DJ Billy Nasty – Cooler Than You

This month we caught up with DJ and record shop owner Billy Nasty, who took the time to chat to us about his love of music and selling vinyl.

When did you start DJing? I bought turntables when I was 16, and I’ve been DJing professionally for over 35 years now and to this day I still only DJ on vinyl. 

Tell us about The Vinyl Curtain. I’ve been at this shop on St James’ Street for four years now. My previous venue was by appointment only and in the basement of Damage Hairdressers.  This new shop is an incredible space and the perfect venue for a record shop,  and I enjoy being part of the local community. Prior to having a shop front, we were predominantly dance music centric. Now we have a well balanced stock that sells everything from Indie, Rock, Funk, Soul, Jazz to all bases of modern electronic dance music which I am really proud of. 

Have you found with the rise of digital music not many DJs come to you to buy records? DJ friends contact me wanting me to sell huge vinyl collections for them, (sometimes 5000 records at a time) having archived them digitally. So I don’t find it hard to get stock. I like to see myself as the head of a musical orphanage taking on unwanted children, cleaning them up and sending them to somewhere around the world where they will be cherished and loved, as opposed to being locked in someone’s attic gathering dust. 

So you sell vinyl on a global scale? We are 75% online sales through a site called ‘Discogs’ which is the equivalent of EBay for records, we now ship records all over the world. I now have regular walk-in customers and sometimes groups of 4-5 professional diggers/collectors who stay here for hours listening to hundreds of records with me. 

Tell us your most prolific gig. I played with Leftfield for their first ever gig many years ago at The Paradiso in Amsterdam. They had a new system and amps that spat out the sound at 360 degrees, unfortunately the tour’s sound man was partially deaf so what he thought was loud was REALLY loud. The story became folklore in Dutch club history because at least 30 people asked for their money back because it was way too much! I also once gave the Prodigy drummer DJ lessons. 

What are your three favourite places in Brighton? 

The Black Dove, Pegs and Sons and Rarekind Records. 

You can catch Billy playing at WaterBear May 4th/Funk U @Stirling Arms April 27th / Houghton Festival – 8-11th August.

Words: Samantha Harman.

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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