The promised summer heatwave arrives early with sunshine beats and heavy hip hop sounds. Imagine the Notting Hill Carnival played out on a tropical island and you’re halfway to capturing the good time grooves of DJ Vadim. Bringing a full live set (with vocals, keyboards and Vadim manning the decks and computers) to the all-embracing world of Departure Lounge and their love of jazz, funk and Latin, it’s also especially great to see him back in Scotland after a recent battle with cancer (Vadim was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma back in September of 2008).
Much has been made of Vadim’s Russian origins, however he spent his formative years in the UK. ‘I grew up in the 80s,’ he explains. ‘At school girls listened to pop and boys liked either heavy metal or hip hop. I wasn’t into dressing in black and having greasy long hair; I liked hip hop, it’s colourful, it’s dancey, it’s crazy, it’s rebellious, it felt good.’
Vadim never sits still – running his own Jazz Fudge Records before signing to Ninja Tuna then moving to BBE in 2007. He was nominated for a Latin Grammy for his work with Spanish hip hop supergroup 7 Notas 7 Colores alongside his own albums (as DJ Vadim, Little Aida, One Self and The Bug among others) as well as collaborations with various other DJs and hip hop stars (most notably Mr Thing, Killa Kella, Blu Rum and John Ellis as The Russian Percussion). ‘When I’m not sleeping I’m making music,’ he laughs, ‘it’s a great way to live.’
Departure Lounge at the Caves, Edinburgh, Fri 29 May