David Leese: ”Immediately felt in my element”

David Leese and Marceline 2017
After two spontaneous run-ins it was time to interview Dutch DJ David Leese about his first gig. He could play his own records in a "not too hectic environment.”

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

We met during a release party for Charlotte de Witte and Quazar in the Amsterdam music store Mary Go Wild. Our attempt to take a good picture in front of the famous ‘Jack’ poster failed. Dutch David Leeseman a.k.a. DJ David Leese and I did have a good talk and after meeting again during Mystic Garden Festival, in 2017 it was time for his first gig story. “I could play my own records in a not too hectic environment.”

“I came in touch with dance music in the late nineties. At the age of seventeen, together with my brother Daniel I bought my first set of Reloop turntables and a dozen vinyl records. Daniel is two years younger. Since then, it has been a lot of spinning in the well-known bedroom and attic. I really spent quite a few hours on that, sometimes to the annoyance of my parents.”

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Here and there

“After about a year and a half, we decided together to purchase a set of Technics turntables. Then I noticed that practicing on the less secure Reloops had paid off. I really got the hang of it now. After I was allowed to put a record on here and there at a birthday party, I had my first real club gig at the age of twenty, early 2002. That was in club DANCEr on the Van Welderenstraat in Nijmegen.”

Wooden shed

“Unfortunately, I do not remember the exact date and photos were not taken in that club at the time. In any case, it was a fairly small, elongated bar/dancing with a kind of wooden shed at the end that functioned as a DJ booth. Just like at home, there were two Technics turntables and a Dateq XTC mixer, so I immediately felt in my element.”

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Full record case

“I played there for six months, usually every other week. In many cases it involved a three- to four-hour set. It was a perfect place to learn how to play live and to test a lot of music. What I remember very well is that I lugged around a lot of records to these evenings. A record case and a record bag full. That often came down to about seventy to eighty records. Mainly trance and progressive. Quite different from the techno I play these days.”

Own records

“I wasn’t really nervous. That was probably because it wasn’t a big, packed club. I could play my own records in a not too hectic environment. I don’t think I made any really big mistakes. There was also a MiniDisc recorder in the DJ booth at the DANCEr, which I later used to partially record one of the sets. And I have to say I’m still pretty proud of that 2002 mix.”

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“I didn’t really have a mentor, but at the time I was very impressed with how Tiësto played. His way of mixing and daring choice of records were a a great source of inspiration for me. I still use manners that I used to look at him at the time, especially when it comes to mixing techniques.”


“I made the switch to techno about six or seven years ago and it’s going really well. Especially after I moved to Amsterdam in 2012. I took my newly started Beatroom concept to the capital and I was able to develop it into a nice club event.”

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“This summer we will even host a stage at Solar Weekend Festival. I have also had the opportunity to experience many adventures abroad and have played in England, Germany, Russia, Malta. This year there was a mini-tour to India and Dubai.”

This interview with David Leese is originally published on DJMag.nl in August 2017.

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