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Proxius - Lust In Space

Hard Dance Awards preview with Andy Whitby

Reported by mostwantedkat / Submitted 08-12-06 00:23

I had a best friend called Whitby. She had a brother called Andy. Andy was a DJ. He played deep house and breaks (and was also really rather good I might add). One day whilst meandering through the concrete jungle that is our glorious second city of Birmingham, I happened to walk past a massive poster for Sundissential. There emblazoned across the whole thing in huge letters was the name Andy Whitby. F*ck me, I thought, that’s one hell of a change of musical direction.

It turned out that it wasn’t my best friend’s brother after all. There was, evidently, another DJ called Andy Whitby. Once I noticed that poster, all the other hard house posters in the city seemed to carry his name too. And it wasn’t just Birmingham. He was hitting London, the North, East, South and West - all of a sudden the name Andy Whitby was everywhere.

He didn’t feel like a mere breath of fresh air either. This was akin to a full force musical hurricane blowing through clubland and giving more than a few people a run for their money in the headliner stakes.

And one more thing — he was playing bounce! You could practically hear the sound of hard dance purists falling everywhere as their beloved duff duff/pneumatic drill was replaced, God forbid, with a vocal...

Only a few years later and Andy Whitby has the kind of fanatical following most DJs would sell their grannies for and throw their eye teeth into the bargain too. Clubbers absolutely love him, and it’s a feeling that’s quite clearly returned.

Next year, on February 24th, Andy will be ripping it up at the Brixton Academy for the hugely anticipated Hard Dance Awards 2006 (www.harddanceawards.com). As part of our run-up to the event HarderFaster gets the exclusive on what it’s like to be the saviour of hard dance...




I’ll be honest: your bio on your website makes you out to be the Messiah of hard dance — is that how you see yourself?

*Laughs* Of course I don’t view myself like that!

The biog was written by Tidy reviewer/interviewer Rupert The Bear of www.rupert-the-bear.com fame. He offered to write it, and considering he’s seen every DJ in hard-dance play many times and reports for the biggest label in our scene I’m very flattered that he feels so strongly about my music.

Beforehand, he followed me around to a few gigs, saw how things happened, how people react to what I do and came up with the piece. He also noted someone stole the opening for the start of a Kutski interview recently, so he must be onto a winner if people are stealing his ideas.

Things like that and the whole saviour tag, that’s all my PR team’s work, using ways the media has labelled me and the way my career has progressed. I don’t sit around the house calling myself the messiah of hard-dance, as that would be both strange and a tad insane. Remember kids, first rule of being a professional: Never read or believe your own press.

How do you rate yourself as a DJ and producer?

I don’t really think about things like that. I just do what I do and try to make sure everyone’s having fun; the clubber is my priority. I try to ensure that whoever’s on the dancefloor when I’m playing is having a good night and goes home feeling they got their money’s worth. After all, they’ve worked all week and looked forward to coming out so it’s only fair that I deliver them a great night.

Regarding production, it’s the same thing. I want people to hear an Andy Whitby track and enjoy it, want to listen to it over and over. I’m still learning new things every time I go into the studio and I’m really happy with the way my tracks are progressing. 2007 will really be a step up for me, as I intend to put out a lot more material, concentrate on a lot of original tracks and really pioneer a hard but happy production style.

Who else do you rate and why?

Anyone that brings anything new to our scene; anything fun, exciting and different but at the same time staying true to themselves and their fans, not selling out to a different ‘cooler’ music.

You have to have your own ‘take’ on the music, like mine is euphoric bouncy fun hard-dance with a combination of new and old material mixed together in my unique way.

Who would you consider to be the most influential people in your career?

My family, Cally Gage, my three best friends Nathalie, Mike and Steve, Will Paterson, Chloe Leeks and more recently Roman. All these people make the World of Whitby a tad less hectic place; they’re a team of really great people.

Going right back to the start, you really did go from zero to hero. One minute you’re stacking tuna in the Co-Op, the next you’re the big Kahuna. How did it feel when Will from Frantic called you up?

