DJ Ollie Humphreys is one of the most prominent faces of London’s VIP clubbing scene. Having played with some of house music’s biggest names like Eric Morillo, Laurent Wolf, Yves Larock, Alex Gaudino and Bob Sinclair, Ollie is now here in the Capital to play for Dilliwallahs.
He grew up in UK and the south of France, amidst the party scenes of London, Cannes and St Tropez, and that’s where he got hooked to dance music. Millennium Post caught up with the man behind the console. Here are excerpts:
When did you realise that you wanted to make music your profession?
It’s was a combination of two things. When in France, about 13 years old, I used to listen to the radio a lot trying to learn the language, but as it turned out, I only listened to certain stations for music. At the time, my stepfather had an old technics turntable and I ended up trying to mix the radio with some classic house records. As soon as I realised you could make three songs out of two by just mixing, I was hooked. The second factor is an accumulation of experiences over my teenage years when I understood how happy music could make people. Events such as my first concert really made me realise that I had to be involved in music because I wanted to make other people happy through the sounds of music.
What kind of music do you like?
I never like to be pigeon hold into any specific drama. I love all kinds of music, all genres from all over the world. It sounds stupid but I never judge a track on where it is from or who it is by or perhaps more importantly, where I would like it to come from or who I would like it to be by. If I like it then that’s it. However, two worlds dominate my passion — Latin America and Africa. I am really a sucker for rhythm and bounce.
How would you define your kind of music?
I play a variety of house music — infusing both the old and new. I’m often playing a Frank Sinatra vocal with an uplifting house beat. I always try to be as original as I can whilst keeping the crowd energised. Sandwiching the house tracks which the crowd knows between the ones which they should know. My music is heavily based on percussion, there is always a rolling high hat through my set. In a bubble, energetic bubbly house with lots of percussion.
What do you think of the Delhi crowd so far?
It has truly been an experience I will never forget. Everyone has been so welcoming and I’m loving every minute. There is everything you could possibly want here — good people, weather and food. The crowds where I have been playing, were engaging and energising but most importantly, what I liked about the crowd here is they have an open ear. They are prepared to occasionally hear something new and different.
As a musician, who do you idolise?
For the music, it’s Miles Davis. He singlehandedly opened up my mind to the potential of music. For the character, Frank Sinatra, there hasn’t been a cooler cat since him.
If not a musician, what would you be?
Probably a chef. Any job which has the potential for me to make other people happy with my craft and being able to see the expression on their face.
What do you expect from your next gig?
Energy, energy, energy and lots of atmosphere and a packed dance floor.
How do you think of the present music industry in India?
It’s at such a crucial stage. Electronic music is exploding here. So far, from what I can see the pioneers of music here are steering the ship in the right direction. Playing music which is both original, true to its culture and at the same time innovative. There are just so many people here with such a passion for music. It’s in a great place at the moment, more people will be exposed to it within the near future… watch this space.
Do you have plans to stay on in Delhi after the session gets over this month?
I have to fly back to London on 1 October as I have commitments in both Ibiza and Shanghai but I should be returning at the end of October to play at a couple of gigs for the F1 race.
Message for your fans?
Try to develop your own sound. Don’t try and replicate someone else.
At: Shroom 3 Floor, The Cresent Mall, Lado Sarai, Mehrauli
When: 22 September to 29 September