Lee Haslam: “Only been DJing for 4 weeks!”

Lee Haslam at his first gig
Lee Haslam had his debut in 1996. He had just started playing and he has his former girlfriend to thank for it.

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In 2016 Lee Haslam and me had a chat about his unexpected first gig. "That gig came as quite a surprise."

“My first DJ appearance was at a small little event in Doncaster, which was my home town back in 1996. The gig was quite a surprise, since I had only been DJing for 4 weeks! I was 21 which is considered pretty old in today’s terms for starting a DJ career. I hadn’t had a mentor as such, but I used to go clubbing every weekend and watch the likes of Tony De Vit & Scott Bond. They taught me a lot.”

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“Was I nervous? Er, yes! I was only doing the warm-up, but it was the first time I had played anywhere other than in my bedroom. In the end, it also was a great experience.”


“I hadn’t really prepared my set at home. Of course, I had a rough idea of the tracks I wanted to play but after a nervy start, I just went with the flow.”


“A lot of my friends came and showed support. As did my girlfriend at the time. She’s actually the one whom helped me get this gig. Without me knowing, she handed the promoter a tape of one of my sets. This means, I have a lot to thank her for. Towards the end of my set, there were probably about a hundred people in the venue. My mum finally came to see my play about seven years later, after my dad passed away, so unfortunately she didn’t attend this one.” 


“How did that first gig go? Well, it did as debuts do: it went really well. Because, as of that point, it had me the bug and it made me want to do more. Also, I must have done well, enough, because I got a weekly residency out of it. This really set-up my career.”

“After that first gig I was extremely happy. I don’t remember making huge mistakes, but I really don’t think I did. The experience taught me how to play on a big system and to believe in my ability. So, in that sense, it was an invaluable experience.”

This story was originally published on DJMag.nl on Thursday March 17th 2016

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