“DJ EZ (Pronounced DJ EEE ZED) is widely regarded as being one of the best DJ’s to grace planet earth, he can only be described as a charming music phenomenon. Saluted by the industry for being one of the most creative mixers with instinct and technical prowess, not forgetting the mentions of owning one of the quickest fingers in the trade with his trademark cue action displays during his sets! A set of decks simply isn’t the same without DJ EZ.”
“Having been a DJ for most of my life, my sets are balanced to cater to the new EZ follower while not forgetting the ones that have got me to where I am today, and supported me throughout my career. Some may call it a tricky task, but I believe that this appeals to the wider audience that I feel deeply fortunate to play for.”
Even as a young child growing up in Tottenham, North London, EZ knew that he wanted a career in music, computing or electronics. His childhood revolved around many interests, whether it be dismantling a portable radio to study how it operated, experimenting with his science fair kit, learning basic computer code to write programmes or listening to and recording radio shows.
He’d also watch music TV shows like Dance Wicked, Soul Train, Hitman and Her, The Tube and Night Network presented by Tim Westwood. Both the radio and TV shows were a great asset to the expansion of EZ’s musical taste during his learning and developing stages. Although Pop, Hip Hop, Swing and Reggae formed part of his musical diet, DJ EZ soon became inspired by House, Techno, Acid and Electro. Producers and artists, such as Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Mantronix, Joey Beltram, Soul II Soul, Public Enemy and Adamski, quickly became some of his favourites.
During his secondary school years at Northumberland Park School in Tottenham, his best-loved classes were music tuition and computers, otherwise known as CDT- Computer, Design and Technology. His love for music grew to new heights and with a newfound passion for learning, EZ would stay behind after school to teach himself how to play the keyboard and drums. Forming a strong friendship with his music tutor through his eagerness to learn, his teacher allowed him to take music equipment home to practice during the weekends.
At the age of 13, he started listening to the radio and was inspired by DJ’s mixing two records together. Unlike today’s budding young DJ’s that have DJ equipment with the controversial built-in features to aid the synchronisation of mixing, EZ’s bedroom equipment consisted of one portable radio/tape player, an amplifier, and a tape deck. After much experimenting, EZ managed to pull off a few mixes from audio tape to audio tape. Due to lack of pitch control, and after several attempts, he became frustrated at only being able to hold a mix for a short time. With his electronics know-how, he soon discovered a way of slowing down the pitch on the tape player by lightly pushing on part of the inner workings, in particular, the pinch roller. After only a few tries, EZ became very good at locking two songs together, and making longer mixes achievable.
After a while, EZ focused on his parent’s living room Hi-Fi, now referred to as a music player, which he used every day after school without permission. The inclusion of a belt driven turntable with rotary pitch control made things a lot easier. By wiring up the turntable to his portable radio/tape player, he could practice mixing two songs together from the turntable into tracks playing on the tape deck. Having started to hone his skills, EZ recognised that he needed a DJ Name, and came up with Turbomatic 1. If you asked someone today, what is Turbomatic 1, you’re likely to receive an answer describing a high spec vacuum cleaner!
Now a master of the art of mixing two tracks together, and after settling for an unusual DJ name, came his desire to be a Radio DJ. With no previous experience, he would imitate being on a live radio show by playing tracks, introducing them, and saying made-up shouts and requests by talking into the ear section on a pair of headphones. Surprisingly, this genuinely worked, and EZ would record his shows to audio tape for personal playback.
Spending every penny of his pocket money on vinyl at his local choice of store, Street Level Records on Tottenham High Road, EZ recalls his first two purchases being “House Arrest” by Krush and “Megablast” by Bomb the Bass. Back in the day, records were only around £2 for a UK release. As his record collection grew, his DJ hobby progressed from his bedroom, and DJ EZ managed to get DJ sets at school discos, family parties and private events in local community halls. DJ EZ had taken his first step onto the path of his lifelong DJ career.
With his now deep-rooted passion for music and goals to become a Club and Radio DJ, EZ made a decision that would later change his career in the music scene forever. He sent recordings of his demo tape with radio shows onto various London pirate radio stations, including Dance FM, Centreforce, City Radio, Horizon, Fantasy, Sunrise and Lazer.
While he sent all the other tapes in the post, EZ called and managed to speak to Reggie Reg, one of the owners of a radio station named Dance 93FM and arranged to hand-deliver the tape in person.
The inspired youngster cycled from Tottenham to Walthamstow Central hoping that this would impress Reggie and show his determination. After a few knock backs and advice telling the passionate teenager he should come back when older, along came the break he had been eagerly awaiting. Under his new name, Easy O received a call from Reggie offering him a regular Sunday morning show between 8am and 10am.
