The Champion sound

This UK-based DJ is looking forward to starting a brand new set in the city

When you see the video for London DJ Champion’s Boiler Room set from 2015 on YouTube, the comments are (as expected) quite a funny, yet apt way to describe the electronic music producer’s take on Grime, House, UK Funky and bassline tunes. Words such as ‘turbulent’ and ‘absolute wobbler’ might induce a laugh, but the DJ says he has received quite some praise for his sets. “Someone told me once that my set is like watching the master while everyone else are the students!” he says.

Releasing music since 2011, the DJ makes his way to India this week, courtesy of music management company Mixtape, performing at Bengaluru’s Church Street Social on August 10. Mixtape has previously brought over known associates and peers of DJ Champion, including Flava D and Preditah, but he would rather go in with brand new eyes than ask his fellow DJs about what playing in India entails. “I actually haven’t had the chance to speak to Flava, but I saw the footage so I know I am in for a good one. Preditah has also played before and it looked wicked,” he says.

In the last decade, Champion has performed at some of the biggest festivals in the world, including Glastonbury in the United Kingdom. Plus, his music is regularly sought after by producer/DJs such as Mark Ronson and Dipolo to throw into their own sets. Some time ago, Champion set up his own label Formula Records to promote the talent he believed in. “Friends of mine had functioning record labels at the time I started mine. I’d ask a lot of questions so I guess that was my industry advice. Honestly, I always wanted a label so I just went for it. The label is on a break at the moment. I got busier and found I didn’t have the time I’d like to put into the releases. That is not fair on the artists.”

On the plus side, he is writing a bunch of his own songs at the moment. He says, “Hopefully, I get to show everyone what I’ve been up to soon.” As for his DJ sets, he maintains that the process for him isn’t about tailoring a flow of music from start to finish, but to live in the moment. “I actually don’t think about the last song until I’m about to play it. I have never pre-planned a set, it makes no sense to me. There are so many variables to consider before playing a set that you won’t know until you get to the show, like what/how the last DJs were playing, how late into the night it is, whether the crowd is tired or you notice that they come alive for something in particular.”

Including Mumbai and Delhi, Bengaluru is the last stop on DJ Champion’s short tour, but he seems excited about coming to the South, considering it gives him a chance to explore his South Indian heritage. He says, “I’m 1/4th Indian and quite tight with my family so I know most, if not all of them are in the UK and Jamaica. All the Indians in the family however, were all born and raised in Jamaica including my great-grandad. No one knows our history before Jamaica. Through some of the family doing research, we found out that our oldest recorded relative came from the South of India, but that is all we know.” Ahead of his tour, it feels like the DJ is offering music in return for a chance to explore his true roots.

DJ Champion and _RHL perform at Church Street Social on August 10. Entry: Free, via RSVP on

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 7:20:51 AM |

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