DJ Derek

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DJ Derek
DJ Derek cropped.jpg
DJ Derek in 2007
Background information
Origin Bristol, England
Genres DJ: rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall, soul music
Years active 1977–2013

DJ Derek (real name Derek Serpell-Morris, born 1941) is a Bristol-based DJ whose blend of 60s rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall and soul music has made him an icon for many in the industry, including a host of Jamaican producers and Massive Attack.[1] DJ Derek spent 10–18 years working as an accountant at Cadburys before moving on play reggae in the St Pauls area of Bristol.[2]

Derek was a washboard player in the 1950s and has played popular sets at many major festivals, including Glastonbury and The Big Chill. He MCs in Jamaican Patois while DJing.[2] In 2012 he received the Bristol Lord Mayor's medal for an "outstanding" contribution to music in the city.[3] He appeared in Dizzee Rascal's video for Dirtee Disco.[4] In 2013 he played his final set before retiring at Notting Hill Arts Club in London on New Year's Eve.[5]

In July 2015 Derek's family announced that he had been missing for three weeks, appealing for information related to his whereabouts.[6] Police confirmed that he had not used his bank account since the beginning of July, and can't have gone abroad given that he has no passport.[4] He was last seen leaving a bar and boarding a bus on the night of 10 July.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b The legendary DJ Derek - BBC Inside Out
  3. ^ "DJ Derek: Police hunt for missing 73-year-old Bristol man". BBC News. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "DJ Derek: Family and friends to search Bristol for missing 73-year-old". BBC News. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "DJ Derek spins his discs for final time in Bristol". Bristol Post. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Bristol's DJ Derek missing for three weeks". ITV. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "DJ Derek search: Further CCTV footage tracks journey". BBC News. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 

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