Aidan Doherty aim is to create musical experiences that evoke positive emotional feelings by playing emotive music that has the ability to really touch people on a higher level. For him, DJing is about telling a story; a journey with a beginning, middle and an end. His sounds of deep warm harmonic soundscapes set against atmospheric and full rounded base lines have earned him a loyal following amongst the ever growing Warm Up community.
He is also coming in Bucharest to play for us, this January!
Hi Aidan, First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation and secondly we need to congratulate you and the Warm Up family for the great work and the growing success. It is an inspiration for us also, here at Deep House Bucharest.
Tell us a little bit about Warm-up, how did it start?
Aidan Doherty: Well, it all happened very organically. Warm Up was essentially born through my need to create a platform where I could just play the music I loved outside of my bedroom. I had been a “bedroom DJ” for a few months and very quickly became addicted to it.
At this time (mid 2013) there weren’t really any nights in London accommodating specifically melodic techno/house/electronica, so myself and a friend decided we would just hire out a bar and create our own night. It was purely so we could just play our music and start to build a bit more confidence as novice DJs. We didn’t take any of this seriously, it was all very amateur and purely for fun.
Over the space of a year, we did a few little parties in very small spots and started to build a small following of people who seemed very happy to find that there was in fact somewhere in London representing solely melodic music. This was how our beloved Warm Up community began to grow. It was after we did a party at “The Shelter”, in March 2014, that I realised that maybe this could, in fact, take off. I decided to gather the money that I had, take a gamble and make my very first booking and attempt to build this small party to some kind of next level. I booked Applescal and we held that party in a basement in Hackney, it was a real success – even though we lost money – and it was after that when I decided this was something I really wanted to pursue.
From then on I slowly started making bigger bookings, whilst also building our community through our Facebook page. Things just took off from there. One thing that I’m proud of is the fact that from day one it’s been myself and the Warm Up residents who have crafted Warm Up’s signature sound, our bookings are important, but the heart and soul of this brand have always been the residents: myself, Jorge Martins and Gus Emmett.
Between the three of us, we offer a wide range of cutting edge sounds. I lead with the more soulful and juicy emotive techno, Jorge is well known for his hypnotic groovy style and Gus brings a totally mixed bag of emotions, exploring ethnic house to deep trippy electronica, but at the forefront of our sound, emotive melody is the key component, Warm Up = emotional music & community.
If possible, could you do a top 3 Warm-up parties or at least 3 guest DJs sets that really touched you in 2016?
Aidan Doherty: As most people know, Warm Up is split into two brands, WUITW and Warm Up. One party focuses on club shows where I invite guest DJ’s to headline alongside myself and the residents. The other, WUITW, focuses on doing parties in spaces that are not night clubs, i.e. disused warehouses or forests/fields. Between both WUITW and Warm Up we held some incredible parties in 2016.
My favourite club event of 2016 was our intimate show with the legend that is Gabriel Ananda and rising star Tim Engelhart at The Columbian. Both played gorgeous sets and created the most loving and warm atmosphere. It was a very special gathering.
My favourite WUITW event of 2016 had to be our Summer closing in September. We held it at an outdoor location in North London. I played a 6hr set as the sun came up, it was just pure magic and happiness. Only those who attend our WUITW parties will truly know how special the morning times can be. It’s giving me goosebumps just thinking about it!
A third event that stood out for me was actually our last Warm Up event of 2016 with Robert Babicz and Ruede Hagelstein at Corsica in December. Babicz delivered an absolute blinder packed full of emotion. Room 1 was a melting pot of love and euphoria and It was a perfect way to end the year.
In your opinion, in today’s London, how hard is it to come with a new sound both as a DJ and as an electronic music party brand?
Aidan Doherty: Keeping things fresh and unique as a DJ is always hard and always will be due to the massive amount of other DJs out there. To stand out and deliver constantly evolving sets week-in-week-out you need to be spending time every day on your music research. It’s definitely harder these days to find music that no one else is playing, it comes down to how much you want it and how much time you are willing to put into it. I spend hours every day hunting music, sometimes I find nothing that I feel really stands out, it can get frustrating, but you just have to be persistent and you will find the gems. Networking and relationships are crucial. Knowing your music inside out is vital. If you don’t fully understand your music, you can’t truly deliver a set that dynamically tells a story. You have DJs who play tracks, and you have DJs who tell stories. Be a story teller.
How hard is it to come up with new ideas as an electronica party brand?
