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London, England. Perhaps hyperbolically described as a clubland legend, Jay is certainly a hugely popular and highly respected figure in dance music. As a DJ, his style encompasses many forms of black music, including soul, funk, disco, hip-hop and garage. Perhaps his enduring popularity (the UKs Muzik magazine called him a man of the people) lies in this rare democratic approach to his playlist. Another factor is his foresight and innovation: Jay was listening to early Chicago house records and staging warehouse parties three years before the UKs acid house explosion of 1988. He is also the DJs DJ, with many contemporary superstar DJs citing him as an early influence.
Jay was born in the early 60s to West Indian parents. He had DJing ambitions even at the tender age of eight and first played out at his cousins tenth birthday party. As he matured, he was inspired by...