Bert Bevans was born in Belize (then known as British Honduras) and moved to Queens in New York as a teenager in the early 1970s, where he began his DJing career playing at block parties in the area. His big break came when he was hired to play at the legendary Studio 54. The disco scene was in full swing & Bert had residencies at NY’s top clubs – Playboy Club, Pippins, Mudd Club, Infinity & the seminal Paradise Garage. When Rusty Egan and Steve Strange opened the Camden Palace (influential north London venue), he got a job DJing alongside Colin Faver and Evil Eddie Richards –although Egan “fired me for playing “Give It Up or Turn It Loose” by James Brown” – floor was packed, party going thru the roof and he said “We don’t play that kind of music here“. Moving between NY, London, and Brussels, he alternated between DJing and Remixing. In 1991, he met an old friend who was building a “Paradise Garage sound system” in a new club in London… the club was none other than the Ministry of Sound. Bert ended up being one of the first ever residents at Ministry of Sound, along with Larry Levan & Justin Berkmann. Since then, this superlative DJ, Producer and Remixer has been blessed with the good fortune to travel across the globe spinning records in almost every major nightclub you can think of.
Was your move to Queens as a youngster responsible for your love of music?
Actually my mother was responsible for that while we still lived back in Belize – there was always music in my house, on Sundays it’d be gospel all day, from sunrise to midnight, and the other days there’d be everything – jazz, funk, soul and everything else.
Who were the most influential people and places in New York when you were finding your feet as a DJ?
When I was really young I started working in a record shop named Meldoy Song Shops and in my first week I heard Nicky Siano, Richie Kazar, Tee Scott and David Mancuso, and after that I was hooked. I saw them using music to manipulate people, to make them have a good time, and knew that was what I wanted to do too.
How would you describe the sets you play these days?
Disco/house, but it depends on the party how much classic disco and how much newer house music I’ll play. A lot of crowds just want to hear classic-era disco from me but that’s definitely not the only thing I like to play
What are your all time top 3 tunes?
Relight My Fire – Dan Hartman,
Some Body Else’s Guy – Jocelyn Brown,
Let’s Start The Dance – Hamilton Bohannon
These are songs the inspire your dance floor. When I play them I see people singing along, getting the party vibe!! Magic!!! Jocelyn, Hamilton and Dan were pioneers in music, they were INSPIRATIONAL
What were the first tunes that got you into DJing in the 70s?
I was working in Melodies Song Shop, which was where all the DJ’s came to by new music but these were some of my favorite’s in 1976.
Fly Robin Fly – Silver Convention / Love Hangover – Diana Ross / More, More, More – Andrea True Connection / That’s the Way I Like It – K.C. and The Sunshine Band / Love To Love You – Donna Summer / Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker) – Parliament / Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton
You play a diverse mix of Disco- & Vocal House, Soul, Funk, Disco and Boogie, always mixing both: the new and the old. How would you describe your music in just a few words?
I take people on a musical journey; I play Disco/House, encompassing a variety of Soul, Funk, Boogie, Disco, House, Deep House, I play Song’s.
What are your thoughts on the remarkable revival of Disco tunes in today’s electronic dance music?
hahahahaha, Disco never went away. Listen to all the music being played now, they are just using samples of classic disco songs to make new ones, reinterpreting old ones!!! I LOVE IT!!
Catch Bert Bevans at Karma Beach Club on Saturday 20.07.2019
More info here