Tony De Vit

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Tony De Vit
Birth name Anthony de Vit
Born 12 September 1957
Origin Kidderminster
England
Died 2 July 1998 (age 40)
Genres House
Techno
Hard house
Hard NRG
Occupation(s) Remixer, DJ
Years active 1976-1998
Associated acts Fergie
Daz Saund
Smokin Jo
Carl Cox
Mrs Wood

Tony De Vit (/dəˈv/ də-VEE; 12 September 1957 – 2 July 1998)[1] was a British club DJ, Producer and Remixer and one of the most influential[2] of his generation.[3] He was credited with helping to take the "Hard house" and fast "Hard NRG" sounds out of the London gay scene and into mainstream clubs.[4] His single "Burning Up" reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1995, with "To The Limit" making number 44 in September 1995.,[5][6] during that year he won BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix of the Year Award voted by listeners of the show and Music Week's re-mix of Year Award for Louise's (Naked). He remixed multiple UK Top 40 hit's during his career with artists like Taylor Dayne and East 17.[7] Between 1994 and 1998 his popularity[8] with the clubbing public was rivaled only by Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox.[9] In September 2010[10] Mixmag UK announced the nominations of 35 DJ's chosen by other big names in the world of dance music who they considered the best ever the result of the 15 month survey which polled hundreds of thousands of global votes asked who is the Greatest DJ of All Time the result was announced in January 2011, Tony De-Vit was ranked No9 and one of four British DJ's that made the Top 10.[11][12]

Early life[edit]

Anthony de Vit was born to Raymond de Vit and June Silcock in Kidderminster, England.[1] Through his father's family he was directly related to Charles Anatole de Vit, a wealthy French immigrant who migrated to the UK in the 1840s. Kidderminster has also been the family's home since the mid-1930s.

Career[edit]

Tony de Vit began DJ'ing at the age of 17, as a wedding DJ in 1976 playing at local pubs in his home town of Kidderminster, followed in his early 20s, by his first residency at the 'Nightingale' in Birmingham on a Monday night where he played pop and Hi-NRG. His Monday night slot progressed into midweek Wednesday nights and then to the main Friday and Saturday night slots. In a relatively short space of time de Vit, through his talent and the diversity of his music, had taken the 'Nightingale' from a kitsch gay haunt to a respected club. During the early 1980s, he worked at Wolverhampton's Beacon Radio, playing club tracks during a regular late-night slot on the 1922 show hosted by Mike Baker (now with Smooth FM). Tracks from Bobby Orlando and Patrick Cowley featured heavily.

It was around 1988 that London's infamous gay superclub, 'Heaven' was looking for an alternative DJ. After some persistence, Tony landed the gig there and every other Saturday night he would play the main floor along with his residency at the 'Nightingale'. 'Heaven' was the epitome of the gay club scene and Tony found that his lifestyle fitted in perfectly with this scene; at the time gay clubs were musically way ahead of their straight counterparts and were heavily influenced by the New York disco scene. Gay clubs became very much a pivotal point in the development of today’s Dance Music culture, where Hedonism, Sexuality, Race and Gender unite as one for the cause of dance music.

While de Vit’s set at 'Heaven' was rapidly establishing a reputation for itself, 1990 saw another pioneering and soon to be influential club named Trade emerge onto the scene, which was promoted by the then unknown Laurence Malice & Tim Stabler. De Vit heard good reports about 'Trade' and so one night went there. From the moment he walked into the club, de Vit couldn't believe what he was hearing, he went onto the dance floor, mesmerized by the music and loving every minute of it! Not one to do things by half measures, Tony transformed his record box overnight to this new style of music. The following week Tony turned up at the 'Nightingale' and began to play the entire contents of his new-found record collection like a kid with a new toy. The club told him that he was nuts, and gave him an ultimatum, change the music or leave, to which Tony said, 'I’m not changing the music, this is the way forward'. His comments ended a ten-year residency that had become a Birmingham clubbing institution and de Vit had become a local icon and a legend on the gay clubbing scene.

