Allister Whitehead began his DJing career way back in 1987 at the tender age of 17 - no surprise unconventional. Starting out in his hometown of Nottingham, Allister took up a residency at the Koolkat, where he often played next to the ubiquitous Graem..
Allister Whitehead began his DJing career way back in 1987 at the tender age of 17 - no surprise unconventional. Starting out in his hometown of Nottingham, Allister took up a residency at the Koolkat, where he often played next to the ubiquitous Graeme Park on Saturday nights. His growing reputation quickly led to another residency, at the seminal club Venus, but the biggest break came when he covered a spot at the Hacienda, standing in for Mike Pickering of M People. On the strength of this one night alone, he began his third residency. So now the story of our new Qaraj'ic master begins to unfold in earnest...
He achieved cult status at the Golden (he was actually the first guest DJ they had ever booked), which was voted cub of the year in 1993. Yet another residency swiftly followed, at Cream, where Allister found his largest following yet. His national status was further cemented with regular spots at Ministry of Sound, Gatecrasher, and just about every club in between. Having proved his worth as a premier league DJ the time came for Allister to develop the Zero-G club in Nottingham. Regular crowds of 1500+ were attracted, as his Saturday nights were exclusive to this baby...his demand to play at other clubs the length and breadth of the country was of course, a natural consequence.
He was truly established as a household name worldwide with the Gold selling Fantazia album 'The House Collection 3' which was then, the biggest selling DJ compilation ever. The floodgates then opened to a new era of compilation sales becoming a dominating component of the dance music industry. Allister has since gone on to achieve 3 more Gold and 2 Silver albums with compilation for Fantazia and Ministry of Sound.
Nowadays Allister is undisputedly one of the UK's most prolific House DJs. He can be seen in the UK's most respected clubs, like Shindig in Newcastle, Lovezoo in Nottingham, The Zap in Brighton and Cream events, which regularly boasts the country's highest attendance figures. Committed to a punishing schedule, he has been known to travel to up to four countries in one week. He's travelling further a field than ever before, working in some of the finest clubs in the world in America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Having achieved commercial success in his production and remixing career working with people like Martha Walsh, Natalie Imbruglia and Robbie Williams, last year Allister decided to release a couple of tracks on his own record label 'Sporting'. Its first release, Blackheadz 'Saturday Night' came out to fantastic reactions achieving high chart ratings in the press and from fellow DJs. It was also featured on the 'Ministry' Magazine cover CD by Tom Stephan (who placed it at no. 1 in his chart). It sold out and had to be re-pressed. His second release (which sold out within days) under the pseudonym Jame Gumb fully exploited the tougher side of his DJing skills. Allister had a number of his personal copies of the track stolen by other DJ's after they heard him play it in clubs! His remix for WEA records of Rainstar 'Breakdown' was placed at number 3 in the Hype chart. He also remixed IRS versus John Paul Young 'I Love You Baby', widely considered to be one of Allister's best remixes.
From four superb tracks completed using the finest vocalists and musicians, the first release will be 'Let the Music (Use You), with Errol Green on vocals going out on Toolroom Records. Errol had a number 1 record in the 90's as part of China Black called 'Searching' and as well as Allister he's been working alongside Rhythm Masters. He's also made a track with Beverly Skeet who we all remember for the seminal club tracks 'Isn't it Time' by Kuva and of course the cover version of 'Passion' by Gat Decor. But mainly he's been very busy in the studio with Michele Chiavarini, a keyboardist whom Allister describes as the best he's ever worked with. Michele has been Joey Negro's (aka Dave Lee) Keyboardist for some time and is currently writing for Pavarotti!
He does a monthly show on Ministry of Sound radio alongside Brian Cheetham on Brian's 'Moving House' show on the first Wednesday of every month at 2pm (www.ministryofsound.com). We will no doubt be seeing him in the studio for the Qaraj' show every third Monday of the month at 2pm as well.
The Qaraj'ic mission to further the true cause of House has now strengthened with this new addition to our family. With DJs whose real purpose in life is to reach out and touch the hearts of people, what better person than Allister is there to champion our cause? To listen to him in action.