Jazzy Jeff

The best DJ in the world getting set for London town with Doctor’s Orders

Interview : Dan Prince

Dude how you doing, where in the world are you right now?

“Hey Dan I’m at home in Philadelphia just chilling…”

I knew you would be at home, a big game tonight for your beloved Philapdelphia Eagles against the Chiefs. Former coach Andy Reid back in the stadium for the first time since leaving and also the retirement of Donovan McNabb…how fanatical are you about your team, I know some English DJs that would play a right moody set if their teams lost…?

“Really? Well I don’t get that serious about things, but Dan, how did you know that fact about the Eagles? No music journalist has ever asked me that sort of stuff before!”

Ah, well I was going to ask you about that subject. You must have taken part in thousands of interviews over the years – I understand it’s part of an artist’s job to take care of press duties, but does it ever get a pain in the arse when journalists always ask you the same old stuff, such as all about Will Smith?

“Ha ha! Well no, I understand it completely. The whole The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is where it all started for me so I am always ready for journalists to ask me about it. And why not, it was an important part of my life. What I don’t understand though is when people ask me how I started out in the industry, I know that some of the journalists out there wouldn’t have been alive when I was doing my early stuff but it doesn’t take too much effort to do some research.”

Absolutely. Well You are about to embark on another very long European Tour, kicking off in Germany on October 2nd. This time round there are no less than 9 UK dates – outside of the US, is the UK crowd your favourite to entertain?

“I think so, I have had a very good relationship with the UK crowds over the years. When we were planning the tour we put out the available dates and all of a sudden we were deluged with offers from UK clubs. So if that’s who want me, that’s where I’ll go!”

London town is bracing itself for Sunday October 6th, Doctor’s Orders once again hosting yourself in Brixton. Looking forward to it?

“You know it! They look after me so well and their parties are always incredible.”

You have been entertaining your thousands of fans with your hilarious Vinyl Destination videos, a real fly on the wall insight the life and times of a DJ on tour. What’s the story with the $33,000 phone bill in South Africa?

“That was a massive mistake man! I landed in South Africa, checked into the hotel and called my wife to say hello. Three hours later I woke up after a lovely nap to find an e mail from my phone provider saying they had suspended my account due to “an excessive phone bill”. I was like ‘whaaaat?’. I have unlimited texts and stuff. Anyway, I’d left the phone connected and thankfully my wife called them to explain my mistake!”

Cool, always leave it to the wife! I wanted to talk to you about your DJ shows, the way you organize your set up for a show is intriguing. After every gig you make a folder on your computer with that night’s set downloaded, it acts as a kind of a safety net plus reference for future gigs. How does this method work for you?

“I have something like 60 folders on file from previous DJ sets. Because I play at so many different types of clubs and parties my music changes all the time. It may be a 90’s hip hop set, a New Jack Swing hip hop set, an 80s set or electro. I’ll label them up and that means I can bounce in and out of each folder when I am DJing. There is nothing worse for me to be spinning the same monotonous sets all the time, I want to keep it fresh for the people I’m playing to and also for myself. I’m always thinking about the records when I am DJing, that’s why I enjoy it so much after all these years…”

What are some of the new records you have been playing out recently?

“Dan, I am really bad at questions like this…I listen to so much music you wouldn’t believe. This morning I was playing the Robert Glass album but it’s not something I would ever play in a club. Too many records to mention over the phone!”

Last weekend saw you hit LA, Houston, Boston, Connecticut and Vermont. This traveling must be so tiring, you still enjoying it as much as ever?

“I do absolutely. When I was 17 touring with Will I didn’t really enjoy the beauty of our world. It was all about landing in some foreign destination and all we would think about was getting girls and finding a McDonalds. When I used to come to the UK I always thought your country had the worst food in the world, now you have the best restaurants on the planet! I get so vibed up trying out new cultures, meeting new people and experiencing different things nowadays, it’s what makes it still so exciting.”

So where are your favourite London restaurants right now?

“Man I used to love this place called The Eagle Diner in Camden. I was back in that part of town a while back and I was so upset to find it had closed down. These days my mouth is watering at the Byron Burger joint. Cannot wait to get back there!”

It’s the DMCWORLD DJ Finals in London the night you hit Belfast on October 5th – you keep saying you’ll come over and spin at a World Final for us, can we count you in for 2014?

“Oh man I would absolutely love that Dan. Let’s make it happen!”

And finally, I am over here in Ibiza with my sister and her husband John, a guy who once organized a mini tour of the UK some years ago. One night at The Cross in London though he overstepped the mark by letting off an air horn in your ear, you punched him in the face which he now can laugh at. Do you remember this incident?

“You serious? I don’t remember that at all, but I have to be honest…when I get into the zone when DJing I am totally focused and if someone steps over the line, I’m pretty prone to reacting. Tell him no hard feelings!”

The Doctor’s Orders present DJ Jazzy Jeff & Skillz

Sunday 6th October @ Plan B, 418 Brixton Road, London


Support from Spin Doctor, Shortee Blitz & Mr Thing