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Seb Fontaine On Fame: You Open Yourself Up to a Lot Of Crap

Author: Jonty Adderley
Tuesday, December 25, 2001
Britain's latest superstar DJ is Seb Fontaine, his status sealed when he joined Radio 1, earlier this year. His elevation to the station's charmed inner circle of premier league presenters came 10 years after he began his career playing hip hop at the London Wag Club. These days more associated with trance and progressive house, the ex Cream resident also recently mixed his 4th compilation CD for Global Underground. Skrufff's Jonty Adderley caught up with him in April.

Skrufff: Starting with your DJing, you must now be receiving literally hundreds of new records a week, are you still going through them all yourself-

Seb Fontaine: "I do get so many, but I am still listening to them all myself. I've sometimes heard about other DJs using others to go through them and at the time I wasn't sure if I agreed with that practise but I must say, I'm pretty close to looking for help now. It takes me over a day just to listen to them all. I'm being sent everything, sometimes two or three times and also stuff like hard house, which I definitely don't play. The problem is; if you listen to new records for 6 hours at a time, you're going to miss something, because you're skating (flicking) through records. If you have somebody to chop out half the crap ones then you'd be hearing the better half more intensely."

Skruff: The club where you started your DJ career, London's Wag Club, recently shut down . . .

Seb Fontaine: "The Wag closed!- No way! Christ! I used to play a couple of nights down there, and would play all the reggae and hip hop upstairs. I saw the Jungle Brothers live there once and remember standing about two feet (60cm) in front of them. I loved the Wag but I haven't been there for years, and maybe that's why it's closed down. Everyone reminisced about it but didn't go often enough. That's really sad."

Skrufff: I remember reading about you being involved in a fatal fire in which your best friend died, what happened-

Seb Fontaine: "Yeah, that was a really heavy time of my life, though it helped me move on. There was a fire in my house and I lost everything, including my best friend. It happened around 1988, and it probably spurred me on to doing some work."

Skrufff: How big a role has luck or chance played in your career-

Seb Fontaine: "I firmly believe in paths of destiny and things being meant to happen or not. The fire was a skin-of-the-teeth (near miss) situation. I woke up to have a pee (piss) when normally you don't wake up in fires; you stay sleeping. Anyway, I woke up to have a pee because I was so drunk and discovered the fire. I had to sit there in the flat waiting to be rescued and they had to drag me out of a fifth floor window on a big long ladder. The whole place was filled with smoke and I nearly passed out, it was a pretty heavy thing."

Skrufff: Your biog, unusually for a DJ, mentions you being a father and husband, why did you bring that up-

Seb Fontaine: "I'm a big-time Dad. Not only do I have season tickets to Chelsea (football club) I've also got them for London Zoo. That's not a joke. London Zoo's a great place and I take my little boy there all the time. I actually conducted a whole deal yesterday while pushing my little boy on a swing in the park. He was sitting there saying, 'Daddy, push higher, higher' as I was trying to get more money off this guy on the phone. He was asking 'Who's that in the background-'(chuckling). I get very weepy if I'm away from home for too long. DJs like Dave Seaman are away for four weeks at a time but I can't do that because I miss my family too much. Cancers have always been home-loving people - I don't believe in star signs but I find that aspect to be true."

Skrufff: How old is your boy and is he keen on dance music-

Seb Fontaine: "He's three, he likes it but he calls it 'Daddy music'. He's into everything - he likes Kylie Minogue as well but saying that, I like her too, just not in the same way."

Skrufff: Thousands of DJs dream about re