GET TO KNOW: Vanilla Ace


What age did you start DJing?

I started DJing when I was around older brother made me buy turntables with him for christmas one year when i was first I thought it was a waste of money then I realised that all the US hip hop, R&B and house music was on import vinyl only so I started collecting records. Back in the late 90's there was no iTunes or Zippyshare, you had to dig!


What inspired you to get into this business and how did you achieve it?

Whilst in college in London I did a lot of work experience at big major labels like Sony Music, hoping I would get a job after college their...I ended up at a smaller one doing talent scouting and A&R, it gave me good insight into the business. I lasted 3 years, before realising that DJing full time paid better money and would be more fun, it was the best decision I ever made, working a 9-5 wasn't for me. So seeing how the music industry worked inspired me to start making my own tracks, Vanilla Ace is a new project for me...but for sure my best one to date.


How did you learn to produce and DJ?

I learnt how to DJ by watching various friends of mine growing up and really on the job...I wasn't one for practising at home. When I was younger and solely DJing with vinyl it helps train your ears to mixing better. Producing is two parts technical skill and the other having good ideas and a even better ear. Being a DJ and making music helps as you know what will work on the dance floor.


What was your breakthrough moment?

As Vanilla Ace I would say my first few releases on Toolroom, Southern Fried, Moda and Blockhead were good but very slept on...but the breakthrough came earlier this year when I released my 'Musicology' EP on OFF recordings.


Where have you found the best audience so far?

I've had some great gigs, best ones so far would be at Ministry of Sound and the Kazantip Festival in Ukraine.


Which DJs have influenced your style of producing?

I love so many types of music its a hard question...but I'd say Masters at Work, Teddy Riley and DJ Premier.


Which 3 Djs do you listen to the most?

The Magician, Pete Tong and whoever's on Magic FM at 4am in the morning lol


What's your favourite song of all time?

Jodeci - 'Alone'


What would be your dream venue to play at?

Wembley Stadium


Who would you most like to play b2b with?

Larry Levan, he'd have some gems.


Do you listen to other genres off the house scene?If so what?

Of course I like some tech, prog, electro, electronica...



What was the first record you bought?

It was a cassette of Bobby Brown's 'Don't Be Cruel' album. Absolute 80's classic.


Best live moment so far in your career?

Playing Kazantip closing party this summer, great crowd.


Taking into account the rapid rise in popularity of house music over the course of this year, what do you think about the house scene currently?

I think its very healthy at the moment, lots of great music coming out on the deep, tech and nu disco scenes. The EDM (prog, electro) scene is a bit stale and I think they need to stop copying the 'safe' formula and people like Paris Hilton trying to DJ in it aren't helping. But its interesting to see dudes like Aoki and Tiesto digging deep house.


What advice would you give up and coming producers?

Don't give up, learn your craft and have better ideas than the next person.


Are there any up and coming producers you tip to make it big time?

My pals Chad Tyson, Bordertown, XY-ME, Donny Bravo and Dharkfunkh, I've done a few remixes and tracks with them all and they are super talented.


How do you rate 90s house music with todays?

I was a bit young in the 90's to appreciate it but I know its a massive influence now on the whole scene which is good as 90's house music was very original.


What track would you play to rescue a dance floor?

Cheryl Lynn 'Got to be Real'


Where do you dream of being in 5 years time?

I hope to be touring the globe, having great residencies in cities that matter and making great music that people appreciate.


What next for you?

I have a lot of releases coming out this year still, my EP with Sharam Jey drops on Sept 23rd and I have forthcoming EP's with OFF, Electronique and a few remixes. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!


Upcoming gigs


Remedy Sessions @ ADE, Amsterdam

Club Abe, Megabar Amsterdam BV, Amstelstraat 32, Amsterdam, DA, 1017, Netherlands



Wanderlust, Paris

Wanderlust, 32, quai d'Austerlitz, Paris, 75013, France



One Central Club, Manchester

One Central Club, 1 Central Street, Manchester City Centre, Manchester, M2 5WR, United Kingdom



Club Americas, Milan

Club Americas, via turati, Milan, 20100, Italy



Shangri-La @ Glam, Cardiff

Glam, 2 Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AD, United Kingdom