Launching his record label ‘Continuous Groove’ this summer after becoming part of the vibrant club culture in Newcastle, where he studies and works as a sound and light technician at the Cosmic Ballroom, electronic engineering student Julian Mir now gets your weekends kick-started with the Atlantic Suites’ pool party every Friday night from 6pm.
Known in the deejay circuit as Mirson, Julian rules the clubs’ world after an apprenticeship under the Kyle Barthram’s wing: “He was the club’s only sound & light tech at the time, where he mentored me for over a year before I was able to run the club by myself. At just 23, it’s been an incredible experience starting as just another ‘fresher’ and going on to run one of Newcastle’s best nightclubs on a weekly basis.”
For a typical gig “the club opens at 11pm, so I’ll need to be in at least an hour before to set up both the main room and second room upstairs for the night. Typically, it won’t fill up until about midnight or later, and that’s when the magic happens. As the music picks up, I focus on the lights show to entice the crowd and really get the vibe going. Soon, I feel a bond form with the crowd and that’s when things take off. It’s always nice to get compliments from clubbers who have enjoyed the show we’ve put on. Seeing their massive grins makes the job all the more worth it.”
In this era of automated technology, Mirson believes that a human deejay is pivotal to the success of venues and events, so that no two are the same. Anyone can compile a playlist and let it go on and on while clubbers just bob along and adapt obediently to it, but a professional deejay is there to ‘read the crowd’ and judge what’s best to suit the mood. “Anyone can spin a record but a real deejay knows how and when to set the right vibe. In this game, it’s always best to let the music do the talking.”
Yet, Mirson hadn’t worked his magic in Gibraltar, except for his one-off Mons Calpe Suite gig last year: “We did a collaboration with our good friends at Madrid ‘Hustle’, and the result was a sell-out show.” However, he regrets the lack of a dedicated club locally: “Being so much smaller when compared to the UK nightlife, it’s no wonder Gibraltar has taken its time to catch up with the rest of the world. That said, Gibraltar’s music scene has blown up exponentially in recent years, both live and electronic. We’re definitely getting there, and fast: organisers have done a fantastic job in bringing to Gibraltar bigger and better artists every single time, so I’m glad to see Gib is finally heading in the right direction.”
During his second year at university, Julian met Jack Bassford and they soon became business partners starting their own brand ‘Continuous Groove’. It spiralled from a few house parties, and in just one year, they managed to organise a series of free parties as well as booking several up-and-coming artists who are going to be the ‘next big thing’. Their plan is to launch the brand as a record label so they can release their own style of underground music. Their music can be found on websites such as Beatport, Traxsource, Soundcloud and Youtube. Their launch party was a ‘huge success’, and they set a record by maxing out the club’s capacity and keeping it full the whole night.
“Newcastle is known for being one of the best cities in the UK for student nightlife and I can very well vouch for that,” Mirson says. “It has a diverse mix of music, which is always good, and is one of the leading cities for music in the North-East.” This makes his success even a greater accomplishment in the international music scene, which he describes as a ‘dog-eat-dog’ business where too many talented artists have little or no access to exposure. “I believe that one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is helping artists who may not have the opportunity otherwise. Since music is a universal language, anyone should be given the chance to express themselves so they can be heard and appreciated.”
Julian claims that music has always been an integral part of his life: “Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a fascination with music and the power it has to move people and bring them together. At the age of 17, it dawned on me that a deejay could do just that so I learnt how to mix and that’s where it all began. My music taste is very wide and varied. I don’t like to limit myself to specific genres of music but rather enjoy all the sounds each one has to offer and I have my parents to thank for that. As I grew up, I remember watching them dance to Latin rhythms and seeing the pure joy it brought to them. Naturally, it played an essential part in helping me absorb influences from all over the globe, from salsa and tango to house, disco, afro, breaks and jazz. Oh, and anything Romanian is pure gold! The world has so many cultures and different styles of beats and melodies, it’d be a shame to not play around and experiment with them for all the world to enjoy.”
He says he wouldn’t have been able to make it without the support of his family and friends who believed in him despite the few ‘headaches’ he’d caused them. “It’s like a dream come true to have this opportunity to meet and work with some of the world’s top artists and agencies. I’ve learned so much in just two short years working the club and it’s been an absolute pleasure to have helped produce sell-out shows.”
With so much on his plate – and some more on the backburner – Mirson isn’t exactly sure what’s next, except his master degree: “Musicwise, I can’t venture in predictions because we’re geared to end up anywhere really, you never know! What I can tell you is that we’re working with some amazingly talented individuals in producing top quality events and music.”