Aidan Doherty: Well, to be honest, it’s very tough these days. London is heavily overpopulated with promoters, many brands want to book the same names and have similar lineup ideas. It has become insanely competitive and I do feel a lot of pressure. However, the beauty of Warm Up is that it’s equally about the residents as much as the bookings, some of our most memorable moments have been created by myself and the residents, maybe that’s big headed of me to say but I feel that it’s true. For now, I’m happy doing regular club size shows once every 4/5 weeks with two, maybe three max, bookings on the line up. I try to keep the names fresh and create interesting combinations. One thing I do know, our name alone now stands for so much, regardless of line up, people know that if it’s a Warm Up or WUITW party, the atmosphere is going to be heavenly and the crowd is always so welcoming and friendly. It’s a community, a family. Speaking of lineups, I’m particularly looking forward to having Guy J and Einmusik with us in May at Bloc.
Can you please tell us something about what’s coming up in 2017, for you and the Warm up family?
Aidan Doherty: As well as several WUITW parties both indoors and out, and some very tasty Warm Up lineups, we have a big role in a little festival that I hold very close to my heart – Noisily Festival. We will be partnering up with the festival, doing a special 6hr Warm Up stage take over Friday night on the Nosily stage, with myself, Jorge and Gus. I had the honour to play there last summer and it was without a doubt the most magical festival setting I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing at, well, alongside Mojo Filter’s cosmic lost woods stage at SGP, that’s another heavenly sanctuary for electronic music I truly love. I’m not in any rush to push things too hard, I feel that Warm Up is growing at a really nice steady pace and I’m truly excited for the future of this community. For now, I’m enjoying our WUITW adventures and our regular club shows at venues such at Corsica, Bloc and The Steelyard. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and I’m in this for the long haul, organic growth has been and always will be the way Warm Up evolves.
We’ve recently seen a big nominee from the one and only Patrice Baumel, for you and also Oona Dahl, another artist that we love, respect and hopefully meet soon, as ” Fresh faces lined up for a big 2017 “. How did you receive this and what studio plans do you have for 2017?
Aidan Doherty: It was a real honour for me to read Patrice’s kind words, especially as I’m very self-conscious that I am in fact solely a DJ and not a music maker. I guess it can be done, right? As for “studio plans”, well, my work is purely DJ’ing and event promotion so you could say my studio is time spending crazy amounts of hours hunting down exciting music whilst organising our event logistics. I’m always deeply immersed in one or the other, well, not so much the logistics and admin side of things, I don’t particularly enjoy that aspect of my work if I’m being honest! It can be very stressful at times being the only person running Warm Up whilst managing my managing and maintaining my own personal growth and development as DJ.
Name 5 tracks that you played in 2016 that hold a special place in your heart.
This track represents my favourite moment DJ’ing of 2016. Dropping this outdoors at WUITW made me feel truly happy on a very spiritual level and nearly had me in tears. I truly love this track.
This is another track that brings back more great memories of sunrise at WUITW.
Just straight up freaky rhythm and madness. Love this and makes me feel happy, then the big drop comes in, all hell breaks loose.
Naughty, dirty, filthy, a driving techno roller, full of attitude and rawness, had some great moments dropping this one in 2016.
It’s just so damn good!
Time for the tricky ones! Let’s just say you get married this year and you have the chance to have for free, at your wedding party any 4 artists/DJs. Can you name these 4? Feel free to “negotiate” with your future wife.
Aidan Doherty: Hanz Zimmer B2B Brian Eno (no idea how that would work but I’m sure it would be magic) Four tet live followed by a James Holden DJ set.
We also know you throw some secret parties and, hopefully, we’ll be attending one soon. Until then, please tell us one funny story or adventure that you took part in, at one of those parties!
Aidan Doherty: Well, unfortunately, our naughty WUITW stories will have to remain a secret (for now). All I will say is that there must be a guardian angel watching over us! We’ve been in some pretty hairy situations. But it’s always worth the risk when you pull off the near impossible and create such memorable experience’s that brings so much happiness to people. Taking risks in life is really important.
Which of the following timetables and locations would feel most comfortable playing in?
1. In a club with great sound system, a headline set with 500 people …
2. A daytime party with 700 wild ravers in a field or forest …
3. You and another 100 deep dreamers on a sunny beach in Ibiza at sunrise after-hours.
Aidan Doherty: I feel very lucky to say that I’ve had the chance to experience all three setting, well if you change “Ibiza” for North London haha. It seems that my most preferred setting/time would be outdoors at sunrise. I always do the closing set at WUITW (4am – 9am) there’s just something very magical about playing while you transition from nighttime to morning time. Playing at that time allows you to mix up your music selection a lot more due to the changing environment. I like taking things really deep, rolling and melodic during the sunrise. The vibe gets very romantic and human interaction becomes really intense, it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of and can’t wait to do it all over again this summer!