From his roots in the clubland underground of Leeds and Hull, DJ-producer wAFF has gone on to become globally renowned. His schedule is relentless but he doesn’t cut corners. He’s the only British artist who’s recorded for all three European techno hubs, Sven Väth’s Cocoon, Adam Beyer’s Drumcode and Loco Dice’s Desolat. He approaches music with unstoppable enthusiasm and attention to detail. This summer his Ibiza gigs range from his residency at Paradise at DC-10 to Elrow at Amnesia. He’s DJing everywhere, from recent Do Not Sleep nights in Miami and Italy, to festival slots at Eastern Electric, Hideout, Sziget and, yes, the original Nevada Desert madhouse, Burning Man.
Now based in London, much further back wAFF kickstarted the underground dance scene in his native Hull and achieved success with his Koala parties in Leeds, providing a widely respected initial springboard to take things forward. He’s been part of Jamie Jones’s Paradise crew 2012, recorded the ‘Freeks EP’ for Cocoon and the ‘VibrationZ EP’ for Drumcode. He’s recently been growing closer to Loco Dice and Martin Buttrich’s Desolat imprint resulting in monsters such as ‘Bondage’, ‘Space’ and the ‘Hanzz Sup’ EP. A plethora of new tracks are now queueing up for both Moon Harbour and Desolat, as well as forthcoming collaborations with Fuse resident Archie Hamilton.
“As far as what I play goes, I love everything from techno to deep house, the whole scale” says wAFF, “A couple of years ago my career started pushing in a whole new direction. Things just escalated, I suddenly found I could go where I wanted to go, be a bit more techno, a bit more European-sounding. Now I’m playing parties like Music On in Amsterdam, doing longer sets; I played 10 hours at Sunwaves in Romania, 10 hours at Space Miami, and 50 hours back-back with Yaya at the Partai Festival in Venezuela. That was the longest set of my life, probably the longest I’ll ever play!”
He’s also been in demand for guest production. His recent rework of Matt Tolfrey’s ‘Jazz Hands’ cemented his strong relationship with Elrow, while other recent DJ favourites include his mixes of Birupa’s ‘Party Non Stop’ (For Desolat) and Butch’s ‘Bepsi’ (for Watergate). They’re the latest in a long line of remixes that includes Groove Armada’s ‘Final Shakedown’, De La Swing’s ‘Give Me Time’, and Hot Since 82’s ‘Trains and Planes’. Yet wAFF’s focus is far wider than just music. He comes from a background in acting and dance, has been vegan for five years, and has an ongoing interest in the Japanese healing art of reiki.
This is a side of wAFF that’s at the core of who he is but it runs parallel to his life behind the decks and in the studio. He is, after all, a DJ-producer who’s played them all; from Lost Beach in Ecuador to fabric London, from the Warung Beach Club in Brazil to the epic Tomorrowland Festival to the Electric Daisy Carnival in Japan. Held in esteemed regard by his peers, as well as his fans, wAFF’s reputation may be well-established, but his approach to everything is as fresh and exciting as when he was just starting out.