DJ John Kelly

DJ JOHN KELLY is a true legend of dance music. He is part of an elite group of DJs who are responsible for shaping the British dance scene, and his energised performances are still guaranteed to rock the dance floor wherever he plays. His message is simple: ‘music makes the people come together’, and his understanding of what makes a crowd move, wherever he is in the world, is what makes him unique and worthy of the title, superstar DJ.

John became a DJ almost by accident, playing at small events for family and friends in Liverpool in the late ‘80s. Having quickly mastered the art of DJing, it soon became clear that he was destined for greater things. Fate led him to a form a friendship with James Barton (owner of Cream) and together, they started a club in Liverpool called The Underground. The house music scene grew rapidly and fuelled by the energy and excitement they were generating, the pair moved on to a new, bigger venue, Quadrant Park. ‘The Quad’ as it was known, had a capacity of 5,000 and stayed open until 6am; it was the UK’s first super-club and the precursor to the legendary Cream.

John’s reputation as a serial crowd-pleaser grew and word spread quickly. As the UK dance scene erupted, ‘John Kelly’ was the first name on the lips of promoters at emerging new clubs including Gatecrasher, Slinky, Passion, Sundissential and Miss Moneypenny’s. Within a short period of time he earned himself residencies at the world’s greatest clubs, including Cream, Godskitchen, Ministry of Sound, and the biggest club in the world, Manumission. In-between residencies he was invited to play all over the planet and has made guest appearances at clubs and festivals across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, South America and of course, the USA.

Musically, John’s style reflects the diversity and influences of his personal journey from the early days of dance music to the present. His ability to read a crowd is second to none and he loves nothing more than seeing the reaction of the crowd as he lifts them to a frenzy of excitement. With a wealth of experience, he moves instinctively and effortlessly between genres, from Balearic to trance, funky to electro, old skool to techno, and back again.

John is always keen to collaborate with his peers and as well as playing regularly alongside the world’s top DJs, his albums, made-jointly with Seb Fontaine, Sonique and Jim Shaft Ryan, have sold over a million copies. On the production side, he has remixed tracks for The Farm and Utah Saints, and he has even had a place in the UK top 40 singles charts with the track ‘Outrageous’ which he made with his close friend Judge Jules, under the guise of Stix & Stoned. With his own releases, including the Superstar DJs CD for Slinky, and four Essential Mixes for Pete Tong’s show on Radio 1, it is easy to see why John is regarded as one of clubland’s most sought-after DJs.

John Kelly will always be known as a pioneer of the early house scene but nowadays he uses the latest technology to bring his own personal mix to each track he plays. What sustains him is his passion for music, his enthusiasm and his ability to turn even a small gathering into a great party. Above all, this man knows how to get a crowd moving.

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