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We Had A Very Quick Chat With Benji B About Deviation

One of London's best DJs opens up about one of London's best nights.

Back in October, esteemed club night Deviation celebrated another milestone, marking eight years of stellar parties encompassing brilliant record selection, non-stop dancing and a curation of line-ups that's never left us wanting. They're showing no signs of slowing down and ahead of the now-annual all night long Christmas bash at XOYO, we had a very, very brief catch-up with resident DJ Benji B.

THUMP: Deviation recently turned eight – if you had to pick the most pivotal night in its near-decade long history, what would it be?
Benji B: I would say the 5th birthday party was one of the most perfect events we ever created. Situated in an old Gospel Church, we had Moodymann, Kode 9, Hudson Mohawke, Dam Funk and more playing: the best sets, and best sound, and amazing crowd. Even the pastor came up and hugged me to say how special it was. I can always think of how we can improve the experience when we finish a party, but that was one night where if I could go back and do it all again, I would not change a thing. Classic.


You'll be playing for six hours straight tomorrow, take us through your prep for the night…
My prep is actually supposed to be happening right now… you are distracting me! Really I just start creating epic crates of music, and going through tunes from the year and reminding myself of tunes I might have forgotten about. I dig in my own crates and try and pull out some gems from my collection too. The key is for me to be inspired by the music at my fingertips on the night - if I'm excited by the record boxes I pack then the job gets easier and the records pick themselves. So the secret is really in the selection of what goes in the boxes. The set itself on the night is always a complete freestyle based on the moment.

Tell us about your longest set to date?
One of the best sets of my life was last year in the open air in Morocco - it went off for about eight hours straight. I've done a few seven-eight hour specials before.

What have been your go to records of 2015?`
Probably "A Message"n by Kelela and Thundercat's "Them Changes."

Looking ahead to 2016, who are your top five acts to watch?
Anderson Paak
A. Chal
Ta East
Little Baby Angel

Don't miss Deviation's Christmas Special, tonight at XOYO. Advance tickets available here.