Music by VICE

Meet the UK Teen Whose Phone Has Been Blowing Up With Strangers Looking for Dean Blunt

Turns out DJ Escrow is a confused waiter from Chepstow.

by Lewis Moulds
Apr 14 2016, 2:05pm

"Unlistenable" is a word that crops up a lot in reviews of Dean Blunt's latest album, as Babyfather. While true in part, BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow is a very rewarding listen which pushes a politicized, satirized take on UK roadman culture, bass music, and hip-hop to its natural conclusion. In one of the album's characteristically 'unlistenable' moments the host (a mysterious DJ Escrow) reads out a phone number—a number he says he thinks he gets right—so, naturally, I text the phone I'm assuming belongs to DJ Escrow, saying how much I've been enjoying the album.

Later that night I get a call from 'DJ Escrow' (as I'd saved the number), who actually turns out to be a Welsh kid named Billy. He hadn't heard of the album, or of Dean Blunt or his collaborators Arca and Mica Levi. At this point I wasn't sure if this was some ruse in itself—Blunt is, after all, a man who has superbly trolled the NME Awards, sold models of Mini Coopers with weed in the boot on eBay and published a book of massively expensive VIP club receipts—but after a brief chat it seems that Billy has genuinely no idea what I'm talking about. So who better to ask about the album than this 19-year-old Welshman whose mobile number is bizarrely included?

As a heads up, we ended up talking over text because Billy was on a quick break from work, so please forgive any dodgy spelling or punctuation on both our parts.

THUMP: Hey Billy, how's it going?
Billy: Not bad thanks mate!

What's your occupation and where are you from?
I'm currently a waiter at a restaurant in Chepstow South Wales and I'm from a town in South Wales called Cwmbran.

So you're definitely not Dean Blunt pulling an elaborate joke?
Haha no I'm definitely not Dean Blunt.

When we first spoke, I gave you a brief background on Dean Blunt and some of his antics since you hadn't heard of him before. What is your opinion on the man now?
He seems pretty cool, I like how mysterious he is and his music is good which is a bonus

After having a listen, what are you thoughts on the album? Any particular highlights for you?
The album's good, makes me proud to be British ;) I just thought it was an all round good album. Easy to listen to and it will definitely make me look out for his stuff in the future.

You mentioned another text you received about this album, what did that say exactly? You had many others?
Yes I had a few texts of people. A lot was just asking if I was DJ Escrow. Some just said 'PROLIFIC DEAMONS' which was the song with my number on and others just said their thoughts on the album.

DJ Escrow says he thinks he gets the number right. Do you this your number was a complete coincidence or could there be a connection somewhere?
I think it was a complete coincidence, just another prank most probably.

You don't think it might be a reference to when Kanye West was following that one guy who was a student in Nottingham?
No I just think that when he was in the studio he just said the first numbers that came to his head and it happened to be mine.

Thank you for talking to me Billy, take care.

Follow Lewis on Twitter.