Wilin’ Out with DJ Zinc

It’s been 23 years since DJ Zinc first made his way onto the scene with his fabled debut track “Super Sharp Shooter”. With Sheffield institution The Tuesday Club celebrating their 19th Birthday next month, we got the chance to chat to the genre-hopping DJ, who has shared a long and seminal past with the club night ahead of his 3-hour headline set on 7th November.

You go way back with the Tuesday club, don’t you?
Yeah, the first time I played there I remember thinking to myself: ‘Who’s going to go to a club night on a Tuesday?’ I was surprised to turn up and experience such a good event; it’s so impressive they have kept the club operating at such a high level for so long.

Your production has found its way into a wide range of genres over your career including jungle, hip-hop, drum‘n’bass, house and UK garage. Have your DJ sets evolved with your production, or do you tend to separate the two?
When I started buying records, the scene I was into was acid house, then I followed the evolution of that through to jungle and drum‘n’bass. After producing ‘138 Trek’ I could have taken the opportunity to broaden my DJ sets but I stuck to playing drum ‘n’ bass; it felt like the right thing to do. Around 2005/6 I was getting bored with it, so I started experimenting with other genres, and then I decided to start making house around 2008. I started paying mixed genre sets a few years ago and have done so ever since. It feels right.

We’re loving your new release “Full House”, which features Jack Beats, Holy Goof, Chris Lorenzo, MJ Cole, Shift K3Y and My Nu Leng. What made you approach such a range of artists?
They all produce the music I play in my DJ sets, particularly the house orientated stuff.

You have sold over 1,000,000 physical records throughout your career, is there any reason why your latest release “Full House” hasn’t been released on vinyl?
That 1 million figure was worked out for an interview a few years ago, it relates to the tracks that I made and released on labels I owned or part owned, like Bingo and Playaz. It doesn’t include the tracks I made whilst signed to other labels like Super Sharp Shooter etc. I’m not sure why they wanted to know, the number gets repeated a bit! I don’t think we’ll release the full house EP on vinyl, it’s not really where my head’s at.

Your track “Wile Out” with Ms. Dynamite, arguably gave you the most commercial success of your career. Did you adapt your style at all because of this?
My DJ sets never changed, but it helped me establish myself in the bass house scene.

You’ve got 3 hours at this Tuesday Club, do you enjoy playing longer sets?
Sometimes an hour works well, but on some occasions a longer set means I can really dig deep and try to find gems along the way.

Your musical roots lie in pirate radio. How has it influenced your career in the long run?Pirate had and still has a massive influence on my career – if I hadn’t grown up in London listening to it my life would have been very different.

You grew up in East London – how did that have an effect on you musically speaking?
East London meant pirates and mixed culture, which helped me loads.

You’re playing at The Warehouse Project in Manchester at the 15 years of Metropolis night with Chase and Status. Do you enjoy playing big events like WHP? How do you feel about the changes going on in club culture?
I love playing at big and small clubs alike, they’re different but both really fun.

You always seem to have your finger on the pulse of what’s huge in rave music. What does the future hold for DJ Zinc and UK dance music?
I have no idea, but maybe that’s the best way to be? I like having no fixed idea and just going with what feels good on the night.

DJ Zinc plays The Tuesday Club’s 19th Birthday on 7th November. Tickets are available from £6.05 here.

Words: Ben Slater

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