Chad Jackson

Sat 26 May — Luv80s
Dance Tent hosted by Encapsulated Energy

Chad Jackson

To witness Chad Jackson in action is an eclectic, atmospheric and intellectual journey into sound to uplift the spirits. He is a dance music pioneer and icon of the scene, who has inspired many of his contemporaries with his DJ mixing and production skills to become a revered maverick in electronic music. 

Chad has been a DJ, music producer and educator since the mid 1980s, having bagged the crown of Technics/DMC World DJ Mixing Champion in 1987. Resident DJ at the now legendary Hacienda club in Manchester - to a worldwide smash hit in 1990 with ‘Hear The Drummer Get Wicked’, he has gained worldwide industry respect and recognition and was recently honoured with a DJ Legend award by DMC.

In his career he has been a constant champion of new music with his journey through many different styles throughout the years, always pushing forward - from his beginnings in northern soul, jazz funk and early electronic music through to acid house, hip hop and breakbeat. All picked from one of the largest private music collections in the world.

Originally from St Helens, Chad held a residency at Manchester’s legendary Haçienda club during its heyday, and was one of the architects of the newly emerging house music scene alongside fellow legends including Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Laurent Garnier.  Chad was a key influencer in the popularisation of DJ mixing and the remix as an art form, globally. While at the Hacienda he started producing remixes exclusively for use on the legendary DMC DJ-only collections showcasing his eclectic taste, including Grace Jones, Kraftwerk, The Beastie Boys, De la Soul, Public Enemy, Deelite, Mantronix, Norman Cook’s Beats International and some bloke called Prince! 

Chad was one of the first British DJs to start DJ mixing in the early 1980s. In the mid 80s, a flyer with his name on it meant queues outside clubs like Manchester’s iconic Legend club and Wigan Pier, which he took over from his great friend and mentor Greg Wilson. Along with Greg, he was one of the first to play the newly emerged electro funk sound from the likes of Newcleus, Midnight Star and Man Parrish. He also tirelessly played and promoted the newly emerging hip hop sound, developing his turntablism skills on the way. 

Chad’s regular live broadcast sessions and end of year ‘Best Of…’ mixes on Piccadilly/Key 103 radio had the North-West of England hovering their fingers over the tape-deck record button. These original cassettes are highly prized today, with people inundating Chad’s website for copies of these famous mixes. Click here for the full discography.

1987 was the year Chad’s skilful and entertaining DJ mixing and performance (have you seen the YouTube videos?) enabled him to take the roof off the Royal Albert Hall in London, at the Technics/DMC World DJ Mixing competition, where he quite rightly secured his World Champion position. This success led to him become one of the first global DJs to undertake world tours, with a whirlwind 2 year tour including destinations such as New York, Russia, Japan, Brazil and the Cannes Film Festival! 

By 1990 Chad’s focus had turned back to studio production, remixing and re-edits. 

His first solo work followed and Chad Jackson’s ’Hear The Drummer Get Wicked’ went straight to the top of charts around the world. It is now considered a 90’s classic.

It was this new phase in his career that inspired him to give something back to the emerging music community by becoming an educator and mentor. Amongst appearances chairing panels at events such as the Brighton Music Conference, he now works with an array of new talent as a senior lecturer at ACM in Guildford, Ministry of Sound DJ Academy and Point Blank in Shoreditch among others. He teaches electronic music production, DJ skills, composition and cultural studies. Many of his past students are current major talents in the music industry.

Three decades on and there is no sign of Chad slowing down – music is in his veins more than ever before as evidenced by his many current gigs, radio shows and various productions for release. Over the last year Chad has graced the decks at a range of events, from Festival No6 in Wales and Secret Garden Party in Huntingdon, through to the Hacienda in Manchester and the House of St Barnabas in Soho. Chad is currently promoting his 'Journey Through My Record Collection' imprint, with a regular radio show on Music Box Radio and a DJ tour at selected venues around the country. 

As well as showcasing his enigmatic DJ skills, Chad is also in the process of finishing various new studio productions including unreleased material, songs and mixes from his extensive back catalogue, as well as a new recording of his smash hit 'Hear the Drummer (Get Wicked)'. 

We will leave the final word to Chad himself.  ‘For me, music is the life force of human expression and creative power, and a physical realisation of love’.


Find out more about Chad Jackson