Article text taken from a DJ Sy interview with Eternity Magazine from 1995.
Sy is now 26, and started DJing when he was 15. He was just a normal club DJ, playing everything back then. There was a lot of hip hop music going which Sy liked playing. A few years later, early house started to be recognised in the UK, which once again Sy really got into playing a lot more in the club he was working in.
“I first started off in a wine bar, then I moved into a club. This was in Nottingham, I live in London now. It was just at the time when house music was becoming popular. I used to listen to a lot of the new tracks on pirate radio stations. I’d also listen to the DJs like Carl Cox. Then I’d get the records and play them at the club I worked at.”
While Sy was DJing in Nottingham, he didn’t really get much recognition until he was heard by Eddie Richards. Eddie was a guest down at the Venue Club and he heard Sy play. This was mentioned to Dynamics and Phil rang him and asked if he would like to work for them. This gave Sy the helping hand he needed to boost his career as a DJ. Once with Dynamics, he got work outside Nottingham. So, his name and his excellent scratching, which he has become famous for, was being recognised all over the country.
Sy’s style of music has progressed from the early days, but it still has that rough beats and the rolling bassline of his early taste in music. As Sy puts it “It is music from the street”. The correct name for it now is 4 beat, that’s the name all hardcore DJs are using. The definitive feature of this style of music is the 4 X 4 kick in it.
“I’m trying to go a little deeper with my music now, it’s gone really happy over the past year. This isn’t too bad because I like the happy stuff, but I’m getting fed up with the really cheesy tracks. I’m trying to steer clear of that and get a bit tougher and slightly deeper.”
In the last interview we asked Sy if he would play a fluffy set. Well, if you didn’t already know, he does. He plays quite uplifting house, and is especially popular up North, in places such as Leeds and Blackpool. Sy really likes house music and would like to play at more venues that cater for this style.
It would have been easier to play both house and hardcore at one venue a few years ago, but now the scene is too segregated, with just one musical taste being catered for each night at most clubs. This limits Sy to different sets he can play.
“Myself, I love jungle just as much as I like the happy stuff. I do prefer the happy stuff because of the crowd reaction, but if I go out all night DJing everywhere, I would get very bored with one style of music. It would be nice to play different styles at one event.”
The happy scene has exploded this past year with new clubs opening up everywhere and odd clubs dusting down the cobwebs and starting off new nights. Sy noticed the big uplift in the happy hardcore scene and loves playing anywhere in the South West and Wales, and also known clubs such as Kinetic, Diehard, Vibealite, Leisuredrome, Fusion, Dreamscape, United Dance and many others across the country.
He describes the crowds in this country “as good as everywhere”, but says there’s no madder people than in the South West! He has also played overseas, but much prefers playing in the UK.
“The scene in Europe is a bit weird, they are a bit behind the times. In Germany they will have techno, jungle and happy hardcore at one event which is a bit like in England was a couple of years ago. The jungle and happy hardcore is quite new to them, so they’re not really clued up on it.”
A lot of Sy’s spare time is taken up with making music now and is working on some very interesting projects. He has been really busy since about last Spring, and after giving up his day job, he has a lot more time to spend in the studio. Sy had done tracks for all the major happy hardcore labels, which have all been released now. He also did something called ‘Cheddar One’ which is released on Quosh Records.