DJ Kevin O'Leary
added: 20 Jun 2012
interviewed by: Jamal Alleyne
DJ Kevin O'Leary has a very impressive CV and a great knowledge of music, so we met him at Movida nightclub to dig deeper into his life and his passion....
MN: Hi Kevin, Could you tell us who you are and what you actually do?
KOL: My names Kevin OíLeary. Iím currently the resident DJ at Movida London and I also do Movida Dubai as well, back and forth on a monthly basis.
MN: So youíre a resident DJ at Movida, as you just said, which is a very prestigious club and youíve also performed for the likes of Kate Moss, The Beckhams and many others. How long have you been DJing for and what made you start?
KOL: When I left school there was a current change in the music scene. There was a big shift such as House music coming about and for me coming out in that era; I fell in love with music from that. I actually liked collecting a lot of Soul and Disco records prior to that, but then it was House music that really got me into the DJing side of things. Iíve been DJing now for just over 15 years now, so Iíve been in the field a long time!
MN: Yeah that is a long time ago! Do you remember the first time you performed at a rave or show?
KOL: Well we all have to start somewhere. For me, I taught myself at home pretty much and then learning the club side of things came from living in Spain years ago, where I travelled to a lot of the holiday resorts, and worked nights there I learnt how to read a crowd, so that was my first Ďbreakí.
MN: On the topic of shows, what was your favorite and also what would you say is the highlight of your career?
KOL: Kate Mossí birthday parties have been great fun. Its not just about the party, its also the people that you meet there. Thereís like 90% celebrities. There are just so many different people there. People like Grace Jones and Pharell Williams to Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. Itís just like whoís who? So rubbing shoulders with them is just a big privilege.
MN: That must be crazy. So you spoke about House music. Is that what you actually play then?
KOL: I play an eclectic mix of everything. Cross format really. I play Hip Hop, House, Old School, it all depends. The crowds getting younger so the older stuff now doesnít seem to work as well as it used to. So it depends more now on where Iím playing. It could be anything from Deep House, but on the more mainstream nights like Fridays and Saturdays itís a bit more commercial like mainstream House, RnB and Hip Hop.
MN: So what did you actually start off with when you started DJing?
KOL: I started with House really, and then early Hip Hop. I had a record collection already prior to me buying turntables so I had a lot of records like Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, but then I fused it with the early House that started coming about.
MN: What are your views on the scene as youíve seen the progression over the years?
KOL: Itís nice! Things move from time to time. You have a shift where say Hip Hop will become a lot stronger. Where Iíve been in the industry for quite a while, prior to early 2000ís Hip Hop and RnB wasnít really that strong but then with the emergence of artists such as Destinys Child, that sort of second coming of Hip Hop and RnB made it blow up. Now, everywhere is sort of cross format so you canít just do a one genre night, especially in mainstream clubs such as in the West End. You have to please everyone. There are many varied tastes in the club!
MN: Besides Movida, what other clubs or even countries do you regularly play in?
KOL: I travel quite a lot to the Middle East. Iím In Dubai regularly and I also go to Northern Africa, such as Egypt. I do Russia as well, and Ibiza in the summer. So I get to travel a lot really. The travelling element is a bonus for me because you get a chance to visit some great countries.
MN: You have a pretty impressive track record! Over your career, what would you say is the funniest or most embarrassing moment you have encountered?
KOL: Ohh. Let me think about thatÖ possibly, for myself, the most embarrassing thing was while I was a resident DJ in Ibiza, the DJ stage was built up on a platform and at the end, people were clapping and giving me a round of applause and I stumbled off the stage. I was falling for about 30 seconds and the crowd was cheering until I actually fell off the stage!
MN: Besides DJing, what other things do you do, if there are any?
KOL: I do a little bit of production. I try and keep up to date with the DJing side of things nowadays. There are so many elements to it such as updating your Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter etc. There are so many different ways to push yourself and use the market to sell yourself so there is a lot of work to do in the day. Apart from that, I mostly make Deep House on the production side of things.
MN: Do you have anything released on any labels?
KOL: Iíve got a couple of things out including a few reboots. Thereís a label that my housemate owns, but Iím trying to put together my own label at the moment.
MN: What is your favorite tune of the moment?
KOL: At the moment, Azealia Banks Ď212í is a big tune at the moment. On the Hip Hop tip, anything by Tyga is hitting the spot.
MN: Lastly, what events do you have coming up and where can people keep up to date with whatís happening?
KOL: Mostly through my Facebook page which is DJ Kevin OíLeary. Also on 23rd June 2012 we have an event at Movida with Sean Paul. The following week from Saturday Iím in Dubai for a week at Movida Dubai. After that Iím going away to Zante and then Ibiza.
Interview by Jamal Alleyne and Errol Anderson
Check out Kevin's Soundcloud here: http://soundcloud.com/dj-kevin-oleary
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