We spoke to our longstanding contributor Joseph Coventry (Big Jo) as part of 'Meet The Team', a new series where we talk to the people who are at the heart of BabyStep Magazine. Joe spoke to us about the great work he continues to do with the Underneath Collective and went on to talk about his Spanish musical influences, creative inspirations and the thriving house party scene in Leeds.
Please tell us your name, age, and what you currently do
Joseph, 21, Event Organizer for BabyStep but also a DJ and I run my own collective called Underneath Collective.
Tell us how you got involved with BabyStep, and what your role is within the magazine?
Well I lived round the corner from Josh's girlfriend Faith a couple of years ago, I'm also good friends with her housemates so we all ended up spending a lot of time together that year. We're both big lovers of all things music so obviously we had millions of conversations about artists and the industry. We put on events with our collective so being the Event Organiser for BabyStep made a lot of sense.
Tell us about some other projects your involved in
Underneath Collective started almost 2 years ago now, I really wanted something where me and all my DJ mates could play together for people as well as have opportunities to make money. We play at house parties all over Hyde Park as well as putting on our own events, Underneath to the world baby.
What or who do you go to for creative inspiration?
Mainly people in Leeds I reckon, there are so many wonderful people doing really inspiring things! BabyStep, OnBeat, Race Zine and Crispy Aromatic Soundsystem are just a few groups that inspire me regularly.
Leeds offers some of the best club nights in the country, welcoming artists from all around the world. Why do you think that amongst all of this Leeds students still flock to House Parties on their weekends?
I'm not really sure if I'm honest, the fact that they're free is definitely a reason though. I also think that the DIY aspect is a reason too, you can essentially put on a night with hundreds of people, soundsystems and multiple very talented DJs without leaving your living room. Some of the house parties in Hyde Park have been the best nights out I've ever had.
What is the first album you ever bought?
It's quite funny actually because my parents have all the good albums already. I really wish I had one of those stories where you save up and walk to the shop to get this specific album you really really want but I can't even remember the first album I bought. I would imagine it's either Aviones by Pereza or maybe an album a rapper from my school made or something.
What does BabyStep mean to you?
BabyStep to me means good times. It's a reminder to lose yourself in the arts and just love life.
If you were allowed to have a dinner party with three people dead or alive, who would they be?
My mum, John Frusciante and Paco de Lucía.
You spent a lot of your youth in Spain, what influence did it have on your love of music and passion to become a DJ?
I listen to a lot of Spanish music so it definitely influenced me somehow! Spain has some super talented musicians for sure. On the other hand, it was my hatred of the nightlife in Spain that pushed me towards DJing. I always hated clubbing, it seemed that everywhere I went it was just regurgitation and charts music. That and house and techno. I really didn't like it and it wasn't until coming to the UK that I actually enjoyed clubbing because I could listen to music I liked. But yeah, it's that that got me into DJing in the first place.
Do you have anything excited coming up that you can tell our readers about?
Underneath Collective's 2nd Birthday is in February so we'll be doing something fun for that! Apart from that we're also trying to get some t-shirts printed and hopefully start building some more speakers.