“A lot of radio DJ’s flop in the real world… MistaJam’s proved he’s NOT one of those DJ’s… No hype, just fact.” Shy FX
“Turn that f*cking music down” Chris ‘MistaJam’s dad’ Dalton
Forget trying to nail MistaJam to a genre for he’s a DJ who’s from the school of thought where only those who’ve perfected the art of mixing need apply. If it has a big beat, bassline and melody, chances are Jam’s in it.
Regularly causing people to get bunions at some of the finest clubs around the world, his fearless approach to delivering the ultimate blend has seen his army of supporters grow as he’s risen through the ranks of BBC 1Xtra and Radio 1 at a speed that (a dramatically slower) Usain Bolt would be proud of.
Not bad for the 20 something Nottingham boy, Pete Dalton, who started in the game proper at 14. He cut his teeth working with local youth soundsystems playing multi-genre sets, working with Nottingham rap crews and graduating to playing house parties, youth clubs, carnivals, pirate radio shows and such. Doing all this while studying for his GCSE’s and holding down weekend jobs, including stints at a café in the budget clothing store C&A and music shop MVC (although he accepts no responsibility for both chains closing down) goes some way in explaining his strong work ethic.
Continuing to keep it really real by writing for magazines such as the now defunct (noticing a pattern?) Grandslam & Big Daddy, becoming go-to DJ for acts from both the US and UK, and putting on many events in Nottingham along with his then business partner Joe Buhdha, there’s no denying Jam is a grafter. In fact, up until the end of 2007 you may even have bought a loan from him over the phone at credit card company Capital One, where he juggled a 9-5 job until his life which involved playing Grime did pay.
Joining BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2005 after being talent scouted at one of his own Nottingham events to host an overnight Thursday night HipHop show, his attempts at injecting humour and taking musical risks didn’t go amiss. Moving up the ladder onto other, higher profile radio slots to showcase the multi-genre skills he’s had since his youth soundsystem days has subsequently led to the peak time evening slot he now holds. Focussing on breaking new music and shining a light on underground artists deserving of mainstream exposure, MistaJam is now regarded as one of the go-to-men for breaking new music in British radio. Just ask any of his peers who highly regard and follow his tips or any of the artists he’s help expose to a wider audience or even the record number of listeners Jam has managed to attract to his show.
Since 2008, Jam has also held down a weekly show on the behemoth that is BBC Radio 1 and Saturday nights are where you will hear him preaching the gospel of Dubstep and Bass music to the masses. Again achieving record listenership in his timeslot, Jam has been instrumental in championing the Dubstep and Bass music scene on national radio, helping propel the underground genres into the mainstream consciousness.
As well as in radio, his tastemaker reputation was recently bolstered with TV work both in front (as presenter) and behind the camera (as music consultant) on the show I-D magazine described as “pioneering the future for Youth Culture” – No Hats No Trainers. Featuring the likes of Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Wretch 32 and Tinie Tempah before the mainstream had a clue who they were, the show also achieved record viewing figures for the timeslot.
Hoping for the broadcasting longevity and versatility of Terry Wogan, the technical skills & deck-confidence of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the kudos of his broadcasting heroes the late John Peel, legendary David Rodigan, ultra credible Pete Tong and groundbreaking Trevor Nelson; Jam’s lucky that the only mix he’s fluffed on legal air to date was when attempting to cut a Christmas mission mixpossible from Cliff Richard into Mariah Carey and Dizzee Rascal. “Scientifically impossible” – or so he says. His own fault for playing Cliff.
But come 10 years down the line, MistaJam hopes to be entertaining the nation on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, maybe doing some more music-based TV work, causing more dancing injuries in clubs and if all else fails believes his calling could be back in telesales.
If you don’t want this man phoning you with an amazing offer you know what to do.
“For a man I once mistook as Sean Kingston I can but apologise. MistaJam is clearly the future of radio and if I had a new tune to break and Annie Mac, Zane Lowe or any other tastemaking DJ was parring me, I’d definitely go to him.” Chantelle Fiddy, Mixmag
“MistaJam, is the golden boy of Radio 1 bosses Andy Parfitt and Ben Cooper, having just begun his own two hour Saturday night show… But he is also taken seriously by his musical peers.” Ian Burrell, Independent
Hear MistaJam on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra on Saturday from 11pm-1am with Xtra Dubstep and Xtra Bass and on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Monday to Thursday between 7pm-10pm with Your Key to the Underground.