I wouldn’t say I went from zero you cheeky thing!

I was working in the Co-op as I was at Art College in Northwich and Music College in Manchester, so I needed the extra money after doing my A-Levels (I got 4, before you ask!) to afford all the travelling between them.

At this time I was also playing basketball for the County and in a Manchester league. So things were hectic but my mind was becoming more and more occupied by DJ’ing.

My parents always told me to make sure you have lots of back-up plans in life in case things don’t work out, so I went with education, art, basketball, music. . . and I chose music.

When the call came from Lisa Porter to arrange a meeting with him (Will), it was a bit surreal, made more so when I got there and it was in the poshest restaurant I’ve ever been in. He laid it all out for me; why he wanted to sign me, how we would work together and so on. For me it was a dream come true, Will Paterson and Frantic are the best in the business.

This was just over 2 years ago and although it feels like a lifetime, I’m just getting started.

He’s been really instrumental in supporting you — how much do you owe him and what’s your relationship with him like?

I owe him a great deal as he gave me the belief that we could really achieve some incredible goals. He’s by far the busiest man in this scene and yet whenever I need to discuss anything with him he’s there; there’s never a bad time for me to call him about something.

On a personal level, he’s both my manager and my friend, which is something of a rarity in most business sides of life.

When I really think about it, the way it’s all come together is just crazy; I was probably the only DJ he’ll ever sign off the back of a mix CD and throw into a 1am peak time slot in front of 4500 people at HHA. To be the main resident of Frantic and to have his support is a feeling I can’t really put into words.



You had to make a difficult choice between your original first love of basketball and your second passion of hard house. What was it about mixing that swung it for you?

I just found myself thinking about it more and more. For a while I was doing both, playing basketball during the days in the week and then mixing in my room at the weekends. Slowly but surely the DJ’ing started taking higher priority until it all came to a head while playing at an All-Star Camp in the Lake District. I ended up walking out and have never played since.

Can you do a killer slam dunk?

I can indeed! I was the only person in Helsby High School 6th Form that could do one! *laughs*

What’s the best move you can do with a ball?

Apart from dunking, I can do whatever you want me to do with a ball sunshine! *winks*

Who in your opinion is the greatest player of all time, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal or someone else?

Michael Jordan with a doubt. His drive, desire and constant innovation to improve and better himself is something I try and model myself on, he’s a true inspiration to millions of people world-wide.

What is it about basketball that gets you buzzing?

The passion, the hi-octane end-to-end action, the skill-level… basketball is just a great game to watch and to play!

Do you go and watch any basketball games? If you do, who’s your favourite team?

I don’t have time to go anymore, but if NBA’s on the TV I might try and grab a few minutes watching it. Like football, I don’t have a favourite team; I just appreciate the skill and passion involved.

Do you ever get a slight twinge of regret when you watch the big guys playing on the court?

Sometimes, when I think about what would have happened if I’d carried on pursuing my dreams of making it as a basketball player I do.

When I quit I was playing the best basketball of my life, I was going against the best young players in the country and holding my own, so there’s a chance I could have made it professionally. Still, I wouldn’t change my life for anyone’s so I’m not complaining.



What’s the reaction like when you get to a gig? Have you ever feared for the shirt on your back?

When I get to some gigs things do get a tad wild, when I played at Storm at the Works earlier this year Garbo had to get a security guard to take me out as I was getting mobbed. That happens quite a lot now, but I find it very flattering that people want to take time out of their nights to come and tell me how much they enjoyed my set, it means a lot to me.

Do you have any fanmail? What’s the most psychotic thing you’ve ever had through the post?

I do get fanmail, not much to my house as I don’t give out my address, but emails, pms, messages, photos and so on.

Most of it is amazing; the support and kind words people send me really make my day, but every now and then you get some crazy people, mostly girls, sending photos, or asking for things I can’t really repeat. All very flattering and a perk of being a DJ I guess.

