The Moment I Decided To Be A DJ… What About You?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
dj career
Last updated 9 November, 2017


A flyer for Devilles, the club where the house penny dropped for me and my fate as a DJ was sealed. What was your ‘eureka’ moment?

I remember my moment really well, and actually there were two. The first one was at school, at maybe 15, when I DJed an end-of-term party. I realised it was a way to get through social occasions without feeling crushingly shy or awkward – I was one of those kids who dreaded crowds of people, especially girls, and wanted to run away! How crazy that I saw DJing – standing in front of all of my classmates – as a way to “escape” everyone, but I did. I could play records I loved, and I had a table between me and them…

The next was maybe six years later, when – a bit more confident and a lot more grown up – I was a diehard indie kid. We want to a small club in Manchester, England, which had an indie room and a house room. The indie room (our reason for being there) was dank, cold and nearly empty and (even to us) a bit boring. So after a beer, and with REM’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” playing, we decided to venture next door into a room playing music we thought we didn’t like… the house room.

I will never forget first walking into that room. Low ceiling, about 200 people. Heat, light, sweat, colour, noise! A huge rave tune blasting out of the oversized PA (The Prodigy – “Your Love”), and cheers greeting every drop. People dancing like I’d never seen before. By the end of that night, I knew instantly that I had to learn everything about what that DJ was doing with that music, where he got that music from, how he mixed it together like that.

So for me, I learned the “DJing” bit, then “the club DJing” bit separately (I was more a “mobile DJ” guy first). When I finally stopped DJing full-time for a living to start being a full-time writer and teacher of music/DJing (and dad), I’d been DJing full-time for 14 years, and in total, for 20 year. I’d bought my house outright from what I’d earned, and played in venues around the world. I’d met, booked and played next to most of my heroes. Man, I’ve got some stories! Yes, Devilles Nightclub in Manchester, I have a lot to be thankful to you for!

Thing is, I’m willing to bet many people are like me – they didn’t just drift into DJing, it literally saved their lives, turning them into who they are today. As a teenager, music was all I needed to get through, and as an adult, it told me what I wanted to do for the rest of my time here. So – we don’t often do this but today, I’d really like to hear your stories. What was your own “eureka!” moment? When did you decide you wanted to take this seriously? What happened next? Please take a little time to tell your tale below.

So, fire away, ricochet! Let’s have your stories about when and how DJing changed your life. Please leave yours in the comments below…

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