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  • Writer's pictureDJ James Stephens

Where it all began...

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Now, let’s start from the beginning…

It's 4am. I'm sat in the back of a taxi, heading back from a night out in town with a few mates.

The driver has the radio on.

"What is that absolute tune coming from the radio?" I ask myself. I ask the driver to turn the radio up, louder, and louder!

I shifted from a tired drunkenness to someone alert, and certainly desperate, to figure out the name of this banger!

“What’s this called drive?!” (short for driver here in Bristol).

“I don’t know” he replied.

Desperate to figure it out, as soon as I got home I started to Google the lyrics as I was sat in my kitchen whilst eating a post-town munch from the fridge.

I found it. I was “Lost In Your Love” by “Redlight”.

Eager to find out more I looked on Redlight's Wikipedia page. Thinking it was a band, I was surprised to see: “Hugh Pescod, better known as Redlight is a DJ, record producer, re-mixer and composer from Bristol, England.” – Apart from the vocalist, just one guy made this!

Still sat down in the kitchen, I began to look at his other songs “Get Out My Head”, “Basscone”, “Source 16”, “What you Talkin about?” Admittedly, these songs weren’t what I’d normally listen to, but there was something unique about his sound that made me want to continually find out more and discover the sound of Redlight.

I then began to listen to Rinse FM, and Redlight’s slot which was the first Tuesday of every month, 11pm-1am.

A few months later, whilst at university, I heard about our student radio station, Hub Radio. So without hesitation I applied with my friends, Jon and Josh – we had nothing to lose!

When they got back to us I was surprised to find out we’d been given a slot – 11pm to midnight on a Friday! We were buzzing! It gave us an opportunity to play all of the music we had found in that week. I wanted to, however, take it to the next step - I wanted to mix music.

A few days later I bought my first DJ controller (essentially 2 decks and a mixer all built into one). I bought the “Mixtrack Pro 1”, which was designed for beginners.

I bought some speakers and an amp off Ebay for 40 quid all in – and I still use it in my bedroom to this day.

I then began to try out loads of different sounds/songs/genres as I loved all types of music. It was great fun learning how to mix!

Outside of the radio show, Josh would come round and we’d be mixing for hours on end!

We had a lot of fun on our show, and we’d always focus on a different genre of music each week, from Jungle to Dubstep to House, and so on.

It wasn’t until about a year later when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to come along to one of his club gigs to actually DJ to a crowd! As soon as he asked the anxiety started to build already, as well as the excitement!

As a beginner still, I took my controller with me and it was a lot of fun to say the least!

From then onwards, the owner of the club I played my first gig in, began to use me for his private events, such as birthdays and corporate events, and I still do to this day!

I then found out about the DJ society at my university. Since joining the society, I have been fortunate enough to play at Motion, The O2 Academy, SWX, Thekla, Gravity, and even a fish and chip shop!

If you'd like to listen to a few of my mixes, visit the Jukebox.


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