You may recognise him for his DJ appearances at top nights around the globe, or have heard of him through his sell out Fantazia compilations, or know him as the musical genius behind world class designer, Galliano's shows. Either way, Jeremy Healy is living up to his reputation as one of the most sought after DJ's in the UK having been voted number one DJ by both The Face magazine and Mixmag.
JEREMY HEALY AWARDS;
Gold Disc for sales of 150,000 on “Fantazia House Collection”
Gold Disc for Haysi Fantayzee single 'John Wayne is Big Leggy'
Silver Disc for Haysi Fantayzee album “BATTLE HYMNS FOR CHILDREN SINGING”
Silver Disc for Haysi Fantayzee single “Shiny Shiny”
DJ of the year award in Mixmag 1995
DJ of the year award in The Face magazine 95 /96
We fly through the cavernous high-ceilinged chamber of the enormous venue for Manumission Ibiza, turning between the podia, sweeping inches above the crowd, toward the centre of the swarm. Here, lit up from above by three snow-white spotlights, is a tallish, good-looking guy in a sleeveless T-shirt. He’s wearing a pair of headphones and quickly flicking through his record box with the panache of a rockstar yet the care of a librarian. A quick cue, then scratches and tricks begin to emerge through the thudding 4/4 beat; the crowd take new energy from the organic noise that’s being twisted, published and proofed live in front of their astonished eyes.
Healy began dabbling in disco at a club called Planets run by promoter Phillip Salon. Salon’s intensively creative and rather eccentric personality rubbed off on Healy, who was paid to do the music, and Healy and his friends set up a pop group called Haysi Fantayzee. Over to Jeremy: “I had begun sprouting dreadlocks, which got my group an article in The Face, and subsequently some demo time at the EMI studio. At this time I lived in West Hampstead with Kate Garner and Paul Caplin, in a flat he owned. One night I wrote the lyrics for a silly song called 'John Wayne is Big Leggy'. I woke up everyone in the flat and announced I'd written our first hit record. We made our demos, shopped them around, and somehow, with our deranged songs and strange looks, we landed our first record deal on my twentieth birthday. I went out and bought the biggest TV set I could find and convinced Paul to buy a '59 Oldsmobile coupe!”
All was set for Healy & co to have a lucrative career in pop. ‘John Wayne…’ hit Number One in the UK charts and they had been on Top Of The Pops. Riding the wave of success, he travelled extensively and thus ended up one Saturday night at New York’s Danceteria club. He was immediately struck by the breakdancers, the body poppers, the anything-goes atmosphere and, above all, the carefree attitude of the hip-hop and electro pioneers. Inspired anew, he returned to the UK, sold his guitar, bought a pair of decks and started a club called Circus. Despite being one of the most phenomenal, seminal and stand-out nomadic clubs of it’s day, unfortunately Circus soon became a victim of it’s own success. Following the involvement of some shady characters [“It turned into cops and robbers, guns and everything”], Healy called a time-out and Circus left town for the last time.
With plenty of inspiration stacking up and no outlet for his creativity, Healy was becoming frustrated. Fortunately, a chance meeting at a catwalk show led him to meet one John Galliano, a former regular at Circus. The sexiness, charm and unpredictability of the fashion world appealed to Healy, and he was soon firm friends with Galliano – now, he has arranged and produced the score to every single one of Galliano’s shows since then, as well as working on fashion soundscapes for Versace, Jigsaw, Katherine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood
Back on the scene, Healy started hanging back out with a rehabilitating Boy George and started to go out clubbing again. A regular fixture for the pair was Danny & Jenny Rampling’s club Shoom in Soutwark; then, Ibiza was the next stop. Over to Healy: “The first time was fabulous. Fat Tony got sunburnt, Jenny Rampling got arrested and we got inspired. The music was much more open and less formulated. We came home and I went straight into the studio with a friend called Simon Rogers [now in Slacker]. Anyway, we programmed our idea of house and I found a sample on this Ronald McDonald LP of him saying, 'Everything starts with an ‘E’. We had our title!” The track was a massive hit, and it went in the UK charts at number 12 after selling 150,000 copies.
