Of all the things we’re missing right now, getting rowdy with James Dawkins is up there. Whether it’s as Gymbox Master Trainer or legendary London DJ, let’s just say he knows how to keep things spicy… so who better to bring a party to your living room this weekend? That’s right. Tonight, 8pm. James Lee Dawkins will be dropping an exclusive set on Instagram live, to bring a bit of Gymbox into your life in between your daily online workouts. So, put down the Pringles. Crack open the booze rations. Hit your mates up on Houseparty – because things are about to go bigger than that final round of burpees…
How’s life going for you in isolation there, James…?!
You know what…pretty alright! It’s given me the head space to think about my role and team at Gymbox, so when we are back at it, we get back to it with a BANG! It’s also giving me a chance to work on some music projects, which has been pretty awesome and long overdue.
You’re a bit of a legend here at Gymbox… how did you first get involved?
I’ve been a member since I was 17 – my mum had to sign my forms as my guardian (LOLS.) From that moment I walked in I knew Gymbox was the place for me. I then went on to become Studio & Operations Manager at Bank, then Deputy Manager, Group Creative Studio Manager… and today I’m the Look Better Naked Master Trainer. It’s been 11 years in the making. Gymbox really does run in my blood!
How long have you been Djing for and how would you describe your style?
It all started in Ibiza in 2014, I was in Amnesia and I believe it was Boy George playing at the time (who was EPIC btw…) I walked down the stairs from the toilets, and I remember stopping in my tracks and feeling this intense wave of emotion and energy. Looking out on to the dance floor at a complete mix of different ravers, all I could feel was the infectious energy they were putting out and it came to me like a message, that I was meant to be a DJ.
The moment I got home I went and bought my equipment on my credit card and got started. I would drag my flat mate into my room every night after working at Gymbox HQ to ask what he thought of my mixing…which was so, so bad back then! But I told him I would get there and I did. I spent the first 3 years travelling the world as a club kid, soaking up different music and culture and then finally got the courage to launch my career 2 years ago…and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since.
I’m a proper house kid - I am all about bouncy uplifting sounds that build an infectious energy on the dance floor. From Disco to dirty tech-house!
Let’s stay positive. What places will you be looking forward to hitting once London’s alive and partying again?
Super club E1 is first up on my list. I actually had my main floor debut coming up there this weekend, so pretty gutted about that one, but I’ll just do it later in the year! So would love to rave with my Gymbox fam there too! Gymboxers know how to rave like no other!
What track do you want to send out to all the Gymbox fam right now and why?
Usually I would select a bouncy-tech track with a lot attitude, however in today’s current climate, I feel we need to rejoice in those uplifting joyful disco-house tracks with vocals that do bits to us. So my track right now is Candi Station, ‘Hallelujah Anyway’ (Dr Packer Extended Remix) …. give it a listen and you’ll see exactly why!
And one for all the panic-buyers, mass-gatherers and social distance violators?
Calling Out (feat. Dames Brown), Sophie Lloyd.
I think the lyrics are pretty spot on ‘Calling out your name’…to everyone that doesn’t follow the rules, please do and do all you can. We are in this together and need to do all we can for the greater cause.
How is music keeping you sane at the moment?
Right now, it’s EVERYTHING for me, I pair my mood with what I’m feeling to allow my mind and body to express itself. The moment I’m up, music is on and just before bed, a track to wind down my day and most importantly my mind. It’s kinda like mini messages to my brain, calming down my thoughts and allowing me to express myself as I’m seriously missing Gymbox, my gigs and London Life in general.
What can people expect when we hit IG Live this weekend?
All the club classics, uplifting floor fillers and current house bangers! We’ll be keeping it bouncy, people!
What’s your best survival tips for London’s party goers right now?
Is it cheap to plug my soundcloud page…?! But for reals, there something on there for everyone, from joyful uplifting mixes, to the more naughty 5am-on-a-Sunday ones. Don’t be afraid to get those headphones on or connect those speakers, play it loud, throw those arms in the air and express yourself. Music really is the answer!
What drink can we get in for you? Erm… might have to be an IOU 🙃
A shit-ton of Jaegerbombs, please. I’m classy like that.
Obviously we’re all missing our clubs right now. Got any motivational words to care to share with our amazing members and staff?
I know it’s a challenging time for all and as someone who is fully self-employed, I really feel it too. However in most situations we can find a positive, something that drives hope. I’m sure we’ve all had moments when we’ve said ‘ I wish I had more time’ to do that thing. For me, that might be to continue work on my first tracks to release. For some, that might be to get that 6 pack you’ve been wanting for years. Well now is that time!
We’ll hopefully not have to experience such a situation again, but we can take some positives from it in the present. This is a really good time to simply give love to yourself and work on all those things you’ve always wanted to do for you.