Internationally respected for his turntablism, he was Dr Dre’s first choice to record a guest mix on his inaugural Beats 1 show for Apple Music in 2015, and was one of a select band of artists to perform at Banksy’s pop-up Bemusement Park, Dismaland. His eclectic series of How to Cut & Paste mixtapes offer a uniquely British take on hip-hop music and culture.
DJ Yoda pioneered a new form of audio-visual entertainment, unifying hands-in-the-air clubbing with a night at the movies, chopping and splicing classic movies with the same exceptional style that he repurposes music samples. One of the first DJs to master the art of re-scoring classic films, in 2014 he was commissioned to create DJ Yoda Goes to the Sci-Fi Movies as part of the BFI’s Sonic Cinema event. BBC Radio 6 Music gave him the platform to make history with the world’s first audio-visual radio mix, and, as part of their BBC Music Day, Radio 4 invited Yoda to mash-up the entire station, remixing The Archers, The Shipping Forecast, John Humphries and more in one of his most sublime and surreal adventures yet.
His recent Breakfast of Champions band, plus accompanying eponymous album, is respectively his most cohesive outfit and most coherent musical statement to date. Curated and produced by DJ Yoda, the album is a super-diverse homage to the sampladelic golden age of hip-hop, featuring an 11-strong collective of upcoming UK MCs and musicians. The band sold out its first two live shows, at Band on the Wall and the Jazz Café, without any promotion, and went on to tour the UK throughout 2015, selling out London’s The Forum and playing to huge festival crowds.
With new studio projects, experimental audio-visual ventures, and his ever-evolving DJ sets taking in a diverse array of styles, genres, decades and continents, things couldn’t be going better for DJ Yoda, and he’s even got used to that name. “I never liked the name DJ Yoda”, he admits. “But here we are now in 2015 and it’s taken on a new significance”. He surveys the DJ scene and considers himself the Last Man Standing. “Because Yoda was the last old master of the craft of being a Jedi where no one else around him is using those original skills”, he furthers. “Suddenly that name has an extra relevance. I turn up to DJ somewhere with my records and turntables and I’m scratching and quick-mixing… And people I see around me DJ-ing don’t do that”.
Long may he continue to be the lone original DJ.