Now the youngest DJ on Dance FM with a show at the age of 14, Easy O soon became dubbed ‘The Bad Young Brother’ by his fellow presenters, such as Mr C of the Shamen, and the Jungle, Drum and Bass legend, Kenny Ken. After absorbing all the techniques of the stations DJ’s, it was Kenny Ken that became responsible for making the biggest impact. Influenced by Kenny’s unique style of mixing, Easy O evolved his unique trademark mixing style.
While still just a teen, and within the first year of being at the station, Easy O took up residence at the house where Dance FM broadcasted their live shows. He soon became the station’s most aired DJ, covering other DJ’s who were late or absent and there was a particular show that caused amazement to his associates at the radio station. He hosted a 12-hour long show on Christmas day while other DJ’s enjoyed the festivities with their families. His unstoppable stamina makes those 8-hour sets at Z Uncut seem like a walk in the park.
During his time at Dance FM, he learnt a lot about the setup and structure of how a pirate station broadcasts and with his passion for computers and electronics, it didn’t take long for him to grasp the process and inner workings. With his radio show growing in popularity, Easy O was offered the Saturday morning slot alongside his Sunday show. The now in-demand DJ at Dance FM soon received his first club booking that started for him at an under 18 East London event appearing as “DJ Easy O, Dance FM’s Bad Young Brother”. Further bookings would come from Dance FM events and independent promoters. Easy O’s first taste of a recording studio came when he received a request to a record a DJ style voiceover for a track on an album by a band named, Pop Will Eat Itself. Still in his early teens, things were progressing nicely for Easy O, and this was just the beginning of bigger things to come.
Sadly, Dance FM was closed by the DTI/Radio Authority in 1993. Undeterred, he continued to secure a few gigs, including a residency at a venue called Sunnyisles in Bow, East London. Now known as EZO (Pronounced EE ZEE O), he continued playing the genres of music he was known for during his time at Dance FM, alongside his new-found love of Hardcore and Jungle. He stayed in touch with his good friends and Veteran DJ’s Chris Energy and Des Parks, who provided further outlets and opportunities. Chris ran a record label called HNR Records, enabling EZO to release his first ever tracks “My Vision is Clear” and “Eclipse” in 1993 as part of a five-track EP called “The Transitional Rhythms EP.”
With the knowledge gained from his time at Dance FM, EZO learnt a lot about the broadcast process on the FM band and purchased a bugging and spy device that had a very small transmitter. After removing the microphone from this device, soldering audio leads in its place and extending the antenna, he was finally on the air broadcasting from his bedroom! Groove FM was the chosen station name, and although the transmission coverage only managed to broadcast to a few streets in the area, he was able to satisfy the ears of his friends and neighbours.
His hunger and desire to play to a larger audience escalated to a station name change, Dimension FM with the purchase of a larger bug device and a more powerful transmitter enabled further coverage of up to 5 miles. While this was another period where he learnt more about music and radio, EZO also built a small fan base. Dimension became quite popular within its broadcast region and in turn, despite its limited coverage, became one the stations on the DTI / Radio authorities list to close. Still passionate about getting back on the air, he came across pirate station Freek FM. His ears mused with the sounds of DJ’s playing pitched up U.S and UK four to the floor sounds produced by the likes of Todd Edwards, Grant Nelson, MK, Tuff Jam and Jeremy Sylvester to name a few. Without hesitation, his demo tape was submitted to Freek 101.8FM and again he was offered a 4-hour Sunday morning show, and felt right at home. Signifying this important chapter of his career, EZO dropped a single character and embraced another name change that two decades later would still be symbolic in the world’s house and garage scene. DJ EZ was born.
After unleashing his dynamic mixing skills on Freek FM, EZ stayed for a further 4 years and unquestionably became the biggest DJ to rise from the Freek FM studios. With his undoubted talent, skills and knowledge of the workings of pirate radio, and his effortless dedication, he was made part of the management team. His roles as Studio Manager and Studio Engineer involved the setup and maintenance of studio equipment, ensuring adverts were played on time on one format, maintaining the sound quality of the station and occasionally putting the transmitter and aerials up on the high-rise tower blocks. Realising his value at the station, EZ was offered additional shows alongside his 4-hour breakfast show and he was given a Sunday afternoon show called ‘Weekend Winddown’. All of his shows on Freek appealed to a large audience of listeners and included sections, such as special guest invitations and playing direct requests from listeners. A section called ‘Radio Ravin’ was also introduced to his Sunday show where he would invite guest MC’s such as MC Ranking, MC CKP and others. His humour and addictive live call shows achieved significant listener figures for the station.
