Tony De Vit

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Tony De Vit
Background information
Birth nameAntony de Vit
Born12 September 1957
OriginKidderminster, England
Died2 July 1998 (age 40)
GenresHouse, techno, hard house, hard NRG
Occupation(s)DJ, producer
Years active1976-1998

Antony de Vit (/dəˈv/ də-VEE; 12 September 1957 – 2 July 1998)[1] was an English DJ and music producer. He is considered one of the most influential[2][3] of his generation.[4] He was credited with helping to take the "hard house" and fast "hard NRG" sounds out of the London and Birmingham gay scene into mainstream clubs.[5][6] 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.[7][8] During that year he won BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix of the Year Award, as voted by listeners of the show, and Music Week's re-mix of Year Award for Louise's (Naked). He remixed many UK Top 40 hits during his career with artists like Taylor Dayne and East 17.[9] Between 1994 and 1998 his popularity[10] with the clubbing public was rivaled by only Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox.[11] In September 2010,[12] Mixmag UK announced the nominations of 35 DJs chosen by other big names in the world of dance music as those they considered the best DJs ever. A subsequent 15-month survey, which polled hundreds of thousands of global votes, asked who was the Greatest DJ of All Time and when the result was announced in January 2011, Tony De-Vit was ranked No 9 and one of four British DJs who made the Top 10.[13][14]

Early life[edit]

Antony 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.[citation needed]


Tony de Vit began DJing 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. He would often have to sweep floors and empty ashtrays after the club had closed.[15] In a relatively short space of time de Vit, through his talent and the diversity of his music, helped maintain the 'Nightingale' as 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 of Smooth FM.

It was around 1988 that London's famous gay superclub, 'Heaven' was looking for an alternative DJ. Tony landed the spot there, playing the main floor two Saturdays a month. 'Heaven' was regarded as the top gay club in the UK at this time, and De Vit's sets there rapidly established his reputation.

In 1990 another soon-to-be-influential club named Trade emerged onto the scene, promoted by Laurence Malice & Tim Stabler. Tony was a regular visitor to 'Trade', where he began to bombard the promoters with cassette tapes of his sets. Eventually, they relented and allowed de Vit to stand in one night for DJ Smokin' Jo. Following his set, De Vit landed his own residency at Trade. Later in his career he would perform a 12-hour DJ set on 2 occasions at Trade; some consider these his defining moments as a DJ.[16]

In 1992, the illegal Raves in the UK moved into the clubs in a bid to legalise the scene. One of the key figures of the house music scene at this time was a Birmingham promoter called Simon Raine, who took an interest in Tony's career. He put Tony on the bill alongside Fabio and Grooverider at 'The Institute' and encouraged him to make 'in roads' into other house parties as Tony had predominately played in the gay club scene. Raine had launched the successful 'Gatecrasher' club nights and, taking his advice, De Vit played at the 'Chuff Chuff' events sharing the bill with Sasha.

In the same year, Tony teamed up with Simon Parkes to create the V2 recording Studio based in The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham (Unit 417) with a view to co-write new material for Tony to play within his sets.

It was at this time that he recorded and released his first record 'Feel the Love' 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 & Parkes V2 concept. But it was de Vit's/Parkes track 'Burning Up' that took everybody by surprise, going straight in at No. 24 on the UK Top 40 charts.

In 1995, Radio 1 contacted de Vit for his first 'Essential MIx'. At the same time, record companies recognised his talent and technical ability, and Tony featured on no less than twelve of the top compilation dance mix Albums during this year 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', 'Kiss mix 97', 'Trade' Volumes 1 & 3, and the international release, 'Trade Global Grooves'.

With the launch of Jump Wax Records in 1996, Hard House music in the UK became more mainstream. De Vit's 'Are You All Ready?' and 'I Don't Care' received major radio play and strong sales upon release. Following the closure of Jump Wax Records in 1996, de Vit launched his own label (TDV Records), which saw him release 'Bring The Beat Back' and 'Get Loose', both co-written with Simon Parkes. De Vit went on to play at many major dance clubs/events in the UK during this time, including Legacy @ The Manor in Ringwood, Slinky @ the Opera House in Bournemouth, Cream, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen, and Creamfields. He garnered a string of awards and nominations during the year, including Mixmag's '2nd Best DJ of the Year 1996', M8 magazine's 'Best DJ of the Year 1996' and was selected by Music Week as 'Top Remixer of 1996'. His remix of Louise's 'Naked' earned Music Week's vote as the 'Ground breaking Remix of 1996'.[citation needed]

In 1997, de Vit was offered a show on 'Kiss 100'. He was ranked number 5 in DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ's in the World the same year. In early 1998, de Vit recorded 'The Dawn' with Paul Janes and Andy Buckley, which was part of the six-track 'Trade EP'. De Vit commented that he was 'very proud of it'. Paul Janes went on to remix 'The Dawn' as a personal tribute to de Vit's work. The track has often been considered to be his best work.[17] On May 2, 1998, de Vit performed a set in the Trade tent at the very first Creamfields festival in Winchester.


