22nd March 2018Comments are off for this post.

Big Chill Presents | Henry W-P

BC: You have been DJing for over 10 years now, what still excites you about playing after this many years?

HWP: One of the most exciting things about DJing is that it gets more exciting the more you do it! I’m always on the hunt for new records or artists I haven’t heard before, even within genres that I feel well acquainted, so that really helps to keep my passion for DJing fresh.

BC: You play at Big Chill Brick Lane every last Sunday of the month. What can people expect from your sets?

HWP: I play for 8 hours, spinning my favourite Funk, Soul, Rare Groove, Rhythm and Blues and Disco records. Everything is on vinyl and the intention of my sets at Big Chill are to take the listeners on a journey through all the genres and sub-genres, whilst ensuring they’ve got something they can either dance or chill out to.

BC: You post some great looking photos of your record covers online, how’d you think artwork relates to the music you buy?

HWP: I think artwork is massively important for records. For instance, when I was young, maybe 11 or 12, I used to buy sale albums with pocket money from a local record shop. Because there wasn’t internet, I usually had no idea what I was buying so a lot of the time would buy an album based on the look of the cover! I often think that the beauty of vinyl is that it’s so big and with a great cover you’ve essentially got a piece of art as well as a piece of music.

BC: You run nights in London and Brighton that focus on a variety of music genres from Soul to Rock to Hip-Hop, what’s your favourite cross genre collaboration? (Ours is probably Run DMC’s Walk This Way.)

HWP: I’d have to say my favourite would be the early Jazzmatazz albums by Guru, of Gang Starr. They’re a series of collaborations of his with famous soul and jazz musicians, from Roy Ayers to Lonnie Liston Smith. The first two albums, specifically, are brilliant.

BC: It would have been David Bowie’s 71st birthday last month and they just released an early demo of Let’s Dance. What’s your favourite Bowie song?

HWP: They are so many! I’m a big fan of his Berlin period and the work he did with Brian Eno during that period. However, I’d have to say my favourite song of his is Station To Station from the album of the same name. It’s just absolute genius! It builds and builds, it’s eerie yet exciting. I just love all the layers and progressions in it.

BC: We’re a big fan of your Weekend Song videos on Facebook, what was your thinking behind this?

HWP: Well, the idea was that each Friday I’d choose a record that would get people feeling excited about the weekend. Wether it be something they might not have heard before or maybe something that they knew but had completely forgotten about.

BC: What can we look forward to from you in the future?

More of the same, to be honest. All the same nights that I do, plus a few more to come! I’m really keen on the idea of an 80s, 90s and 00s night, so we’ll have to see if that materialises!

Explain That Gram

We’ve taken inspiration from a Big Chill favourite Hot Ones, [check it out if unfamiliar] for this segment called “Explain That ‘Gram,” whereby we’ve checked out your Instagram and selected a number of pics at random that we would like you to tell us the bigger story behind each one?

This photo was taken about a year and a half ago when I supported DJ Yoda in London. It was such an honour to support such a brilliant DJ and one that I’d admired since I was about 13. He was such a lovely and humble bloke too. We had a quick chat about some of my records that he was admiring and about his “How To Cut And Paste” mixtapes that I’m a long-time fan of.

This is me and my older brother before our flight to Barcelona in 2013 for Primavera Sound festival. One of the best times of my life! It was such an amazing line up that year and one that (although I’m probably biased) I don’t think has been beaten yet. Highlights were Wu-Tang, Goat, Om and Tame Impala.

This was an interview I did for Sub TV about my record collection. It was part of a series about vintage, so there was somebody interviewed about vintage clothes, another about vintage homeware and then me about my records. It’s always fun being able to talk about my music collection because I’m normally boring the life out of my girlfriend and friends about pretentious-sounding details of specific records, so it’s nice to be asked instead!

Henry's Playlist

22nd March 2018Comments are off for this post.

