Looking back on the superstar DJ era with a dance music mainstay.
Yousef got his DJing break in a way that these days would be inconceivable: he won a mixtape competition in a print magazine. In 1998 he claimed the Bedroom Bedlam prize in the now folded Muzik Magazine, and went on to simultaneously hold residencies at Renaissance, Ministry of Sound and Cream, which at the time were three of the UK's biggest clubbing brands. Cream in particular was a big deal for Yousef—he'd attended the club in his hometown of Liverpool since the early '90s, and he likened the experience of playing there to stepping out at Anfield for the city's football team. Across a whirlwind few years he also became a presenter on the UK's Radio 1 and started his own party, Circus. 12 years later, Circus is still at the heart of everything Yousef does, from its label offshoot to the regular club nights he stages in Liverpool and London. Ahead of his appearance at this year's Snowbombing festival in Austria, Ryan Keeling caught up with him in London to reflect on his journey to becoming one of the UK's enduring dance music figures.