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WPGM Interviews: DJ D Francis – Scouting New Sounds, Notting Hill Carnival And Alter Egos

DJing
Introducing DJ D Francis, who has “had a love for music from the tender age of 5 where he’d sing and perform for anyone who’d listen“. In his formative years, D Francis attended acting classes and performed in various school plays and musicals, as well as writing and performing his own music.

On the back of these creative foundations, D Drancis has gone on to become an all round entertainer, with an uncanny ability to read his crowd and cater directly to their music need whilst controlling the mic. His wide range of music speciality and great mixing skills, combined with his ability to connect with his audiences, make him an exciting DJ. We Plug Good Music caught up with the fast-rising London DJ to find out more…

What exactly do you do? Take us through an average day

I work during the day as a Kitchen & Bathroom Design Consultant. Then I come home for dinner, get my set and head off to my gig. Normally on the evenings I’m not booked, I’d source new music and prep playlists specific to my future client’s interest“.

How did you choose your DJ ‘alter ego’? What’s its significance?

My alter-ego defines me as a DJ; it resembles who I am and what comes with me. I’m all about hype. There is no point having a party and not getting sweaty on the dancefloor. That’s my goal, every time I play“.

When did you start DJing? Who or what were your influences?

I started when I was 12 using my uncle’s CDJ-200s. He has always been my influence and has guided me throughout my 13 year career as a DJ“.

How did you learn the ropes? Were you self-taught?

I learnt the basics from my uncle and used a lot of programmes on PC like Virtual DJ. I’d also practise at the local community radio station “StreetLife Radio”. For my 18th birthday my mum and a co-conspirator bought me my first DJ set: Pioneer DJM 400 Mixer and 2 CDJ 400s. These were my babies!

Who do you admire in the music industry? What inspires you – within or outside the music industry?

I admire anyone reaching a wide audience, because they’re doing something right! These are the people I look to for inspiration. But there are so many great DJs out there not being noticed too. When I find ‘em, I keep an eye. My biggest inspiration however is my family. I love what I do and fortunately it pays, if you do it right! So to do what I love week in week out knowing I’m providing at the same time is a great feeling“.

What are the best and worst parts of the job, and why?

Best parts are the reaction from the crowd! When you’re smashing it you know! So rewarding. The worst is lugging the set around. The speakers are super heavy and after a long gig the last thing you want to do is carry these things! There’s also the one man or woman at every other gig that doesn’t leave your side and tries to dictate your set and inform you how they go way back and know tunes (DJs have all experienced this)“.

We saw you were a DJ during the Notting Hill Carnival. What was DJing on a float like and were there any logistical or technical hiccups?

DJing on the float is the best feeling in the world. Pure heavy sound coming from this huge truck making people dance in the streets – DOPE! There were some issues with equipment arriving on time, generators blowing, etc. But we got past them and gave an amazing show. All the DJs were incredible“.

How do you look for new work?

I don’t currently as I tend to get booked repeatedly by the same clients who then pass on my details. I get asked for a card at most gigs too so that’s another way I promote myself I guess“.

What’s one song you’re really tired of hearing? Which artist do you wish would get more recognition?

I’m not actually tired of a song. I play such a variety and tend to guard myself from listening to big radio stations too often (just for industry updates). I think my girl Lady L needs more recognition. Wicked producer, singer & rapper. So creative! Check her out!

Where do you scout new sounds?

Everywhere. Shazam is an incredible app and wherever I hear something new that I like, ZAMMMIT! I also get emails from artists pushing their music, so if they collaborate with a cool new artist, I can check them out too. It helps to be signed up to a few record pools too as they update you with the latest music for a monthly fee“.

Is there one piece of equipment or software that you couldn’t live without?

My laptop. It holds everything!!!!

Any advice for anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps?

Be persistent and practise hard on your craft. Build a varied music collection and keep it organised! Listen to feedback from your crowd and watch their reaction when you play. If they’re not moving, switch it up but make it flow“.

Keep Tabs on DJ D Francis: Facebook // Soundcloud

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