World renowned DJ, producer and label boss Jamie Jones has created his own house sound that has been celebrated at parties and festivals all over the world. Currently on a high from the release of his latest single “We Groovin“, we got the chance to learn more about the decade long career Jamie has built for himself over the years. If you’ve ever had a passion but struggle to find the balance to see it through, Jamie Jones’ story is one you need to read about!

You grew up in a small village in Wales. For those who aren’t too familiar with the UK, tell us about what it was like growing up there. What is your favorite memory from your time there? 

Honestly, it was a wonderful place to grow up. I spent almost all my time as a child outdoors playing football or climbing trees. In the summer, we would cycle about 20 minutes down to the beach. North Wales is a beautiful place, you can see the Snowdonia mountains snowcapped all year and if you turn around, you can look at the most incredible sunsets over the Irish Sea. There are huge, beautiful castles and so much history and a strong sense of identity and culture. I grew up as one of only 2 mixed race children in my school, which had its challenges, but I survived and overall loved growing up there.  

You started exploring the East London warehouse party scene in the mid 2000s. What about this party scene inspired you to want to create music? 

Before I started raving in east London, I had already started making some beats on a friends computer, I didn’t own my own computer until I put on my first warehouse party, just off Brick Lane in East London, around 2004. I made a profit of about £3000 (I’d never seen that much cash before!) and bought my first Mac Book Pro.  

Before that, I had been going to a lot of after-hours parties around East London and the electro clash scene was forming into a houseier electro scene. The music coming out then was so fresh and inspiring. German electro with Detroit techno and Chicago house but mixed with a certain funk and melody, very sleazy but interesting. All the coolest people went out on Sunday nights, and there was so many illegal and smaller parties in Russian social clubs, lofts, or small warehouse spaces. It was a golden time in East London!  

Photographer: Emma Tranter

When you decided to get serious about music, how did you first get into DJing? 

I was serious about dj-ing as soon as I got my first basic set of decks when I was 15. I even put on some parties in my local rugby club in Wales. The rugby club for some reason didn’t mind serving 15-year old’s alcohol, so I convinced them to let me put on a party there. I had one disco light, and it was blue, so I called the party Blue. I made some flyers and handed them out at school and charged people £2 to come in. 

 I played speed garage whilst a bunch of 15-year-olds got drunk on pints of beer. I really knew I wanted to go for this as a full-time career though when I graduated university at age 21. I went for one interview at a design studio, I studied media technology and was a pretty good graphic designer by the end of my course, I was offered the job, but I realized my heart was in music and I didn’t want to get stuck in a full time job, so I turned it down, and hustled. Mainly doing medical trials, being a guinea pig for pharmaceutical companies to pay my bills. It was a fun time but a very difficult time too. I was very, very, poor and many times unable to pay my rent or eat, but I got through it.  

When you first began discovering your sound in the UK, what were some challenges you faced early on?   

Back then there was no YouTube, and I had no money, so I couldn’t afford to go to do a course on making music. It was years of trial and error and working things out myself. It took me about 4/5 years of making music every day for hours and hours and making hundreds or thousands of songs before I finally was making music that sounded good enough to play out. 

 In some respects, this was better because it gave me time to craft my own identity, and not just copy someone else’s music because I knew how to, it was a long process. My main focus then was just being different, making music that I wanted to dance to that sounded like nobody else. The only big challenges I faced back then were surviving financially, paying bills and rent.  

It was a struggle for many years and many members of my family, aunts and uncles, were on my back and my mother’s back for me to get a “real” job, but my mother believed in me and gave up a lot and took some risks like getting into debt just to get me through those years. Luckily it worked out and now she’s taken care of financially which is a happy ending. The cliche of buying your mother a house is a great feeling.  

Photographer: Killian Bizais 

Take us back to your first residency at a nightclub and talk about how it felt to be part of the music scene after working on your craft for so long. 

My first residency in Ibiza was the vista room or back then Music Box at privilege for Manumisson in 2004. My friends Rosanna Maldonado and Derren Smart were running it and they had heard a mix of mine, they were pushing the East London electro type sound in Ibiza, so I got the warmup slot every week. It opened up so many doors for me, I met all my heroes like Damian Lazarus and Dan Ghenacia and later they signed my first music.  

I started playing in DC-10 in 2006, but I had been part of the DC-10 movement since 2000, going religiously every Monday morning (it used to be an after-hours starting at 8am on Monday’s). I was just a raver on the dance floor week in week out. Slowly I began to meet the DJs and people with influence there like Clive Henry who was a resident DJ, he gave a mix of mine a few years later to Andrea who is a partner there and I was booked.  

But those years between 2000-2008 when it was an after-hours was incredible, no phones of course and the best crowd I’ve ever experienced in a party, it was a real melting pot of every type of person, nobody cared who anyone was, having money meant absolutely nothing back then in there, it was whacky, edgy and stylish in a raw way. It was diverse and weird, that’s why I say movement. It felt like being part of something secret and special, at the forefront of a new era, and looking back it really was. As was East London in the 2000’s for underground house and techno.  

You co-founded cross-genre electronic music group “Hot Natured” with American music producer Lee Foss. How did you two meet? Talk to us about your time in this group.   

Lee Foss and I met in DC-10 in 2001. We met through a mutual friend on the dance floor. There weren’t many Americans spending the seasons in Ibiza back then and he was kind of weird, kind of funny and we bonded over our love of music. The next two summers we lived together first in San Antonio and then Playa D’en Bossa. 2003 was probably my hardest summer in Ibiza. We found it hard to make money and to pay rent. I couldn’t even afford to buy bottled water that year, so I had to boil the tap water and put it in the fridge to drink. 

