Always dreamed of becoming a DJ, but not sure where to begin? Then tuning into KISS Freshers is a must. Conceptualised by popular KISS Fresh presenters, Dixon Brothers, the pair are leading the search for the next exciting wave of DJ talent.
Thanks to brothers Justin and Adrian Dixon’s efforts, opening the door to a world of musical opportunity couldn’t be easier. Hopeful candidates only need to impress the duo with a 10-minute mix to be well on their way to radio play.
But how did the masterminds behind the scheme find their footing within the industry? We caught up with the Dixon Brothers to find out.
Band of brothers: a family destined for the decks
Think back to the best birthday party you ever attended as a child. Laser quest… Wacky Warehouse… those small get-togethers where your friend’s mum would bring out the big guns: never-ending supplies of sugary goodness. Well, if you thought those days were the best of your life, the Dixon Brothers did one better.
After their uncle introduced them to the art of DJing during a set for Justin’s birthday, the pair were rewarded with more than the title of “pass the parcel” champion – in fact, it was the exact moment they both realised they were destined for a life behind the decks.
“We’ve always been immersed in music, but this was the first time we’d seen the tracks we love played in a considered format on turntables. After that, we were hooked,” says Adrian.
Justin’s main influence, on the other hand, took place outside of the family circle – but the disc jockey penny also dropped for him in the early years of his youth. Inspired by Alex Halagry, resident DJ at a well-loved fast-food restaurant, JD knew he’d soon be turning his initials on their head and following in his footsteps.
“We had a Christmas party there and he absolutely detonated on us,” he beams. “I was like… I need to do this!”
As the brothers entered adolescence, they knew DJing was more than just a means to pass the time, instead taking centre-place in the forefront of their mind as a legitimate career. After watching a documentary detailing the life of legendary Drum & Bass producer, LTJ Bukem, the duo saw how their lives could pan out by venturing down the same path.
From here, the pair joined forces as the Dixon Brothers, they haven’t looked back since.
Behind the sound: all hands on deck
We all know the best house parties are when someone just grabs the aux cord, hits play on their favourite jams, and everyone soaks up the vibe. Harnessing that power of open format and eclecticism, the Dixon Brothers liken their shows to “the best house party you’ll ever go to”.
By weaving genres and leaving their audience second-guessing every beat, the pair credit their ability to create such high energy and unforgettable performances down to the versatility of their tracks. Instead of allowing fans to be able to predict what’s coming next, they champion the power of creating a tenterhook environment where set goers can never guess what’s coming next – but, equally, know whatever does follow is going to be electric.
“We’re always thinking two to three tracks ahead,” they tell Student Pages. “The combination of our musical knowledge and skillset on the decks allows us to go in multiple directions and keep the audience hyped for the next track.”
It’s an effort that pays off, after the duo’s first remix with Dean-E-g reached Number 8 in the Music Week Upfront charts. Their first track as a trio saw them catapult their way to the top – and it’s not just their musical chemistry that makes this three-piece work so well.
“Dean feels like the third brother,” JD tells us. “Great integrity, skill, and boy does he love a snack. If you have any cured meats in your lunchbox, stay away from Dean as you ain’t gonna get to eat ‘em!”
Humble, down-to-earth and grateful of everything life has thrown their way, gratitude and family is what drives the Dixon Brothers to achieve all the feats they have. From performing to more than 10,000 people at Wembley, topping charts and working with some of the biggest names in the industry, it’s the feeling of doing their family proud that keeps the duo’s sight set on bigger things.
“Seeing them in the stands [at Wembley] was incredible,” recollects Adrian. “Our friends and family have been a huge part of our journey and continue to be a huge part in our growth. We hope what we’re doing inspires the younger members of our family to shoot for their dreams. Everything and anything is achievable!”
Words of advice from the streetwise
When embarking on any new venture, you’ll often find cynicism lurks in the shadows from those who don’t want you to succeed. So when Adrian Dixon first started his journey to the decks, he wasn’t surprised to be met with scepticism from naysayers when he made that first call.
How best to deal with these situations? Adrian says understanding the motivations behind those striving to knock you down is the best way to come out on top. “At the start of my own journey there were those who would tell me I’ll never achieve,” recalls the DJ. “I used this as fuel to reach for the unexpected. Negativity is powered by jealousy – please never let that take you off your path.”
After finding himself at a crossroads in the earlier stage of his career, Adrian was close to losing his self-belief. Rather than let the doubt creep in, he did what the Dixon brothers do best: rise above the noise to create their own sound.
“That led to some difficult times when I doubted myself and battled with imposter syndrome,” says the KISS Fresh presenter. “It took my brother giving me a very real life talking to to get back on my mission to being a top-level designer. I’ve never looked back since.”
For those experiencing a bout of imposter syndrome themselves as they find their own path in life, the pair stress the importance of powering through the doubt. “Never take no for an answer,” they affirm. “’No’ to me just means find another way to pitch your idea. If you believe in what you’re doing, put the work in. There are no shortcuts to longevity. I love the quote ‘your name is being spoken about in rooms you’ve not walked in yet’. That keeps me inspired every day.”
The Dixon Brothers are living proof that with a little self-belief – and a lot of brotherly love – achieving your dreams isn’t just possible, but a given.
With the future looking incredibly bright for the pair – from producing music as KARNIVAL with Dean-E-G, to their new Friday night show on KISS Fresh, and an upcoming DJ school launch – it’s safe to say you won’t have to wait long until your ears are blessed with their efforts once more.