Interview with Lee Jarvis – London, UK

Lee Jarvis is one of the most exciting young DJs to emerge on the London scene, playing his own blend of fun-fueled jackin’ house, all mixed with his customary energy and passion. Lee has played at many of London’s major venues including Turnmills, Egg, The Cross, the Ministry of Sound, plus several UK, Europe and Chicago gigs.

Lee knows what makes a dancefloor move, having also run his own successful party, Moochin, for the last five years. It has become one of the most respected nights on the UK underground jackin’ scene, with a loyal crowd and featuring only the freshest new music, and guest DJs have included Massimo Dacosta, Giom, The Inland Knights, Jacob London, Joey Youngman, Lee Mortimer and many more.

Alongside his burgeoning DJ career, Lee has been perfecting his production skills and busy nights in the studio have resulted in some killer tracks for labels such as 4Kenzo, Lost My Dog and 1200 traxx. These have been picked up and supported by key players on the jackin’ scene, ranging from Mark Farina to Diz to Justin Long to Colette to Demarkus Lewis to Harold Heath.

With all this and more under his belt (Lee also works for the well respected Freerange Records making contact with leading DJs, producers, magazines and radio shows across the world), Lee is developing into a major talent and gaining international recognition. Over the next two years he will be spending much of his time in his spiritual home of Chicago but returning to the UK on a regular basis for DJ dates and to host Moochin parties. As one of the hottest new names in jackin’ house Lee Jarvis ticks all the right boxes.

This December 5th, Lee will be the guest DJ for HotDish’s monthly residency in the VIP. Nate Laurence had the opportunity to sit down with him and dig a little deeper into everything that is Lee Jarvis.

NL: So…Lee, let’s get one thing out of the way at the front end of this interview: Is it fried tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, and sausage for every breakfast?

LJ: Absolutely! Don’t forgot the eggs and bacon too. And a cup of tea, naturally.

NL: Delish! But…breakfast aside…tell us what made you plunge into house music.
LJ: I listened to a lot of music growing up, from hip hop to Motown to Prince. Around London in the 90s, garage and Speed Garage were the biggest and newest forms of electronic music. From there I kinda progressed into house via the onslaught of 90s funky disco anthems; DJ Sneak, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, Mutiny, Armand Van Helden, Defected and Subliminal records certainly had a lot to do with my honeymoon period in house music!

NL: Prince! Always good to appease the hometown crowd. Nice one Lee! So…I know you were one of the key players behind the event “Moochin” in London. There is no doubt that the “Moochin” name carried afar. You had some incredible talent come through: Joey Youngman, The Littlemen, Massimo Dacosta, and many others. How did this help catapult your DJ career?
LJ: It was a very niche sound in London; clubbers would thank me for finally having somewhere to regularly go and hear the DJs that no-one else brought to town. Playing to a regular crowd certainly helped fine-tune my DJ skills, and being on the same flyer as some high profile producers helped me spread my own DJ career at the same time as promoting the Moochin events. There’s whispers of a Moochin record label going around, but you can’t believe everything you read on the internet now, can you?

NL: Oooo snap! A Moochin record label? We know nothing! On the flip side, talk a little about your music industry work – or as you so gracefully put it, the “trend-mongering and advice sharing.”
LJ: Well, I’ve always been into the business side, and studied the recording industry, marketing, publishing and a lot more at both a London college and Berklee Music, based in Boston. I consult and manage various online marketing and future strategies for small music businesses and independent artists. One thing that musicians often need help with is establishing a following and then creating revenue streams around their music. That’s where I come in!

NL: I might have to have a cup of tea with you and discuss said artist strategies! Regardless, we know you’re a dope DJ (Moochin wouldn’t retain you if your weren’t) but you’re also starting to make a name for yourself as a producer. I recently heard Mark Farina drop one of your tracks at a show here in Minneapolis and thought, “bizzo shizzle Lee Jarvizzle!” Tell us all about it! Make us pay you money for music!
LJ: Ah, nice! Yeah Mark has dropped a few of my tracks, I’ve also had support from Sneak, Diz, Justin Long, Heather and co. I’ve released on 4Kenzo, 1200 Traxx, Lost My Dog and remixed for a whole bunch of labels. I’d suggest checking out my Soundcloud page where you can have a listen to most of the tracks in full and then follow the Buy links.

NL: For the record, who are – in your opinion — the most excellent producers in your genre today? Who can we expect you to drop at the “HotDish” show?

LJ: Wow, there’s a lot of great music coming out this year. I’m loving TBF’s recent stuff, and I’m very likely to drop some cuts by Andrew Emil, Wes, Andrew Phelan, Wally Callerio…. when I’m in a deeper and techier mood I love Mazi, and the UK staples of Freerange, NRK and 2020 are always on fire!

NL: Finally…in order to maintain airspeed velocity, an English swallow needs to beat its wings 43 times every second, right? Am I right? Or is it an African swallow?
LJ: Well, it entirely depends on if (s)he is carrying a coconut; it could grip it by the husk…

NL: A coconut? In the middle of England? No matter….we REALLY look forward to your debut in Minneapolis and will see you very soon!

interview by: Nate Laurence

Originally Published on: Jack The Box – The Midwest At Night

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