Manchester’s always been a city synonymous with a good time, guaranteeing a night to remember any day of the week. Last Thursday was no exception, as we were invited to the exclusive secret Rockstar Energy ‘Press Play Pre-Party’ event. Here’s how it went down…

To celebrate the launch of Rockstar Energy’s new campaign, which is all about turning up the energy as we transition from day to night – and work to play – a lucky 150-strong crowd headed to Deansgate’s Lock91. The drinks were flowing, the tunes were pumping, and the city – as always – was alive.

Tom Grennan performs at The Rockstar Energy Press Play Pre-Party at Lock 91 in Manchester. Picture date: Thursday February 23, 2023. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: James Speakman/PA Wire

Turning up the heat from the get-go was none other than pioneer DJ MistaJam, who quickly showcased why he’s been a revered and renowned figure on the dance scene for more than two decades. Once the tone was set and people were ready to groove (which didn’t take long), Ella Eyre took to the stage as the first of three special guests, performing her hit released with Rudimental, ‘Waiting All Night’.

The Rockstar Energy kept flowing, and Tom Grennan joined proceedings to belt-out his feel-good tune ‘Lionheart’, which has seen immense success since releasing with Joel Corry, as well as latest single, ‘Here’. And, as things were coming to an end, the energy showed no sign of diminishing, and soon enough the incredible RAYE entertained the crowd to rapturous applause – treating us to her staple track, ‘Escapism’.

Ella Eyre at The Rockstar Energy Press Play Pre-Party at Lock 91 in Manchester. Picture date: Thursday February 23, 2023. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: James Speakman/PA Wire

It’s safe to say Rockstar Energy put on Manchester’s most exclusive pre-party of the year, and – although we still have some way to go until 2024 – it’s sure to take some beating.


We had the privilege of catching the man of the hour MistaJam for a quick chat straight after his set. Check it out below:

So, you’ve just literally come off stage at the Rockstar Energy Press Play Pre-Party event. We’re here in Manchester on a Thursday night, the weekend is pretty much getting started… how was it for you?

The energy in that room was ridiculous, I could tell that everyone was powered by Rockstar Energy, everyone was really going for it. Literally from the very start of me touching the decks to when I’ve just come off now and had to towel myself down, Manchester always brings the party, and tonight the Press Play Pre-Party was the place to be.

You had three incredible talents join you in Ella Eyre, Tom Grennan and RAYE, how was it having them on stage with you?

It was amazing. I’ve known all of them for quite a long time, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to support all of them throughout their career with the stuff I do on the radio. To see Tom Grennan here tonight was great knowing full well that the first we met we were playing student unions together and he was supporting me on my tour. Ella Eyre who again I’ve known for a number of years, and then RAYE – at this moment in time she’s really getting the success she deserves, so for Rockstar Energy to bring everybody together tonight on one stage was really special.

You mentioned during your set that your first ever live show was just down the road at the Hacienda, obviously an essential Manchester institution, so it’s safe to say you’ve been doing your thing for a while now. What would you say is the most rewarding aspect about a career in music, whether that’s being live on the air or playing onstage?

You have to love music, and if you really do then every day is rewarding if you’ve given your life to having a career in music. I think the thing about the music industry is that you have to wear a number of hats. You’ve got to know lots of different things, and you’ve got to be able to pivot. But if you are working from a place of love, that’s going to be easy for you to do.

Music is the most important thing to me next to my family. It’s saved my life so many times, so I’m just grateful that every day I get the chance to be involved in something that that is truly unique.

In terms of looking at your career on the airways and obviously on the live scene, is that something you always set out to do as a goal?

I’d be lying if I said that it was definitely a goal, but I am living my dreams and that’s the thing for me. Being a small kid obsessed by music, wanting to play music, dreaming of being a DJ, making my own music and playing stages and clubs and doing all the things I’m doing now, it’s definitely a dream come true, but I don’t know if it was my goal. I genuinely don’t know because this is better than the goal ever was, this is all a bonus.

If you have one key piece of advice for students or young people in general – whether they’re trying to make it onto the music scene or just in life what would that be?

That’s genuinely a very good question. There are so many things that are going through my head at the moment, and there’s two things that I probably would say. First and foremost, always move from a place of love. If you don’t love it, don’t do it… If you’re doing it to impress somebody else, don’t do it. Always trust your gut and move from a place of love.

The second thing for me, it’s all about the energy you put in. If you put the energy into what it is that you love, you’ll always get something back. It won’t necessarily be the thing that you think you’re going to get, but you will get something back, because all you’re in control of is the effort, not the outcome.

By James Cummins & Gabriella Wieland