Current Location :: London, UK
Real Name :: Fitzroy Heslop
Music Genres ::Drum & Bass
Artist's DJ List & DJ Mag Rankings
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DJ Fabio, real name Fitzroy Heslop has
been involved in dance music from the start of Acid House
and has played at many of the rave parties like Sunrise, Energy
& Biology. He also played on the pirate radio circuit
on stations like Phase One. He currently DJs on radio one
with DJ Grooverider with the "One in the Jungle Show".
"I got into DJing in spurts. I
first got into it with a friend of mine Colin Dale, who at
one stage was kind of like my Svengali. He was DJing from
when he was eleven and stuff, and I'd been collecting tunes,
going around his house, and we had this little thing going.
He used to DJ at a place called Gossips in Greek Street with
Tim Westwood, and on week Tim said he wanted me to DJ and
do the last half hour. Well, I had a few records that I'd
bought with me, so I played, and it went down really well,
and I thought, 'Yeah, this is interesting, it's a laugh really'.
I really wanted to do musical production and stuff like that,
I never thought about DJing.
"Then Tim did this Hip Hop night
at Heaven called The Global Village where I did the warm-up
for him, and after that I didn't DJ again for two years until
the pirate radio station called Phase One. This guy called
Mendoza I used to give tapes and stuff to - he used to own
a club and was starting up a pirate station at the time when
Invicta and Kiss were booming -said to me to do him a tape
because he wanted to get me on the station. I said to him,
'Nah, that's not for me really'. And he said, ' No, come down.
I haven't got any DJs at the moment.' Rumour had it that someone
was going to get Colin and a few other guys to defect from
Kiss at the time, so I went along and did a three hour show,
and it was nerve racking.
Anyway, this Sunday slot came up and
he phoned me saying, 'I want you to come and do the show'.
I said, 'Listen, I'm not a DJ', and he continued, 'Look, you
don't have to talk, just come down and do the show for me'.
So I agreed and went down there, and he said to me five minutes
before I was gonna go on, 'You're gonna have to give yourself
a name'. So I said 'Just call me Fitzroy', and he said , 'No,
you can't do that; for one show just call yourself a name'.
So I was thinking what I could call myself, and I remembered
a girlfriend of mine - one that was a serious relationship
at the time -saying if we had a kid, a boy, she would call
him Fabio. I felt it was a strange name, but thinking about
it, I thought it was really nice. so I said, 'Fabio', and
he went, 'What'. So when I went on now, he introduces me
as Pablo, and I thought, 'Alright, leave it'. Then thinking
about it, I turned around and said, 'No - say Fabio, just
call me Fabio', and he tried to convince me that it was really
silly name. That is the God's honest truth, and it had stuck
to this day. It's funny 'cause everything's like connected
up. In Italy I had a really big thing going years ago when
the House thing really started over there and my name was
massive. Everyone was going, 'How come your name is Fabio
It is proper Italian name, and you are black', 'cause they
all thought I was gonna be white. So I think it was fate really,
and that's how the DJing started, from that night when I thought,
' This is a laugh'."
"...If I had to say who the main
person was that got me into DJing, I'd have to say it was
Mendoza with the radio station. He got Grooverider on it,
Dave Angel and a few other guys. It was all Brixton locals.
He got everyone together and everyone was so raw, that it
"...Things moved on, and I fell
into the House thing in much the same way as the pirate radio
DJing. I used to play Funk and Hip Hop on the radio - this
was in '86 / 87 - while Colin, who always like House, had
started getting a few tracks together. The first House track
I ever bought was called 'Mysteries of Love.' I'll never forget
that, because that was the same day I bought 'My Melody' by
Derek B and Rakim - that's when the Hip Hop thing really started
to chart and get mainstream as well. At the time the whole
Soul warehouse thing had started up, and you knew something
big was going to happen, but you really didn't know in what
way. So I had to make a choice as to whether I was going to
play House or Hip Hop.
"Anyway, Mendoza said to me that
his brother had got into this Acid thing, and that there was
this club in the West End he was going to bring a load of
these people from, back to his club, at three-thirty in the
morning, and he wanted me to play. Now this was on a Wednesday
night, and Mendoza's nightclub was notorious for being empty.