Big Chill Presents | DJ Sugai

BC: You’ve been part of the Big Chill family for some time now and been around for some of our biggest parties, which has been your favourite?

S: As I love my hip hop, I would probably say the DJ Yella night was my favourite so far! But I do love any night at Big Chill with a great crowd and atmosphere

BC: When you are not DJing what else do you get up to?

S: On top of DJing, I also work as a fitness tutor so in my spare time I read up on fitness and nutrition, go to the gym regularly and I also like to play basketball.

BC: You DJ at Secret Cinema events, do you play as DJ Sugai or are you given a character ?

S: At Secret Cinema everyone dresses up - DJs, staff and punters. I got to dress up as a storm trooper for the Star Wars Secret Cinema which required a dressing up assistant. I also once wore a jedi robe for the main stage set but the sleeves got in the way … haha! When they screened 28 days later it was much easier, a camo/green t shirt and a hat was all I needed

BC: We've heard that you know your stuff when it comes to Hip Hop so lets put this to the test can you answer these Hip Hop trivia questions correctly?

1. Who gave us these lyrics? "In a street brawl, I strike men quicker than lightning. You seen what happened in my last fight friend? aight then"

That’s easy Big L - Put it On (Big L rest in peace!)

2. Which British rapper, whose name resembles that of a Norse god, retired from the rap game in 2012 and became a political activist?

Doc Brown… actually he went and did comedy.. so probably Lowkey.

3. Which groups comprise the Native Tongues collection of artists?

Hmmm if I remember that's Jungle Brothers, A tribe Called Quest and De La soul

4. What does DITC stand for?

Easy again – Diggin’ in the Crates

BC: What is your go to Big Chill drink?

S: Rum Roots - I'm a big fan of Wray & Nephew cocktails.

BC: You’ve curated our Valentine’s Day “Big Chill Presents” playlist, what is it about these songs that makes them suited for the Day of Love?

S: I actually created a love mix series in the past, titled "It’s a Love Thing” so some of the songs on my Big Chill Presents playlist are from that… I think hip hop can express great stories through lyrics, and each song has a different story. What makes these songs suitable for Valentines are the nice chilled beats and lyrics (if you listen carefully!)

Explain That Gram

We’ve taken inspiration from a Big Chill favourite Hot Ones, [check it out if unfamiliar] for this segment called “Explain That ‘Gram,” whereby we’ve checked out your Instagram and selected a number of pics at random that we would like you to tell us the bigger story behind each one?

This was carnival Sunday last year in 2017, where I was DJing up on the roof terrace of Big Chill House… we had Wray & Nephews come in to sponsor the day, with cocktail making games (with Wray of course!) was fun playing Carnival Vibes music on the terrace!

This is when I met Big Shaq… I was djing a Christmas Party at Lockside Camden and he popped out of nowhere, asked to fake DJ for one of his videos (ended up being the uber driver one) so him being Big Shaq – of course I let him! After we had a very quick chat and a pic after he done his thing as I had to carry on playing for the night!

This is a bit of an epic story (for me/hip hop lovers anyway) – I was in Berlin, off to go see Cypress Hill that night. On the way to see Cypress Hill I wanted to pop into HHV.de which was a record shop I used to shop from back in the day.. In there we bump into PMD from EPMD (they were playing elsewhere on the same night) and outside I bumped into Jeru the Damaja and DJ Diamond and had a lengthy discussion about hip hop back in the day and a DJ battle between Roc Raida and Lord Finesse – where apparently Lord Finesse won!

Sugai's playlist

22nd March 2018Comments are off for this post.

Big Chill Presents | UK Reggae Revival

BC: So Nick, this week’s Big Chill Presents playlist is dedicated to the legend Bob Marley, in honour of his birthday, what can we expect from your selection?

