This week Doorly answered questions for us as we caught up with the multi-faceted artist during a busy run of performances.
It’s been an incredible story for Doorly since his first foray into electronic music coming back in 2009. The musical landscape for Doorly was very different back then with Dubstep being his primary genre like a lot of other artists such as Skream. Since these times DJ’s have come, gone and got lost in genres; Doorly has stood the test of time and has displayed a versatility to adapt with the times and prove his worth in the industry.. a trait that’s few and far between in today’s musical climate. Doorly has already amassed two Essential Mixes, several Beatport and Traxsource #1 spots to his name as well as releases on high-profile labels like Cajual, Moda Black, Hot Creations, and now he’s set his ambitions on his own label Reptile Dysfunction alongside his Doorly & Friends events project. Below our insightful chat with Doorly highlights how he first established his own parties, his adaptation to DJ life in Ibiza and abroad in general as well as the exciting projects he’s currently pursuing.
Catch Doorly performing at Hï Ibiza Closing party, Sunday 17th September
Thanks for speaking with us here at Dance Vici, it’s great to have you involved. We’d like to start by taking it back to the humble beginnings of your very own parties back in Huddersfield. When you began these parties, what were your main goals to achieve?
Huddersfield is a tiny town in between Manchester and Leeds, two very established and well regarded clubbing cities. So there was no house music scene in Huddersfield as people would just hop on the all night trains to one of these cities 20 mins away to see all the worlds biggest DJs. So we set up the parties to stop people having to leave town to have a great party and people really appreciated it and a scene was born!
Since arriving on the scene you’ve relocated around the world to various locations including the America. It was here you pioneered your very own ‘Doorly & Friends’ events, how was it moving to the US in terms of the musical culture and general day-to-day differences from the UK?
I left the UK because I was struggling a little with the bitterness and chin-stroke attitude to music, it was really affecting me as a producer and I was struggling to find my groove, constantly overthinking things and listening to often hateful comments from the horrible UK forums that still seem to be a big part of the scene. The USA just isn’t like that, people are much more positive and if they have criticism I find them much more constructive which is very useful when you’re an artist like I was at that point trying to find my sound. I really love L.A as a city, it’s so vibrant and fun and within a few months of being there everything locked into place for me and I really owe a lot of my career to that move, finding my sound and being fully accepted by the city’s scene giving me the confidence to throw amazing parties again for the first time since my Huddersfield days, outside of Ibiza of course… my other favourite place!
You’ve now completed well over a decade of seasons in Ibiza and you’re now locked into this years’, how has, in your opinion, the island evolved over this time?
Yep this is my 12th season on the Island and I’ve now bought a villa here so it’s my main base all year around now. Ibiza is the epicenter of music in my opinion. If you want to break a new record then its most likely going to happen here, new sounds are always pioneered here, big artists have weekly residencies here so are really comfortable and feel safe pushing the limits of their sounds to their home audience. Musically there is something here for everyone these days, when I first came here there was only house and techno here but then clubs like Manumission and Ibiza Rocks pushed the envelope and brought a new wave of live music and bands.
I joined the company at that point and over our time, together, we brought a lot of new sounds to the island, we gave birth to bass music booking Chase & Status, Skream, Rusko etc for the first time, we booked Disclosure for the first time, grime music etc. and now all of these styles have their own huge residencies on the island. Of course in the last few years EDM has become a lot more predominant which has brought a lot of money to the island as well. It’s been a very interesting journey and it will never stop evolving!
One of your latest projects is your label Reptile Dysfunction, what was the main concept you had in mind for the label?
It’s hard as an artist to fit into other labels’ boxes, especially when you’re someone like me who gets very bored with a sound very quickly and I like to keep pushing the envelope so I needed an outlet for some of my weirder stuff that doesn’t quite fit on the family labels I’m used to releasing on like Hot Creations, Dirtybird and Cajual / Relief. Also I felt like it was time to build my own crew of artists that can tour with me and my Doorly & Friends parties which will all now gradually become Reptile Dysfunction events as the label gains momentum. It’s so much fun running a label, more than I ever imagined and a really nice natural way to build a musical family.
A lot of the artists on the latest release on the label are fresh new talent in the game such as Josh Newsham from Manchester and Colour Castle of Sydney, how important is it for you to help push and unearth new talent?
I’ll be pushing a lot of brand new talent as my main focus is to give a chance to real talent that I find around the world that need a break. Artists Like Trooko, tan Dem, Charlie Rope and Griff who are all going to be superstars. But also we have some big artists who are friends of mine getting involved as well. I have a monster of an EP from jaydee (who made Plastic Dreams years ago) and We already had Mike Skinner from the streets on a track and as mentioned before Skream, Patrick Topping and Idris Elba will be on the forthcoming EP and loads more that I cant really talk about just yet but its very very exciting indeed!
When you enter the studio, do you have a particular process you always follow when it comes to creating new productions and remixes? Perhaps your production flow has changed over the years as your schedule has got busier and your time more restricted?
Yeah it’s tricky when touring on the road to stay focused in the studio and find the energy. You have to get good at coming up with ideas with a hangover on a cramped airplane middle seat but on the flip side there’s a lot more inspiration whilst on the road rather than sat in a dark studio with no windows so its just about harnessing that energy when it comes and making sure you at least get the idea down however rough.
You’ve seen your fair share of raves, events and festivals both as a DJ and as a punter, what would be the weirdest or funniest thing you’ve witnessed?
I threw a pretty insane party the other night to be honest! I did a Doorly & Friends party in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in the castle where they film Game of thrones and I booked Idris Elba as my guest. [The parties] are something different for the crowd attending than anything else.
My parties are always bespoke, immersive and as weird as possible
In your career, who’s been the most inspiring musician to your productions and work ethic as a DJ?
There’s been a few. Green Velvet, is like my musical dad, his label has always been my truest home (Cajual / Relief). He allows me to take a lot bigger risks than anyone else and always has the most expert guidance on finishing tracks. As an artist himself his work ethic is just mental and I don’t know how he does it. A true hero. Also for similar reasons, Fatboy Slim, he’s the most incredible human being, a true pioneer and risk taker and the ultimate party DJ. My life / career goal would be to a fraction of the performer he is and to be anywhere near as well regarded. Both these guys are two of the nicest men I have ever met in or out of dance music and its a real reminder that no matter how busy / famous / genius you are you can still find the time to be nice to everyone you meet along the way. And I try to instill that in any young artists that I meet along the way as you’d be surprised how quickly the ego can take over as soon as someone makes a track and they start to get some fans.
And finally, Dance music. What makes it so important and special to you?
Its my life, I wake up sweating some nights wondering what the hell I would be doing with my life if I didn’t find this incredible thing. It’s my calling in life and I have it to thank for all the friends I’ve met along the way and all of the best moments of my life. I’m a lucky man.