Although hip-hop’s English origins can be traced back to the mid-’80s emerging from West Indian house parties, much of its commercial success from the late ’90s to today can be attributed to Manchester-bred DJ and radio personality DJ Semtex. An urban music aficionado, Semtex cites the beginning of his career started with hosting numerous weekly pirate radio shows after word got around the city of Manchester that he spun the livest house parties. Following his graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1998 with a degree in Human Communication, Semtex moved to London joining Sony Music’s Street Team. Now in a larger metropolis considered to be the Kingdom’s hip-hop capital, the Mancunian gained international recognition conducting parties and exclusive interviews with artists like Lauryn Hill, Mos Def and Dead Prez among others. In 2001 Semtex established the Urban Promotions department for Def Jam UK as well as joining the BBC Radio 1Xtra station aligning with both emerging and established artists. Two years later he was promoted to A&R Manager/Head of Urban Promotions at Def Jam UK with his first signee being Fatman Scoop. Now a medium for supplying not just the United Kingdom but the world with unforgettable parties, incredible concerts, and the best hip-hop has to offer, Semtex continues his broadcasting gig on BBC Radio and consults a long list of artists and brands including Universal Records. Fortunate as we are, DJ Semtex took some time away from his traveling abroad schedule to disclose a few items he considers represent what he does “in the club, on stage, on air [and] online.” From a reliable Flash Mic that records exceptionally well in the club or a radio studio to his trusty Traktor F1 Kontroller, the Manchester globetrotter will never be caught slipping when a party is in need of his talents.
Photography: Ravi Sidhu/HYPEBEAST