Usually found at home on Paul van Dyk’s world-renowned Vandit label or releasing on Dutch powerhouse Black Hole Recordings, Ali Wilson’s chameleon like approach to Trance music through the years has gained him vocal fans in the calibre of Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren and Tiesto. We thought we’d grab a few words ahead of a charity gig he is playing next week in his native London….
Hi Ali, how are you these days? You are bringing your legendary talents to London this November to Music Unity For Mental Health’s next big mental health awareness event, Emotional Response. What helped you decide on supporting this cause?
Thanx DMC! This for me was a no brainer as I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression in my life! So it’s a way of combating these issues together! Music can be so healing in times when you’re not feeling yourself so this is the perfecto tool!
Having played in many of the biggest clubs and events for many years, in The UK and internationally. Has there been a certain period over the last 20 years that is extra special to you from your music career story?
Yea plenty… the ones that most stick out though are probably playing alongside Tiesto @ Brixton Academy, not only is London my home but it’s one of those venues that I’d seen so many of my favourite artists play over the years, also Zurich Street parade, seeing 1 million people as you meander through the city on a lorry turned into a stage is amazing!!!
You’ve got 5 tracks to sum up your DJing career, what would you play?
Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar, Chicane – Saltwater, DK8 – Murder was the bass, Freefall – Skydive and I’m going to be cheeky here and say my track Pandora! 😉
How did it all start for you?
I was 14 years old and my brother got decks… after this I got hooked on music. I started playing all the Prodigy back catalogue then moved on to house, trance, techno and many other genres.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I have respect for any DJ that knows how to move a crowd and take them on a journey, but the stand outs for me are Carl Cox, he’s been top of the game since the beginning, Prodigy, they got me into dance music, Outa Space is the first ever vinyl I bought. Also, one of my best mates Matt Smallwood, not only is he an amazing DJ/Producer but the work he does behind the scenes for Toolroom is second to none!
What single night out has been the most memorable for you from all time?
Probably seeing Sander Van Doorn at Global Gathering 2009ish…
Are you able to share any of your secret tricks with me?
Play a long track if you need a piss haha! Just read the crowd!
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
Always respect the time you’re playing, don’t bang it out with anthems first set, play to the crowd, tease them, interact with them, most of all enjoy yourself!
If you could eternally be stuck in one year from the whole music scene, which would it be?
Probably 1999, as that’s an absolute year of bangers!
What is one subgenre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
Tudor Gabba does it for me at the moment!
What is it that you love most about the scene?
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar, I’ve actually seen people crying on the dancefloor before.
Please tell us a funny story from your escapades as a seasoned London rave DJ?
Ok so many moons ago myself and Matt Smallwood played at The Rocket, afterwards the promoter had arranged for people who bought inclusive tickets to be picked up afterwards at 6am in coaches, to be ferried up to Alton towers. One thing comes to mind, MESS! Picture this, lots of marginally stewed people enjoying a nice coach ride for 3 hour (that was just the start), then let loose in a theme park, seeing someone get on Oblivion, face 4g and have to be helped off the ride! Good old days eh?
What artists are you personally rating right now?
Camelphat, they are the camels bollox!
What’s next for Ali Wilson?
I have a remix coming out that I’ve done for Costa Pantazis, big fat tech!!! Check it here… https://www.beatport.com/track/intruders-ali-wilson-remix/12767623. Also, a lot of new productions solo, and with my bro Chris North, we have collaborated on a lot of stuff already that has made it onto PVD’s Vandit label, and HTE, amongst others. For 2020, I have joined a new agency for my worldwide bookings, and will be in great company at Made Artists. Home to artists such as Jam El Mar, S.H.O.K.K.. Lab4, Lost Witness, Phutek and many more. If you’d like to book me contact email@example.com (Shameless plug lol)
Finally, you have one paragraph to tell people why they should come to Music Unity for Mental Health presents Emotional Response, London 30th November.
Come, talk, rave! See you on the dancefloor. Big love!!!
Music Unity for Mental Health takes place at VR5 Loft and Terrace at EGG LDN in Kings Cross, London from 1pm to 10pm, Saturday 30th November. It’s also FREE entry to get in with donations on the day. Line-up includes: Davey Asprey, Ali Wilson and many more.
For further info and tickets: www.facebook.com/events/2833682316659117/