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John ‘00’ Fleming Lights Up

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Deepti Unni Oct 10, 2010
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Bajirao Pawar

DJ John ”˜00’ Fleming cheated lung cancer at the age of 20, came out fighting after a near-fatal boat accident that left him with a punctured lung and three broken ribs in 2007 and today he’s telling a story of how he found his front tooth in the sandwich the airline served him on his flight to Mumbai. “I did full-contact kickboxing a number of years ago and all these are false teeth,” he says, pointing to the front of his mouth, “because someone did an illegal kick and over the years they’ve all been knocked out. I couldn’t believe there was all this press here and there I was looking like a pirate ”“ front tooth completely missing!” he grins cheerfully.

If there’s anything to be gleaned from all these stories, or from that fact that he’s made a 22-year career in the notoriously fickle electronic music industry, is that Fleming is a survivor. And he’s survived, he’ll tell you, because he’s unforgivingly forthright in his views and passionate about his music, neither of which he makes any bones about. Over a half-hour conversation, he lambasts the DJ Magazine poll ratings, the subsequent death of club culture in the UK and Europe and the corporatisation of electronic music.

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But the scrappy DJ, who was visiting India for the fifth year running now, is very enthused about his new initiative, a collaboration with Diesel U Music. “I’ve done stuff for Diesel in other territories in the past and what they’re doing in the electronic scene is introducing a new generation of clubbers to new music,” he says, his eyes lighting up. “I don’t want to put it in a bad way but you can’t hide the fact that Indian’s been Bollywood-led, when it comes to the music culture. So a cool clothing brand like Diesel getting involved is introducing the electronic music scene to a new generation of youngsters who would have easily gone down the Bollywood path. It’s just kinda saying to them, ”˜Hey look, there’re enough kinds of music out here for young people. We think you’ll like it.’ He’s sees it as a positive spin away from the culture of homogenisation that’s currently sweeping the scene. “You need to get this new generation saying, ”˜This is brilliant, this is something we wouldn’t have discovered if it wasn’t for companies like Diesel getting involved in it.’ India is such a good place at the moment, scene-wise, I fear you may get drawn into these poll things but you need to forge your own scene and identity.”

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