In around 1990/91, de Vit focused on his residency at 'Heaven', and was a regular visitor to 'Trade', where he began to bombard the promoters of 'Trade' with tapes of his sets. Eventually, after six months of persistent harassment, they relented and allowed de Vit to stand in one night for Smokin' Jo. Tony graced the decks, placed the needle on the record and in his own words 'the place went crazy!'. After that outstanding performance, de Vit landed his very own residency at 'Trade' and firmly established himself alongside the likes of other 'Trade' luminaries such as Malcolm Duffy and Daz Saund.

By now Tony was perfectly content, he held one of the most prized and prestigious slots...a residency at 'Trade'. It was also around this time that House music had begun to evolve into the dance music culture it is and was to make a significant impact on British society with the advent of the phenomenon of Illegal Warehouse Parties and raves. The parties became the subject of national media interest and pressure came from the government for the local police forces to close down the raves and confiscate the sound systems. In around 1992, the illegal Raves moved into the clubs in a bid to legalise the scene. One of the pioneering figures of the burgeoning house music scene at this time was a Birmingham promoter called Simon Raine, who took a very keen interest in Tony’s career. It was Raine who put Tony on the bill alongside Fabio and Grooverider at 'The Institute' and encouraged him to make 'in roads' into other house parties. Up until this point Tony had predominately played in the gay club scene but Raine, who today is one of the most successful dance music promoters on the scene with his infamous 'Gatecrasher' club nights, had a few words of wisdom and support for de Vit when he told him 'You are going to go all the way and be a huge success'.

It was not long before various other nights began to spring up, the most significant being the 'Chuff Chuff' events which were run by the Ryan brothers. One night Tony got a call, the Ryan Brothers had rung to see if he would play after Sasha. Tony was well aware that Sasha was a hard act to follow, but as usual, he pulled it off!

In 1992, Tony de Vit met with an unknown music engineer called Simon Parkes. Simon brought a tape to Tony and, as he recalled at the time, '...the tracks were so so and quite commercial, but the sounds and quality were great. I knew that Simon had got something to offer and there was huge potential, I just had to find it, focusing on my perspective as a DJ with a feel for the music and Simon’s perspective as an engineer in producing the sounds and the quality'.

It was at this time that Tony de Vit recorded (in Simon’s bedroom) and released his first record 'Feel the Love (Don't Go Away)' which was well received on the club scene. His second release was a track called 'Higher & Higher' (with disco diva Norma Lewis ), which became the future benchmark for de Vit & his V2 concept, but it was de Vit’s track 'Burning Up' that took everybody by surprise. This record was the catalyst in firmly establishing de Vit’s name and a new style of music. The track went straight in at No. 24 in the UK Top 40. It was at this point that everything changed, he went from being a DJ and a 'one man operation', to a huge company overnight. The DJ bookings began to flood in for both the UK and overseas, and in 1995 Radio 1 contacted him for his first 'Essential MIx'. At the same time record companies also recognised de Vit’s unique ability and talent and remixes were soon flooding in.

The Tony de Vit treatment has been a significant factor in the hugely successful dance music compilations album market. Tony featured on no less than twelve of the top dance mix Albums, including, Fantazia 'House Collection Volume 2' and the 'Remixers' album, Sound Dimension’s 'Retrospective of House' Volumes 2 & 4, Boxed’s Global Underground series 'Live in Tel Aviv', 'Live in Tokyo' and the memorable 'Live in Handsworth Wood'(joke!), 'Kiss mix 97', the very sought after 'Trade' Volumes 1 & 3, and the international release, 'Trade Global Grooves'.

With the launch of Jumpwax Records in 1996, Hard house music in the UK became more mainstream with tracks like 'Are You All Ready' and 'I Don’t Care' beginning to receive major radio play and very impressive sales figures upon release. Following the demise of Jumpwax Records in 1996, we saw the launch of TDV Records, which saw the release of the classics, 'Bring The Beat Back' and 'Get Loose'. Even today, as we step into the new millennium, all of these releases are still being played by DJ’s the world over.

In 1996, Tony went on to play at all the major dance clubs/events in the UK, including, Legacy @ The Manor in Ringwood, Slinky @ the Opera House in Bournemouth, Cream, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen, and Creamfields, this together with his worldwide bookings, led to a punishing DJ schedule.

