An Interview with Tom Jarmey, the House and Techno DJ with a BIG future
At the time of writing. Tom Jarmey’s incredible housey tune ‘Beach Jazz’ has 1.2 million views on YouTube. To put this in perspective, Mall Grab’s wildly popular summer anthem ‘Feel Good House’ has just past 1.1 million views. An up and comer and without doubt one to watch, Goat Shed writer Rory McQuaid sat down with Tom and discussed everything from his first mix to playing at a festival abroad. From Marlborough, Wiltshire, 19 year old Tom’s Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/tom-jarmey) boasts a mix of house, techno and disco and I would highly recommend checking it out.
What was your first experience of dance music?
That would be my oldest brother Luke, he started showing me stuff when I was 11. Things like Paul Kalkbrenner and B-Pitch control sorta stuff. He made me little mix CD’s and it just put me down the path of finding more electronic music.
Ah cool, so is that how you started to gain a wide repertoire of dance music?
Yeah I reckon so, I still listened to a load of rubbish back then but it was definitely Luke who I owe it to.
Did he dj?
Nah, he was just at uni so I guess he was exposed to that sort of thing.
Did you just then start making mixes or was it a longer process?
With the mixes, in year 9, I guess I was about fourteen, my brothers friend (he was living in France at the time) was selling some cdj’s and a mixer and he encouraged me to buy them, so I used some money I had and I got them. Only problem was I had these decks and I was like how on earth do these work? So yeah I made some ‘questionable’ mixes to begin with haha.
You never decided to mix on Vinyl then?
I’ve got turntables and I do mix records now but I guess I would have been about 16 when I got the turntables, so it was a few years later. So I just started doing mixes in my room.
Awesome, and then came ‘Beach Jazz’?
Oh Beach Jazz *sighs* so my mate Martin Blunt (MarBlu) does the keys on that and I basically went round his house one day and I recorded him working his magic. I remember having the recordings for a while and I originally tried to make a quick song but it wasn’t too great, however a few weeks after I came back to it and quickly made something on my laptop and I thought ‘okay that’s actually quite good’ so I uploaded it to Soundcloud just before I got on the plane to go travelling. By the time I got to Asia I was like wow this already has a few views, nothing like what it’s got now but then the YouTube channel (Houseum) uploaded it and slowly it got loads of views. I never expected it to be so popular but yeah… It did well!
That’s so cool man! Looking through your soundcloud, you’ve got a nice blend of house and disco with some soul-like sounds, where do you take your inspiration from? And is there a dj you share a similar sound with?
Tricky question, I take inspiration from some classic artists like Larry Heard. But soul stuff I dunno, I guess you’re always gonna get inspiration listening to like Theo Parrish mixes and Andres. I guess it sorta reflects my mood, like ‘Matchbox Selections’ is all soul and funk, I was in a really mellow mood for that but sometimes I like a lot more hard-core, break-beat / techno stuff. Sometimes I worry that I haven’t really got my own sound, a lot of people have their own sound and you’ll hear it and be like ‘oh yeah that’s so-and-so’. That’s definitely something that comes with time though. However I’ve got some more club orientated stuff that I haven’t uploaded yet as well as my usual calmer stuff at the opposite end of the spectrum. Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet.
I’ll be on lookout for that then. Obviously I want to talk about Ardena festival as well. That must have been surreal, how did that come about?
That was seriously cool, yeah. Basically, I think that came from Beach Jazz getting so many views. A guy called Charlie de Launoit messaged me a few months back, before the festival and was like yeah, do you want to dj at my festival? I was just sorta like mm Belgium, is that actually gonna happen? But I was like yeah man why not? Could he pull it off? So yeah he ended up arranging that with some mates and it was amazing. Big respect to him.
Yeah and it had some BIG names like Ricky Razu and Herr Krank?!
Yeah man they were very cool. I ended up going over on a coach (coming back on a plane) and dj’ed with both of them which was really great fun.
How did you feel beforehand, before playing?
To be honest. I was really nervous, it was kinda scary because it was the first time I’d played to a large crowd of strangers. It’s fair to say I was shitting it a little bit, but once I got going, it was really good.
Was there any particular song you dropped that got a really good reaction? And how many people were there?
I think roughly around 350-400. Oh there’s a new song ‘Ah’ by Bellaire, he’s a young lad from France I believe. I dropped that and it went down really well, great track!
You still in contact with Charlie?
Not at the moment, his festival has finished for now but he said if he does another one he’d like me back, so fingers crossed.
How was your little party at Basement 45? (Playground Hustle)
Yeah it went really well! So it was me and my two mates Jonny and Joe who made it and it was a blast, lots of friends and strangers came and we all had a great time. A bunch of our mates went out before the night and handed out a load of fliers, so thanks to them a lot of unexpected people came and had a boogey.
What did you play there?
It was quite interesting really, Jonny plays dark techno, underground stuff, that’s his style, very hard. I’m the complete opposite, playing more upbeat funky house and then Joe sorta did a bit of both. We complement each other well. We’ve played together before at little house parties and stuff but never out at a club.
Any plans for a second Playground Hustle?
Yes definitely! Me and Jonny are both going to Manchester uni so we’ll do one up there and Joe will come up. It won’t be for quite a while, maybe after Christmas. But Manchester has a great scene so I’m sure we’ll make it work.
If you had to go B2B with someone who would you choose and why?
Ummm, over the top but I’d go with Kerri Chandler, love his stuff. Some of my all-time favourite house tunes are by him and I got to see him play at Mangle E8 last New Year’s, was a wicked set.
Your plans are Manchester University right? How much time are you going to dedicate to dj’ing?
Well, quite a lot! My degree is going to be geography, so of course I’ll dedicate some time to that, but any free time I have I’ll be making tunes! I feel like especially first year where there’s a lot less work, I should have some good time to crack on with producing. Still don’t want to ruin my degree though.
If you continue doing what you’re doing where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I can’t really predict anything but I’m definitely gonna keep at it. I’ve got a fair few small digital releases planned. Just let it roll. Hopefully I get more support and grow but nothing’s certain. I’ve made some more house and clubby stuff that I’m waiting to release. I’m also working towards a physical release. Having stuff on vinyl is the goal. At Christmas / January time I’ve got a record coming out which is very exciting.
Oh sweet, how’s that come about?
This label (I won’t name them yet) are from America and they messaged me months and months ago asking if I’d wanna put out a record with them! They do split EP’s so one artist has two tracks on one side and on the other side is two tracks by another artist. So yeah, we’ve been emailing back and forth and they’ve got some tracks that they’re digging, so that’ll be out at the end of the year!
Mate that’s awesome, cheers so much for sitting down and chatting.
No worries man, cheers.