undaground archives v2.com

July 2004

​1. Getting started at the beginning, dish the dirt on Deli-G from boyhood to now and make sure you hit the high notes of your traditional and musical influences over that time. (Is Deli-G your real name, what's the deli, yo?)

Deli is short for Delroy and G is for my surname, Graham. That name was given to me by a famous radio DJ in Jamaica who worked on a station called JBC (Jamaica Broadcasting Company). I have always been involved with music from the time I was five. I owned my first turntable when I was about 6 or 7 –- a Phillips slip top, all-in-one design and I DJ'd at my junior school football / netball party when I was just eight years old. I was living in the UK at the time and got involved in the dancehall sound systems and helping out at a family friend's record shop between 10 and 12 years old. My parents decided to return to Jamaica in 1977 (we stayed until 1985 – the best years of my youth) and that was where the music scene kicked off for me in a big way.

By 1978, I started to build my own sound system with my brother. We played various styles of music from reggae to disco: Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott and The Heptones were some of the names that did it for me in the reggae world while Melba Moore, Michael Jackson, Ashord & Simpson and Donna Summer were some of the artists that did it for me in the disco world. In the early 80's, the electronic sounds of Funk Deluxe, Gwen Guthrie (with Sly & Robbie), Skyy and others were some of my favorites.

We need a book for this section of my life...

2. It is said there is nothing different under the sun but what's unique about clubbing in the UK in its glory days till now and just where does truly soulful music fit in?

Around the world, soulful music fits in with soulful people and anywhere the party is at, that is where you have to be. But these days, it's hard to find in the UK but it is still around.

3. Now, on to your long-running radio show. How did you get into broadcasting and trace the show's roots on a detailed timeline. How has it evolved over the years and where do you want to see it go in the future?

DG: In 1990, I was DJing at a club in my area that someone from the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) used to attend. One night he told me that he was going to work for a radio station called Galaxy [now called Vibe 101 FM] and asked if I would like to join them. The following year, the same person invited me to do a guest mix on his show and back in those days, there weren't any mix shows outside of London (they were only on pirate radio). Then in April '91, the station manager called me about doing my own mix show with one catch –- I had to get sponsors. So, I hooked up with my local record store – Replay Record Shop, and a nightclub on a boat called The Thekla. The sponsorship was only for six months and after that, I did the show for two years un-paid.

In 1995, the show moved from just being a music based one to showcasing the people behind the music with more interviews, album highlights, Top Three Records Chart (from various record shops and distributors around the world), guest mixes from worldwide DJs and monthly features: segments with Tom Moulton (Classic Cuts), Mel Cheren, Bert Bevans and reporting on the UK dance scene, Lewis Dene.

In 2003, we added you [that's the fotochick] for What's Happening in the World of Dance Music NY and we just signed on Lady D who will represent for Chicago. The show is more like an on-air magazine now and I am covering all the hottest spots for dance music. I have been doing the show over thirteen years now, and the love is still there like the first day I started.

As for the future, that's a million dollar question.

4. Much has been said about the current state of dance music – from grim to growth projections, what is your take on the health and future of the industry ?

I think this new downloading stuff needs to settle down. Then the labels that are putting out good music and are moving with the times will do well. We just have to weed out some of the shit that's around now.

5. Here's your chance to be inspirational and offer some pearls of wisdom for others looking for careers in the business. Got any?

Be true to yourself first. Do what you believe in and if there is a tune you love, don't be afraid to play it. 

If you are looking for the soul in South Wales and the West of England, then find it on the radio weekly with veteran DJ / broadcaster Deli-G. His long-running show “The Touch” is one of the UK 's most influential dance music programs and the only to feature regular segments from American dance luminaries Tom Moulton (Moulton Studios) and Mel Cheren (West End Records) among others. But as a leader of the new school, Deli is truly a magna cum laude graduate of the old thanks to his idols Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles or Tony Humphries who have helped inspire his deep respect for a good vocal along with sturdy instrumental grooves.

His weekly play-list, DJ mixers and guest interviews reflect the who's who of the industry and brings the best of dance music culture to your ears live or globally on line. A regular on the UK club circuit, his Bristol-based residencies at Creation or Casavibe in addition to his guest spots at Ministry of Sound or Miami 's Winter Music Conference ensure that this guy's CHOICE Award-winning props are well-earned and deeply appreciated. Never heard of him? Then savor these 5-Answers to find out how this hard-working broadcaster got started, how he's putting his arms around the music world one city at a time and what he thinks you should not be scared to do in the mix.