They had tried everyone there - all the funk DJs from Paul
Anderson to Jasper 'The Vinyl Junkie' - and it never got packed
in there on any night. So I asked him who else was gonna be
playing down there, and he said to me, 'We're going to try
and get Colin, but Grooverider's gonna play.' At the time
of the station, Grooverider was a bit flash and we didn't
get on, because I was a bit quiet and stuff, but anyway, I
agreed to do it, and me and Groove went down there playing
music to ourselves. At three o'clock, I said to Mendoza, 'Look,
I'm going home', and he's saying, 'No, no, no, no -my brother's
coming down with loads of people in a minute, just wait'.
So I sat down there for a few minutes, and a few strays started
to pass through and I thought, 'Hmm'
"Then ten minutes later the whole
place was packed with these Acid heads like we'd never seen
before. People came down in Union Jack shorts, put their heads
in speakers, and we were going, 'Oh God, what's going on
They were just dancing to anything that we were playing. That
went on until about two o'clock in the afternoon. People had
gone home, washed, sent their kids to school, and come back
again. And Mendoz, who was such a money minded guy, was running
around dancing because he couldn't believe how packed his
club was! I'd been clubbing at Krackers, 100 Club and al them
places since I was twelve, and I had never ever seen anything
like that - it was amazing.
"That, basically, started us all
off. Groove and I took on the Friday and Saturday nights,
and everyone would just come down after the clubs. Any big
acid night that was on in London on any day of the week -Nick
Holloway's 'Trip', this club called Miami's in Shaftesbury's,
Spectrum on a Monday - we would run an after hours club, which
everyone, including the stars that were into it at the time,
would come to. And that is basically how I got into it."
"...When it comes to what I play
personally, I'll just play from the heart. I'll give it my
best shot every single time, because I'm one of the few DJs
that believes you've got to give the punters what they want.
I'll go out there and try and educate them a bit - I don't
think you can just go out there and play the top ten stuff,
I feel the education is a real serious part of it - but at
the same time I'll give them a few things that they want to
hear and stuff. To me - and this is why I hate things getting
labelled - whatever is good is good. That has always been
my thing growing up with music, whether it was Reggae, Soul
or any kind of music I got into. I've always felt a vibe for
the music I'm into, and you do if it's good. When I was a
Soul boy, I never used to tell anyone. The Reggae boys hated
Soul boys - they thought you was a bit of a pansy if you liked
Soul music. I used to go in the 100 Club on Oxford Street,
and this girl I knew from school came down there one week,
saw me there and went back to school and told everyone that
she saw me in there. So to save face , I said the them, 'Do
not listen to that girl. I have never been in to a Soul club
in my life. Don't believe her'. But at the same time, I could
never understand what was wrong with Soul, except for the
label. It's like now, there's too much elitism going on, and
a lot of it is to do with fashion and things like that. If
you wear a paid of platforms, you can get into the Icini club
in Mayfair on a Friday night, which is crap because it just
detracts from the music and separates people."
"My favourite rave I think it
would have to be the first Energy at the Westway Studios in
Shephard's Bush. That showed me the power of it. Everyone
had been in clubs up until then, and that was like my first
warehousey thing. That was the day that everyone from all
backgrounds came together - rich and pool, black and white.
And everyone knew then that something was going on. That was
the most magical night I had, and I don't think I'll ever
have a bigger buzz than that. I actually played the last set.
Everyone had played so well up until that time, and the crowd
was really up for it. I was so nervous because I hadn't played
to a crowd that big before, but it went down really well and
I got the best response I'll ever get, which was just magical.
It was like everyone was on the same buzz, and because it
was a really hot day, everyone went over to Clapham Common
for this party afterwards. The police came down there and
they really didn't know what was going on, seeing all these
people of all nations, black and white, together. One of the
guys who organised the party, called Russell, went up to them,
smoking a spliff, and said, 'Everything's gonna be alright
mate, we're all peace loving people'. And the policemen were
so bewildered that his guy was openly smoking his spliff,
and was standing there skinning up another one that, d'you
know, they just waked off and left us. That was a really good