RR: Having got into Bob Marley & The Wailers prior to Catch a Fire in my teens (don’t do the maths) I chose a selection from early Rocksteady, through to the Lee Perry produced releases, onto his early Island recordings with Chris Blackwell and his subsequent rise as a world superstar. I’ve tried to capture a sense of his writing through Bob and the Wailers career which includes my favourites tracks and ones I always get requested at my reggae nights. However with this body of work including all the remixes 10 choices is always difficult.

BC: How long have you been running UK Reggae Revival for?

RR: I am a musician and regularly gig around East London area ( I don’t go far now) but reggae has always been something that touched me as a youngster. As such I’ve always bought a lot of reggae. About two years ago I started doing a couple of nights in my local area just for friends and family in pubs. From this it just took off though I never started out to be a gigging DJ and now I have regular gigs every month. For me I think it’s worked because I play that real cross section of Reggae and tend to stay pretty close the original sound (don’t play no bashment) though I do play classic dancehall and current acts. Whenever I play I always like to be friendly and welcoming to everyone and I don’t mind requests for tracks as it’s about everyone enjoying the night.

BC: Reggae is timeless, why do you think people have such love for it?

RR: It always baffled me as a youngster that reggae was not taken seriously and rarely heard on the BBC. However you can now hear in dance mixes the influences of producers such as Lee Perry, King Tubby etc. with drop outs and such. Also from my kids and son-in-law Al who often plays alongside me. I certainly think Jungle and Dnb have through sampling (Congo Natty) and artists such as Shy FX have introduced reggae to a younger audience. Also people forget the influence of Don Letts as he was the man who introduced reggae to the punk kids back in the late 70s and of course Rodigan. When I play I am always surprised at the age, gender and cultural mix of reggaes appeal which is now world wide.

BC: What was the first reggae song you bought?

RR: Like most people of my age the first album I bought was Tighten Up Vol 2 (1969) which was a classic sampler of Trojans artists and remains a classic reggae album. From there I started getting into the more roots side and then discovered toasters such as U Roy, I Roy, Dennis Al Capone and my top fav Big Youth. From there I was hooked.

BC: Apart from your sets at Big Chill, what other music nights in London would you recommend paying a visit too?

RR: Big Chill is always a great place to play as there is such a mix, you can be any age any anyone and feel relaxed in the bar. The bar in The Theatre Royal Stratford East like the Big Chill is a really friendly and relaxed atmosphere and they like old skool reggae. Also the Red Lion Leytonstone has a good mix of DJ’s in the bar and well known DJ’s playing up in the Ballroom.

BC: Finally, if you were hosting a dinner party, who would you invite (alive or passed) and what would you cook them?

RR: I do all the cooking at home and would probable cook some sort of curry or casserole so I don’t have to stand around cooking and can entertain my guests.

Guests would be

David Rodigan Legendary BBC radio presenter and reggae aficionado

Don Letts DJ, film maker and musician who loves a lot of bass

Kirsty Young TV and Radio presenter (Desert Island Discs but not much reggae)

Steve McQueen Screen Writer and Director

John Peel Who wouldn’t want Peel

Richard Prior Comedian, Writer & Actor

Shane Meadows Writer and film director

Rebecca Front Actor & writer

Explain That Album

We’ve changed up our regular Explain that Gram section this week and picked some classic Reggae albums, can you tell us what you like about them.

Catch A Fire - Bob Marley & The Wailers: would be my first choice and definitely an album that changed reggae music. Back in the day I was living down in Kent so no big record shops. I’d read about Bob Marley & The Wailers upcoming first release for Island. I went to my local electrical shop (no records shops then) and went to the back in the small record section to pre order my copy, then waited for weeks for it to turn up. Though a recognised classic now this album didn’t really sell that well (zippo lighter cover). Now you can buy the CD of the original recordings the Wailers did back in Jamaica and then listen to what Chris Blackwell did as a producer. Whatever you think of Blackwell (sorry Peter) I don’t feel the Wailers music would have been so well-known without his production and marketing.

