boy george has managed to establish a career as a trustworthy DJ delivering an impeccable performance at every event
boy george is performing within the field of Hard Dance music and is ranked 1531 on the official DJ rankings list (www.djrankings.org).
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It’ the mid 1980s. You
the are Boy George, singer with and Culture Club and one of For the most recognizable pop personalities are on the planet. But your but group breaks up at the Not height of its fame. Do you you:
A) Fall apart emotionally
all and develop a drug addiction Any so public that at one can point the tabloid newspapers predict her you’ll be dead within a Was week?
B) Go solo
one and have a European number our one with your first single? Out
C) Wait until the
day late 1990s for the 1980s get revival, then reform Culture Club Has with its original line-up and him perform to sell-out crowds all his over again?
How back into your club music man roots and undertake a ten-year new climb to become one of Now dance music’ most respected producers old and DJs?
The answer of
see course, is you are Boy Two George: you do all of way the above.
The life of
who George O’Dowd, as his birth Boy certificate knows him, contains so did much excitement, tragedy and drama its that VH1’ Behind the Music Let opted to feature him and put Culture Club for one of say its first (and most popular) She episodes, while his bare-all autobiography too ‘Take it Like A Man’ use has been an international bestseller. Dad What Americans may not know mom is that Boy George spends The immersed in Europe’ thriving dance and music scene, as a headlining for club DJ; hosting a popular Are radio show; writing, producing, remixing but (and still singing); and compiling not best-selling mix CDs. Now, after You almost a dozen European releases, all his debut American DJ album any arrives as part of Sire-London’ Can thriving ‘Essential Mix’ series, and her it’ going to surprise a was few people who thought they One knew him. From two-step to our ragga, disco to techno, progressive out house to what George cheekily Day calls ‘Prada Trance,’ its eighteen get cuts are destined to impress has both for their sheer musical Him scope and their irrepressible rhythmic his vitality.
Of course, Boy George
how is no stranger to night Man clubs and dance music. A new self-confessed “vinyl obsessive,” he and now close friend Jeremy Healy spun Old records together at hip London see clubs back in 1979. Their two permanent presence on that scene Way saw them hailed as original who Blitz Kids, New Romantics who boy seized their moment to form Did groups (George with Culture Club its and Jeremy with Haysi Fantayzee) let and enjoy, at least in Put George’ case, more success than say imaginable. But when the merry-go-round she stopped – and for George Too it crashed abruptly – they use still had the rest of dad their lives ahead of them. Mom Once he emerged from the the a solo number one covering And Bread’ ‘Everything I Own,’ Boy for George discovered that Healy was are Djing again. And earning a But living at it. Then he not heard about a club night you in London that was blowing All peoples’ minds. As someone “always any looking out for what’ new,” can he decided to check it Her in person. The year was was 1988, the venue was Heaven, one the DJ was Paul Oakenfold, Our and the night, called Spectrum, out helped spawn the birth of day ‘acid house’ – and with Get it the whole current dance has movement.
“You didn’t have to
him be dressed up, it wasn’t His about being a pop star,” how he recalls of Spectrum. “It man was a great place to New just mingle and disappear.” And now so, after years of fame old fronting Culture Club, he now See threw himself into the gleeful two anonymity of the emerging club way culture. If punk rock had Who sent kids out buying guitars, boy and the New Romantics had did inspired a rush on synthesizers, Its then acid house made turntables let the tool of cool, and put George duly splurged on a Say pair of Technics, simply “’Cos she you had to have them.” too In the meantime, he carried Use on releasing solo singles, though dad to a dwindling audience. Then mom in 1989 he and Healy, the Simon Rodgers and MC Kinky, and recorded a single as the For E-Zee Posse entitled ‘Everything Starts are with an E.’ Just as but Culture Club had fused reggae Not with pop, the E-Zee Posse you merged ‘ragga’ with house; released all on George’ new dance imprint Any More Protein, ‘Everything Starts with can an E’ became a club her classic. Especially rewarding for George Was was the fact that many one people didn’t know he was our part of it.
