Every single one of us aspires to do something in life, or, to the least, is waiting for something to happen. For those that are born with an artistic side this all ordeal is of significant importance; ideas, projects, ups and downs, unforeseen consequences and surprises. It makes me freeze in awe when I think about that particular stage in one’s life when experience starts to stand up for itself and age becomes a meaningful foundation for all the things you do; opens a new perspective. Certain people, which others name as legends, attract mass audiences – inspiring ordinary folks to write, sing, make movies about them and read their interviews, as if it was their own type and source of education.
It’s easy to see why such people attract so much attention. Sadly, only few of us manage to live life the way we want it, even fewer understand what it is that they actually want to do. In the end, how many of us, in our late sixties, would have the courage to claim they still feel the vibe, understand the trends or are a part of it all. DJ Derek is exactly the man that few are able to be – still hip, still welcome in the music scene, always surrounded by his young followers he works during the best hours of the day – 9 pm to 5 am.
The book club, Shoreditch
The book club, Shoreditch
If it wouldn’t have been for the unexpected visit to “The Book Club” in London, I would have missed the opportunity to meet DJ Derek and his charming personality. Shoreditch, where the club is located, is an area of London that was famous for its low rent apartments and workshops filled with unique artists; it still is a popular place to visit for those interested in street art and activities of this sort. As of now it has become the home of large scale nightclubs and a party place for the fashionable youth. I would not go as far to say it has become boring, but it seems that the past atmosphere of edgy counter culture has been replaced by a more commercial “hipster” one. Anyway, I was left satisfied with the event held at “The Book Club” and luxuriated in the opportunity to hear the sounds of DJ Derek.
DJ Derek kick started his career back in 1960’s, influenced by the wave of immigrants from Jamaica to Great Britain after the second World War. Once he got familiar with the sounds of the newly settled culture, Derek slowly started to get in touch with the music himself. It was a challenge to blend into the community that was solely composed of Black Caribbean people, but it was his persuasiveness, constant interest in their culture, communication and participation in numerous events that eventually allowed him to become acknowledged as an artist among all races.
Documentics, part one
Documentics, part two
You could learn more interesting facts about life of DJ Derek by watching the documentaries. From my side, I am finishing my short presentation with a reflection on this person’s characteristic within the music scene.
Personally, it was his charisma that struck a chord for me. DJ’s personality and personal appeal always play a huge part in their artistic lives. His simplistic performances are beautifully accompanied by his voice, breaks within songs, jokes and observations. I can confirm that young people are interested in him and admire him, they approach him for a chat and take photos of him. Above all, his choice of sound – that old vibe, reverberating from the times our parents and grandparents used to live in, when juggled with his hands becomes elevated to a whole new level. During his shows it’s hard not to be moved by the images of his own time that flow from his music; the sound and the culture all come alive.
Being introduced to such people and seeing them do what they live for instills an everlasting impression, which becomes a source of inspiration itself. I hope this particular story about the man will inspire you, like it inspired me.
Translated by Klaidas Stasiūnas