5 Minutes with DJ Simon Forestiero

Good for the Soul recently caught up with one of the hardest working DJs in the North West, Mr Simon Forestiero. Simon definitely plays music that has soul, and what an all round nice fella he is too.

As you have been involved with clubs and bars in Manchester for quite a while now, looking back what were you favourite (or most memorable) times, either as a DJ or as a clubber?

After many years DJing already, being asked to play the back room at a night called ‘Vain Glorious’ back in the early 90s was my first break onto the Manchester scene and I always really enjoyed warming things up with funk and soul for the funky house crowd that were there every Saturday. I recently played my first set for Funkademia after first visiting it as a student at the Thirsty Scholar more years ago than I care to remember and I’m looking forward to my first main set there in January.

Playing house classics as a resident for Paul Taylor’s RETRO was great, and spinning for 4000 up-for-it at Tall Trees, Yarm was a big highlight of my career. More recently, the new Venus in Manchester has really hit the spot as I’ve played as a regular guest DJ for them. On a smaller scale, the early days at Sugar Lounge were fantastic – early doors musical journeys dropping everything from Roy Ayers to Moby to the likes of the Beckhams, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz was a real buzz. Getting compliments from people I respect in the business like Norman Jay and Graeme Park at events like Global Gathering and God’s Kitchen has been a huge thrill over the 23 years I have been playing music out, but above all it’s about seeing punters smiling and jumping up-and-down to the music I’m playing.

Oh, and how could I forget summer 2009, playing in the blazing sun at Wet Republic in VEGAS BABY or a 1999 daytime set at Cafe Mambo in Ibiza!!

You are well known for your love of dance music and not focusing too much on any genres, any artists or tunes that you are really into right now?

I love to mix up music from lots of genres into my sets where I can, but keeping it funky is the common thread throughout what I generally play out. I caught Aloe Blacc performing “I Need A Dollar” on ‘Later…Live’ with Jools Holland a few weeks back and loved his sound – new music but with a really old school funk/soul feel to it.

If you have a weekend off from DJing, what do you get up to?

They are very few and far between to be honest!! It will either be a night out for a meal or a club with my lovely fiancee (our last big night out was at Funkademia with some good pals and a plastic severed arm!) or a well-deserved rest with a take-away and MOTD! (Rock’n’Roll!)

What would you recommend as must see or must visit places to a visitor of the Manchester region?

Not having lived in the city-centre for the best part of nine years now, some of the new stuff in town may have passed me by, but I love eating out and we generally always try to get a bite to eat at Lounge10 (hidden away on Tib Lane) where the food, service and ambiance has always been first rate on the many visits I’ve made there over the years. For a big meat-eater like me, the Gaucho Grill is like going to food-heaven! A slick interior, great wines and AMAZING Argentinian steaks hits the spot every time for me. And I LOVE the home-made corned beef hash in Mr. Thomas’ Chop House on Cross Street.

The Northern Quarter is a great place to visit if you want a bit of vintage shopping to bleed into a meal and a night out. You need to visit the Craft & Design Centre on Oak Street – where you can pick up hand-made one-off jewellery and other design crafts. I DJ at Walrus every Friday and love to get in early for a bite to eat before I start. The food is FANTASTIC (and the music isn’t bad either!).

Sat 22 Jan : Funkademia @ Mint Lounge, Oldham Street, Manchester

Original on Good for the Soul website

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