It's not all about the music: Norman Jay MBE


Written by James Ratcliffe
24 Thursday 24th July 2014

DJing can mean a lot of travelling, late nights and an irregular sleeping pattern, how do you unwind and relax?

When I’m at home, lovely wife and family, it’s fantastic, and I switch off completely from the music, and pursue other interests, so when I return to music I am always fresh. I don't do after parties and carry on in nightclubs, I don't listen to music 24/7, na. I have a very good work to life balance.

When you set up Kiss, as a pirate radio show all those years ago, did you ever imagine it would grow into what we know as Kiss today?

I had no idea it would get as big and popular as it became, you know, we were just making it up as we went along, there was no rule book. We were just a bunch of enthusiastic, passionate mavericks who just did our own thing, and fortunately it grew into what it grew into.

Can you give us the best film(s) you have watched recently?

To be honest, I’ve been working so hard on the festival production with my team, I haven’t had a night off or time off in months to go and see any films or to take part in any sort of artistic or creative interests. I have just been so focused on getting this event together and getting it off the ground.

Best book/comic?

Yeah, I’ll do all of that after that weekend is finished in September, then I’ll catch up on all the films and all the exhibitions that I have missed.

What is one of your highlight moments from Notting Hill over the years?

Definitely the 30th anniversary, where we were given a 15-minute standing ovation at the end. I thought they wouldn't stop blowing whistles and screaming and playing horns. It was just unbelievable. It was fantastic.


Is there something quite special about performing to thousands of people where you grew up?

Yeah there is something, you know, I made my name and my career, everything began, less than a mile from where I was born. So yeah, there is a special symbolism in that.

If you were to pick one track that sums up the spirit of carnival for you, what would it be? 

It has to be, it speaks for itself doesn't it? Good Times, by Chic.

Where is your favorite place to eat in London? Any tips for our readers?

I don't know, there’s a question.

Can you recommend any new places you to eat you have come across recently?

Yeah, Dishoom, an Indian street food restaurant in Shoreditch.

What was your favourite cartoon/tv show growing up?

Definitely Tom and Jerry, I had loads of cartoons, yeah... Or the Jackson 5’s cartoon.

Where is your favourite place to party in the world? 

London. Yeah, anywhere in London.

What are you looking forward to most about Good Times in the Park?

A big reunion of all my friends and extended Good Times family, coming together for our very first festival. Yeah.

Why is Wormwood Park the ideal location for such a party?

Because it’s in the area, it’s in West London, again, it’s only a mile from Notting Hill, where I was born and where I play. So it makes perfect sense.

What else can we expect?

All the performers, all of my friends performing at Good Times in the park, that's what you can expect. Looking forward to Chaka Khan, Jazzy B, the list is endless. They will all be performing fantastic sets, you know, Miss Dynamite, Cuban brothers, loads.

More information and tickets for Good Time in the Park can be found here:

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