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  • Northside West

Local teen DJ shakes up

Saturday, 16th January, 2016 3:00pm

Story by Jack Gleeson
Local teen DJ shakes up

EPIC: Josh Coakley is set for big things this year

Local teen DJ shakes up

EPIC: Josh Coakley is set for big things this year

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A TEENAGE DJ sensation from Corduff in Dublin 15 is poised to make an incredible career breakthrough less than a year after he spun his first track.

Josh Coakley exploded onto the club scene in 2015 with his own unique style of House Music and he’s now producing and mixing his own tunes as well as working with some of the top names in the business.

He’s played in some of Europe’s most famous clubs, collaborated with Sheffield-based Damon Hess amongst other big names, and has already been signed to a music label in the UK, making him the youngest Irish Producer/DJ to do so.

Not bad for a 17-year-old Northsider, and if you’re a Dublin clubber chances are you’ve already strutted your stuff to his ‘toons’ as he’s also worked at most of city’s top venues.

Amazingly, this time last year young Josh was showing little interest in forging a musical career.Like most youngsters, he was focused on school and football, playing for local side, Corduff FC.

His former DJing dad, Warren, had worked the clubs in Dublin years ago before family life eventually put an end to his career in music so he was chuffed when Josh suddenly expressed an interest.

“I don’t like football much so when Josh came to me looking to get into music I was delighted,” he said.

Following hid dad’s advice, Josh started spinning records on vinyl, which is almost unheard of in the modern era of digital, hi-tech decks.

Warren’s old contacts book helped the teenager get a chance to spin in clubs but it was his raw, natural talent that ensured he was soon in demand.

“My first major gig was at New Era in the Tivoli Theatre,” Josh says. “It was a great feeling to play at such an iconic venue and I loved every second of it.

“I have to thank Jack Quirke for believing in me and giving me that opportunity to prove what I can do.”

By then Josh had moved onto digital decks, having taught himself the art of modern DJing on YouTube, and while he admits to having some occasional butterflies before gigs he’s really at home on stage.

“I do get a little nervous now and then but I suppose that’s normal,” he says. “But as soon as I get behind the decks I feel comfortable, at home as such, and give it 110 per cent.

“To me it’s not until you are in the venue and read the crowd that you are able to play the tracks that are going to have the place buzzing.”

Despite the regular gigs and a growing reputation, the youngster’s thirst for music wasn’t fully quenched by spinning disks. He wanted to produce his own tracks and so saved his pocket money for a laptop, some cutting edge software and before long had taught himself how to mix like a pro.

He remixed his first track, a bootleg version of Robin S ‘Show me Love’, which Warren brought with him on a trip to Ibiza. He gave it to a few pals in clubs on the party island, and they loved it.

The track made its way back to Ireland and became popular in clubs here and after it was played on SpinFM, RTE’s Pulse, iRadio and other radio stations promoters began to call and the gigs really starting rolling in.

Josh set up a Soundcloud account and the media began to sit up and take notice with features appearing in the Irish Daily Star and popular dance music mag, Zone Magazine.

The articles were amongst Josh’s highlights last year and he’s grateful to the Star’s Mark Kavanagh and Mike and Paul from Zone Magazine for the coverage.

He’s also thankful for all the radio exposure, as it has helped establish his name as a real talent to watch out for, and somebody the big names want to collaborate with.

And there are few bigger than Damon Hess, who reached out to Josh last summer with a collaboration offer. The duo produced ‘Keep It Comin’’ and managed to get former X-Factor singer, Zarah Palmer, to sing vocals.

The track was snapped up by UK label, Candypants Music, and will be officially released next month.

“Someone has told me that I’m the youngest person in Ireland to be signed to a UK label,” Josh says. “I’m not sure how to take that, or if there is any truth in it, but hey I’ll take it!”

Josh is headed for even bigger things in 2016. He’s steadily building up a reputation outside Ireland, is lined up to play a major festival this summer and more national and international collaborations, including a possible duet with Ben Dooks, are in the pipeline.

“I want to keep on producing tracks and to hopefully get the opportunity to play my music and to DJ all over the world,” he says. “We are such a small nation in comparison to other countries so to be able to fly the Irish flag through my music makes me so proud.”

Outside of music, Josh is like any other teenager; gaming, hitting Nandos, buying clothes and hanging out with his pals, who are supportive of what he’s achieved so far.

It would be easy for all his achievements to go to his head, but Josh says his dad makes sure he keeps his feet on the ground.

“He knows the scene having been a DJ himself back in the day and he helps and guides me with what I want to achieve.

“I personally think a big ego will kill your talent, but hey I’m only 17 so I’m allowed to have some sort of an ego,” he laughs.

“I would like to thank some people who believed in me and have been behind me from day one.

“Huge thanks to Jamie Ennis, Dean Doyle, Tomo Gaffney, Dean Kiely, John Gibbons, Dave Treacy, Stephen Cooper, Niall Redmond, Wayne Lineker, Declan Kearney, Danny le Grand, Deep Matter, Rob Crouch, Mick Willow, Colin Francis, House Project, Frank Malone, all at Heat FM, RTE Pulse, Tonik Radio, SPIN1038, MSR Radio and Selected Radio UK.

“If I have left anyone out, my apologies but you know who you are.

“But most of all I’d like to thank my Dad and Mam for believing in me and for their love and support!”

Josh with Dave Treacy of RTE Pulse. PHOTO: FRANK MALONE RADIO: Josh spinning disks on RTE Pulse. PHOTO: FRANK MALONE

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