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Has anyone ever told you how hard it is to get into the music industry? With so much competition and people strangling each other’s necks to get venues and labels. It can prove to be a long and endless mission.

I have come to the Brighton residence of one of the upcoming DJs on the scene in Sussex. Darren Kelly is a 21 year-old studying music production, after quietly being on the music scene for the last three years. He’s played sets in Kent and Sussex which have gained him a reputation for producing house music to entertain crowds. Now he is starting to settle into the music scene, he is looking to further his career but what or who is Darren Kelly? How did he find his way into becoming a DJ?

What’s in store for you in 2017?

“Hopefully get more gigs in Brighton, making my own music and releasing, just getting through uni and getting more publicity, pretty much.” 

His eyes are heavy from the night before, struggling to focus. He likes his nights out, I start to think we could have done this another time.

You have DJ’d at venues, located in Worthing, Dartford and Brighton, what do you think you’ve learned from those events?

“Not to bring a girlfriend.” He looks up to the ceiling almost covering his smile with his hand but I saw straight through it to which we then enjoyed a brief laugh together.

“I’ve learned a lot actually, like the more up to date equipment, using that sort of s*** instead of my stuff and I know how to read the crowd.”

What was your favourite set?

“Erm.. Probably the one in Worthing”.

Why would you say that?

His hand reaches up to scratch his neck before bringing his attention back to myself.

“Probably cause last time I did a show, I was stuck to one genre and this time I was mixing with different genres and the result turned out better than I thought”.

So it was more of a learning experience?

“Yeah absolutely, it showed what I can actually do rather than what I have done”.

When did you start DJing?

“To be honest with you, Pauly D from Jersey Shore, that was genuinely the way I started. He was a DJ and I wanted to do it, then my friends bought me my own decks, that was about five or six years ago when I was 16”.

You are actively uploading mixes on Soundcloud. Is it a way to promote yourself and what do you hope to gain from it?

“Well for one, I just like doing it, because when I’m mixing, I don’t like mixing and not recording it. I like to listen back to it and have other people listen to it. The main reason is publicity but then at the same time its just like just to have people hearing it really and the type of stuff that I do”.

Where do you see your career going as a DJ?

“At the moment, you can’t really say you see it going anywhere, its more what I hope of happening. So I hope that I finish the course I’m doing now, get into uni for Music Production and start releasing my own tracks and, eventually, I’ll do festivals, club nights and stuff like that; the usual really. Realistically, I want to be doing it abroad as well”.

Anywhere in mind?

“Ibiza, definitely Ibiza”.

Have you thought of New Orleans?

“Ah yeah, New Orleans” 

What is your ideal night out?

“Pre drinks in a bar, go to a club, drink a little bit more, you have to have a booth though wherever you go, as long as its with your mates”.

Was there any places that you would like to go out to?

“I wouldn’t mind going to The Boiler Room in London, its a little bit different but its pretty decent there”.

What artists do you follow to find inspiration for your own mixes?

“I watch a guy called Dean Mac, the reason I like him is because he’s very original the way he does everything. He uses two touch pads and two turntables, his mixes are completely different to anyone else. In terms of producing, there’s a few people”.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

The answer comes out of nowhere as soon as the question is asked.


I was not expecting that, he’s completely different from your style?

“It is but not for the dubstep type, he’s literally the best drumming producer in the world. Any beat in any of his songs is just nuts. That’s why I think, if you’ve ever produced with him, you’ve made it!” 

I show him a video of the upcoming Ark Cruise. “Oh my god. Can we go?”.