There’s an old Cherokee parable that speaks on the duality of man. Inside each of us, there are two ravenous wolves constantly at war. One is pessimistic. Consumed by emotions such as anger, envy, self-doubt and superiority, it represents the darkness within. The other is optimistic. Engulfed in joy, generosity, kindness and peace, it is the light that keeps the gloom at bay. Equally matched with voracious appetites, which wolf wins? This week, I introduce a man who shunned the dire decision to feed the Wolf of Darkness, instead opting to feed the Wolf of Light.
To the privileged populace acquainted with the legendary G2, the 30-year-old Mancunian DJ, you’ll know three things are certain. One, he is the embodiment of the aforestated Wolf of Light. Two, if you are not averse to an alcoholic beverage, you will accompany him in a toast of Coffee Patron. Three, irrelevant of time, place or genre of music, you are guaranteed to have an incredible night whenever he plays. “I’m a people’s guy bro”, he declares with the trademark grin. “If you see me and we’re out, then we’re gonna have a good time. We’ll have a few drinks and we’ll turn up – everybody knows G2 loves a f*ckin’ drink”.
His mythos is almost cult-like. The optimism he radiates is infectious. When one is in close proximity to ‘Unc’, you’re in the presence of a man truly grateful for the gift of life. To him, success is “wakin’ up”. He refuses to be shackled by the pessimism that resides within. “I’m just a happy person”, he beams. “I just like livin’ so if I’m up, to me that’s already success for the day – thank the lord that I’m up. Everyday above ground is a good day”.
Since young uns, it’s always been music.
When asked: “Why DJ’in’?”, in response he scoffs: “you should already know the answer to that”. And I do. In the 14 years I’ve known him, “the only thing we’ve ever done is music”. And I agree. It’s the woman we love. It’s the woman we adore. It’s the woman we simply cannot leave. She completes us. “I think that’s my only passion that I really liked from school to college to now”, adds. Exploring further, he reveals his proactive approach on becoming G2. “It was back at my first job – glass collectin’ at M2 whilst I was at South Trafford College“, he recollects. “I used to listen to the DJ and somehow thought I could do what he did, so I asked him how much he gets paid. The donny said £300-£400 pounds. These times, I’m collectin’ £110 and I’ve been workin’ the whole week and he’s collectin’ this on a daily basis. I said to myself, I’m in the wrong job and I said mom, I need some decks”.
Coming up the ‘old-school’ way where one had to earn a parental gift request, that is exactly what he did. “I had to clean the house for a good three months and wash the car every Sunday”, he remembers. “She got me a pair of CDJ 800’s which were the best at the time”. Choosing to feign momentary deafness, I asked if they were vinyl to which he replied: “CDJ’s! – come on bro, I’m not that old. Tryna put me with the uncles and that”. Though we are ‘getting-on’, I jokingly digress. A gift earned is cherished more than a gift given. Especially when said gift is a tool that can help one carve a prospective future.
From Justin Timberlake’s Justified, the first CD he ever purchased due to seeing him perform on MTV and thinking to himself: “who is this guy and why have you got so much swag”, to the Baby Shark Dance I heard him drop in History a few weeks back, (I was slightly inebriated so don’t quote me on that), to say a G2 set is eclectic is an understatement. “If you come to a G2 set, you’re gonna hear everythin’. You might hear Dolly Parton or Spice Girls – I love playin’ old school sing alongs. If you drop a classic, that’s a sing along that takes you back when the liquor’s in your system”. Due to the diverse nature of his bookings, he doesn’t believe one should “pool all your eggs in one basket”. Whereas some DJ’s specialise in a specific genre, he doesn’t. “That’s why I don’t just stick to one genre”, he affirms. “You can stick to one – it can work for you, but look over the other side as well”.
Just do what makes you happy.
Citing Manny legends such as V Smoove and Mitchell, to Tim Westwood, EZ and Jamie Duggan as individuals that have influenced him on his come up, he has found a way to channel what makes him happy into a solid profession. And he’s good at what he does. His working hours are a cinch and he is immersed in something he loves. “I’d rather do this than a 9-5 with some boss tellin’ me off”, he states. “I do get told off in my work”, he emits with a knowing chuckle. One too many Coffee Patrons whilst working perhaps? “It’s not all green over this side as well bruv”. But that’s irrelevant. Who doesn’t push the boundaries from de temps en temps? “To me there’s two sides to it”, he asserts. “When you can make a group of people enjoy the amount of time they spend with you, which you can’t please everyone, but the majority are losin’ their minds through whatever you’re playin’, it’s the best feelin’ ever. For people to say they’re comin’ back where you’re playin’ because you’re there, there’s no feelin’ like that”. And I agree.
Though being a DJ means he lives the ‘dark 9-5’ lifestyle, he asserts “communication is key” when ascertaining the balance needed. Though known as ‘Unc Patron’, (okay, so I made that up, but we can run with it), even he needs solace from the chaos of nightlife. “It’s not every time be out”, he says with a mature tone. “Sometimes relax. Book your weekend off, get a cover, see your loved ones”. For G2, the abstract notion of happiness is simple. “What is happinness?”, he questions back. “People chase happiness. Is it money? Health? Or just your happy place? When I’m at home and my whole family is there – we can be broke, but hey as long as everyone is there and we bussin’ joke, we good”.
“Keepin’ the same energy” is an attribute of his persona he feels is important for continual success. “If I feel like I’m not gonna give you somethin’ in that day, I will just stay at home”. To whatever end, he is dedicated to the mystique that is G2. As he believes, “people will always remember how you make them feel”.
Be kind to one another.
The biggest achievement in his career so far came courtesy of Rihanna in 2014, who personally asked him to join her tour. Uninterrupted, he recants how the opportunity came to pass. “I was dj’in’ at Tiger Tiger (Koosdays/Tuesdays). Her dancers were out – they were feelin’ the energy and invited me to the show – backstage passes. They mentioned they were playin’ Manchester again the next day. They hired All Star Lanes and said come through after the show – don’t tell no one. Tell me why the bowlin’ lane next to us was Rihanna’s lane – I’m tryna keep calm. They already told us when she gets here the one thing she hates is pictures. I could see her friend pull out the snaps and everythin’. Then the main guy off the tour introduced me – his energy was mad. Anyone who looks after my people is my peoples she tells me. She was askin’ how I would structure the show – she mentioned the other tour dates and I went. I paid for it myself. The only gig I remember gettin’ off the back of that was in Newcastle. It’s an experience I will never forget”.
Unc Patron has gone from the kid who “all my lunch money I spent on cd’s”, to tour dates with celebrities, to residencies at some of Manchester’s top clubs such as Liv and History. Though there has been changes along the way, one thing has remained constant, his desire to feed the Wolf of Light. And it comes down his internal grit. “You gotta find motivation”, he imparts. “Do I wanna do somethin’ better than what I did yesterday?” An honest question one should ask when granted the gift of life each day they rise from their slumber.
Firsthand, I’ve witnessed the manifestation of desire to reality. It isn’t easy. It comes down to one’s ability to regulate their mindset. In closing, Unc stresses the importance of friendships, networking and self-love. “The most important thing is friendships will take you a long way. Go out and network – networkin’ is key to everythin’. Just do what makes you happy”. And I agree.
Light and Dark inhabits us all. Which wolf shall you feed?
Images by: lixmheeley