In the Shanghai music scene, it takes a lot to stand out. One man, though, is known everywhere for his work at M1NT, and that’s DJ Spenny. Even if you recognize his name, though, you may not know much about the person behind it. Here’s a handy fact file:
1. He was born in England
Spenny grew up in Reading, a large town close to London. After leaving school, he started his own web design company, which thrived for several years. At that time, DJing was just a side project, but when he became bored with his IT work he began to contemplate moving abroad.
2. He loved Shanghai immediately
British tax requirements were already making DJ Spenny consider move to another country, but it was only when he was invited to China by two business associates that the idea of going to Shanghai had even crossed his mind. He flew out and fell in love with the city straight away.
3. He was once a garage MC
Back in the day, it was more prestigious to be an MC than a DJ in Britain, and DJ Spenny won a spot at The Matrix, one of the most popular clubs in the UK garage scene. He was just 17 at the time, but it got him his break as a DJ – his brother asked him to fill while he talked to a girl he liked.
4. He used to hate house music
Spenny’s family liked other styles of music – his dad was a Van Morrison fan – and his early DJing gigs were in the hip hop scene. He specialized in mash-ups, at a time when making them still took considerable technical skill. It was only later that he became convinced that house was for him.
5. He thinks Chinese women are beautiful
One thing DJ Spenny has always said is that he loves the women he meets in China – he’s called them “very attractive.” They help him feel that he’s almost on vacation, and so he likes to try his hand at other stuff. He’s even become interested in kick boxing, which he’d never have got into back in the UK.
6. A top racing driver had a fight in his club
Spenny finds the amount of alcohol that’s drunk in Shanghai to be a little insane, but that’s okay – he says he can’t DJ properly when he’s sober! It can spill over, though: F1 driver Adrian Sutil ended up involved in a brawl in M1NT in 2011, following the Shanghai Grand Prix.
7. He doesn’t scratch
Although he’s known for his ability to get a dance floor rocking – and his ability to hold his drink – Spenny admits that he’s not the best at the technical side of DJing. He says he has no idea how to scratch like some of his fellow DJs, and he doesn’t claim to be the best mixer, either.
8. He drives a Rolls Royce
DJ Spenny used to own a Hummer, but felt that it wasn’t enough of a “statement” car for him, so he went all out and bought the most expensive car he could find, so that investors would take him seriously in the business arena. Even so, he acknowledges that it could be seen as a “waste of money.”
Image CC: Smart Shanghai