EZ’s popularity grew and, as a result, he began to notice a significant increase in club bookings. A weekly residency was offered at Club Koo in Leicester Square, London and he was a regular at Freek FM’s events, along with a whole host of well-established club nights. He also started his own weekly club night, ‘Club Z’ that was held at the Gas Club in central London, and after its success gave EZ the chance to play longer than the regular 1-hour sets.
One of his goals was to host a weekly radio show on a legal station and with his popularity on the rise; it landed him with guest appearances on high profile Kiss FM shows such as, Steve Jackson’s breakfast show, “Morning Glory”, and shows with soulful house legends, Bobby and Steve. As guest appearances became more and more frequent, EZ was offered a chance to cover a few full 2-hour shows for the legendary Tuff Jam when they were unable to attend.
This was just the beginning of EZ’s hosting history on Kiss, a station where he would effortlessly present shows until the end of his 14 years on the air. In November 1999, his unique energy was picked up by Kiss FM’s management. He accepted the offer of a weekly Monday night to Tuesday morning 2am – 4am slot and soon promoted to Friday night’s at 12am – 2am. It was only 1 year later when he was placed at No.9 in Kiss 100’s “Top DJs of the Year.” As a result of his success, EZ hosted a brand new show that he named The Saturday Satisfaction, a Saturday night prime time slot between 7pm and 9pm. An additional show entitled The Hour of Power, every Friday from 10pm – 11pm quickly followed. In 2002, his Saturday show moved to the earlier time of 5pm – 7pm. In return, DJ EZ achieved superb six figure listeners each week and admirable industry feedback. Music trends soon shifted and commercial radios needed to meet advertiser’s demands. Specialist programming on Kiss was changed to evening hours with EZ hosting Friday nights, 10pm – Midnight. In March 2008, DJ EZ was given another opportunity to host a second Kiss radio show titled ‘The Bassline Mix’. This show was broadcast on Saturday nights from 10.00pm to 11.00pm across the UK on the Kiss Network which featured Bassline and 4×4 UK Garage.
Listening figures remained strong and Rajars (Radio Joint Audience Research) confirmed it the most listened to London show by 15-34-year-olds. Co-hosted by a friend, Winston Gordon, his show persists in being the prime place for hearing the best upfront UK Garage, Bassline beats and classics. To enable EZ an extra hour of air time, Kiss FM agreed in March 2014 to move his show to Thursdays 9pm – Midnight slot. Due to booking demands worldwide, in September 2014, EZ had to make an extremely important decision that would mean an end to his weekly radio show.
At the core of DJ EZ’s heart, radio has both hugely influenced his music career and prompted club success where he promotes the sound that he lives and breathes.
Taking what he learnt about music during his years at school and HNR records, EZ began producing and recording his own music.
With the demand and interest, it was time for him to establish his own record label in the year 2000 called Z Recordings. Sales of his EP’s surprised him which in turn motivated him to divide his time equally with his DJ career. A label name change from Z Recordings to One Recordings was made due to legal reasons but this did not cause any disruption as It wasn’t too long after that he received remix offers from major and independant labels. The infamous DJ EZ Intro’s, remixes and all other tracks were self produced and engineered by himself.
Due to the increase of DJ bookings and radio shows, his productions had to take a backseat but EZ insists that he will be returning to the studio in the not too distant future…
Between 1998 and 2004, EZ managed to win countless awards including:
1998 Underground Garage Awards – Club DJ of the year
1999 Exposure Valentines Awards – Best DJ
2000 UK Garage Awards – Public Best DJ & Industry Best DJ
2001 UK Garage Awards – People’s Favourite DJ
2002 Ibiza Awards – Best Garage / 2 Step
2002 Sidewinder People’s Choice Awards – Best DJ
2002 UKG Awards – Best DJ + Best Old School DJ & Best Radio Show
2003 Sidewinder People’s Choice Awards – Best DJ
2004 UK People’s Choice Awards (3 awards) – Best DJ & Best Old School DJ & Best Radio Show
In February 2000, after being shortlisted by Warner Music, EZ was chosen to mix a new compilation CD titled ‘Pure Garage’. Peaking at number 2 in the national compilation chart, ‘Pure Garage’ went on to receive platinum record sales. Pure Garage II, III, IV, V, Pure Garage Platinum, Four to the Floor and Pure Garage Classics have been subsequently released along with a spin on the series; Bass, Breaks and Beats. The ‘Pure Garage’ Series is the most acknowledged and best-selling garage compilation series to date.
