"Learn to know the history of your passion": An interview with Jasper James

"Learn to know the history of your passion": An interview with Jasper James

One of the youngest DJs to helm the decks at the legendary Sub Club in Glasgow, Scotland, Jasper James is a leading tastemaker in the city's vibrant house scene. Having been taught to DJ at the young age of 13, he has since become known for his unique brand of off-kilter house and heads-down techno. Over the many years that he has been in the music industry, he is a well-respected figure in the house scene. 

This coming Sunday, on 23 June, Jasper will be playing at Camp Kilo Charcoal Club from 2pm onwards alongside Singaporean artists Toppings, Sivanesh and JustMack. We caught up with Jasper for quick chat before his show to learn more about his musical inspirations, his advice for aspiring DJs, and his plans for the rest of the year.

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How does it feel to be playing in Singapore?

Great! I'm buzzing to be back – I love Singapore. Can't wait to get stuck into another Hot Pot, that shit is fire!

Having helmed the decks for many years, what do you think is the difference between playing an outdoor, daytime gig and a club gig late at night?

An outdoor daytime gig for me would mean playing more fun, not necessarily house or electronic music, stuff that would relate with the vibe and suit the scene a bit better, whereas for a club gig late at night I would change up my set completely I would tend to play a lot deeper. 

You've essentially grown up being surrounded by electronic music, from whom or where do you draw your musical inspiration from?

I drew my inspiration from a lot of DJ's around Glasgow as well as Detroit and Chicago and a lot of the US legends. I would go out to venues like the Sub Club, the Arches and The Art School where I would watch the likes of Optimo, Harri & Domenic and the Numbers crew. They would invite "big" international DJ's to play at their parties but for me it was always the local residents who stole the show. All these guys are super versatile DJ's, they never get stuck on one sound for too long, and they keep their selection focused for the dancefloor and making people move. This has been a style I've carried with me going forward. 

Having been in the DJ game for so long, have you ever found yourself caught up in the life?

I've had my moments but I always find my head lying about somewhere nearby and manage to screw it back on. 

What is one advice that you can give to kids who aspire to be a DJ like you? 

Get down to your local record store, make friends with other like-minded folk, practise as much as possible and learn to know the history of your passion.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?

I have loads of exciting gigs coming up around Europe and the US as well as some more releases from exciting artists like Elias Mazian and Mannequins coming out on Mitchell Street Records later this year. 

Jasper James, presented by After Dawn, will be playing at Camp Kilo Charcoal Club on Sunday, 23 June, from 2pm to 12 am. No cover charges. Click here to make a reservation. For more information, click here.

If you're in Jakarta, catch Jasper James at Kilo Lounge Jakarta, Jl. Gunawarman No 16, Dki Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, 22 June. Click here for tickets and more information.