FRONT Magazine

A QUICK CHAT WITH THE BIG DAWG HIMSELF, TIM WESTWOOD

We recently had a bit of a chinwag with the tallest man in radio, ahead of his appearance at The Big Reunion in Skegness on 16-18 and 23-25 November. If you can’t quite remember what Tim sounds like, enjoy this soundboard and refresh your memory.

Hi Tim! You’ve been given a lot of shit in the past, especially by the mainstream media. You always seem to shrug it off and just get on with it. Do you take things personally or does it not bother you?
I don’t think I’ve been given a lot of shit, to be honest. I get a lot of love out there. If people don’t get it, it’s their loss, man. They don’t live my life, they haven’t had my experiences, they haven’t seen what I’ve seen or been part of that. So if they look at something and they’re all ‘what the fuck is that all about?’, well, that’s their loss because they don’t understand and they haven’t been a part of it. I mean, I haven’t been in this game since day one, but I’ve been in this game for a long time, you know what I mean? I’ve been to the early hip-hop clubs. I’ve been associated with these artists. I understand where the culture comes from, where the culture is. It’s always a little crazy for the mainstream to understand with their middle class values. That’s not really my problem, it’s theirs. I always just see it as their loss. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

You’re doing The Big Reunion soon, are you looking forward to it?
Yeah man! I always do. It’s a hell of a drive down there and that’s not fun, to drive down there is murder but I think that they’ve improved the roads so it’s not as bad as it used to be. It’s a hard trek to get there but it’s definitely worthwhile. I think the excitement comes because it’s like the end of that era in people’s lives when they’ve had that crazy summer holiday, the first time away without their parents, first time away with that crazy, getting drunk, having fun sort of vibe, the YOLO mindset. It has that. This is like, summer’s over. The last of the summer experiences are done and now you have a chance for people to come together, you know what I mean? And you know, there’s a lot of great DJs and acts on there man, so yeah, it is a lot of fun. I definitely enjoy it.

So the idea behind it is meeting up again with the people you met really pissed up through the summer…
Yeah, but I think in this day and age you don’t wait that long. You met a girl on holiday and you really like her, it’s nothing to find her on Facebook or Twitter, or choose not to find her if you didn’t want to. It’s just an excuse to bring back a little bit of madness at the tail end of it all really.

On Twitter it seems like you’re all over the place doing freshers’ weeks and stuff. Are there any towns in particular that really go for it?
Oh yeah man, strong. Any of those uni places are tremendous, man. It’s the greatest experience ever. You know, they’re the next chapter. Yeah, these uni parties are the best thing ever. They’re very core, because in a way, I follow my audience, so if my audience is in Zante, Malia, ‘Napa, Ibiza, Tenerife, Magaluf, I follow them there. You know, it’s not like I’m going across to DJ for a load of Spanish people, I follow my audience. At this stage it’s those 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds who are freshers at uni, so I follow them, I follow that experience and come to their university place to rip it down. So yeah, those are great parties. They’re on a new level, there’s this excitement and they’re some of the best parties of the year, without a shadow of a doubt. A lot of the places are really full on. It’s a crazy scene, man, it’s really good.

If you had to put your finger on one party that you’d done and go, ‘that was the fucking best party in the world’, which would you choose?
Ah man, every night, every night! I swear down, because they’re all crazy. You know, some are bigger than others, some are more mad, some are different, you know? I got predominantly black universities, predominantly Asian universities, predominantly white universities, you know what I mean? It varies. But the energy level and excitement is always intense, man.

You’ve been doing this for a long, long time now. If you could speak to the 20-year-old Westwood, is there any advice you would impart to him?
Me at 20? Well, I never thought it would last this long man, so I’d have told myself to relax a bit. You know, I just worked hard all my life, I never thought it would last this long so I just worked hard. I should have taken my foot off the pedal a bit more, because I always worked hard, that’s all I ever did. I should’ve had some other things going on, but I didn’t.

Do you ever think, ‘I’ve been working like a motherfucker for so long now. I’m gonna take a year out’?
No, I would be too scared to. This is momentum, man. You stop and it might pass you by.

What do you think the biggest misconception is that people have about you?
Some people say I don’t support UK rap and I find that very frustrating. I think that’s a terrible disservice for them to say I don’t support UK rap. I think a lot of people like the likes of Chipmunk, Wiley, Boy Better Know, Skepta, Wretch 32, Tinchy Stryder wouldn’t be where they are in this game without the contribution I made to their careers. You know, I self-finance Tim Westwood TV. Last night I paid for two cameramen and a sound guy, as well as security, to pay to record a session and put it up on Tim Westwood TV. I don’t generate no money out of advertising, or any money out of that. A lot of those guys managed to have albums because I put them on my complication albums and financed their videos for them. I’ve made a tremendous contribution to urban artists, whether it be grime or rap, all my life, so for people to question that tires me out, man. I do a little two hour show on a Saturday and people are mad that it’s not all UK rap, but I’m playing what I’m playing in clubs mate, and a lot of that music ain’t in the clubs. You know, I’m playing what people wanna hear, what young people on a Saturday wanna hear and that’s the likes of 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Nicki and Drake, you know what I mean? Kanye. That’s what people wanna hear and that’s what I’m playing. Don’t be mad at me because I ain’t representing. I am representing in every other way, and self-financing as well so I think that stuff, that misrepresentation is tiresome. It’s your loss man, if you’re not understanding it. That’s how I feel.

Leave a reply