Funky Kingston - Toots & The Maytals: this album has got some classic tracks that still get regularly requested today. Toots has been around from the early days of reggae and has a voice with such gravitas that is enhanced by the harmonies of the Maytals. Put on Louie Louie, Funky Kingston , Pressure Drop, Country Roads and you’ll still get a reaction form the groovers. Not only is that Toots is still performing live. What’s not to like?

Israelites - Desmond Decker and The Aces. Back in the day you rarely heard any reggae on the radio which was either BBC or Radio Caroline (hence Nicky Thomas’ It’s A Long Walk To The BBC (check it out) ).Sometimes you could get reggae hour on Radio London on the Medium Wave (look it up you youngsters) so unless you were living next door to the radio station it would come in and out of reception. So Desmond Decker Israelites and It Mek were nuggets of gold to be savoured. If you knew he would be on Top of the Pops you would eagerly wait for Thursday night (after Tomorrows World) to see reggae on TV. Back in the 80s you could also regularly see Desmond Decker playing in the Oval Pub in Kennington (just down the road from Brixton). Even today you drop any classic Desmond Decker tune and from 9 to 99 year olds will dance. Classic.

Nick's Playlist

21st March 2018Comments are off for this post.

Big Chill Presents | Sai

BC: As Big Chill King’s Cross’s music programmer, resident DJ, party thrower and friend, you are very much a part of the Big Chill family, how many years has it been now?

SAI: It’ll be 6 years in July since my first party at Big Chill Brick Lane!

BC: What boxes do DJs have to tick for you to book them to play at Big Chill King’s Cross?

SAI: They have to be versatile, able to play to any crowd with a good selection. And they have to be able to work well with others!

BC: For anyone thinking about becoming a music programmer talk us through a typical day.

SAI: Every day I’m looking for new ideas for events, listening to new mixes, keeping on top of DJ’s availabilities and working to keep the right DJ’s playing at the right parties in terms of musicality and keeping that music calendar up to date!

BC: You run numerous popular nights all over the UK, which would you say is your favourite night to put on and why?

SAI: ‘That’s So 90s’ is my favourite party to put on and play because it’s the music I grew up too, and it is always good vibes! I’m very pleased to share that this year That’s So 90s will have a monthly residency at Big Chill King’s Cross, playing the last Saturday of each month. We have lots of great themed nights in the pipe line so watch this space!

BC: A little birdy tells us that you are currently travelling, where abouts in the world are you and do you think travelling influences your music?

SAI: I’m currently in El Nido in the Philippines, drinking tequila! Travelling influences my music a lot, for my stag in Malaga we stumbled across a huge Reggaeton festival which led me to come home and start my ‘Reggaeton Party’ which is the biggest of its kind right now!

BC: On a night out, what’s your go to Big Chill drink?

SAI: Big Tea Party! Your version of a Long Island is my kinda drink.

BC: We are all really excited for the Big Chill King’s Cross refurb, what things have you got planned for the venue once it re-opens its doors?

SAI: We’ve got exciting new resident DJ’s joining the rotation, and a new music policy for Saturday nights. It’s gonna be a big year!

Explain That Gram

We’ve taken inspiration from a Big Chill favourite Hot Ones, [check it out if unfamiliar] for this segment called “Explain That ‘Gram,” whereby we’ve checked out your Instagram and selected a number of pics at random that we would like you to tell us the bigger story behind each one?

2 years ago, me playing with DJ Yella from NWA at Big Chill King’s Cross. One of the highlights of my DJing career.

This is my pug Bizkit when she was a puppy, she’s one of my biggest fans and carries my gear to every gig for me.

This is me playing at a pool party in Croatia, one of the best pool parties I’ve been to! It was on the Shorebitch stage for Fresh Island Festival which is one of Europe's biggest Hip-Hop festivals going.

Sai's playlist

big chill kings cross
257-259 Pentonville Road,
London N1 9NL

020 7427 2540
[email protected]

big chill brick lane
Dray Walk,
London E1 6QL

020 7392 9180
[email protected]