He’s a stalwart of the local scene and he’s supported some of the biggest names in dance music but Darren J never had aspirations to be a DJ. “I got into it purely to make CDs for myself,” he admits. “I was sick of buying compilation albums that only had a few tunes I liked. So I bought some old CD players and a crappy mixer and taught myself to do it. I never wanted to play in a club nor thought I actually ever would.”
Darren progressed to playing at house parties for a couple of close friends. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Inspired by what he saw and heard, one of his best friends convinced him to enter Habitat’s 2008 DJ competition, an annual event aimed at discovering emerging talent. Despite the feedback Darren had received thus far, there was still some hesitation on his behalf. Eventually however he relented, submitting a demo tape but not thinking too much about it. He ended up getting selected for the heats and going on to win the grand final. Later in the year Jones was voted ‘Perth’s Best New Talent’ at the Perth Dance Music Awards.
From there he started getting booked for local gigs, beginning with warm-up and closing sets. Gradually he advanced to playing main timeslots, with word started getting around town of his impressive and varied sets that encompass deep house, nu disco, tech-house, techno & progressive. This has led to bookings for major festivals such as the Renaissance Masters series, Future Music, Park Life, Oktoberfest, Gatecrasher, Summadayze, Creamfields, Godskitchen and Stereosonic. In the short span of two years, Darren has supported some of the world’s best DJs and producers including Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, James Zabiela, Laurent Garnier, Jamie Jones, Jorris Voorn Fergie, Stephan Bodzin, Chris Fortier and Henry Saiz, Way Out West, Darren Emmerson and many many more. Darren has travelled to Melbourne where he played at the 2010 New Years Day event ‘Trust Us’ at Melbourne’s premier club Brown Alley alongside D Ramirez, Anthony Pappa and Elite Force. Darren is now a fixture of Habitat’s residency which holds regular events at Perth’s best venues.
For all the attention he has garnered, Darren hasn’t forgotten the reason why he started DJing in the first place. His passion for music has not diminished. “I love the music the most… seeing the smiles on people’s faces makes it all worthwhile.”
The next step for Darren is production. “I would love to be able to play a track that I had written to a crowd and see them enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. That would be unreal!”
In light of everything he’s achieved so far, it seems like a very realistic scenario waiting to happen.
- Winner of Habitat DJ Competition 2008 @ Bar Open
- Voted 'Perth's Best New Talent' @ 2008 Perth Dance Music Awards
- Inthemix Top 5 WA DJ 2009
- Voted 'Perth's Best Progressive DJ' @ 2009 Perth Dance Music Awards
- Voted "Perth's Best Techno DJ' @ 2009 Perth Dance Music Awards