Recall for us an early memory you have of music.
My dad playing the guitar at the kitchen table, while my aunts and uncles sang on a warm summer’s evening.
Which artists did you listen to growing up?
I was a fan of Michael Jackson when I was aged 10 or 11. I loved the music and the dancing. In my teens, DJ X-Ray, DJ Sci and DJ Binman were all Irish DJs who I loved. I then heard Paul Oakenfold on an album called ‘Essential Mix’ around 1995, and was hooked. That probably was the start of my searching ‘for new’ music thing.
Give me the name of the first album that you ever bought.
My first album on tape was ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson, while my first on CD was ‘Northern Exposure’ by DJ Sasha and John Digweed. It is still an amazing and timeless album. I remember knowing of DJ Sasha, but it was only when I went to my mate, Damian Colton’s house, and he played it that I was hooked. I remember thinking that it sounded like music of the future. It was like nothing I’d heard before. I’ve still got the album.
Tell me a song that makes you feel nostalgic.
‘LA Freeway’ by Guy Clarke. My dad plays it on the guitar.
What have you been listening to this year?
I will have to break this down, as there is so much that I listen to daily. The albums include ‘Bonobo Fragments’ by Arcade fire, ‘LIVE DRUGS’ by The War On Drugs, ‘Blue Hours’ by Bears Den, ‘CAPRISONGS’ by FKA Twigs, ‘It’s Almost Dry’ by Pusha T, ‘Skin’ by Joy Crookes, and DJ Emerson’s back catalogue, as I have just finished working on a commission for his studio.
I have also been listening to Four Candles, who is a DJ on the Bedrock Records label, and my usual favourites, which include Anthony Pappa, Dave Seaman, Herman Cattaneo, and Juliane Wolfe – her new remixes are amazing. In terms of podcasts, I’ve been listening to James Hilmer’s Apple podcasts, and I love the ‘Deck Chair & Yums’ podcasts by local comedians, Conor Keyes and Mickey Bartlett, and Mark McCarney’s ‘Morning McCarney’. I also like the Tommy Hector and Laurita podcast – they are both storytellers, but fun ones. I like to laugh!
Who is your favourite artist currently?
That’s a hard question. I suppose I’d have to say ‘Framewerk’. They are putting out some amazing reworks of classics at the moment that are very cool. But their sets are also brilliant. In fact, I’ve been using them as inspiration for my new art collection, ‘Fragments’, which is a more abstract style of work.
Framewerk are a British duo, who take elements of progressive house, melodic techno, and anthemic breaks and weave them into a club-friendly mix of tech-infused house. They originally carved out a career in the burgeoning progressive house scene of the early 2000s as Manhattan, but then they went on to embrace a wider-reaching sound, as heard on releases such as 2021’s ‘Spiritual Revolution’, and their sophomore album, ‘Full Circle’.
Give us the name of the last song you listened to currently.
Belfast DJ duo, Bicep, live at Glastonbury. The whole set is the best thing that I watched of the Glastonbury coverage; the build of it, and the power of engagement with the crowd cannot only be felt, but seen. Some of the crowd at the start are like… “What’s this??” Ten minutes in, and they are captured literally being swept up in a world of music and colour. It was brilliantly produced by the Northern Irish pair.
What are your favourite feel-good tunes?
I love anything by Christy Moore, as his songs remind me of great singalongs with my family and friends, and the parties that we enjoyed over the years. Some great memories. And, also, whatever Ella, my daughter, puts on in the car to-and-from school. Ella just loves music, and loves to dance… I don’t know where she got that from! We’ve found some good music on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC Radio 6 Music. Today, he played ‘Dreaming Of You’ by The Coral, which is one of my favourite tunes. It came on, and Ella says, ‘Dad, I like this. I’ve heard it before!’
Which song has made you cry?
There are a few, but I try to stay away from them, funny enough. They include, ‘The Weary Kind’ by Ryan Bingham, ‘Agape’ by Bear’s Den, and ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol.
Are there any songs you really dislike?
Some of the songs on TikTok… I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.
What track/tracks do you always have on repeat?
Too many to mention! In my creative process, I usually repeat what I’ve listened to that week, if that makes sense. This past week, I’ve had songs by Hilmer, Julianne, Wolf Guy and Mandoza on repeat, as well as songs from Amber Long’s Lia series, Four Candles’ latest set on SoundCloud, ‘Now or Never’ by The Roots, ‘Vale’ by Bicep, Framewerk’s ‘The White Island’ mix, and ‘Lovesong’ by The Cure. Other notable mentions are ‘You Got Me’ by The Roots and Erykah Badu, ‘Paradise Circus’ by Massive Attack, ‘No Surprises’ by Radiohead, Vapour Trails’ ‘Live at the Barbican’ album, ‘The Seed’ by The Roots, and Christy Moore’s ‘Live on the Road’ album.
Any guilty musical pleasures?
I have a few! I really like the ‘La La Land’ soundtrack, and I listen to it sometimes without Ella! It’s our go-to dance-off music. Also. ‘Yebo Teacher’ by Moonchild Sanelly. Ella heard it on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on the school run, and she asked me to save it.
Do you have a favourite lyric?
The lyrics from ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ by Joy Division.
Give us the name of a brilliant, but underrated, song.
‘Tornado’ by Dan Fable.
What is your age, and where are you from?
I’m 43, from Lammy Crescent, Omagh. My daughter, Ella, is aged nine, and my son, Caleb, is aged 12.
What is your occupation?
I’m a crushing and screening consultant, and an artist.
What are your hobbies?
Painting, football, golf, running, photography and sketching.
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