In London, you’re never more than 10 meters away from a DJ. Although some cynics might say that anyone with a laptop and a Spotify playlist can now be one (no, girl, no), there is some exceptional talent out there, especially in the world of gay London DJs, who specialize in everything from house and EDM to pop and disco.
We’ve decided to gather a few of them here (in alphabetical order, as we don’t want to have our flat marked up). They’re all well-established masters of their craft, and it’s definitely worth heading to wherever these guys are playing.
Here are 6 gay London DJs you should know:
1. Brent Nicholls
DJ Brent Nicholls is known for his funky, uplifting house. He moved to London in 1995 and has been an essential part of the city’s gay soundtrack ever since, playing at legendary parties and venues like Salvation, Shadow Lounge, Trade and Beyond.
Brent is also well known on the fetish scene, regularly playing at London’s infamous Hard On party. He says, “Variety is the spice of life, and that’s reflected in the music I play, from uplifting commercial funky house to dirty, chunky and sexy house. As a DJ I believe I am an entertainer and an educator, and it’s the interplay of this that creates my sets.”
2. Josh Caffe
Josh Caffe’s style shifts from underground left-field house through to deep techno and acid house. He mixes obscure sound bites and vox together, bringing an edge — and a ton of sass — to his sets.
He’s resident and founder of the label and party Night Sheen, which has been held all over London. As a vocalist he’s performed at Panorama bar, Boiler Room and the Lovebox music festival.
Josh also has an album coming out very soon, called Black Magik Dawn…. “I like a sweaty basement club,” he says. “It’s how my nightlife days started!”
3. Nic Fisher
This hunky Frenchman has been a key player on London’s gay party scene over the last two decades as both a DJ and promoter. He has a particularly refined taste for house music, techno and old-school disco jewels. He’s also 6’4 and pretty phwoar. In 2007 he co-founded the infamous GutterSlut, an ‘anything goes’ homo sensation inside an East London stripclub. The space is now dazzlingly occupied by the party Savage.
Fisher has played to packed dance floors at Wet Yourself, Trailer Trash, Fabric and Trade, as well at festivals around the UK like Glastonbury, Lovebox, Bestival and Secret Garden Party. A regular presence at Dalston Superstore — of which he’s also the general manager — and a resident for the Meat East parties, he’s a regular at Beyond and AM after-hours, so there are plenty of chances to catch him.
“Music is the answer to your problems,” he says. “Keep on moving, then you can solve them.”
4. Paul Morrell
The devilishly handsome Paul Morrell is king of the biggest gay dance floor in London, at Club XXL. He’s been the official main room resident since 2016. He also had a monthly residency at the world-famous Ministry of Sound and played on the bill alongside the glorious Dua Lipa this year at Birmingham Pride.
He’s had UK dance chart top 10 singles with Sonique, Boy George and former Sugarbabes front-woman Mutya Buena. His ability to work the room and get people moving is magic.
Look out for upcoming releases Desire (November) and Sky 2017 (December). “I’m one of the few UK EDM / Future House DJs on the London scene,” he says. “I like to steer clear of the norm and play mixes and tracks that you wouldn’t ordinarily hear on the gay scene. I like it tough and chunky!”
5. Ross Jones
Beefy Welshman Ross Jones is a whirlwind of fabulous that makes an impact wherever he plays.
He plays house, tech house, a lot of ’90s house tracks and music inspired by that innovative period in dance music. He’s a BRÜT London resident, and has also represented that party internationally. Ross also plays at Beefmince and Beefy Tea. He’s a self-confessed pop tart, on deck duties at PWL Power, a celebration of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, and you’ll occasionally find him entertaining the bears at The Kings Arms in Soho.
“Just like my sister Grace, I’m a slave to the rhythm,” he says. “Hissing hi hats and a driving bass line get me going.”
6. Stewart Who?
Who is he? He is Who. One of London’s first video jockeys in Covent Garden in the early ‘90s, he became known for a hectic mix of party tunes, leading to residencies in the VIP rooms of some of the capital’s wildest clubs. If you’re lucky enough to catch the sparkling glint in his eye, watch out — his party spirit and musical heritage are incomparable.
Stewart enjoyed a five-year residency at Salvation at the Café De Paris VIP room and seven years in the VIP room at Fiction at The Cross. He wrote, recorded and toured the gold-selling, seminal techno track “Twisted,” first released in 1997 and probably the first record written about chemsex. A top 20 hit in Australia, it was Sony Australia’s biggest selling dance single that year.
He’s the resident and host of Studio 24 at The Hospital Club, a debauched and glamorous night with a focus on classic disco and vintage funk.
“I’m mostly known for playing disco these days,” he tells us. “Why? It’s been the most consistent relationship to bring me joy since being a teen, and I love it. Disco has always made me happy, more than any man ever did. I still play the odd, raving dance set, though, and my style is best described as Semi-Detached House.”