With the help of his 'Kiss 100' show in 1997 his popularity grew and in 1997/98 he was ranked number 5 in DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ's in the World;

In the early part of 1998, he recorded the anthem 'The Dawn' with Paul Janes and Andy Buckley, which was part of the six track 'Trade EP'. Tony went on to comment that '...he was very proud of it...' considering (for the first time) he was working with a new & different engineer. Paul Janes went on to remix 'The Dawn' as a personal tribute to Tony’s work and special understanding to his music genre, and again, after 5 years, the track is still played with many considering it to be his best work.

In the last four years of his life Tony’s reputation was propelled to critical acclaim within 'clubland' and the record buying public. He had a string of awards and nominations to his name, including, Mixmag's '2nd Best DJ of the Year 1996', and M8 magazine's 'Best DJ of the Year 1996'. He was nominated for the 'Best New DJ' in the Muzik Magazine's 'Saints and Sinners' awards, 'Dance DJ of the Year' (Molsen BEDA Awards) and 'Best DJ' International Music Week Awards. He was selected by Music Week as 'Top Remixer of 1996' and his remix of Louise’s 'Naked' earned Music Week’s vote as the 'Ground breaking Remix of 1996'. This, coupled with his two top 40 successes, 'Burning Up' and 'To The Limit', and more than 20 remixes entering the UK top 40..

Death[edit]

De Vit had contracted HIV. On 2 July 1998, at the age of 40, he died of bronchial failure.[1] After De Vit's death, a conflict kept his records off the shelves for many years, but finally a compilation album of his songs and remixes was released called Are You All Ready? on Tidy Trax records.[13]

Influence[edit]

A number of artists have cited Tony De Vit has influence such as Andy Farley,[14] Dave Pearce,[15] Paul F1 King,[16] Steven J,[17] Lisa Lashes.[18]

Awards & nominations[edit]

BBC Radio 1 Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1995 BBC Radio 1 Tony De Vit Essential Mix of the Year Won

British Dance and Entertainment Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 BEDA Tony De Vit Dance DJ of the Year Nominated

Music Week Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 Music Week Tony De Vit Ground Breaking Re-Mix of the Year for Louise's "Naked" Won
1996 Music Week Tony De Vit Top Re-Mixer of the Year Nominated

M8 Magazine Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 M8 magazine Tony De Vit Best DJ of the Year Nominated

International Dance Music Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 IDMA Tony De Vit Best DJ Nominated

Muzik Magazine Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 Muzik Magazine Tony De Vit Best New DJ Nominated

Mix Mag Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 Mixmag Tony De Vit DJ of the Year (2nd) Nominated
2011 Mixmag Tony De Vit Greatest DJ of All Time (9th)[11][12] Nominated

DJ Magazine Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1997 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (5th) Nominated
1998 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (5th) Nominated

DJ Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1998 DJ Awards Tony De Vit Special Award 'Honoured' Won

Vice Magazine/Thump TV[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
2014 Vice-Thump Channel TV Tony De Vit The 20 Greatest Gay DJ's of All Time (Honoured)[19] Nominated

Discography[edit]

Releases

Albums[edit]

  • Are You Ready 2xCD, Tidy Trax, (2003)

Singles & EP's[edit]

  • Feel the love/Make love to me (12"), V2, (1993).
  • Burning Up (7 versions), Icon Records, (1995).
  • To the Limit (4 versions), Xplode Records/PWL International, (1995).
  • 99th Floor Elevator's (5 versions) featuring Tony De Vit-Hooked, Labello Dance/PWL International, (1995).
  • 99th Floor Elevator's (3 versions) featuring Tony De Vit-I'll be There, PWL International, (1996)
  • I Don't Care/Resistance is Futile (9 versions), Jump Wax Records, (1996).
  • Are You All Ready/UFO (4 versions), Jump Wax Records, (1996)
  • Feel My Love/Get Loose (3 versions), TDV Records, (1997).
  • Bring the Beat Back (Club & Trade Mixes) (12" White Label), TdV Records, (1997).
  • Don't Ever Stop/Bring the Beat Back (3 versions), TdV Records, (1998).
  • Steve Thomas/Tony De Vit-Trade EP Disc 02 (12" EP), Trade Records, (1998).
  • Tony De Vit featuring Petronella-Do What You Do (3 versions), TdV Records, (1998)
  • Paul King/TdV-Kick it In/Bring the Beat Back (3 versions), TdV Records, (1998).
  • Splash Down/Are You All Ready (2 versions), Tidy Trax, (1999).
  • The Dawn (3 versions), Tidy Trax, (2000)
  • Tony De Vit-Stimulant DJ's (Tidy Trax Sound EP 12"), Tidy Trax, (2000)
  • Destination (2 versions), Plenty Records, (2002)
  • Tony De Vit (feat) Niki Mak-Give Me A Reason (4 versions), Tidy Two, (2003).
  • Give Me A Reason/Bring the Beat Back (12" TP), Tidy Two, (2003).
  • The Dawn/I Don't Care (12"), Tidy White, (2004).
  • Tony De Vit/Lee Haslam-The Dawn/The Music is a Drug (12"), Tidy Classics, (2005).

