Tayo Popoola is a DJ, Promoter, and long time raver. Making his name as a breakbeat DJ, he has gone on to have a residency at Fabric, DJ at Kiss FM and run a club with Basement Jaxx. Tayo has been spinning dance music for the last two decades, seeing bass culture evolve and shift on the dancefloor before his very eyes. Ahead of this week's Glacéau vitaminwater party for i-create to celebrate their Olympic partnership, we chat to him about tracksuit parties, the cycle of house, and hip hop karaoke!
Dazed Digital: It seems like bass culture is enjoying a bit of a tempo shift back to house music, as a former pioneer of breakbeat are you a fan of the genre?
Tayo: Definitely. House for a while was the kind of thing that your older brother or sister was into. Dance music is now 20/25 years old and it goes in cycles. House music never goes anywhere, but the bass culture, always morphs into something else. We’ve done hardcore, we’ve done drum'n'bass, we’ve gone back to garage, and dubstep, for instance.
I listen to a lot of house music... but there's a crossover, the same kind of shift is almost happening in house – the Dirtybird stuff, is quite percussive and breaksy. I also like a lot of what Loefah and Addison Groove are doing, and I have a lot of respect for Julio Bashmore. Black Butter are doing some really interesting stuff, alongside Hessle Audio, and everything Swamp 81 put out is immaculate.
DD: Your ‘tracksuit parties’ have become the stuff of legend. How did the idea come about?
Tayo: The tracksuit party vibe is an old school block party vibe, I started doing them in the first place because I wanted a break from my more serious day job of playing club music. I wanted to hear some old school 90s hip hop, which I’m obsessed with, I wanted to hear dancehall, and I wanted to play fun records which I didn’t have to meticulously mix from start to finish. It’s a fun party. You can’t take yourself too seriously when everyone’s turning up in headbands and sports casual... it's somewhere between a roller disco and a block party.
DD: The hoody has had a hard time over the last 10 years as a sort of symbol of the ‘disaffected youth’ – is this a way of reclaiming the tracksuit?
Tayo: The thing is, when I think of the hoody, I think of Curtis Blow, I think of Doug E.Fresh – it’s an 80s hip hop masterpiece. It takes me back to B-boys wearing Adidias and Tacchini and the culture that came with that. Sadly the sports casual fashion has changed up and it’s got a bad name, but I always thought they were about fun. And plus, girls look fit in tracksuits.
DD: How will you be referencing some of that block party feel into your Glacéau vitaminwater party next week?
Tayo: Well, I’ll be doing some hip hop karaoke, (Ol’ Dirty Bastard) and playing garage, 90s hip hop and dancehall. Oh, and there will be a ‘running man’ competition, because all good parties should have someone doing the running man.
Glacéau vitaminwater’s i-create opening ceremony, featuring Tayo’s tracksuit party, will be taking place this Thursday at Loungelover. Go to Dazed's Facebook page to be in with chance of winning one of five pairs of tickets to the party...
Photo Assistant: Jay Maude
Tayo’s Top 5 Tracks of the Moment:
1. Micky Pearce - Don't Ask Don't Get - Swamp 81
2. Commodo - Northern Soul
3. New York Transit Authority - Conqueror - Lobster Boy
4. Midland "Placement" (Lone Remix) - Aus
5. 2 Bears "Be Strong" (Ratcliff 'Mala' remix) - Southern Fried