As you know, music is at the heart of everything we do at Dirty Bones. Every weekend you can catch DJs spinnin’ OG classics and party gems in our Oxford, Shoreditch and Kensington bars. If you don’t know you know.
Dirty Bones resident , DJ Complexion, is one of our fave vibe suppliers. Boasting over 15 year’s experience in the industry, he’s worked with some notable artists including School Boy Q, Little Simz, Action Bronson, Jorja Smith and A$AP Rocky. This guy definitely knows his way around the turntables and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of beats. With a US tour on the horizon we thought we’d catch up with him to talk his label, podcasts, influences and of course his top picks from the Dirty Bones Menu. He’s also created a Dirty Bones exclusive Spotify playlist, guaranteed to give you all the weekend feels, scroll down to listen and crank the speakers up.
DB: Hey Complexion How are you?
DJ Complexion: If I were any better, I'd be you!
DB: For the readers who don’t know you and haven’t caught you in Dirty Bones, can you tell us a little about yourself and your history as a DJ?
DJ Complexion: In short, I’m a space-obsessed, floral green tea drinking, trainer-collecting, comic book nerd hailing from West London, who has been lucky enough to pursue a career in music as DJ full-time.
I actually started DJing in my teens to try and impress a high-school crush, it didn’t work! I stuck with it though and over the years my musical taste has expanded, but I’ll always love Hip-Hop.
I have travelled throughout Europe, Asia, North America and Australia both as a tour DJ and on my own run of gigs. The last few years I have worked with Schoolboy Q, Little Simz, Bonkaz, Action Bronson, A$AP Rocky and more recently, Grammy-nominated Jorja Smith. I recorded scratches on the track ‘Blue Lights’ from Jorja’s Brit-Award winning debut album, she is amazingly talented. In addition to my DJ and broadcasting work I also run an online label called Future Beats Records, an offshoot of my radio show ‘The Future Beats Show’
DB: What was your first ever album you bought? We’d love to hear all about your relationship with music growing up?
DJ Complexion: It was actually Death Certificate by Ice Cube, I bought it for £1.50 from a friend whose older brother was a huge Hip-Hop fan. Growing up the Internet wasn’t what it is now so my only source of new music was either Yo!, MTV Raps or recording Tim Westwood on Radio One. I worked part-time at McDonalds in my teens to pay for my records so each and every piece of vinyl that I bought was extremely special to me because I could only afford a couple every pay day
DB: What artists are you really excited about? Is there anyone we should keep an eye out for?
DJ Complexion: There’s a producer/DJ from Brighton that goes by the name of El.Train, I’ve been supporting him on my radio show for the last 4 years and I’ve loved listening to his sound evolve. He has just dropped his debut album called ‘Puzzles’ which you should definitely take a listen to.
DB: What is your ultimate summer jam for 2019 and why?
DJ Complexion: Without a doubt, Dysfunctional by Kaytranda, it hits that sweet spot between RnB & House perfectly plus that bassline is oh so delicious. As soon as you press play it screams summer.
DB: Who’s your favourite OG Hip Hop Artist/group?
DJ Complexion: Without a doubt the incredible Tribe Called Quest, their first four albums to me are classics and will definitely stand the test of time. Everything from their artwork, beats, lyrics and fashion sense are permanently perfect.
DB: Yeah, sweet choice - they feature on our playlists heavily. If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
DJ Complexion: Professor Brian Cox from the BBC, he currently presents a fascinating show called Planets which is about the intricacies of our solar system, I would love to be afforded the opportunity to one day curate the soundtrack for his space documentaries.
DB: Woah, now that’s something we’d love to hear! You have an upcoming USA tour where will you be playing?
DJ Complexion: I can’t wait to get back out there! I start in New York and will be playing in, Miami, Washington D.C, Toronto, Boston, Atlanta, Las Vegas, L.A, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland with more states to be confirmed.
DB: How did this amazing opportunity come about?
DJ Complexion: I present a weekly radio show on Westside 89.6 FM called The Future Beats Show, I’ve been hosting it for just under 5 years now. It started off as a little hobby but has now grown into a record label, club night and music consultancy. My largest listenership is in the U.S so I just asked out on my show where my listeners want me to play, from there on I was inundated with requests. I got an indication of where I want to go and I put out a post on Instagram with my dates and promoters started getting in touch.
DB: We listen on the regular but for those who don’t, can you tell us about your podcast?
DJ Complexion: Apart from the radio show I have podcast called ‘The Tea Party Podcast’ which is myself and a friend of mine Aamir sharing our stories both being in the music industry and talking about the highs and lows. Aamir won a Grammy working on Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ album, and engineers with the industry’s leading artists and creatives on projects, so has some incredible stories as you can imagine. We also offer some general life and mental-health oriented advice, well-aware that creatives and freelancers struggle, as well as of course give feedback on music submissions. The podcast has been received so well, we are often stopped and thanked for promoting well-being even - the next episode is long-overdue!
DB: Where can we listen to it?
DJ Complexion: You can find it on your favourite music streaming platform! Listen here
DB: Now for the big one, what’s your favourite dish and cocktail at Dirty Bones?
DJ Complexion: I’m not a vegan but the Vegan Classic is incredible and because I’m teetotal my drink of choice is the Shadow milkshake - the Oreo crunch topping is just irresistible, a decadent choc-shake like no other!
Thanks Complexion! It’s been amazing to chat to you, you’re clearly a very busy guy, and we loved hearing all about your current projects. Good luck with your tour and keep the podcasts coming. See you in Dirty Bones real soon, we’ll get you the Vegan Classic ready.
Catch Complexion providing the sounds in Kensington on Sat 20 July, and turn up to his exclusive Dirty Bones Spotify playlist here. Stay locked into to our Music & Events page for all our latest happenings.