There’s probably not many DJs who can say they got their first booking before they could even use decks, but Scottish DJ Jay Celino is one of them. After being handed the aux at an afterparty and playing tracks off his phone, he was approached by DJ, producer and party starter, Artwork, and as he says, “the rest is history”.
“He came up to me and said he wanted to book me for Art’s House at The Nest in three months' time,” Celino tells DJ Mag. “I told him I couldn’t DJ — which was true — and he said he didn’t care — which was cool — so I borrowed CDJs and a mixer from a friend, and spent the next three months learning how to mix.”
Growing up in Glasgow, Celino has been immersed in house and techno since before his very first brushes with the club. As a childhood friend of fellow DJ and Mitchell Street Records boss Jasper James, who’s dad Harri is a resident at the legendary Sub Club, meant he’d hear captivating electronic sounds before he could get his foot in the door.
“Then, as soon as we were old enough, we were going to the Sub Club,” Celino remembers, “We also had the Arches when it was open, the Slam Tent at T in the Park back in the day. It all shaped the sound I listen to and play today.”
The influence of the city is apparent in Celino’s sets. In the same vein as some of Glasgow’s core club selectors, like Big Miz, Denis Sulta, Optimo and Slam, he isn’t afraid to traverse a multitude of genres in his high-energy sets, moving seamlessly from house and acid to disco and electro. He performed on the main stage at Glasgow’s Riverside Festival earlier this month, alongside Disclosure, Jayda G, Kettama and Palms Trax, and is a staple in the recently-relaunched EzUp club nights at La Cheetah.
In a city like Glasgow, where nightclubs are widely restricted by 3am curfews, the parties have something extra special. It’s an intangible, anything-goes energy that's captured by events like EzUp, where Celino has played as a resident for six years alongside his two friends and DJs, Ferrie and Mark, and spontaneity is key. “We don’t really plan what we’re going to play beforehand, or tell each other what direction we’re going to go down,” he says. “It keeps us on our toes, it's fresh and dynamic, we bounce off each other.”
As well as his club sets, Celino is a regular on Project Radio, and has graced the Rinse FM airwaves for an Eastern Electrics special and a show alongside Big Miz. He’s also a resident for Attic Room Sessions on Glasgow’s Groove City Radio, which he curates alongside Jay Gunning.
Although he has ambitions to explore production, Celino’s sights for the near-future are set firmly on embracing his career as DJ, and soaking in every second of it. “I’m just enjoying trying to develop my craft as a premium selector,” he says, “Just keep on doing what I’m doing and see where it takes me. You need to remember why you get into this game in the first place, which is the love of music. And you’ve got to remember to enjoy the ride.”
Listen to Jay Celino's Fresh Kicks mix below.
DJ Duke ‘A No. 1’
Thyone Girls ‘More Pumpin' (Ode To Joy Instrumental)’
Matisa ‘Selling Of All, The Brain!’
Garrett David ‘Cruisin Thru’
Grand High Priest, Craig Loftis ‘Mary Mary (The Original)’
Rudolf C ‘Gamma!’
Gettoblaster & DJ Deeon ‘Give It To Me’
[email protected] ‘Tracid’
Bailey Ibbs ‘Helter Skelter’
DJ DEEON ‘FUZZ’
TIM TAYLOR ‘HOUSEFUCKER - UMEK REMIX 2 - DJ ONE FINGER (MISSILE 44)’
X-Coast ‘Track 2’
X-Coast ‘Track 3’
SANSIBAR ‘Liquid Programming’
Andrea Caioni ‘Multiverso’