Right now it doesn't get much bigger than Jamie Jones when it comes to dance music. Voted Resident Advisor's number one DJ of 2011, he has mustered a strong global following, landed his own night at DC-10 and stamped his imprint all over a thriving house and techno scene. In between his frantically busy schedule before he plays at Rio's Chemical Music Festival this holiday weekend, we managed to chat with him about Earl Grey tea, Ibiza and the universe...
You were voted #1 DJ on Resident Advisor for 2011. For all us lay people out there, what does a day in the life of Jamie Jones consist of?
It depends on whether I'm in London or on the road, which tends to be about half and half at the moment. When I am at home, I wake up, have some Earl Grey tea (which I drink a lot of), and spend a good few hours going through emails and checking out music that people send me. The rest of the day, if I’m in London, will almost always be spent in the studio. The truth is work consumes most of my time whether it's travelling, Djing or making music. I'm trying to fit in a girlfriend at the moment (and I'm just about managing!), which is difficult, but worth it.
On top of this personal accolade, your label Hot Creations has grown immensely since its inception. Did you ever expect such great success from the label?
I never think about success when I start projects, I think it's the wrong way to begin, I start things out of passion, whether they work or not. I mean obviously I try my best and expect a lot from myself, and I guess part of that is expecting success, but I try to focus on the task rather than the results. Saying that, I'm very, very proud that the label has been so well received.
The label has definitely managed to cultivate a signature sound. How important is originality in today's day and age?
For me one of the most valuable commodities on this planet is originality - it's something that people will always crave, and it's something that I aspire to and am deeply attracted to.
Your new single 'Benediction' as part of Hot Natured has recently breached the UK Top 40. What has been the reaction to this more mainstream success from your fanbase?
I think, in fact I'm sure, that most of my fanbase are happy that we are making music, which they can connect with, but that also can reach a mainstream audience. There are, of course, people out there who will dismiss something as soon as it becomes popular - in my opinion those people are not true music lovers. I personally can appreciate all types of music, it all has a place in this world and a time where it works in some way for someone. I'm happy that my taste allows me to experience niche music before most people a lot of the time, but I also don't care if I am two years late discovering a band, it's just about music, nothing else.
This summer saw the inauguration of your party Paradise in its takeover of DC-10 in Ibiza. How did this come about and did you achieve what you had set out to do with this venture?
I was confronted with several options in Ibiza, which opened my eyes to the fact that maybe it was the right time to have my own party. Some of the offers, if I’m honest, would have made me a lot of money, but I did not want to lose my connection with DC-10 - luckily they didn’t want me to go to another club, so they offered me my own night. It worked out really well, as we brought something new, we transformed the club every week for my night Paradise, and brought in some interesting DJs such as, Metro Area, DJ Koze and DJ Harvey, to name a few, as well as our favourites like Maceo Plex and Art Department. Each week was special and the closing was epic too, with the terrace and the main room going crazy all night – I was super happy.
What are the challenges that come with running a label, promoting a club night, studio time and of course countless gigs on top?
Just finding time to have normal things like relationships and seeing my family. Also balancing time between each part of my work is hard - it means not a lot of sleep, but I love it. I think also I am a control freak, so even with many people working for me, I still have to know everything that’s happening – I probably should learn to let go a little, but it’s hard, as this whole thing is like my baby…
I’m fairly new to Rio myself, but what is the biggest attraction to this city for you?
Hehe, ummm…. I like the energy – it’s like a postcard, like what you’ve always seen in the movies, so it's nice just to sit back and take it all in. The food is also really great here, in all of Brazil to be honest.
You are the sensei at the forefront of the dance music scene. Accordingly, who are some artists to watch out for?
There are so many new talents now from Europe, but i would say my favourite rising DJ is Richy Ahmed, and I would say my favourite rising producer is wAFF. Then you have guys from here - Digitaria, Funky Fat and HNQO - all super talented, and are going to be huge.
You have already achieved so much in such little time as a DJ and producer. Do you ever see yourself tiring of this career?
No, I love it too much. It may change - different projects, more time in the studio, less in parties (many years away!) but I will always be connected to the electronic music scene, as it has been such a huge part of my life since I was a teenager.
In an article I read of late, scientists until recently believed that dancing, moving in sync to a musical beat, was unique to humans. Do you believe animals too can feel the groove?
Hmm, If I’m honest I have no idea, but I believe that everything - humans, animals, the planet and universe, vibrate to a rhythm - whether music is playing or not. I guess music just makes that vibration more energetic and entertaining and memorable at certain moments.
- Jamie Jones plays Chemical Music Festival on 17 November