You really get into your sets when you’re playing. Do you get into a sort of ‘zone’ with the music? Do the records, decks, mixer and speaker become an extension of yourself?

Definitely, that’s exactly how I feel. For the time I’m in that booth I feel more at ease than any other aspect of my life, I feel like this is what I was put here to do, which although sounds very strange, is how I feel.

There’s no feeling on this planet like the one I have when the whole club is rocking, and you feel that you’re in total control of that moment, you become one with the clubber and can’t help but smile.

Music is obviously a powerful way for you to express yourself. How good at communicating are you once you get away from the decks? Are you chatty or quite quiet?

It depends really. Usually I have two or three sets in an evening so sometimes I can’t stick around to chat like I would want to, I have to leave straight away. Off the decks however I am quite quiet, I prefer to stand there and relax with friends in a club, not draw attention to myself like some crazed party animal.

What do you like to do apart from mix and produce? Any mental hobbies?

During the week I like to be in the studio on Mondays and Fridays, then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are spent doing interviews, practising, answering emails & messages so the only time I get to do other stuff is usually very late at night. When I do get this time I love playing on Xbox live, or relaxing with friends. On Tuesday nights I go for a nice meal with Driver Mike aswell, lovely!

How dedicated are you to your career? Do you have a long-term goal in mind?

Music is my life, plain and simple.

From the second I wake up, to the moment I fall asleep, I’m all about music, and I think to really make it in this industry you have to be like that. I sleep, eat and breath hard house. When I get a new track or do a new mix I really love I feel it through my whole body!

My long-term goals are just to see how far I can take this feeling; to share my music and mixing with clubbers and people who want to hear it, and converting those who don’t! Also to keep having fun, enjoying life and basically taking in every moment of the rollercoaster that is Whitbyworld! *laughs*

Even though you’re massive in the UK you haven’t actually been around for that long. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What direction would you like to push yourself in?

Five years is a long time, and I’ll still be under 30 so who knows what will be happening?

I’d like to be playing out of the UK more, possibly more than I play in it, just so I know I’m moving the rest of the world towards our scene. I’d like my label to be well established and I’d just like to keep pushing myself as an artist and performer.



Obviously the Hard Dance Awards 2006 are coming up. How important is it for you to win?

The H.D.A’s are always interesting as it gives the fans a chance to have their say and vote for their favourite acts’n’tracks. Everyone wants to win, as it means the hard work pays off. I look forward to seeing who wins what!

You’re playing at their massive party at the Brixton Academy on Saturday February 24th — are you looking forward to it? It’s going to be a big one!

Brixton Academy. . .what a venue!!! It’s definitely in my top three venues in the country, so to be playing there again after so many incredible HHA memories means it’s going to be one hell of a night!

4500 hardhouse nutters packed into one venue can only lead to an amazing night, I can’t wait! See you at the front!!

How are you planning to get everyone to vote for you?

You can’t make people vote for you as that would be cheating! You just hope people enjoy what you do.

The Awards this year are no longer the lovely golden glowsticks — what do you think they should be instead?

Are they not?! How disappointing! I was hoping they’d keep them the same! Now if I do win anything it’ll look odd next to the other 2!

Finally, what does 2007 have in store for you? What are your ambitions for the year?

Well in brief; two labels, bigger gigs, more international and more dancefloor rocking! I can’t wait for 2007 to start, I can sense it’s going to be a great year for hard-dance!

