Jaguar Skills, who’s occupation reads ‘International DJ and Man of Mystery’, is returning to Nottingham on the 4th November, fresh from conquering Radio One’s Big Weekend on the 15th May. Nottingham is just one of many stops on his latest tour that begins on the 7th October in Oxford.
Jaguar Skills’ breakthrough came in 2002, and since then has built up his profile and learnt his craft in many clubs across London. He has a great connection with Radio One and features on The Trevor Nelson Show every Saturday giving listeners a 10 minute mix before he disappears again.
He is famously known for his character of a ‘Ninja’, and keeps his identity a secret by playing live shows in a full ninja mask with only his eyes showing. Only Trevor Nelson, Vernon Kay and Chris Moyles have the privilege of knowing his true identity.
Platform Music caught up with the ninja DJ to discuss the upcoming tour and try to shed some light on his secretive manner…
Platform Music: Hello Jaguar! So how did you come up with the name, Jaguar Skills?
Jaguar Skills: Hello! Oh, you have to watch the film “Ninja Terminator” for that one….
PM: You are known for wearing a ninja mask during live shows to hide your identity. Why keep it a secret?
JS: I’m wanted.
PM: Are you excited for your upcoming tour? Do you enjoy touring?
JS: Yes. Very. My life is a constant tour of some description. I haven’t really stopped moving around the world for, like, 5 years now. Damn! It’s great to tour. Great to come back home too.
PM: After the tour, what’s next for Jaguar Skills?
JS: A tour of OZ, then a tour of Japan. Then bed!
PM: Any new tracks we should keep an eye out for?
JS: Yeah. Sure. I think there are loads out at the moment!
PM: You seem to have a great connection with Radio 1, how did this come about? They love you!
JS: Zane Lowe saw me DJing once; he hooked me up with Phil Stocker, a great producer there, and got me on Trevor Nelson’s show. With Chris Moyles, literally, he heard me on Trevor’s show one night, and asked if I’d do some mixes for him.
But, yeah, Radio One, it’s great to be able to have my mixes played on there. I’m still pretty bugged out about being on there to be honest. And it’s been almost 4 years already!
PM: Why did you get into DJing, who was your inspiration?
JS: My Dad. He was a DJ.
PM:What bands/artists were your favourite at a young age?
JS: De La Soul, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Soul II Soul, Roy Ayers….
PM: If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing now?
JS: On my Tenga machine.
PM: You have a unique way of mixing, compared to other DJs out there, what inspires you to DJ in the way that you do?
JS: Well, I guess, old Hip-Hop style of DJing. Like old school Reggae Soundsystem style DJing. Just dropping tune after tune. That’s what I grew up listen to.
PM: Where do you get your ideas from?
JS: Not too sure really. But they come to me when I’m NOT working. I have a note pad where I write all my ideas down. Wanna hear one? “Lunchen Beat”. I wrote that down a while ago. I’m not too sure what it means….
PM: If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be and why?
JS: Prince Paul. He’s a genius.
PM: You played in Nottingham previously, at the Forum. How was the atmosphere?
PM: Are you looking forward to returning?
PM: Your body clock must be similar to that of a student, loads of late nights and not getting up before midday. How do you deal with it?
PM: What advice would you give to a student who wants to get into DJing?
JS: Get some decks. Either DJ at some buddy’s party or throw a load of party’s yourself. DJ at these parties, and look at the crowd when you’re playing records. With these steps, you can become a super ninja DJ, like me.
PM: How did you get your first gig?
JS: I threw a load of parties and Dj’d at them. That’s the tip!
PM: It’s been great speaking to you Jaguar!
JS: Ha, thanks! I have to go now anyway, there’s a party to rock! HooooOOOO!
Jaguar Skills struts his stuff on the 4th of November at Rescue Rooms.
Photo: Matt Collett Photography