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.[18]


A number of artists have cited Tony De Vit as an influence, such as Fergie,[19] Andy Farley,[20] Dave Pearce,[21] Paul F1 King,[22] Steven J,[23] and Lisa Lashes.[24]




  • 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 Fantazia House Collection 2 (CD3) – Tony de Vit (1995).
  • The Remixers-Tony De Vit (CD Mix), Fantazia Records, (1995).
  • Tony De Vit & Jon of the Pleased Wimmin live at Bangkok (1995).
  • A Retrospective of House '91-'95 2 (CD2) – Tony de Vit (1995).
  • A Retrospective of House '91-'96 4 (CD1) – Tony de Vit (1996).
  • Trade Volume Three, Steve Thomas (CD1) & Tony De Vit (CD2), Feverpitch, (1996).
  • Global Underground GU001 Live in Tel Aviv (4 versions), Global Underground Ltd, (1996).
  • An Introspective of House 3 (CD2) – Tony de Vit (1997).
  • 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, Literary and Spoken (1)
  • Featuring and Presenting (8)
  • DJ Mix (25)
  • Production (35)
  • Remix (2013)
  • Technical (4)
  • Writing and Arrangement (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 Entertainment and Dance Awards[edit]

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

DJ Magazine Awards[edit]

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (5th) Nominated
1997 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (5th) Nominated
1998 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (12th) Nominated

DJ Awards[edit]

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

International Dance Music Awards[edit]

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

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)[13][14] Nominated

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)[26] Nominated


  1. ^ a b c - accessed May 2011
  2. ^ "Entertainment Influential dance DJ dies". 2 July 1998. BBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  3. ^ Brewster, Bill; Broughton, Frank (2014). Last Night a Dj Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey. Grove Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780802146106.
  4. ^ "Interview by Mixmag TV with DJ Fergie on Why Tony De Vit was so good". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  5. ^ Gerstner, David A. (2012). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture. Routledge. p. 154. ISBN 9781136761812.
  6. ^ "New Musical Express Report". 3 June 1998. NME Newspaper. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  7. ^ Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 17th edition (2004), p. 145 ISBN 0-85112-199-3
  8. ^ "DJ Tony De Vit Dies After Holiday Collapse". NME. 3 June 1998. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  9. ^ Talevski, Nick (2010). Rock Obituaries: Knocking On Heaven's Door. Music Sales. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-85712-117-2.
  10. ^ "Freedom Gala G. Mex Manchester". 25 August 1996. Manchester District Music Archive. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Respected UK club DJ and producer, has died". 3 June 1998. New Musical Express (NME). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  12. ^ "MIXMAG LAUNCHES 'GREATEST DJ OF ALL TIME' POLL". 16 September 2010. Source Wire News. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  13. ^ a b Mayer, Nssim (19 January 2011). "Tiësto named 'Greatest DJ of All Time'". 19 January 2011. Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Mixmag Announces Results Of "Greatest DJ of All Time" Poll – Tiesto won". 19 January 2011. House Planet Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  15. ^ Deeks, Russ (July 2001). "Legends". IDJ. Hedrush Media: 114.
  16. ^ Cross, Dave (January 2003). "Mad moments in Trade". Mixmag. EMAP plc: 127.
  17. ^ Staff, Elliott (13 March 2017). "5 tracks that made Hard House legend Tony De Vit an iconic figure". Four/Four Magazine. Four Four Magazine 13 March 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  18. ^ Discogs entry
  19. ^ (13 January 2012), DJ Fergie talks TONY DE VIT, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 7 June 2018
  20. ^ "Celebrity DJs Andy Farley - Hard House Legend". 23 March 2015. DMC World Magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Who were your early influences?". 2015. Official Site Dave Pearce. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  22. ^ "20 DJs, 20 Questions: Paul 'F1' King (No9)". Irish Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Influenced by one of the most credible DJ / producers of his generation "Tony De Vit"". 2015. Microcrate Webzine. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  24. ^ Ong, Andrew. "I was happy being a Marks & Spencer's accountant". 17 October 2000. In The Mix Webzine Australia. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Tony De Vit". Discogs. Zink Media, Inc, 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  26. ^ Glazer, Joshua. "The 20 Greatest Gay DJs of All Time". 10 October 2014. Vice Magazine Canada. Retrieved 23 March 2015.

External links[edit]