Trevor Nelson talks to 51st State Festival ahead of his debut!


Radio star and dance music ambassador Trevor Nelson talks to us ahead of his 51st State Festival debut on Saturday 4th August,

Summer is here - what impact does that have on the music you play and enjoy, if any?

Summer is the perfect time of year for my kind of music. I play more melodious music when the sun is shining. This country has a completely different energy when it's hot, more smiles, more freedom, al fresco dancing, everything is more organic.

Radio has changed a lot in your life time - do you think online radio is better and more free than commercial radio ever was? Did you have find you were restricted in what you could play?

From a DJ standpoint anything is better than commercial radio. I was lucky that I spent my formative years at a  commercial station that was creating it's own identity so it was fun. We still felt like specialists even on daytime. Now everyone just bangs out the hits, our job back then was to identify what was hot before the public knew it existed. It's obviously very different today because of streaming. I do think there is an incredible amount of choice today for the listener.

You appear live at 51st State in London - a celebration of house music - what is house music to you?

I had no idea that 51st state was a celebration of house music. So what am I doing on the lineup? I have always loved house music, especially the early days. I always just saw it as a natural progression from disco. Tunes that have a soulful or gospel feel are my faves. If I didn't become an rnb ambassador, I probably would've been a defected type of dj. Simon Dunmore used to be my a&r manager back in the day at Cooltempo records. I love his taste in house music.

And about the London scene and sound - what shape is it in right now, compared to past decades, would you say?

 I really don't know what's going on in London these days. I only tend to do My own parties these days. My daughter produces and Djs a lot on the circuit. There seems to be a pretty healthy alternative scene, but far too many monied and drinking clubs and bars.


Should more be done to protect the city’s nightlife as they do in say Berlin? Is it the governments responsibility to keep the scene safe and vibrant?

 A friend of mine put her name forward to be London's nightclub Tzar and advisor to the mayor. She didn't get the gig but I am intrigued that the position even exists. I certainly think the government needs to understand our industry a bit more and work with us rather than against. It is a multi million pound industry and that alone should keep them interested.

What are you most proud of in your long career and why?

I think I am most  proud of being totally identifiable with the genres of rnb hip hop and soul. Longevity in an industry that revolves in five year cycles is pretty difficult. I still enjoy it as much as I did years ago. Broadcasting probably edges gigging these days.

What do you know now you wish you had known when you first started out?

I really wouldn't change a single thing. All the mistakes that I have made in the past have helped me in the future. I always say you have to dent your car to learn how to drive properly.

Finally who will win the world cup? Do you care about football?

I am a massive Chelsea fan. Been a season ticket holder most of my adult life. It's a tough call this year. Although England have started well, I would put money on Spain.