Nightlife » Music

DJ Wayne G’s Gospel of Anthems

by Jim Hauck
Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

It all started in a club called Back Passage in London in 1995, where a young artist looking to make a name provided mix tapes (yes, child, cassette tapes) of dance music he enjoyed. This budding young artist, still working a day job as an accountant at the time, was taking a short break from that when the opportunity that would change his future started to take shape.

With an ear for good music, the artist began learning the skills of mixing during the day, eventually landing key DJ gigs at 79CXR and Bar Code in London. The big break came in 1996 when he was asked to spin at the Red Heart Party -- with Grace Jones, no less -- an early "Circuit" party. It was at this gig that the owners of Heaven, the legendary London nightclub, discovered Wayne Gibbons..

Building on this newfound success, Wayne G, as he soon came to be known, released his first big success in 1997: "Twisted." Pushing him to international stardom, this track with smoking lyrics like, "Are you as hot in the bedroom as you are on the dance floor?" or "Take your dog like face to another place" might be silly fun. But the song is all get-down serious dance grooves and very memorable

In 1999, Wayne landed his first gigs stateside in San Francisco at the legendary Universe. He would spin perform at the opening night of Mezzanine nightclub there. At the millennium, Wayne G secured playing Mardi Gras in Sydney and his sound and name became a household word in households that knew their DJs.

Other tracks like a memorable mix with male vocalist Peyton's "U R the Best Thing" and the very famous "I Just Wanna Dance" (from the "Jerry Springer the Opera") could be the ultimate legacy that is Wayne G. When asked about the success of "I Just Wanna Dance", Wayne just crooks an eye, and says, "I am very proud of it. I just can't listen to it anymore."

The next banner year came when he met his friend and soon-to-be manager Luke Johnstone at the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney. Luke started lining up gigs for Wayne; Luke was finding Wayne big-room gigs the White Party Palm Springs, White Party Miami, San Diego Zoo Party, Atlantis Cruises, and locations including Brazil, Provincetown and Fire Island.

After over 15 years behind the decks, countless miles of travel, and a global fan base; Wayne is notorious for constantly reinventing himself and remaining a current and relevant part of the dance scene. When asked about his most memorable moments, he notes a night in London when he had Cher performing her re-launch of "Believe" and the gig at the Sydney Harbor Party in 2002. "We charged 10 pounds for entry and people thought we were mad" says Wayne about the Cher gig, but people were amazed.

Wayne is certainly an influence in the music scene, but he attributes his passion and inspiration to one of the Britain's most popular DJs, Tony DeVit, whose brand of hi-NRG house was livening up the 1990's dance scene at clubs like Trade and Kiss, frequent haunts of a young Wayne. He also admires the stylings and skill of Tony Moran, Abel, Paul Goodyear, Phil B, Peter Rauhofer, and Casey Alva.

So what's in the future for this Circuit star? "I want to be a porn star!" he jokes. Well, maybe that's not such a terribly surprising response, given the number of porn stars who have tried their hand behind the decks. But in all seriousness, Wayne "wants to do more songwriting with a band" and is focusing on his newest business venture, a partnership with record label Bennu Recordings. Bennu has already hit the market with a strong start and with more releases happening about every six weeks; the future of collaboration on new music collaboration looks bright indeed.

With so many achievements already in the can for this DJ, he remains shy and reserved and even blushes when called a "superstar." He is still nervous just before a gig, often having to take a moment before he starts to compose himself. When asked what one thing he wishes he could change, his cheeky response "besides having a career in porn?" is quickly followed up with "the perception that I am a T-Dance DJ!" He's only half kidding: With roots deep in a harder but vocal aesthetic, his anthems and upbeat vocals have made him very popular.

Wayne G has a big year ahead for 2012, landing some of the largest party gigs on the scene, including Sydney Mardi Gras, White Party Palm Springs' main event, Atlantis Allure of the Seas Cruise, New Orleans Mardi Gras, Purple Party Dallas, Reach San Francisco Pride T-Dance, among others. Keep an eye on his calendar on his website for additional dates on his world tour.

Get yourself a little Wayne G music by checking out his podcast (or, of course iTunes).


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