DJs Take Control – Foley
Written by Mike Solus on 25/11/2020
Foley joined Housemasters Radio in 2019. Resident DJ at MANA, 20 years in the game, he presents the ‘In The House Radio Show‘. Mike Solus caught up with him for DJs Take Control and this is what he had to say.
HMR: Hello Foley, where are you, what you saying, what’s your story? Who is Foley?
Hi Housemasters!! Thanks for having me. For those that don’t know, my actual name is Simon, but I thought that was a little to ‘rock n roll’ for a DJ name, so I pondered for some time and came up with the ingenious idea of using my surname. Before that I performed under Si F and Simon F, Creative I know!
My story for anyone interested started around 96. I used to walk to school listening to the old Fanta-sia and Essential mixes I’d recorded. At 15 years old I got hold of my first set of belt driven vinyl turntables and a mixer (Gemini or citronic, can’t quite remember). Due to a lack of space at my parents I had them under the bed, pulled out and used on the floor when I wanted to practice, and practice is all it was at first. I owned about 10 records and I remember all I wanted to do was beat match them and hold them in time for the full track….from there I got a warm up gig in the local music bar from handing in mix tape (remember them), got a Friday warm up residency there that turned into a Saturday main set for 6 years. In that time, I played all over the northwest bars and clubs. A young lad literally living his best life ha.
Became a dad and gown up life and responsibility took over. Gigs stopped and I became a bed-room DJ when I could, retired I guess, then after what felt like an eternity I decided to get back on the horse, upgraded my equipment, reached out to a few people in the industry and within months I had three residencies and my own night!! And that leads us pretty much to today. I’ve added pro-duction to my list with 6 releases to date (working from home 2020 lockdown benefits), oh and I’ve got my own show every other Friday night on this amazing internet radio station. You should check it out sometime.
HMR: What’s your musical journey?
Musically I’ve been consistent with what I like and don’t like. Like most house DJs I flirted with trance when it was good in the late 90s, then electro briefly in the late 00s, recently disco and edits have played a big part in some gigs I’ve done, but I’m a house head through and through. What does that mean? I’d go to Cream at nation in Liverpool regularly, all my mates would be in the main room for the headline act, Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyke, or another popular DJ of the time, and I’d be in the back room, the Annex, with Yousef before he became famous, sweating it out to proper house and techno. If not there I’d be in Sankey’s Manchester. I don’t think you can put what I like into a genre specifically, especially not these day with all the sub genres. Underground house music made for the dance floor, let’s call it that.
HMR: Why did you become a DJ?
Simply, for the love of music house music!
HMR: How would you describe your DJ style?
Creative. I like to play a set and build it up and make it flow. Soooo many DJs these days, but they’re just playing the Traxsource top 10. No offence meant and if that’s your thing each to their own, but for me it’s about going on a journey. I like to use brand new stuff with older gems, and then use vocals and samples to create new things on the go. I’m active behind the decks and I do get into it. Looks odd in a quiet bar, me absolutely rocking behind the decks, but I can help it, I just con-nect with the music and try and let it flow.
HMR: If you had to choose your favorite musical genre or genres, what is it or what are they?
Kind of answered this but using today’s labels…. House, tech house, deep house, techno
HMR: Who has been the biggest influence on you musically throughout your career?
Morillo, and all the subliminal family
The atmosphere when he played was like nothing I’ve experienced with any other DJ, and I’ve seen them all at all the big clubs UK and Ibiza.
Leeds love parade 99 was the first taste, in a field pouring with rain, more people than I’d ever seen anywhere in my life, and it was just going off! The music was funky but banging, Morillo was so in tune with what and how to control the crowd. Other than that, many a night in Pacha and old space terrace! Take me back…..
HMR: I you had to choose a top 5 of your favorite record labels what would they be?
Honestly, I don’t look for specific labels, I’ll follow some, but there is so much music about you need to look harder to stay different, we can’t all play the best labels tracks…
HMR: As well as being resident DJ at HMR, what other events are you involved with?
Soiree is my disco night, which was building nicely last year before 2020 happened.
MANA is a night I run with HMR residents Mark Whites and Ron Mathews (MANA brothers)
I was also busy with bookings, again 2020 ruins my life
HMR: When you are DJing in the club what does ‘reading the crowd’ mean to you
If you play a track and the dance floor empties it was the wrong track, change it quick ha. But really though it’s just being aware of where you are, what happened before you and is going to happen after you, what the punters want and being able to adjust based on the reaction a track gets. This is the skill all warm up DJs need. Often these days every set is a main set….
HMR: Why is it so important for a DJ to have this ability?
To create and maintain the vibe! Because what is the point of just playing anything regardless. Play-ing music does not make you a DJ. DJ’ing is an art form, a skill that is honed over time. Amen
HMR: What do you think about LIVE streaming?
It is what it is, and it has become so popular this year with no clubs. I currently do it, although I probably would not if I were out gigging
HMR: I understand you have recently started producing music. How is that going? Any new releases up and coming?
6 releases, some more signed due out towards the end of the year. Nothing amazing just dipping my toe in really. I’ve releases under FOLEY, Eighty2, F’Funkin Edits. Check it out on Traxsource and Beatport.
HMR: For anybody out there thinking of becoming a DJ what advice would you give them?
Do it for the love, not for any other reason. Expect rejection and be yourself!
HMR: What does HMR mean to you? In one word or a few.
A community of likeminded passionate music obsessed people. A family!
Grab code from this link for one of his tracks.