 All I ate for a month was a huge sack of potatoes. They say shared hardship bonds people for life, and this is true for me and Lee Foss. A few years later in Miami at a house party, we realized we both loved disco. We were bored of listening to house music all week at the Miami music conference (now music week) so decided the following year we would throw an end of week party playing anything but club records. Hot Natured was born as a party, and it later became a band with Ali love and Luca Cazal.  

Photographer: Killian Bizais 

Your Paradise global event series falls under the umbrella of your record label, merchandise and live performances. Tell us about how this got started and where supporters can catch you in 2024.   

In 2011, I had a breakthrough year of sorts. I had a hit record, a remix of Azari & III’s “Hungry for the Power” that became probably the song of the summer in Ibiza. That Winter I was offered my own residency / night at another club in Ibiza, despite being resident at Circo loco in DC-10. The offer was from Vista Room at Privilege. When I told Circo Loco I was thinking of leaving, they offered me my own night and so Paradise was born named after Larry Levan’s legendary Paradise garage parties.  

We started small with 800 people a week and grew to the party in Amnesia we are today. You can catch me closing the terrace every week from June 19th onwards. We’ve had some magical parties all over the world as Paradise too, Miami, Tulum, London – where we just did our own sold-out event for 15,000 people, so many incredible memories from all over the world.  

For any aspiring DJ’s, give us 3 tips everyone DJ needs to succeed in their career.    

I came up as a DJ playing bars in West London and Croydon, and being able to play to no people and a more general crowd really shaped me. I’ve always felt I can go to any situation and make a vibe, whether it’s a wedding or 30,000 people. I buy music for every situation and playing the right record at the right time is the art of DJing, so don’t just think about what works at a festival or your favorite club, but collect music everywhere, and play appropriately for the situation. 

Do everything you can to be original when making music, look for sounds that are exciting and you haven’t heard. When I’m listening to demos, I’m looking for club bombs that are fresh. I don’t want samples or vocals from splice that I’ve heard 5 other people use on demos I’ve already been sent. Dig deep for records and samples and sounds, if you are the originator of a sound, style or idea you will be the most successful.  

Be humble and nice to everyone, most people work hard all week at jobs they don’t particularly like, and they save their money to come and dance to your energy and vibe. Respect that, be professional, don’t miss shows because you’re too tired or hungover. Always make time to speak to people if you can and give people the gratitude they deserve for supporting you. Be grateful for where you are, even if it’s just getting a few gigs here and there so you’re able to pay your bills, that’s the benchmark of happiness in this game in my opinion.  

Photographer: Emma Tranter

You have a busy European Festival line-up this year. From Timewrap, Music on Festival, Forbidden Forest, The Beach Festival and Kappa FuturFestival. How do the European festivals compare to the ones in North America? 

Nowadays they are more similar than they have ever been. The underground scene is huge in America now, this generation has grown up with dance music, so there is much more of it.  American festivals have very good production and lighting as a lot of them are pop or EDM festivals with underground stages so the level of production and sound and so on is always high.  

Whilst there’s so many more festivals in Europe, they come in all shapes and sizes, and some that are purely underground have a more specialized crowd, Timewarp and Sunwaves come to mind as two purely underground festivals with amazing crowds and vibe, long DJ sets and a real sense of community and culture.  

What do you love most about your career? You can travel the world, create your own sound and share it with people from all walks of life. But what is your favorite aspect of what you do? 

I love so many things about my career! I love learning the most. Learning how to make a certain crowd or country lose themselves – every club, country, crowd and event is different so I’m constantly learning and improving myself to be able to do this. Sometimes I get it right from the start of the show, sometimes it takes me longer, but if I can get that moment that feels fresh, exciting, edgy and magical where everyone connects in the atmosphere, I have done my job. 

 It doesn’t happen every time, but I would like to think most times it does. I guess that’s why DJs are successful or not, if they can make those moments happen consistently enough, people come back again and again to experience it. I love and hate travelling; I love seeing new places and I love nice hotels (ha!), but I hate being away from my wife and daughters. The other thing I love, and this is a big love, is signing new music and being part of new artists starting their careers and doing what they love and making a living from it. Realizing their dreams and being able to make a life for themselves doing what they love.  

Photographer: Emma Tranter

You’ve released various singles this past year featuring artists such as Channel Tres, Kah-Lo and most recently on your latest single ‘We Groovin’ with Jazzy, what new music or projects can we expect from you for the rest of this year? Are there any artists you’re keen to work with? 

I have worked with some amazing singers over the last 12 months. I have a few more singles to come on my album project, which I’m working on with Helix Records. I can’t name any names but a few more big vocals to come. In between, I also have some more underground EPs coming on my own label Hot Creations. I’ve been in Bali for the last 4 months with my family, recording music between taking my daughter to school and the beach, so there’s plenty of music to come out. 

What’s next for Jamie Jones? Do you have anything else going on in 2024 that you can share with Galore readers? 

I’m super excited about the world we are creating in Ibiza this summer for Paradise at Amnesia, it’s called Temples of the Sun and the production is going to be out of this world!  We are back in the studio recording new Hot Natured material in May so that will be super fun.  

I’ve also got my electronic hybrid orchestral project with Kate Simko called Opus 1. We have finished an album, so I am trying to find the right time to release that. More singles from me and more of my “Other World” shows. It’s a crazy visual experience with a hybrid live DJ set. I have done this show at Coachella and III Points so far, but more shows are coming later in the year.  


Editor In Chief: Prince Chenoa (@princechenoastudio)

Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Photographer: Emma Tranter (@etranter)

Photographer: Killian Bizais (@dirtwalkwithme)

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