From his roots in the clubland underground of Leeds and Hull DJ-producer wAFF has gone on to become globally renowned. He has earnt widespread respect. His schedule is relentless but he doesn’t cut corners. He’s the only British artist who’s recorded for all three of those key European techno hubs, Cocoon, Drumcode and Desolat. He approaches music with unstoppable enthusiasm and attention to detail. This summer, for instance, his Ibiza gigs range from his residency at Paradise at DC-10 to Elrow at Amnesia, from Hï Ibiza (formerly Space) to Ants at Ushuaïa (including back-to-back sessions with Andrea Oliva). He’s DJed everywhere from a recent tour of South America, which took in the most influential venues in Medellin, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and more, to headlining the madhouse that is Bez’s Flying Bus at the Glastonbury Festival. He is seriously in demand.
Now based in London, much further back wAFF kickstarted the underground dance scene in his native Hull and achieved success with his Koala parties in Leeds, providing a widely respected initial springboard to take things forward. He’s been part of Jamie Jones’s Paradise crew since their first 2012 season at DC-10, and also recorded regularly for Jones’s Hot Creations imprint with tunes such as his Hot Creations debut ‘Rainbows’, 2016’s ‘Sick Pleasure’ and ‘Kidney Punch’, and 2015 monster ‘Fat Gash’, all played by DJs ranging from Sven Väth to Patrick Topping to Marco Carola.
wAFF’s studio work has drawn him into the orbit of key labels. Recently the lead track on his ‘Hanzz Sup EP’ on Loco Dice and Martin Buttrich’s Desolat imprint was Beatport’s Track of the Week, while the ‘Wormhole EP’ on Matthias Tanzmann’s Moon Harbour created waves earlier in the year. He also collaborated with Berlin DJ-producer Santé for the mesmeric ‘Interferenz’ on the former’s Avotre label, and with Russ Yallop on the bass-bouncing, sampledelic ‘Snakecharmer EP’ for Riva Starr’s Snatch! Records. These are just the latest in a string of releases, including aforementioned imprints, Väth’s Cocoon and Adam Beyer’s Drum Code, all taking wAFF’s profile from strength to strength, based purely on music, rather than attendant hype.
wAFF has also been in demand for guest production. His recent rework of De La Swing’s ‘Give Me Time’ continues his ongoing involvement with Mancunian party heavyweights Kaluki. It’s the latest in a long line of remixes that includes Groove Armada’s ‘Final Shakedown’, Darius Syrossian’s ‘Mischief Brew’, Fur Coat’s ‘There’s No Time’, Hot Since 82’s ‘Trains and Planes’, Citizenn’s ‘Lady’, Yaya’s ‘Kayama’, and Leftwing & Kody’s ‘I Wanna Be’, featuring Robert Owens. Yet wAFF’s focus is far wider than just music. He comes from a background in acting and dance and may, some day, return to the latter.
He’s also emphatic that the ephemeral aspects of clubland don’t interest him. He’s more interested in his own personal development, vegan for three years, with an ongoing interest in the Japanese healing art of reiki. This is a side of wAFF that’s at the core of who he is but it runs parallel to his life behind the decks and in the studio. He is, after all, a DJ-producer who’s played fabric, the Warung Beach Club in Brazil, Tomorrowland and many other iconic venues. Held in esteemed regard by his peers, as well as his fans, wAFF’s reputation may be well-established, but his approach to everything is as fresh and exciting as when he was just starting out.