All pictures courtesy of www.andywhitby.com. Not to be reproduced or used without prior permission


Hard Dance Awards
Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Saturday 24th February 2007
At: Brixton Academy [map]

From: 21:00 - 06:00
Cost: £22.50 / MOTD
Website: www.harddanceawards.com
Ticket Info: Carling Brixton Academy Box Office - 0870 7771 2000

www.ticketweb.co.uk - 08700 600 100

www.harddanceawards.com

Never Enough Maria - 07813 684 399
www.toomuchbutneverenough.com

Cyberdog (Camden Market) - 0207 482 2842

Coaches
Cardiff coaches - Calling in Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and Swindon
- Call Jon on 07900 055 090

Milton Keynes & Surrounding area - Call Yojo or Colin on
07849 375 534 or e-mail cyberkittenkitten_events_uk@yahoo.co.uk
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: By now you all know that we’re taking over the BRIXTON ACADEMY for the ultimate celebration of the hard dance scene, recorded ecxlusively by MTV for a one hour special. You’ve put a big red ring around FEBRUARY 24th 2007 and you’re already locked in fierce debate on the message boards as to who should get what award. Now here’s even more information to get in a state about…

VOTE HARD!
Click through to www.harddanceawards.com and get a load of our fabulous new site. With Top 10s for the year from the scene’s biggest artists, interviews with some of hard dance’s brightest stars and all you need to know about voting in the Awards, it’s our brand spanking new home and we’re very proud of it.

Voting is free to do and all categories are open except the Lifetime Achievement Award (see below). You can vote for anyone and have your say in who’s doing it right!

This year we have added two new categories; LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and BEST INTERNATIONAL EVENT. The shortlist for the LFA has been voted for by the Hard Dance Awards committee and represents a selection of hard dance heroes without whom the scene would be a different place today. Plus we’ve introduced the Best International Event
category to cope with the thousands of fans voting from around the world. We want to see who is the biggest force outside the UK is!

Event organiser and the man behind the whole show, ED REAL is your host with the most alongside a mouth watering selection of industry characters lending a helping hand. In a change from previous years, the ceremony itself will be split up into three 15 minutes sections. LISA LASHES & LISA PIN UP, ANNE SAVAGE and ROB TISSERA, and the TIDY BOYS will each have a quarter of an hour to present a clutch of these highly sought after awards in between some stunning live acts and DJ sets.

GET TICKETS
As expected, all Early Bird tickets for this event have sold out in record time. But for only £22.50 you could be having it large with 4,499 other mental clubbers and all your favourite DJs. Putting it into context, that’s 4 packets of cigarettes, 36 packets of Max Flavour Paprika crisps or 21 Pot Noodles. To be precise. Want one (a ticket we mean)? Then just log on to www.ticketweb.co.uk and get yours before they all vanish in to thin air and you miss out on the biggest party of the year!

SPONSORS & MEDIA PARTNERS
MTV will be filming inside the venue for an hour long special programme about the event.

FACEPARTY, the world’s biggest party, will be joining us in all their glory to present the FACEPARTY AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL EVENT, which you can vote for in the coming weeks at www.faceparty.com.

PIONEER are giving us a brand new Pioneer CDJ1000 worth £800 to give away to one lucky voter who has their say on www.harddanceawards.com

TRACKITDOWN.NET is administering the voting process for the fourth year running. With over 3,500 dance labels supplying 100,00 tracks, www.trackitdown.net is the home of digital dance music online.

M8 MAGAZINE is the No 1 place to find out all the info you need to know about this years Ceremony. Keep your eyes peeled over the coming months for interviews and competitions as well as the exclusive 48 page Hard Dance Awards booklet in February’s issue.
Flyer:
Region: London
Music: Hard Trance. House. Hard House. Breaks.
DJ's: Edison Factor LIVE
K90 LIVE
Lisa Lashes
Tidy Boys
BK
Lisa Pinup
Anne Savage
Rob Tissera
Ed Real

Mark EG
Proteus
Amber D
Alex Kidd
Andy Whitby
Nick Sentience
Kevin Energy
Organ Donors
Scott Attrill
Jason Cortez B2B Phil York
Mark H
Andy T b2b Olly Perris
Brian M vs McBunn
Steve Gillen
Chris Pollock
Avaline
Krunchie
Big Ben
Matt Handy
Dirty Cowboys
Steelo
Ben Gomori (Dex n fx)
Three Amigos