DJ Mixes[edit]

  • Mark Moore/Tony De Vit-Chuff Chuff Chuff Summer Ball 93 (2 cassette mixed), (1993).
  • The Remixers-Tony De Vit (CD Mix), Fantazia Records, (1995).
  • Tony De Vit & Jon of the Pleased Wimmin live at Bangkok (1995).
  • Global Underground GUOO1 Live in Tel Aviv (4 versions), Global Underground Ltd, (1996).
  • Graham Gold and Tony De Vit-Kiss Mix 97 (2x Mix CD), Polygram, (1997).
  • Jim 'Shaft' Ryan-Mark Moore-Tony De Vit-Glamorous One, Miss Moneypenny's Music, (1997).
  • Global Underground GU005 Tokyo (5 versions), Boxed, (1997).
  • Trade Global Grooves Volume 1 (2 versions), Feverpitch, (1997).
  • Seb Fontaine-Tony De Vit-Elements (1st Testament) (2x CD Mix Compilation), Warner Music UK Ltd, (1998).

Discography other releases[edit]

  • Notes: This section includes the body of Tony De Vit's work other than his own releases during his career.

Appearances (170)[edit]

  • Albums (4)
  • Compilations (51)
  • Mixes (109)
  • Singles & EP's(5)
  • Videos (1)

Unofficial (32)[edit]

  • Mixes (27)
  • Singles & EP's (5)

Credits (304)[edit]

  • Acting, Literay and Spoken (1)
  • Featuring and Presenting (8)
  • DJ Mix (25)
  • Production (35)
  • Remix (2013)
  • Technical (4)
  • Writing and Arrangement (18)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed May 2011
  2. ^ "Entertainment Influential dance DJ dies". 2 July 1998. BBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Interview by Mixmag TV with DJ Fergie on Why Tony De Vit was so good". Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "New Musical Express Report". 3 June 1998. NME Newspaper. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 17th edition (2004), p. 145 ISBN 0-85112-199-3
  6. ^ "DJ Tony De Vit Dies After Holiday Collapse". NME. 3 June 1998. Retrieved 19 July 2007. 
  7. ^ Talevski, Nick. "Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door". 7 April 2010. Omnibus Press, Page 130. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Freedom Gala G. Mex Manchester". 25 August 1996. Manchester District Music Archive. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Respected UK club DJ and producer, has died". 3 June 1998. New Musical Express (NME). Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "MIXMAG LAUNCHES 'GREATEST DJ OF ALL TIME' POLL". 16 September 2010. Source Wire News. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Mayer, Nssim. "Tiësto named 'Greatest DJ Of All Time'". 19 January 2011. Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Mixmag Announces Results Of "Greatest DJ Of All Time" Poll – Tiesto won". 19 January 2011. House Planet DJ.com. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Discogs entry
  14. ^ "Celebrity DJs Andy Farley - Hard House Legend". 23 March 2015. DMC World Magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Who were your early influences?". 2015. Official Site Dave Pearce. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "20 DJs, 20 Questions: Paul ‘F1′ King (No9)". 2015. Irish Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Influenced by one of the most credible DJ / producers of his generation "Tony De Vit"". 2015. Microcrate Webzine. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Ong, Andrew. "I was happy being a Marks & Spencer's accountant". 17 October 2000. In The Mix Webzine Australia. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Glazer, Joshua. "The 20 Greatest Gay DJs of All Time". 10 October 2014. Vice Magazine Canada. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 

External links[edit]