Q&A: Red Greg
Tom Mortimer of Aerosoul chats to their next guest, esteemed disco collector and DJ, Red Greg.
On the 4th of May we are honoured to have our first year of partying signed off by the one and only Red Greg. We’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with the man himself before both of our debuts at HiFi. With over 20 years experience of lighting up dance floors around the world with the likes of Floating Points and previous Aerosoul party starter Mafalda, its easy to see why we’re so excited for this.
How did you get started out as a DJ and what was the first genre you started to play out?
“I was born in the 70s, so records were the main format for music to be played on. So like most households we had records laying about everywhere, across all genres. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I thought about DJ’ing. Due to being influenced by London Sound Systems. I played mostly soulful music back then, street soul, 2-step and boogie type records, things like Bobby Nunn, Lillo Thomas and Sybil Thomas were favourites.”
What was the first disco record you fell in love with?
“I’d have to say Casanova by Coffee, that’s one that really got stuck in my head as a kid because it used to get played at street parties and the local kiddy disco.”
2017 seemed like a wonderful year for you with some of the parties you got to play all over the world. Which one stands out to you as the highlight?
“I never knew if I was coming or going in 2017, there were so many amazing parties and festivals in beautiful locations. Personally Australia was a real highlight because it was my first tour with the Crown Ruler guys. Which was two ‘You’re a Melody’ sessions b2b with Floating Points in Sydney and Melbourne, then I spent a few days enjoying the sun before a couple of solo gigs in Adelaide and Perth.”
Which international dates are you looking forward to the most this year? Have you ever played up in Leeds before? Being a Londoner, what’s the difference between playing down south and up North in your experience?
“I’m looking forward to playing at Nomads in Amsterdam again this year, which is always fun. I normally play the Lumberjacks stage but I’ve been asked to play the Mona stage this year, with Nick V and crew, so that’ll be good fun because I have a long history of playing Mona in Paris. There’s quite a few places I haven’t played before, Bucharest, Croatia, Oslo and Lanzarote, so really excited to be playing these new places. Also it’ll be my first Dimensions and Suncebeat, so looking forward to these. I’ve never actually played in Leeds before, so not sure what to expect. I’d say crowds are pretty loose up north and really appreciate the weekend. I’ve noticed northerners usually head straight to the dance floor before the bar, which is something I mostly see around Europe and not too often down south. Saying that, I think venues play a big part in setting the mood for people to feel relaxed.”
How on earth did you get a copy of Just One Dance Before You Go?
“I picked that up years ago, surprisingly in the UK. It was a top want for sometime but has now become a track I’m known for playing and often get asked to play, which is cool. I’ve been talking to the band and it looks like a reissue is imminent.”
Have you managed to get your hands on most of the records you’ve been after since you first started collecting, or are there still a few that have escaped your grasp?
“There’s loads of records I want but eventually many do show up. Although there is one record that’s absolutely impossible to find. I’ve been looking for a decade and there’s still no info online. I do know one collector with a copy and he has me in mind if he decides to sell, so there is still hope.”
We’ve noticed that you love to play Over and Over in your sets. We firmly believe that not many songs can get a crowd going quite like that. Which other records would you say you can always rely on?
“I fell in love with Over and Over again after playing it at festivals and to larger audiences. It always worked well in small dark basements but to see the reactions on a larger scale was pretty special. A real party classic would be Freak D’Afrique by Flic, never fails with a fun party crowd. Too cheesy for the chin strokers but who cares about them.”
Red Greg will be playing an extended 4 hour set at Hi-Fi on the 4th of May. Tickets available on Resident Advisor.
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