Healy’s love affair with Ibiza has continued since the first time he visited, and he has become pretty much synonymous with the island, year-after-year resident at big clubs like Es Paradis and Privilege. He’s mixed several Ibiza-themed CDs and continues to make the seasonal pilgrimage to the White Island to this day.
After ‘Everything Starts…’, Healy’s DJ career spring-boarded, and high-profile gigs and residencies appeared overnight. Now he has played in almost every country in the world, and enjoyed the lavish superstar DJ lifestyle, oft mentioned in the same breath as Sasha, Tong and Oakenfold. However, unlike most of his peers, he has had the insight to take a step back from the prominence of his career in order to examine the darker side of the high life; the trappings of success. Concerned with what was there, he sought to express his findings in a project called Bleachin’. Bleachin’ was an artist album produced with long-time collaborator Amos looking at the early mornings after the late nights, the storm before the calm and, most prominently, the ghoulish, bleached paleness of complexion that comes as a result of excessive cocaine use. Critically acclaimed to the highest degree, Bleachin’ was an overdue wake-up call to an industry frequently incapable to deal with the less glamorous side of achievement. 2010 sees Jeremy back in the recording studio working on a new project with partner Cheekypaul and a selection of featured vocalists.
Jeremy always finds time to continue his involvement with designers Dior, Galliano and the Victoria’s Secrets fashion house (he has been Musical Director for every annual VS show from 2001 onwards), plus the Pret a Porter International Fashion Fair Paris. More recently he has taken on the Musical Director’s role for Gwen Stefani’s LAMB label, The Golden Age of Couture @ the V+A London, Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief, the Parisian Jewellry house Chaumet, the launch of J-Lo’s fashion wear and Etro and Tommy Hilfiger. Indeed 2007 also saw production credits on the new Gwen Stefani album and credit and REMIX of the international smash “Wind It Up”.
Regular guest appearances for Attica in Shanghai and Singapore, United Kingdom of Dance, Sugarshack, Colours, Moneypennys, Gatecrasher, The Gallery, Pam's House, Cream, Time Flies, Clockwork Orange, Boujis, Chinawhite, Pure, Love Riot, and Voodoo. It’s a busy life indeed. Jeremy spends every November in the USA working on the soundtracks for the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows, which CBS air worldwide in December, in recent years he has worked alongside Mary J Blige, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Sting, Seal, Usher, The Spice Girls and The Blackeyed Peas. The shows feature the world’s top supermodels, Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova, Selita Ebanks, Marisa Miller, Alessandra Ambrosio, Gisele Bundchen, Karolina Kurkova and many others
So back to where we started. Ibiza, the DJ booth and the three snow-white spotlights. Back in Manumission playing at their Birthday Party. Jeremy Healy is smiling a knowing smile, playing his pumping and chunky glam house, bouncing around and throwing down his trademark DMC-style scratching over the top. Healy’s in his element, on top form in front of one of the most demanding crowds in the world. You really have to see it to believe it.
Tommy Hilfiger February 2010 show:
Selected discography Jeremy Healy
DJ MIX COMPILATIONS:
Fantazia House Collection 3
?Fantazia House Collection 4?
Fantazia British Anthems 1
?Fantazia British Anthems 2?
Fantazia British Anthems 2000
SERAPHIM SUITE: "HEAD" (Inferno)
JEREMY & AMOS: "STAMP" & "ARGENTINA" (Postiva)
BLEACHIN: 'EVERYONE LOVES YOU, EVERYTHING'S FREE" & "BLEACHIN" & "PEAKIN'" & "COMIN' DOWN" (BMG)
E-ZEE POSSEE: " EVERYTHING STARTS WITH AN E" (More Protein)