DJ Paul Linney
During lockdown we had a chance to finally chat to one particularly lovely English gent about his life as a DJ. Paul Linney successfully tackled the business / corporate world for some years, but found it lacked the inspiration that he needed. Music and parties was clearly his calling from the beginning. Paul has become a regular at Pikes in Ibiza & a frequent favourite at the legendary South London venue “Putney Pies” where he does a monthly set (pre apocalypse). This is a truly rocking little venue hosted by the much loved Glaswegian Matt Barr. The company is always good there with the likes of DJ Billy Idle, George Plant, Guy Williams, Jon Sa Trinxa to name a few. Long may that venue continue. RESPECT
It takes a lot of strength and discipline to achieve success and to maintain a healthy lifestyle when working in the events industry. With distractions on tap and lessons learned, Paul managed to maintain his path and has proven to be a much loved party DJ in both the UK and around the world. All in the name of FUN.
RECENT AWARDS & ACCOLADES
2017 DJ at the Best one-off event on Ibiza (Pikes)
2018 DJ at the Best one-off event on Ibiza (Pikes)
2019 Finalist The English Wedding Awards
2019 Regional Winner UK Wedding Awards
2019 DJ at the Best one-off event on Ibiza (Pikes)
2020 DJ at the National Television Awards O2 Arena
Here is an insight into the journey of DJ Paul Linney.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Ashford Middlesex, then went to boarding school in Farnham, Surrey and on my return Sunbury Grammar school.
Early Life – what was life like for you growing up? Interests, what inspired you?
Music has always interested me. Even in early teens, I could usually spot a number one record when it was released. Despite this love for music, I never ever mastered a musical instrument. As a teenager, initially music was very tribal. My tribe was into Motown, reggae and soul and nothing else. So, going to Boarding school at 13 opened my eyes in many ways, including music and I got exposed to rock and emerging artists such as David Bowie. On my return to Grammar school, this musical education continued with even more diverse and interesting parties where Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Led Zeplin etc where very much de rigueur.
Are you from a musical family?
Both my parents had played piano, and my Grandfathers where both in bands. However, the biggest musical influence they gave me was the willingness to let me have parties. They were always well attended and we never had any problems even with 200 plus turning up 3 or 4 times a year as nobody wanted them to be stopped. I used to get a couple of guys from the Army to stand on the door and just loved putting the music together for them. This usually consisted of recording from pirate radio stations in the preceding months. Musically, these started off in the Motown, soul and chart vane and as I got to the late teens was more Jazz Funk oriented reflecting the music in the clubs I had started to go to.
Any particular moment in your life that stands out from the rest where music really got you through?
Right now during Lockdown, if there was a time when music helped me this is it. Fortunately, I have a regular spot on Beach Radio and this has given me something musically to focus on. Link: https://www.beach-radio.co.uk/ Its very much down tempo and chilled and reflects the kind of tunes I would play at a pool party or sunset in Ibiza rather than what you would hear me select in a club or party.
From what I understand becoming a DJ is something you decided to do later in life. Tell us about that? How it came about?
Yes, I became a full time DJ in my early 50’s but had been playing in clubs much earlier than that. In fact at 22 I was regularly playing at Chertsey Lock a 700 capacity club, which is where I first met Rusty Egan who came to play there at the same time as he was playing at the Blitz. I carried on playing the odd party here and there. But, later when I stopped drinking at 40, playing music was the thing that got me through going to events it just grew from there. It just ticked all the boxes, like everything I had done beforehand had been the foundation for me DJing (both good things and bad…….)
DJ Life – how did your family adjust to your change in direction with your career?
My family, have been both supportive and grounding. Two of my sons DJ and the other two have photography and video as hobbies, so when they were all at home we did some great parties and events together. In addition, my wife Bernadette has given me plenty of encouragement to follow this path and this has been an immense help.
Any particular clients / brands / venues that you’ve DJ’d for that you’d like to mention?
I have a real cross section of clients from Guards Polo club to Pikes in Ibiza where the last event I played at (Freddie Rocks) won best one-off event on the island last year. My favourite UK venue to play is Putney Pies run by the character that is Matt Barr, a lot of the Ibiza DJ’s like Jon Sa Trinxa, Howard Hill and Guy Williams all play there. Really hope Matt and his team survive this current situation.Venue wise, I have played all over. From 15,000 at Hyde Park to The Ministry and The Groucho Club. As well as playing in Europe, I have played further afield in Zanzibar, Lombok and Bali.
Funniest moment on the decks?
I always have fun on the decks
Most rewarding moment from being a DJ so far?
DJing with my youngest son at a large Polo event when he was 17. DJ Fresh had just got to Number 1 with Louder and my son was warming him (with me playing after) to see his face playing to 1500 people….. yes, that was good.
Plans for the future?
It depends on the future, but small intimate outdoor events will be first. I am also going to spend more time on making my own tracks. Hopefully in the distant future we will have parties and DJ’s will still be a thing.
Who are you listening to most at the moment?
Musically its Nhii, Maya Jane Coles, Guy Gerber. I also listen to Scala Radio the classical station. In reality I do not get a chance to listen to too much of an individual artist as I have to hear so much to keep my sets fresh. I can listen to 500 tracks in a couple of hours just skimming through them. I play to see many different audiences as well so it’s a never ending job, but one I enjoy. Its like yes this will work at this type of event or party….
If you were to put yourself in a musical genre what would it be?
Have you produced / mixed any of your own signature tracks?
I have done quite a few re edits to get tracks to fit into a particular style / set, but up until now, have not done my own tracks. However, this lockdown has enabled me to spend more time in the area of production, so watch this space.
Sometimes we don’t get the opportunity in life to thank those who have really helped us along the way. Is there anyone here you’d like to mention who has helped you along the journey to achieve your goals?
Easy, my wife first, then a whole load of people. Pete Walshe, Pete Bones, Graham Day, Rusty Egan, Paul Sweeney, Jamie Morrison and Roy Prisk. All gave me opportunities to play when there were far more experienced options, with the exception of Graham who asked Bernadette and I to go to Ibiza with him and changed my life forever…….
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
“If you do what you love you will never work again.”
Stay safe everyone.
LET MUSIC BE YOUR TRIBE