You know you have an amazing DJ when he can keep a group of 70 year olds on the dance floor for over 3 hours.
DJ Phetta is a really lovely collection of cool and classic.
Having grown up in a house filled with music, his father – an avid collector – was a huge influence on his love of the subject. Every weekend he would go on three hour trips to the record shops with his dad, just tagging along and enjoying being exposed to so many eclectic tastes.
And here the journey of this DJ began.
When Tigerlily caught up with Phetta, we were inspired by his love of music (especially Notorious B.I.G) but also how he is keeping rare Greek music alive. He has an amazing collection with lots of rare tracks and transfers these so they get preserved.
The motivation for Phetta and his work is to keep the dance floors filled and people happy, it’s that simple.
So how did it all begin?
It all began with a stack of vinyl, some cassettes and a £20.00 mixer I bought second hand.
I had been collecting music for a while and wanted to make mix tapes without the audio gap between each song. I bought my first turntable soon after and steadily added to my equipment.
Where does the name Phetta come from?
I was finding it hard to settle on a DJ name (my actual name is not cool sounding at all!) I was playing some 80’s cheese at a friend’s house party and he joked that I should be named after a Greek cheese. Feta sounded better than Halloumi so I just went with it.
You also play a little Greek, explain a Greek wedding, traditional English wedding. Which ones rocks more?
A Greek wedding reception is typically broken down into segments where traditional dances are performed by the bride and groom with members of their family and other guests, these include a ‘money dance’ where money is pinned to the bride and grooms clothing.
Greek music is very involving and encourages the dancer to interact with others on the dance floor which usually leads to an electrifying atmosphere!
I wouldn’t say one rocks more than the other. I specialise in events where both English and Greek music are required so I get to see the best of both worlds!
In the years you’ve been doing this, how would you say the music scene has changed for DJ’s?
The speed in which the music industry changes and evolves is immense. Things move VERY quickly now with YouTube and social media so it’s important to stay on top of trends and emerging genres and to keep your musical knowledge up to date as your average guest is exposed to a lot more music now. This has also seen a rise in poor quality ‘throwaway’ tracks dance tracks or ‘made for the strip club’ rap music. DJ problems used to involve carrying crate loads of vinyl to events now everything is digital, trying to keep folders of music organised is the new headache!
How do you keep your music knowledge fresh?
My ears are constantly open to music wherever I might hear it. Apart from listening to my favourite DJs and watching music channels, I might hear a great track in a shop in a TV advert or film. I try to pick up trends by studying all media.
What’s on your no playlist list?
I don’t have a “no” playlist when playing for a client. I might politely explain that their selection may not be suitable though.
What’s you preferred music genre?
Deep house and hip-hop
What’s your favourite type of venue to play?
Poolside in a hot country is always nice
How much of an influence do you let the host of a private party have over your DJ set?
Customer satisfaction is paramount to me. It’s important to meet with the client to discuss their playlist and give them advice if I feel certain tracks will not work but ultimately I will all of their playlist with me on the night as I have been proved wrong before!
As a DJ you have to be versatile and spontaneous and be prepared for whichever direction the party takes.
Describe your musical style
I am an open format DJ that loves great music from ANY genre.
Who were some of your influences when you started DJing?
DJ EZ would blow my mind when I would hear him play live in the early days of UK Garage. His style was energetic and the way he would mix would work the crowd into an absolute frenzy.
DJ ‘Crews’ such as Rampage or Firin’ Squad were great at mixing a multitude of musical genres effectively.
Turntablists such as DJ Q Bert, Mixmaster Mike, the X-Ecutioners opened up the turntable as an viable instrument and form of expression.
What’s your greatest dance track of all time?
Guy S’Mone – You’re Mine (MJ Cole Vocal Mix)
What’s your great non dance track of all time?
George Benson – Give Me The Night
What’s the first record you bought?
The Simpsons Sing the Blues.
Growing up, I was surrounded by my Dad’s vast record collection but he told me I had to buy that with my own money!
Funniest thing that ever happened at an event?
Playing an impromptu old school drum and Bass/jungle set at a wedding and watching the brides grandmother break out some moves!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
Keep them happy, keep them dancing.
You’re playing a private party, what track would fill the dance floor?
At the moment, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky has become a massive floor-filler, for Greek events, a ‘Kalamatiano’ always tends to get everybody up.
Last question – can you try and list me ten of your favourite albums?
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Nas – Illmatic
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
MJ – Thriller
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
Eazy E – Eazy-Duz-It
Justin Timberlake – Justified
X-Ecutioners – X-Pressions
Rocky IV: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Various Artists (If I’m allowed to have a soundtrack!)
To book DJ Phetta for your wedding or event please contact Matt Maurice Event Music & Production
Photography By Mark Bothwell
Words By Matt Maurice from Matt Maurice Event Music & Production