew for sure."

"I suppose the Muzik Award in 1997 opened doors. I was just getting more and more out there. Derrick Carter had won it the year before so I wasn’t really bothered by being called a newcomer either. People know what’s good and bad. You can’t just get the same tired old DJs in all the time ­ people won’t settle for it. You have to take risks now and it’s a much better climate."

"I’m enjoying playing at Fabric more than I ever have really. It’s great having the backing of the club, it really builds confidence being able to play so much and play what I want. Keith [fabric’s owner] came down and heard me at the Soundshaft [in London]. He sat beside me skinning up and listening all night. Nikki [Smith, ex-promoter] asked me if I wanted to be resident and I went and had a look around when the place was a building site. Nothing happened for about a year and a half after that! I love playing all the rooms and I even did the little one on New Year’s Eve. I think you can get deeper in a smaller room. The back room is a bit tougher with the main one a bit more housey."

"My partner Claire had to set up a DJ-support group at one point but I think she’s got over that now. She’s got a couple of cats. And a couple of kids. I guess we’ll be spending more time together, but don’t print that!"

Terry Francis
Verenigd Koninkrijk


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