Staying fierce: Interview with DJ Mark Doyle

By Zaki JufriEvents - 04 September 2015 6:42 PM

Staying fierce: Interview with DJ Mark Doyle

Mark Doyle has seen and heard a lot in his 27 years as a purveyor of house music since his early days as a radio presenter in London’s Jazz FM back in the early 1990s.

"The dance music scene is obviously bigger and more diverse now," the 45-year-old told inSing. "There are many new styles now and it seems that a new genre will pop up every five seconds… ‘Tropical house’ anyone?”

It is easier to make and promote records with digital distribution, he added, "which means there is a lot more really average music out there and some really bad music", but somewhere among all that, you may find an occasional amazing track.

"But the core of the house scene seems to be safe with there are some truly amazing DJs championing what we love best," he said. "And as long as those people hang in there, the scene will always be great.”

Dance music fans who are old enough to remember will recognise one of Doyle’s most important contribution to clubbing: the ‘Kandi Girls’ (designed by Jason Brooks) which adorned all the records of the Hed Kandi label that he started in 1997. Not to mention the "grown-up" soulful and funky house sound that he was – and still is – rigorously promoting through his label’s output and flagship nights in clubs around the world. 

Hed Kandi has gone on to become one of the most recognisable and profitable music labels in the history of dance music; but in 2005, Doyle created a new independent label, Fierce Angel to produce "fiercer and sexier" house music.

Doyle returns to Singapore to headline the F1 after-party at Podium Lounge on 19 September 2015. Other acts include DJ Kristian Nairn (18 Sep) and LMFAO's 8ky 6blu (20 Sep).

You’ve been to Singapore several times over the past decade. What has been most memorable for you in Singapore?

I think it was at Centro back in the early days of Hed Kandi around 2001. Obviously lots has progressed for clubs and music in Singapore. I think I’m going to make some amazing memories this year at the Podium Lounge. I’ve already enjoyed one of the best nights of the year at the Monarchy party I played earlier this year, and now, with the addition of my sax player Lady V and Soraya Vivian on vocals, I think the Podium Lounge will be monumental. 

What are your thoughts on DJs who pre-record sets for these massive shows with all the special effects?

Is it any different from Britney pre–recording her vocals? Mind you, Britney does a lot of singing and jumping around but a DJ doesn’t have to do an awful lot. I imagine twiddling the occasional knob while waving at 20,000 people takes a lot of concentration. You can tell from my slightly sarcastic tone what I think of the whole thing – it’s lazy. They’re in a priviledged position others would kill for and basically there better be a good reason for them presenting an entirely pre-recorded set.

How would you describe the sets you play these days?

Diverse. I’m playing at so many different places, it completely keeps me on my toes. In the last two months, I’ve played a complete set of classic anthems from '89 to '95, then a party where it was all Hed Kandi classics, a more chilled pool set on the roof of a hotel, and a full-on rave for 3,000 people. I keep a wide range of music with me but it’s about great uplifting music, with a great hook, and usually soulful vocals.

What are you listening to right now?

There’s the new album Fierce Angel just released by Peyton (an American singer) which is a collection of all the anthems he has recorded for me while I was at Hed Kandi and the new material he has made for Fierce Angel, and also lots of tracks he worked on with other people. It’s possibly the most uplifting, positive album I’ve heard for a while. It’s like “ear therapy”.

You’ll be in Singapore, of course, for the Grand Prix. Are you an F1 fan?

I love watching the highlights and it’s thrilling plus I had a Scalextric F1 set when I was young. I think there’s going to be a lot more fun and potential for danger this year. It’s the first time the Fierce Collective has been given such a fantastic stage and I’m really looking forward to it.

Hamilton or Button?

Can I say James Hunt? 

Podium Lounge with Mark Doyle | Date: 19 Sep | Time: From 10pm | Venue: Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore poolside | Tickets: $188-$218 from Podium Lounge

The Podium Lounge 2015

The Podium Lounge 2015

Date Sep 18, 2015 - Sep 20, 2015

VenueThe Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore

Ticket PriceS$188.00 - S$360.00
 (excludes booking fee)