“You can teach someone how to mix, but you can’t teach them how to be a DJ.”
In an era of pre-recorded sets and prima donnas who are more in love with the spotlight than they are the music, it’s words like these that solidify Ian’s reputation as a premier house DJ. A rōnin who’s traded swords for turntables, Ian’s been a veteran of the U.K. music scene since 1989. From Spain to Holland, from Hawaii and beyond, Ian’s sought-after skills have landed him gigs in cities around the world. And now as a resident of Victoria, B.C., Ian brings his hard-hitting beats to venues across Canada. One simple rule guides him and the party-goers in attendance: if you come out soaking wet, then you know you had a good night.
Music has always been in Ian’s blood. A classic rock father and a pianist mother ignited the flame that he carries with him today, a pedigree that his daughters now share. For Ian, music isn’t something for your ears to enjoy; it’s a way of life—something that you live and breathe. As Ian states, “I can’t relate to people who say, ‘I used to be a DJ.’”
For more than 20 years, Ian has been revitalizing dance floors. Along with his own label (Keep Warm Recordings) and shows around the world, his decisive passion for the industry shows no sign of slowing down. What keeps him invigorated is that rapport with the crowd. Whether a state-of-the-art venue or a 300-person room, everything hinges on that connection. It’s about that moment where DJ and attendee transform into participants, where the divide dissolves and they both become artists chasing the same EDM high.
“Get them up there and keep them up there. At the end of the day, it’s entertainment and not education; if people aren’t dancing then you’re not doing your job.”—Ian Devlin