The festive season is well underway and with Boxing Day just around the corner we caught up Norris Da Boss Windross ahead of his headline set for Backto95.
There are not many DJs who have had such an impact on the UKG scene as Norris Da Boss Windross. With just under thirty years experience under his belt, he has carved a name for himself as a result of his quality mixing and unrivalled ingenuity, both as a DJ and a Producer. So loved is Norris that he won the title 'DJ's Favourite DJ' at the Underground Garage Awards. Ahead of his headline set for us this Boxing Day, we had a quick chat with the legendary man himself.
Hello! How’re you this morning?
Im good good good thank you… feeling good.
So you were immersed in club culture from a pretty early age, what with your family running a nightclub in the seventies. Were there any aspects of club culture that your parents tried to shield you from?
No, not really. My mum loved the music and so that infused me being around the DJs when they were setting up before bedtime. I was out clubbing from the age of 13 and became, and still am at heart, a Soul boy.
Were they supportive of your career choice as a DJ?
I never made a real choice to be a DJ as a career really. It was more a smooth transmission than a decision. It was more that I loved to mix tunes on 2 decks and listen to the result which brought me great pleasure and that is why I ultimately became a DJ.
Your first event, hosted by yourself, Smokin Jo and MC GQ, was launched in 1991, ‘Yum Yum’, is that right?
Well it was my first ever club promotion and I recruited Smokin Jo as we wanted a female DJ resident along with myself Tony Trax Richie Fingers & Frankie Bones. MC GQ to me then was just Gary and he used to jump on DJing sometimes. He blew up as MC GQ after and I didn’t even know that was Gary for a little bit still.
How did you come up with the name ‘Yum Yum’?
I would like to say that we felt we were dishing up the real tasty sounds that were unavailable in most clubs then. Strictly rhythm was just launched and was one of the main dishes on the menu... but No. It's true about Strictly and the Sound being pure House & Garage, but we came up with the name by trawling magazines and papers looking for a name that was different but cool. Rice & Peas was in the running too lol.
For a lot of people, I guess this must have been their first taste of Garage. How did you find the crowd reacted to it?
Soho Theater was a little venue that could hold 200 at a squash and we went on a Tuesday night so as not to clash with the bigger events at the time. Our first week we had around 70 people in there and ran until 3am. The vibe was exactly how I dreamt it. We got busier every week until we had queues and were able to be a bit picky about who came in. Pure good vibes.
When and how did you come to earn your title, ‘Da Boss’?
In 1994 Dominic Spreadlove assigned me the moniker on a Spreadlove flyer and it took hold from there. It was against my wishes, and initially caught at an after party in a club opened for us by a pal of mine. It was a bank holiday Monday and most of us had been partying since the Friday. Worse for wear to say the least, but whilst I was DJing Dom was on the Mic kinda entertaining everyone over my set and the crowd, most of them being friends as we raved together all the time. Great memories. Anyway it got to the stage where he needed to come off as he was killing the vibe and then he started rhyming my name until he said Norris Da Boss Windross, which seemed to amuse everyone so much that I did not hear the last of it for weeks. It had stuck for better or worse.
You’re also known for bagging 'DJ’s Favourite DJ' at the Underground Garage Awards. What did it feel like earning that title knowing that so many top class acts had voted for you?
Just humbling and energising at the same time. It meant a lot to me but who wouldn’t be honoured to be recognised by their peers.
Just a bit pissed I didn’t go out straight afterwards as Award Winning Norris Da Boss Windross after bagging it. Don’t suppose that’s my style. Wish it were though.
This year’s been pretty huge for you, with the upcoming launch of your new label We Are We network. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I have not launched the label yet although we have a lot in the pipeline. But yes it's been a big year for me as I am on the comeback trail after 5 years of not taking general bookings, only working for people that I believe wrong not to if they asked. But now I'm looking to do the best gigs. It's infectious, DJing and mixing, and I believe I do it in a way most do not - the true way. I mix and blend two tunes or even three tunes turn to one sometimes.
And what made you start We Are We network?
The We Are We network Label is an idea that together We are Stronger and I wish to attract creative and like minded people to build a community that create together.
Can you name a couple of your favourite tunes coming out on it?
When we release for sure listen up for (Liferide 2) Rolling sweet with Rose Windross and MC Creed on Vocals and myself on the Buttons with James Rodgers. Also the new mixes of Flow MC Kie and Rose, plus Giving You What You Want Kele Le Roc and Rose and and and and...
And, finally, you’re rounding up the year for us by headlining Backto95’s Boxing Day special, what has been your highlight of 2016?
Its been a huge year and I am lucky to have the had the opportunity to close the Main Stage at Garage Nation festival that’s one. But the vibe that was at the Back to 95 stage at 51st State Festival all day really, and I closed it to an energy that was just very special. A real togetherness was created and that’s my goal. I’m feeling a lot of love for what I am doing coming from people, and headlining a Back to 95 event for the first time is a mark of that. Wicked.