Not content with playing the normal 1-hour sets at events, in 2002 EZ decided that he would create an experience that enabled him to play for as long as he desired with his own event called Z Uncut. These unique and challenging events started off in Ayia Napa at the Gass Club and involved him being the main DJ, playing 3-4 hour sets from the start of the night until the end. The nights were a success, and the following summer saw an expansion with Z Uncut being held in Paphos, Cyprus and Malia in Greece. 3-hour sets were not enough, and he debuted a
6-hour set at Eros Nightclub in Enfield, followed later by a 5-hour special at London’s Ministry Of Sound, and at various venues across the UK with MC’s from the UK Garage scene.
With the boom of 4 to the floor and 4×4 UK Garage in the early noughties, EZ wanted to create another event based solely on this sound that included 4 DJ’s playing nothing but 4×4 Garage. On the 1st January 2003, at Time and Envy in Romford, EZ invited Todd Edwards, Tuff Jam legends Matt Jam Lamont and Karl Tuff Enuff Brown to be a part of this exciting experience. Again, this event was a sell-out with many describing it as one of the best gigs they have ever attended.
MJ Cole, Wideboys, Grant Nelson and Booker T were booked to be a part of this event that continued to be held on the 1st day of every year up to 2006.
With the popularity of 2step and other Garage sub-genres on the rise, the decision was made that Z Uncut be the new, New Year’s Day event to run alongside other dates and kicked off at Lava at Ignite in Basildon, Essex with a first time 8-hour set. With over 2500-3500 clubbers and chart-topping artists in attendance at sold out venues each year, the event grew and became the place to be to start the year off in style.
Z Uncut was held at venues, such as The IndigO2 and Proud2
at The O2 in London, The Forum in Hertfordshire, The Qube Project (formerly Pacha) and Fabric in London in 2012, where EZ extended his marathon set to 10 whole hours.
Late 2012 witnessed another Garage explosion, becoming the favoured sound of the nation’s hottest DJs and producers. With the rise of talented young artists, garage music soon propelled out of the underground clubs and back into the mainstream. When Red Bull Music Academy teamed up with the Boiler Room to host a celebration of London’s dance culture, EZ was the first propositioned DJ. From an East London warehouse, all eyes were on DJ EZ as one of the pioneers of UKG was live-streamed to the world. The phenomenal response was off the scale, leaving promoters from all corners of the globe wanting more internationally. That summer, DJ EZ was also invited to play at major festivals in and outside of the UK. In September 2013, he mixed the highly acclaimed ‘FabricLive 71’ receiving great national press reviews worldwide. 2014 witnessed DJ EZ’s US debut where he shared his technical prowess, radio experience and event expertise in LA, Detroit and New York. No longer just ‘A London Thing,’ garage music has infiltrated clubs from Melbourne to America and beyond.
Grateful and proud of his lengthy DJ career, the non-smoking and teetotal DJ EZ remains dedicated, focused and ready for what the next chapter has to offer….
After many years of performing marathon sets to the masses, DJ EZ wanted to give something back to those less fortunate than himself. On the 10th February 2016, the North Londoner announced to the world that he had set himself the ultimate challenge of playing a non-stop, 24-hour, live DJ set to raise awareness for Cancer Research UK.
The incredible feature began on Saturday 27th February 2016 at 6:00 pm (GMT) and was streamed live on his website over the full 24 hours, attracting worldwide attention. DJ EZ’s unique set quickly became a trending topic on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook and thanks to his incredible stamina, and of course, thousands of supporters, over £60,000 was raised. All proceeds were donated to Cancer Research UK, making this courageous event DJ EZ’s biggest achievement to date.
2000 Pure Garage 2 CD Compilation
2000 Pure Garage II 2 CD Compilation
2000 Pure Garage III 2 CD Compilation
2001 B15 project ft Shola Ama Remix (EZ Remixes)
2001 Pure Garage IV 2 CD Compilation Warner Music
2001 Bass Breaks & Beats 2 CD compilation Warner Music
2001 Pure Garage V 2 CD Compilation Warner Music
2001 The Next Chapter 4 track EP
2002 Bass Breaks and Beats 2003 2 CD Compilation
2002 Pure Garage Platinum 2 CD Compilation
2002 One 4 All 4 track EP
2002 The Next Chapter EP 12” EP
2003 Pure Garage Classics 3 CD Compilation
2003 Four to the Floor 2 CD Compilation
2004 Just Turn it Up / The Overground Single
2005 Pure Garage – Main Room Sessions 3 CD Compilation
2007 Rewind Back To the Old Skool 4 CD Compilation
2008 Pure Bassline 3 CD Compilation
2009 The Essential Garage Collection CD Compilation
(Ministry Of Sound)
2013 FabricLive 71 CD Compilation