Who's Going? (172) : $CARLEY$, *GARBO*, *TIDYK, *TWIRLY*, -David-, 2-shay, ALIMITCH, Andy T, annomaly, antanas, anushka007, Baby Ali, BakLash Sister, Barleymow, Barry Harding, beagle, Ben Gomori, Ben Stevens, bennett, BeNRG, Big Ben, BottleofWater, budha, bugsy505, Busta, Cardinal Difference, chrisdstress, Claire99, Col B, cooper26, Craig Paxton, Crimson - Crazy Fool, Crystal-J, Curruscu, cyberkitten zoe, czech_m8, dani d, DanJ, Danny Luu, DANNY TAPPENDEN, Darren B, Dave Austin, Dave S, Davey_Boy, Denny wallace, DigitalSushi, Dj Brad Lee, dodgyneighbour, dori, Dé Daaan!!!, Ed Real, Element7, Elvis, Euphoria, Fab-Ab, Fabio, farhada, FL!P, flashbak events, Flashie Becks, fluffylizzy, FrankyB, frogsareslightlylooser, Fu[b]ar, garyoptim, Georgie-AKA-Vera, Getonit, giedriux, Gosia, guy garrett, Hardcore honey!!, HarderFaster, HarderFaster Editorial, Hels, Holly-Anna, Hot Chips, J-E-Z-A, Jailson, Jaja Bling, James Jaye, Janie Mac, Jenbongo, jfw64, Jim Wild, JOELENE, Justin Time, K8-e, karl davis, Karma, KennyKen, knoxy, KOSTYA, Less is Bat, lil miss cheeky, LilVik, lisa loon, little devil, Little-miss-SJ, lollypop_lisa, Lorenzo Barrero, Lovable_raver, luke warner, Lya76, madame whiplash, madjojo, madmichele, Maria, MARK H, MarkyMark, marlou, Matt, MATT HANDY, matthilton, Mea, minno, Mistah Col - CK, mostwantedkat, Neil Farnham, Nicky Hype, Nikki S, Nixx, nuttony, Olly Perris, ORPHEUS, pablo, Paul Divine, paul jack, Pickled Pat, PolysexualBex, prinq, purplepodium, PySiKE, Raf E, ravechick, rick-hard, Riff and Raff, ronjac, saleee, SaraS, SEBASTIEN, SERG., Sheldon, simmo6969, Simon Eve, Sonic_chick_, sortedchick, STACE, steelo kuchiki, Steve Gillen, stevecowie, Stevo Stevenage, sub zero, Tam aka Chardonnay, Tariq, techno-bird, Terrible Tara, TheLegendthatISRoy, Timmy Whiz, Tina Martin, top pecker, Trev29, Trevor McLachlan, Ugniukas, uvraver, Vikki Ward, xxhelzxx, Y, Yojo - Cyberkitten, ziob, ziubas, zuzana, ~deleted26080 
HF Photographer: Crimson - Crazy Fool HF Reviewer:

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Other Features By mostwantedkat:
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
Comments:

From: Lucy Fur on 8th Dec 2006 09:10.36
Good read Andy! Its DJs like u that that keeps this scene alive!

Have a good xmas- see u NYD! Heartbeat

From: Dj Brad Lee on 8th Dec 2006 13:45.40
Great interview Andy! Keep up the good work.

From: BeNRG on 8th Dec 2006 16:54.00
Bring it on! Amsterdam Invasion coming your way!

From: Andy Rise on 8th Dec 2006 17:53.58
Wicked interview man, a lots happened since 'The Edge' days hehe, speak to ya soon bro Smile

From: Claire99 on 12th Dec 2006 08:16.40
A great read, don't go back basketball ....keep the bounce going in clubland instead! :9)

From: molesy on 13th Dec 2006 19:27.51
Nice one Andy! It's great to hear a DJ being down to earth n still himself! Look forward to hearing ya at the tidy weekender at NY ;-)

From: mace on 22nd Dec 2006 03:13.41
rofl look at that bling bling xD

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