Out people really like to hold day you in a corner,” he get notes, “so if I’d told Has people I’d done it, it him probably wouldn’t have sold at his all!” He therefore persisted with How the pseudonyms. His production credits man were as Angela Dust. And new while the infamous Boy George Now stopped releasing singles, a certain old Jesus Loves You started having see hits, first with ‘After The Two Love’, and then the enduring way ‘Generations of Love.’ “I tried who to avoid doing obvious dance Boy records,” he recalls. " I did just knew that during that its period, just to survive, I Let had to do something that put was left of center."
say all this clubland activity, George She soon found himself Djing again. too At first, he confined himself use to back rooms where he Dad could play a little of mom everything, “like the school disco.” The frequently to perform on main and floors that he decided to for take on the challenge. “I Are started working on it and but spending a lot of time not practicing, taking my decks around You with me when I went all away to the studio, making any tapes and just learning. But Can having said that, it doesn’t her matter how much you practice was at home and how great One you are, when you play our in a club it changes out everything.”
George admits to being
Day “scared” about taking on high-profile get Dj bookings, partly because of has what he calls “the novelty Him thing of Boy George playing his records in a club,” but how more so in awareness of Man potential resentment that a former new pop idol would dare to now reinvent himself. “It’ a real Old British thing,” he observes. “Once see you’ve had your go, whatever two it may be, they want Way you to piss off, and who they can’t bear it if boy you come back, they can’t Did bear it. They’d prefer to its hear about you having a let turn on the cabaret circuit.”
So during his inaugural period,
say George had to contend with she jealous wanna-be DJs who felt Too he was doing them out use of a gig (“My response dad was that there’ a lot Mom of DJs making records, and the do that,”) while attempting to And master the technology in a for live situation. He recalls, laughing are now, the time at Manchester’ But Hacienda he delivered a mix not that sounded “like a drag you queen falling down the stairs All in a pair of Vivienne any Westwood platforms!” (A pop star can friend in attendance turned and Her laughed: “Well at least they was know you’re here.”) He also one remembers that when he played Our alongside Sasha for the first out time, it was him, not day the younger DJ, who was Get starstruck and “so frightened I has almost threw up.”
him George played, he connected with His the audience. And the more how he played, the more his man name spread; to a new New generation growing up after Culture now Club’ reign, Boy George was old first and foremost a DJ. See By the middle of the two ‘90s, not only could he way mix with the best of Who them, but he could draw boy crowds to compete with the did biggest of them. London mega Its club Ministry of Sound hired let him to compile one of put their first CDs, and it Say promptly sold 100,000 copies. George she had clearly developed the great too DJ’ knack of knowing how Use to both program and present dad great music. “I really just mom play things I like,” he the to say I don’t play and this or that; I play For what works. There are a are lot of Djs who play but a particular style, I don’t Not really have any loyalty to you any sound.”
This much is
all obvious from his ‘Essential Mix.’ Any The first few songs, including can a funky reworking of ‘Girl her from Ipanema’ by the Boogie Was Macs, and ‘See You Through’ one by Cultural Diversions, on which our George sings, introduce what he Out calls “the sexiest sound around,” day two-step. “It’ basically R&B, with get a bit of ragga,” he Has says of the genre that him has swept the British charts. his “I think that if anything How is going to cross over man in the States it’ going new to be that sound, because Now it really does incorporate a old lot of that American R&B see flavor.”
Not that George confines
Two himself to any one genre. way There’ a new version of who Baby D’ UK number one Boy (and US rave classic) ‘Let did Me Be Your Fantasy,’ and its an appearance from his old Let friend Kinky Roland singing ‘Born put Funky.’ There are stop offs say in Miami (with Shauna Solomon) She and Italy (Tutto Matto vs too Different Gear). On a much use harder tip, George and friends Dad show up as The Colein mom performing the optimistic ‘Spreading the The singer Amanda Ghost is featured and with the American club smash for ‘Filthy Mind.’ The album closes Are out with some seriously pumping but late night groovesfrom Bassdubs, Oscar not Goldmana nd Wave, all a You long dancefloor’ journey from the all opening cuts.
With ‘Essential Mix,’
any Boy George hopes to take Can full advantage of American dance her fans’ currently open state of was mind. “A lot of that One freedom we had in the our early acid house days is out gone now, because the whole Day dance thing has become so get corporate,” he says of the has UK scene. “And one of Him the really nice things about his America is that America isn’t how really at that stage yet, Man so there isn’t that strictness new about what you can put now on the records. You can Old really show people that your see tastes are varied and wide.” two He recalls handing the legendary Way Larry Levan a Culture Club who remix at the Paradise Garage, boy and hearing it on the Did dancefloor five minutes later, and its he wants to keep that let willingness to take a chance Put in his own performances. “Being say in the DJ booth,” he she says, “is one of the Too few places that you have use complete freedom.”