A local DJ from Barry is to be on the Welsh Music Prize jury. Marc Stafford, an avid music lover and Welsh football fan started DJ-ing back in 1999, having taken out a loan to purchase his first set of decks.
Marc aka Staff aka DJ Staff Only has been on the panel for 4 years now and has already made his nominations for the prestigious prize, with previous winners include, Gwenno and Gruff Rhys. Barry DJ/Producer Metabeats was nominated back in 2013 for his album ‘Caviar Crackle’ but lost out to Georgia Ruth.
We caught up with ‘Staff Only’ to discuss the Welsh Music Prize, his passion for music and more.
TDV – How long have you been DJ’ing?
Staff – In 1999 I took a loan out to buy myself a pair of Technic 1210’s, a mixer and a pair of speakers. I set them up in my bedroom, started buying by a lot of vinyl, and it went from there in terms of my DJ’ing.
TDV – How did you get involved with the WMP?
Staff – I’ve always had a big interest in the local music scene around Cardiff, so I took an interest in the Welsh Music Prize when it was first formed, and with Gruff Rhys winning the first prize, who I’m a big fan of, I thought it’d be great to get involved. So anyway, it was a simple case of me emailing the organizer of the Prize and asking if I could be on the jury, and they said yes!
TDV – Why did you get involved and what year?
Staff – I joined the WMP in 2012, so this is now my fourth year on the jury. My first year on the jury was particularly great, as 4 out of my 5 nominations made it onto the short-list that year, one being Barry Dj/Producer Metabeats. Being involved means you can have a direct influence of getting your favourite albums listened to by a load of influential people in the Welsh Music scene, and if any of the albums you suggest make it onto the short-list then that opens up a load more exposure for that band or artist. The WMP is growing in status each year and getting more recognition from the wider UK music world.
TDV – So, what music are you into yourself?
Staff – Anything new, I have a short attention span and a bad habit of getting bored of music easily so I’m always looking for new stuff to listen to. At the moment I’m big into the global / tropical bass scene, but I also love my hip hop and grime, old and new.
TDV – As you’re on the WMP jury, who are your favourite Welsh artists?
Staff – Super Furry Animals, who I’ve been a massive fan of since they came onto the scene in the early ’90s. I’ve probably seen them live nearly 20 times now. Catatonia also, I was a big fan of them when they were at their height in the ’90’s. I’m still a big fan of Cerys Matthews, former lead singer of Catatonia of course, and I listen to her 6music show every week.
The Joy Formidable, from Rhyl, are an incredible band and massively underrated, probably the best live band you’ll ever see if my opinion. At the moment I like a lot of the music that Cardiff DJ / Producer Castro is bringing out, he’s upcoming so someone to look out for in the future.
TDV – Who are your favourite music artists?
Staff – My favourite artists of all time I’d say are the Super Furry Animals and Pop Will Eat Itself. My current favourite artists are MIA, Diplo, Kendrick Lamar and Skepta.
TDV – What were your music influences growing up?
Staff – Sounds cliché but whatever my Dad was listening to when I was growing up influenced me music-wise, and that was mostly rock stuff like Dire Straits, The Police and 10CC, which is a world away of what I’m into now. When I started clubbing (at 18 of course ;)) then I was hugely influenced my the big club DJs around at the time, Sasha, Oakenfold, Fat Boy Slim, Jon Carter (to name but a few), hence me wanting to become a DJ myself.
The Welsh Music Prize is being held in Cardiff on November 24th and you can see the full list of nominees for this years Welsh Music Prize here – http://welshmusicprize.com/category/nominees. Staff aka Staff Only currently has radio shows on Bro Radio every Friday night at 10pm and invader FM once a month.