MUSIC MAN: DJ Longers
BY NIGHT, he has revellers working themselves into a frenzy on a packed dance floor. But come day, UK music maestro DJ Longers is the keeper of peace at his local library.
“If you ever know the joke of it,” laughs the Bang FM DJ. “I remember the first person I told I was a librarian didn’t believe me. I initially told her I was an escort and she was like, ‘No way!’ Eventually I told her that I worked in a library and she responded, ‘don’t lie, you’re an escort!’ I guess that vocation is more believable.”
After all, here’s a man whose highlights include DJ’ing for Hollywood actor Will Smith; playing at some of the hottest parties the capital has to offer; and come May, he’ll be the first UK DJ to play at the world famous Cancun Jumpoff in Mexico.
It’s hard to believe the DJ spends his days in virtual silence in a library, but he insists that being a master of music doesn’t mean he’s beyond a love of literature.
“The biggest piece of advice I give aspiring DJs is ‘never think you’re too big,’ he says. That’s something I live by. Complacency is one of the biggest diseases ever.”
DJ Longers has spent years working on his craft, something that has taken him all around the world with fellow music man, DJ Chef. Together, the pair have rocked dancefloors from Europe to America, a feat that has influenced both his sound and mindset.
“A few years ago [former Roc-A-Fella Records music executive] Damon Dash came to the UK and held a conference. He said, ‘If you guys want to be known in the States, you’ve got to go over there! I’m bringing my artists over here because I want to expose them to this market.’
“I remember thinking: ‘It’s easy for you to say that because you have the money to do it.’ But it’s only years later when I started to go to different countries that I started to make links and fully understood what he was saying. You must travel to get your influences and make those connections.”
His knowledge of musical tastes around the world will come in handy when he plays at the world famous Cancun Jumpoff.
The annual event, now in its 12th year, attracts partygoers from far and wide and as Longers notes, it has a growing number of people from the UK signing up to partake in the festivities.
“As you can imagine, [event founder] ‘O International’ had cause to look at bringing a UK DJ out there this year. In December, he came over to the UK and heard me play. I was also told that quite a few people had recommended me too.”
Though he’s played for big audiences in his time, Longers admits he’s more than a little apprehensive about the task ahead of him.
PARTY: Cancun Jumpoff draws thousands of revellers each year
“I was sent footage of last year’s event and the size of the venue is massive. It’s one of those ones where I look at it and think to myself, ‘wow!’
“But on the flipside, as soon as I get into my mode I’m okay.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and one I’m happy to take on. Right now, the UK is in a good place and there’s a few firsts to celebrate this year. [Fellow DJ] Mr Play became the first UK rep for [vodka brand] Ciroc and is now affiliated with P Diddy, and [British comic] Kojo is the first UK comedian to do Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N’ Out show in the States.
He adds: “When I go to Cancun next month, I plan to introduce them to some of our UK artists in my set. I think they’re going to get a shock hearing songs like Krept and Konan’s Don’t Waste My Time or Lethal B’s Pow, but I think they’ll appreciate something different.”
Longers, who has enjoyed a steady rise to the top, comes from a long line of DJs. His father managed the decks in his heyday and his brother also flirted with music too.
Although his brother “hung up his headphones” years ago, and father didn’t see it as a long-term vocation, Longers persevered – a fact he says his dad respects wholeheartedly.
“When I initially told him I joined up with a sound, he was cool at first, but after a couple of days he said he’d prefer if I kept my head in the books. He didn’t see it as something I could take up as a job.
“But you know you can’t really argue with your parents, it’s more a case of proving them wrong. I think he’s seeing a lot more of the fruits I was trying to show him back then.”
But for Longers, who is known to perform both solo and with his G-Ents crew Mr Dagz and DJ Slick, there is always room to grow.
“Every DJ has their own ambitions, but my ambition is to grow. For me to grow, I need to go to different places and make that happen.”
DJ Longers presents The Big Bang Theory on Bang FM every Friday morning from 1am-4am. For more information, visit www.wearebang.com