Behind the Decks Special Edition: DJ Woody

Last updated . By James Brown.

Each week we get behind the decks with the very best resident DJs from across the Manchester club scene, chatting about the newest releases, the best clubs and the picks of the month. This week we have a very special New Year's edition featuring a two time world champion scratch DJ, one of the true legends of the game, and a man who has travelled to every corner of the globe plying his trade and bringing beats to the ears of the masses.  We can only be talking about one man, none other than the incredibly talented and outrageously creative DJ Woody joins us for a chat about his newest projects, favourite parties and what to expect when he takes over the wheels of steel at Dog Bowl on New Year's Eve. 

DJ Woody

Name: DJ Woody

Occupation: World Champion Scratch DJ and party beat provider

When you started DJing in 1992 did you ever expect to be two-time scratch DJ world champion?
Of course not, no, scratching was always one thing that fascinated me about DJing and I always aspired to do what I saw on the DMC (Disco Mix Club) videos so I felt that one day I might like to compete. I never imagined how far I would go with it though, it kind of just snowballed.
Who has influenced and inspired you since the beginning?
Jam Master Jay of Run DMC was a massive influence on why I wanting to be a DJ in the first place. UK DJs like DJ Supreme and Undercover were big inspirations when I first started. Also DJs like Jazzy Jeff and Cash Money who seemed to master every aspect of being a scratch DJ, from DJing for rappers, to recording, to playing in clubs and doing impressive showcases. It all interested me so I always wanted to be an all-rounder like them.
Your new AV show looks off the scale! How do you even begin to start creating one of your shows?
These things usually start off with a concept and then it's a case of doing the research and collecting, viewing and listening to masses of material. From that you can get the bones of how the thing will go together. The music selection is always the priority, once that's done it's a case of putting together the visuals, editing the video and creating the graphics and animations. My old career as a graphic designer in TV helps, but it's still a huge job for one person. I enjoy the creative process though.
Your new Tour Hip Hop is 40 celebrates the day the Kool Herc threw the party in 1973 that started a worldwide movement. What party sticks out in your mind as the most important one you've ever played?
One of the most important sets for me on a personal note and as a hip hop fan was when I was asked to play at a jam in Crotona Park in the South Bronx. An honour normally reserved for 'legends only' I was asked to show my skills in the birthplace of hip hop culture, alongside some of its founding fathers, Grandmaster Caz, Jazzy Jay, DJ Red Alert and the like. A huge moment for me and very humbling. Another would be when I was asked to be one of the showcase artists at the World DMC finals in 2010, I grew up on DMC and it's one thing to enter but to be asked to showcase 10 years after I had competed, felt like a huge validation.
What do you love most about playing in Manchester?
Manchester has always been my stomping ground and where I learnt my craft as a DJ, so although i've not been able to hold a Manchester residency for years because of shows further afield, Manchester always feels like my hometown gig.
You've toured the world extensively DJing and presenting your AV shows, what's your favourite place to play and party outside of the UK?
It's hard to pick a favourite, I love the crowds in France they really appreciate turntablism and DJ culture. I love playing the US because of my affinity to hip hop culture, Canada is such a beautiful place and the people really know how to party. But my new favourite might just be Australia, I finally went out there to tour for the first time earlier this year and the crowds there really kick ass, amazing place and amazing people. Hope I can make a return visit this year. 
Describe your idea of a perfect night out. 
Essentially it's good company and good music kicked off with some good food. I love to watch music performed live and also discovering new things, be it a new musician or some food I've never tried before. Combine all these elements and you have a perfect night out for me.
Here in Manchester we're lucky enough to get chance to see you ring in the new year. What's going on for DJ Woody in 2014?
AV wise I'll still be touring 'Hip Hop is 40' for the time being, with a view to dropping a new AV show later in the year. Production-wise I've been making beats since before I was DJing, so 2014 will be the year some of my music finally sees the light of day. I'm working on an album with a view to a live set. The first project into the new year though is a new scratch routine video for one of my sponsors, so I'm looking forward to that, and as always there are a few mixtape collaborations lined up for the year.
What's going to be the first track from you to bring in the New Year?
I couldn't possibly tell you that (even if I knew yet!).
What's the best New Year's Eve party you've been to?
My favourite city has to be New York, so NYE in NY can't be beaten for me. Christmas IS New York to me so it's a great time to be there. 
DJ Woody takes to the decks to deliver a special New Year's Eve for everyone at Dog Bowl, a world champion DJ spinning in 2014 in style. Don't miss out on catching this guy do his thing, grab your ticket for NYE right here