Taking place on Saturday 6th May, dance music fans can join the legendary DJ Judge Jules in a free, livestream of The Global Warm Up as it celebrates 1000 episodes.
Since its launch in 2004, Judge Jules has been entertaining millions of listeners all over the world with his The Global Warm radio show and podcast, with fine tune selections, and guest artists from wh0 and LF System, through to Joel Corry and Armin Van Buuren.
We caught up with The Judge himself to find out more about what’s in store for this milestone edition, his take on the current state of dance music, and to find out more about his live band on tour.
Hi Jules, welcome to Soundrive, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. Where are you in the world today?
London, having just come back from my Balearic bolthole.
Congratulations on hitting 1000 episodes of The Global Warm Up radio show and podcast. That’s quite some milestone! Did you ever think the show would still be going nearly 20 years after you launched it? Why do you think it remains so popular?
I didn’t really imagine I’d still be DJing, let alone still presenting the podcast. After all, who knows what the future holds so far in advance! Why does it remain so popular? As a DJ, you’re only as good as your ears, and I’d like to think I still have very finely tuned ears when it comes to spotting future anthems.
You’re doing a special audio and video livestream to celebrate the 1000th episode. What can we expect from this?
A very personal selection featuring at least one track per year from the inception of the podcast in 2004 right up to 2023, plus me prancing around behind the decks.
You also have a new show on KISS FM which brings you back full circle to where you started. Do you have any ambitions left when it comes to radio presenting?
Being able to expose one’s taste to a wider audience is the greatest privilege with the aim of entertaining and educating in equal measures. As long as I can continue to do this to as large an audience as possible, I’m in a happy place!
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps and present a big dance radio show?
Follow your heart and your ears. Play what you want to play, rather than what you think others would expect you to play. Hopefully you’ll carve out an identifiable niche with this philosophy.
Do you still spend as much time going through new music for the shows and for DJing as you used to? What’s the process and do you still get a buzz out of finding a big new tune?
I spend more time in fact, as the sheer volume of new tracks to listen to is much greater than it ever was. The buzz of unearthing the week’s best new tracks, and imagining how they’ll sound on that weekend’s dancefloors later in the weekend has never waned. And of course, then playing them. It’s what DJing is all about.
You’re still an incredibly busy DJ but you’ve been branching out to tour with a live band. How did that come about and was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
About 10% of my gigs are with my band. The rest are regular DJ shows. My live band plays DJ-style mash ups full of improvisation and solos. The aim is to take the orchestra-plays-dance music concept a stage further. Orchestra shows are restricted to what’s on the musical score, whereas my band is all about funky spontaneity. I wouldn’t say it was something I always wanted to do – it evolved out of being involved with a number of orchestra shows, which are magical, but have their limitations when it comes to spontaneity and step-out musical performances.
You’ve been one of the biggest names in dance music for over 30 years. Do you ever struggle to stay motivated when it comes to DJing?
Never. I’ve been doing this since I was sixteen, and the enjoyment has never waned. Not even 1%. Ultimately, one cannot fake it. There is no middle ground between being truly passionate and not being at the game at all.
How do you view the current state of electronic music? Is it healthy with a bright future ahead or is it in decline with big problems looming?
Very healthy, both on a recorded music and a live level. 10/10 on both counts in 2023, after the very difficult pandemic period.
You’re now a successful music and entertainment lawyer. What do you find more challenging, your legal career or the demands of DJing and performing?
I run my DJ career and my legal practice in parallel. On the one hand they are very different, whereas on the other, my music-based legal practice utilises my multi-decade experience as a DJ, radio presenter, record company A&R, music producer and event promoter, allowing me to apply that experience lovingly yet doggedly to the careers of those I represent.
What else should we be looking out for from Judge Jules in 2023?
A summer schedule, chocka with multiple festival appearances, followed by the return of my ‘Goes Large’ arena tour after the summer.
Thanks so much Jules, best of luck for the rest of 2023.
Tune in to The Global Warm Up 1000th episode free livestream event on Saturday 6 May from 7pm-9pm (UK) at www.judgejules.net