Norman Jay MBE

IF you haven’t heard of NORMAN JAY MBE, chances are you will very soon. Releasing his first widely distributed double CD in Australia, Norman is eager to make a name for himself down under. He has been called one of the finest and most respected deejays in the world today and BBM’s COLLEEN LEMAIRE got a chance to chat with the successful DJ days before he kicked off his Australia tour in Melbourne.

AS YOU can imagine, being part of the deejaying business is an exciting and ever-changing industry.
But according to Norman Jay, it is not an industry, it is an art form.

“I do not consider myself a part of an industry,” he says. “It’s simply a passion I have, it’s what I do to find happiness. That is not an industry. It is a tremendous joy to see people dancing to the music I create.”

Stumbling onto this passion at a young age, Norman has years of experience under his belt and holds the honor of being “the first” for many accomplishments he’s had.
His first ever (legal) live broadcast occurred in 1990 on his self-formed radio station KISS with London DJ pal Gordon Mac. It was a monumental moment in Norman’s life and he had an impressive half a million listeners.
Back in 2002, Norman was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Awarded on merit for “deejaying and services to music.”

He was presented with the MBE medal by Queen Elizabeth II herself, and to this day Norman holds the title as the only DJ in the world to receive one. He remembers it as: “a fantastic day that flashed by before I could even grasp the magnitude of it.”

Another milestone event was his performance at the Obama inauguration. Norman’s performed for celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Will Smith, Prince and the Beckhams but: “performing for Obama was obviously just on a whole other level. That was definitely my favorite venue to date.”
With such worldwide success, Norman’s been nicknamed “the people’s deejay.” BBM asked him where he pulled his inspiration from that led him to be so well-liked. His answer was simple and honest.

“I really think it’s just because I make myself approachable, I’m personable. These days everyone has virtual friends on the internet. I much prefer meeting someone face to face and forming those relationships. I put the people before the music. And I think people appreciate that.”

That they do. Continually featured in the upper ranks of the UK’s Mixmag’s top 100
DJs in the world and one of Face magazine’s most influential club culture figures of the last decade, Norman can’t seem to take a wrong step.
Not only do fans and musicians alike support him but he returns that support 100 percent. He even remembers a DJ duo called The So Called Scumbags, who will be playing at BBM’s closing summer party over Easter.

“They definitely had talent,” he recalls.
“That was an overall fun gig to be to be a part of.”

Norman not only offers his words of encouragement, he contributes his time and money to charities and fundraisers as well. Next on the list? The Haitian earthquake fund.

“I’m hoping to use money I make touring Australia to help the people suffering in Haiti,” he explains. “I’d love to do what I can to better that situation.”

He also hopes to get back to Africa more frequently and spread his music there. But for now, its Australia and then off to New Zealand. The guy never stops. His busy schedule takes him to clubs and festivals all over the world and Norman enjoys every second of it.

“I sort of stumbled into this field by accident and fortunately discovered my love for music that conveniently turned out to be a talent,” he says. “The joy I get out of deejaying will never get old and I hope to be around for years to come.”

• The release of Norman Jay’s latest CD album Good Times Australia will be available for release Friday 29th January. His tour kicks of 23 January at The ESPY in Melbourne. For more information, visit www.centralstation.com.au or www.normanjay.com