Northerner and DJ Terry Donovan has made his home in the capital, London. With the Olympic summer over and an infinite number of festivals under his belt, I thought I would dig a little deeper into Terry’s craft over an ice cream in the best place to be on a sunny Sunday, Covent Garden.
(Head to our Facebook for ice cream shots)
Nigel Ruwende: Why do you enjoy your beard (and fashion) so much?
Terry Donovan: I suppose my fashion is an extension of my personality as well as an expression of my influence from music. I have my beard for many reasons. My favourite one is that you can hide things in the heart of the bush, like tools and snacks. It is also like having a machine gun on your face – people look at it, perhaps a little scared but really, they want to touch it!
NR: I am one of those people! Okay, okay, let’s focus. Why did you become a DJ? Did anyone/anything in particular influence you?
TD: Between my parents, sister and I, our family is constantly surrounded by music. Growing up, my mam was a rocker and dad was a mod, so I listened to all the greats from The Rolling Stones and The Who, to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Thinking back now, our CD and record collection took up most of the living room. I mean, the music player was more expensive than the family car. Technique’s it was – and I think my mam still has the speakers!
My sister was the queen of trance, and she first introduced me to dance music when I was about ten years old. Soon enough, my favourite genre was funk/soul house. When I was eleven, I asked for my own set of vinyl decks and a mixer for my birthday, to which I contributed half of my pocket money. From then on, I was in my idea of Heaven while all the other kids played football outside. Armed with my £3 pocket money, I would spend every Saturday at the local music store shopping for a new record. I never actually set out to be a DJ, but I began taking my decks to mates’ birthday parties and weddings. Getting £10 for playing music for people all night wasn’t too bad at all when I was a kid. Plus, DJing at my school disco was the best feeling ever!
As I got older, I did the usual – went to college and then moved away from up north to study in London. During this time, my own musical tastes were changing as my love for disco, soul and motown grew. Disco is now my biggest love, as this is where dance music started. I reckon that although I am influenced by all musical genre, my biggest hero is Gregg Wilson – you should check out his album Credit to the Edit. Andrew Weatherall and Theo Parrish are also some of my favourites, and Erol Alkan’s album Bugged Out is one you can’t afford not to listen to. Like I said, I didn’t ever set out to become a DJ, it just fell into place. I’d have to say that the best part of the job is playing the music you love to other people who enjoy it.
NR: So where can we find you these days?
TD: I DJ at a few clubs around London, The Lock Tavern, Circus, Met Bar and Ping. I also DJ as part of a duo with DJ John Hill called Lassi Djs. We’ve also recently started a weekly resident at The Sanderson on a Saturday, but if you want the latest, check me out on Twitter at @melont1987 or @lassidjs.
Terry Wears: Mustard moleskin blazer by Jigsaw, white oxford shirt by Natural Selection, watch by Triwa, navy print trousers by Percival, brown leather double monk strap shoes by Scarosso, and a tweed/leather ruck sack by Cherchbi.