Tony White waxes lyrical on his new night, Remix, and reveals the meanest international DJ he’s ever met
So you’re Chi’s resident plate-spinner – tell us about yourself. I’m from Beirut in Lebanon – I started DJing as a hobby when I was 14 or so at school parties, and eventually ended up working on Switch FM [now Fame FM], the number one dance station in Beirut. At 19 I started playing in clubs and eventually made it over here.
What’s your musical speciality? I play electro and a little progressive and minimal house, but I also play classic commercial house too. My favourite is minimal electro – you can feel every beat and instrument inside it. I have to be versatile because I play with all the big DJs at Chi like Armin van Buuren and Marco V.
So you’ve played with the top DJs, eh? Who’s been the nicest? Armin is very cool, very down-to-earth, as are Alex P and Marco V.
Aw, we were hoping Armin would be horrible. He’s really, genuinely that great? Yes, 100 per cent. I was surprised to see that the number one DJ in the world is very close to the people. But of course being a great DJ is not just about having good music. You have to be close to the crowd and be able to know what they want – especially when you are international, because it’s different in every country all over the world.
Who did you like the least? Deadmau5. I met him only once when he played Chi and even though people wanted to talk to him, he didn’t want to talk to anybody, even the promoter! He’s showing off to the people, but it’s too early for him to do that – he only became big last year. And if even Armin van Buuren isn’t acting like him, well…
If you wanted to escape the mean ol’ DJs of the world, what would you like to be? An airforce pilot. It was a dream of mine, but I didn’t do it because I am the only guy in the family.
You’re headlining the Remix night at Chi – what’s that about? Me and Tim Cheddar will be up there – he’s going to play the originals and I’m going to play the remixes and the club classics. I have lots of remixes that I’ve done myself from ’80s and ’90s songs, so I should have enough to keep everyone happy all night. What are your three favourite-ever remixes? I made a remix for the song ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S. I put an electro beat to it and now the radio stations are playing it! And me and a friend, DJ Dally.D, also made a house remix of ‘Hotel California’.
Oh dear. Surely the cover bands have put everyone off that tune? No, I played it once and the feedback with the people was really nice. It’s instrumental, not vocal, but people really liked it.
And what’s your third favourite remix of all time? I love all of Dirty South’s remixes – every one. He’s really talented, and always knows the right songs to remix and the right elements to keep.
Tony White plays Chi regularly, and headlines Remix at Chi on March 20