Label boss, DJ and producer Yousef has well and truly cemented himself as a true pillar in the UK club scene. Being part of a handful of names that has helped to cement Liverpool as one of the country's main cities for nightlife, he is a man spinning countless plates at any one time.
A true workaholic, Yousef's Circus institution continues to prove itself as a trailblazer within dance music as a whole. Ahead of his Parklife set on the Pryda stage, and his subsequent Afterlife night at South, we caught up with the man himself.
What are your earliest festival memories?
Going to V98 when I was pretty young, camping, getting fully amongst it and dreaming of playing there one day; which by chance I did two years later!
What advice would you give to someone who is going to a festival for the first time?
Always the same. Explore! Lose your friends, make new ones, you’ll be OK!
Who are the best acts you have witnessed at a festival?
No question about it, James Brown at v98. Roni Size was on before, which is a mad combo but worked well. The tension James Brown built, making 20000 people wait for an hour, then he delivered the sharpest, most accurate and incredibly high energy performance, I've ever since before or since; truly unbelievable.
Are you bringing anything different to your festival sets this season?
More experience... I always want to play new music, music that matters, not just the bangers but always want to wreck the place. I try to make sure people jump and pogo and dance, hopefully they feel connected to what I'm trying to say.
If you could serve up a headline trio of DJs dead or alive, who would you pick?
If I was dancing it would be Luciano b2b Carl Cox b2b Ricardo Villalobos. They all have charm in common, as well as skills and experience; it would be exciting to watch and to listen to.
What else do you have coming up this year?
All sorts.... It’s pretty relentless. New EPs on Moon Harbour, Circus, Crosstown Rebels. Remixes for Bookashade of their new track Tryrell, which is already turning heads, it’s probably my fave remix I've ever done. A remix for the legendary Fcom artist Shazz, which is quite an honour to be asked to be involved with.
Circus continues to fly. The Circus label has new pretty meaningful and significant tracks out from Ki Crieghton. His new track ‘Love is Here’ is for certain his best and most grown up work. The new Nasser Baker track this year is bigger than Prince, without question... and the new Camelphat record is quite simply a festival destroyer.
Of course, my touring is relentless, this weekend I've been in Bali, Kuala Lumpur and I’m in Tokyo now. I play EDC Japan festival today and Womb tonight in Tokyo. Things are full on! The radio show has 20 million monthly listeners now and my work for Dolby, with their 3D surround sound ATMOS system, is about to go up a level. Oh and I've now got two kids, which is a dream!
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