Jeremy Healy: Fashion's favourite DJ on inspirational cricket matches and getting catwalk audiences to howl like wolves
Saturday 22 March 2014
How did you first get into music?
I remember my granddad took me to a cricket match, when I was about six or seven, in Kennington. It was only 10 in the morning and there were these Jamaicans drinking Special Brew or something. By midday they'd drunk them all and started making music with the tins. I wasn't interested in the cricket at all, I was just watching these people – that was the first time I had seen any 'live' music.
How did the fashion show DJ-ing start?
John [Galliano] asked me to...
What was your first fashion show?
I think it was Antony Price, when he did a show at Camden Palace in 1981, or something like that. I remember thinking it was absolutely brilliant.
Then I went to John's degree show, which was '84, and he came straight up to me after his show and said "Do you want to work for me?" And that was that – I did his first real one in the tents in Chelsea.
But fashion wasn't your main thing at the time?
Fashion only became this 'all-encompassing beast' in the last decade. I decided after working with these mad people – Vivienne Westwood's first show, Katharine Hamnett – I would limit my exposure to this craziness. I decided to stick with John, and be exclusive to him.
Which show was the hardest to do?
Dior shows had live musicians, acrobats, they sent me up mountains to record gypsies... I loved it. I guess the most ridiculously difficult thing to do was the Dior 60th birthday thing [at the Château de Versailles in July 2007] because we had this 100m-long catwalk and three 'points' – we had gypsies, a string section and a choir, and none of them could speak the same language. I had been round rehearsing with them on their own but we never got time to rehearse with them all together... that was the hardest thing we did.
Could you pick a greatest moment that stands out?
I remember a really early Galliano show, when we had all these wolves howling at the start... The vibe was incredible and everyone, the whole audience, literally thousands of people, started howling, just joining in. Then all of a sudden it all went quiet and someone went 'Meow'! It was a brilliant start. It's all about the emotion. Emotion can be conveyed in lots of different ways in music.
What else are you working on?
I have a load of gigs next month all over the north of England. There's a whole big revival of the Nineties house scene thing...
Where are you playing?
Leeds. Hull. Birmingham. All those places. Manchester. All in the north. I've got about six shows in the next month, so I am going to get ready for that next, and plot what's going on with Victoria's Secret.
Did you watch the current men's shows? The Hacienda was an influence...
Were there people with smiley T-shirts staggering around on ecstasy hugging people and sweating?! They did that T-shirt ages ago at Dior, actually... that was great. That was a brilliant show. I come from music so I don't really look at fashion, but I like Kim Jones. He's a really nice guy.
Jeremy Healy is a DJ, producer, and former member of 1980s pop group Haysi Fantayzee. He creates catwalk soundtracks for the Victoria’s Secret show in New York, and worked with John Galliano on all his shows – under his own label and at Dior. He is about to embark on a nationwide DJ toue
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