London DJ Norman Jay to bring sunshine to Lovebox

PUBLISHED: 18:05 14 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:05 14 May 2014

Norman Jay

Norman Jay


Ahead of his performance at Lovebox festival in July, legendary DJ Norman Jay took time out of his hectic schedule to tell Sam Gelder about his love of playing the great outdoors, and why London gigs are so special for him.

The Notting Hill native can usually be found entertaining crowds in clubs and bars across the country on weekends, playing his genre-spanning sets of jazz, funk, soul, disco and house music. But when festival season arrives, it brings a “different dynamic.”

“I love festivals,” he said. “Whether I’m playing in the stars or the sun. People feel and act a lot more free [than they do at indoor gigs]. There’s a different vibe.

“I’ve done Lovebox a couple of times now, on and off, and it will be my first London appearance of the season, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Norman, “west London born and bred,” learned his trade DJ’ing on pirate radio stations in the 80s before going on to host radio shows on the BBC. In 2002 he was awarded an MBE for his services to music.

Unfortunately for him, he won’t be able to stick around and watch Lovebox headliners Nas and M.I.A, as he dashes off up north for another show, this time in a club.

So how does an outdoor festival set differ from his usual surroundings?

“It depends what time I am playing [set times have yet to be announced], if it’s in the day it’s much more relaxed. But whatever time it is I’m sure I will keep up my 100 per cent record at festivals of bringing the sunshine. I’m known for it!”

A stalwart of the Notting Hill Carnival, Norman’s legendary Good Times Sound System is a major attraction at the two-day street party, attracting crowds of up to 15,000. It launched a series of Good Times compilation CDs, and this year he is looking to host his own Good Times Festival in West London, though he says it is in the early stages of development.

But it’s not all about west London for him, as he is keen to point out.

“East London is booming,” he stated. “A lot of my friends live and come from that side of town. London doesn’t have enough festivals! I’m sure there will be some good after parties in Hackney, Dalston and Shoreditch that people can walk, or stumble to, after the festival.”

But those attending the festival in Victoria Park can expect the party to start as soon as he walks on stage.

“I always get an extra buzz when I play in London,” he said. “It always makes me raise my game.”

Read more:

Lovebox: Nas and M.I.A to perform at urban music festival

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