True House Stories®


True House Stories® Youtube & Spotify Video Podcast


Seamus Haji (Defected Records) interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories® # 009

Todays Episode we sit with Dj/Producer/A&R Man Of Big Love / Defected / Glitterbox Seamus Haji. He shares with us his start in the early 1980s known as Dj Slick to his rise in the house scene as Dj Seamus. Come check out his story on the road to success and the pitfalls.

Seamus Haji YouTube Video

Seamus Haji (Defected Records)

Biography Seamus Haji

A sensitive Capricorn of Irish-Indian descent (that explains the name then!) began his DJing career at the tender age of 16 with a South London Soundsystem playing a mixture of early House, Soul and Hip Hop. There is a distinct possibility that the name Seamus Haji may already be familiar to you. One of the most creative and technically gifted house DJ’s of our time with many more strings to his bow.
Seamus, a sensitive Capricorn of Irish-Indian descent (that explains the name then!) began his DJing career at the tender age of 16 with a South London Soundsystem playing a mixture of early House, Soul and Hip Hop. With a barrel-full of drive, enthusiasm and determination he went on to secure his first residency at The Satellite and later took on regular guest spots at MOS, Garage City, Release The Pressure, Hard Times and Back To Basics.
He then became a regular fixture at the likes of MOS, Code, Bed and Pacha, London. He has also enjoyed numerous residencies around the globe, including four years at Pacha, Ibiza where he gathered an army of fans, possibly something to do with his rather dashing looks as well as his DJing ability of course! Musically his strength is his diversity playing as comfortably alongside, for example, Kenny Dope as Steve Angello. And his sets are now known for the wealth of his own productions and remixes as well as more than a smattering of trickery on the Pioneer CDJ1000’s (for which he has been an official ambassador).
As well as DJing, producing and remixing, the past 10 years have seen Seamus gather a wealth of musical experience and knowledge. Having spent many years working in London’s foremost independent record shops, A&R roles at Slip ‘N’ Slide and of course Defected, plus writing for Blues & Soul, Echoes, Touch and Muzik magazines, Seamus is known & respected by DJs & producers of many genres of Dance around the world. Armed with this background, it made sense to set up his own record label, Big Love, with Defected co-founder Janet Bell.
“Big Love is an organic, lo-pressure imprint for quality, club-based international house whereas Soul Love is it’s fairly self-explanatory Soul Sister”. Big Love has established itself as a must buy label for many DJs around the world. The trainspotter in you may be aware that Seamus has had multiple creative personalities over the years: Big Bang Theory was his funked-up house personality which produced a hit with the incredible ‘God’s Child’ for Defected Records.
Mekkah was his soulful, more vocal orientated personality. ‘Race Of Survival’, the first release on Soul Love, has become a classic. 11th Dimension was his darker, tougher more futuristic side which saw his early collaborations with Paul Emanuel. Get This! Was a cheeky Go-Go/House fusion which won devotees from some very diverse corners with “Ya Underwear” being a massive global 12″ seller. Ijah is currently resurfacing and making waves too after a brief outing in 2003, this time with a signature take on Kim English’s classic “Nitelife”.
And then came “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”. Seamus released his cover of the 80’s club classic under his own name in 2004, he was the first to produce a vocal record in the now ubiquitous Electro-house style, and its huge popularity sowed the seeds for his future hit. Now finding his feet with his new sound, Seamus teamed up with Paul Emanuel to produce “Weekend” a cover of the Class Action classic sampled and made famous by Todd Terry in the mid 80’s.
Under their Haji & Emanuel moniker, they gave this an electro tinged house vibe that was a worldwide club hit for Azuli. Haji & Emanuel then covered “Take Me Away” and again, produced a massive club hit which charted Top 50 early in 2006 with no radio, video, marketing etc on 12″ alone! 2006 was when it all seemed to come together for Seamus. He was thrilled to mix his own Sessions compilation for Ministry in the company of Josh Winx, Derek Carter and Steve Angello.
He (along with Paul Emanuel on many but not all) did a number of amazing remixes which really cemented their signature sound and spawned many imitators. Tom Novy “Your Body”, Mish Mash “Speechless”, Degrees of Motion “Do U Want It Right Now”, Paul Harris “Find Yourself A Friend”, Dajae “Brighter Days”, Sugababes “Easy” were just some of Seamus’ remix highlights in 2006 culminating in his fantastic remix of Booty Luv’s “Boogie 2Nite” which took the record to No 2 in the Nationals.
2007 fittingly kicked off with his standout remake “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” being signed to Apollo and going Top 15 in the UK National Charts (accompanied by a somewhat ground-breaking video!) and being feted by the likes of Pete Tong as the next big thing! After this came his record-breaking feat of becoming the only producer to have ever had the lead remix on the Top 4 records in the Music Week Club Chart.
And being for such diverse artists as Just Jack, Roisin Murphy, Stonebridge and not forgetting Rihanna’s No 1 hit Umbrella, these were no bish bash bosh jobs, every one awesome in its own right. Most recently he has given his in demand remix touch to Calvin Harris “Colours”, Orson “Aint No Party” and J Holiday “Bed” whilst still finding time to work on his follow up single expected to drop in early 2008.
Seamus Haji has become synonymous with quality, his DJ sets never disappoint, he’s a technical wizard and his productions are phenomenal. With DJ requests going off the hook, it’s going to be hard to focus on producing that album he wants to make, but focus he will. You get a sense when someone’s time has come, and for Seamus that time is now.