My Biggest Fan

For quite a few years now I’ve had a particular fan that stands out from the rest. He likes, comments on, and shares all of my social media posts, and follows my every move. Any products I sell he’s the first to order! It’s a massive compliment and a huge sign of his passion for Rave music.  I have met him a couple of times over the years and I’d now class him as my long distance buddy. We’re not close friends but he absolutely loves what I do, and in return I really appreciate his love for mixing and DJing. He sent me the pictures of his football tops a few weeks ago… his Slipmatt & SL2 home and away shirts. There’s not many fans out there in rave-land that go to these sort of lengths to show their support.

DJ Smiley

This fella’s persistence and determination to get himself heard has been powerful over the past few years, and he’s a really good DJ too. Mark aka DJ Smiley is from Scotland. He’s had a colourful life-journey so far including some very big challenges. These challenges have made him grow in to a caring person who goes to great lengths to help others who are going through the same as he once did. He made the trip down to see me at Fantazia in Stoke a few years back, and then also to Tranzmission at Finsbury Park in London on another occasion. He keeps in touch regularly and comments on nearly all of my on-line shows and uploads. He also uploads his own mixes to Mixcloud and has reached No.1 in genre charts many times, sometimes going above me (of which he always takes a cheeky screenshot) lol. His music is great, and his attitude is a perfect match.

My biggest fan DJ Smiley with the Slip-Family
DJ Smiley with the Slip-Family

A Message Of Disappointment

Last month Mark sent me a message saying he was going to give up hope on DJing at gigs. In so many words, he said he was tired of hitting a brick wall and getting so many broken promises from promoters. Where there is no hope and no light at the end of the tunnel, it becomes immensely hard to keep going. I can understand the frustration, but I don’t like his sort of energy and good talent going to waste. It doesn’t really help that the Scottish Rave scene has down-sized significantly over recent years too I suppose. That being said, and as the saying goes, “no-one is coming to save us”, so we must push ourselves and take action to get results we desire. Well, just the action of sending me a message has created some movement and a new awareness, whether anything comes of it or not. There’s a big lesson right there!

So it was sad reading such a message from someone who has put so much effort in to his craft. Mark has spent years pushing for a chance to play to a decent crowd, and although we’re all about enjoying the journey, it is gutting to hear that someone is giving up without quite reaching their first proper target.

Never Stop Trying

There are thousands of great unspun DJs out there in the big wide world, but for some reason I really want to help Mark get the chance that I feel he deserves. I’m not a promoter and I don’t organise my own events in the UK, so I can’t just give him a set myself. But there must be someone out there in the UK that will take a chance on my very talented, highly motivated, and extremely dedicated Rave buddy, DJ Smiley? I feel that even a short special appearance for 2018 will give him the boost he needs to get back on track. Maybe a daytime festival set somewhere?

Check him out here: DJ Smiley on Mixcloud

Never Stop Trying!
Never stop trying when you may be closer than you think!

The Moral Of The Story

I think the moral here is that we should never give up unless we prove there’s absolutely no chance at all. Just look what’s happened right here. When I started DJing it took me years to become what a lot of people would perceive as an overnight success. I was actually 10 years old when I played my first party. I was probably 14 when I played my first school disco, 21 when I played my first paid gig, and it took me 12 years after that first party to play at proper events on a regular basis at the age of 22 from 1989.

In any case, the goal is not just the destination. The goal is to enjoy the continuous here and now and never give up. It’s all about loving the process, the journey, and the challenges that we somehow manage to overcome if we persist enough… That’s where the real rewards and self-esteem are created.

If you have any DJ questions, feel free to email me and I’ll be glad to share my knowledge and experience with you. If you fancy giving DJ Smiley a set, please let me know. I may even come with him… ?

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