DJ Norman Jay MBE
Norman Jay set up his first sound system, Great Tribulation, in 1979 with his brother Joey which became Good Times Sound System in 1981, the start of a 30-year residency at Notting Hill Carnival. Norman changed the face of the music played there, introducing a range of gritty, soulful styles to complement the predominantly reggae-based sound systems. The move paved the way for the open-minded Carnival we know today, with Good Times still at its core.
His long-standing residency at the world’s largest street party is of course what Norman is best known for and The Good Times Sound System has become such a popular fixture it has ultimately become synonymous with the event itself.
From Good Times, Jay’s career burgeoned. He became a key DJ during the ’80s London rare groove scene, hosting a series of legendary clubs – Shake ‘N’ Fingerpop, High On Hope (inspired by New York’s Paradise Garage) and famed sessions at London’s Bass Clef (later the Blue Note), all of which built his reputation for open-minded soulful selections spanning soul, funk, disco, early house, reggae and hip hop. Through his club nights, he was one of the first to introduce legendary US DJs like Tony Humphries, Louie Vega and Blaze to the UK. Further success followed – he was one of the founders of London station Kiss FM and ran the seminal Talkin’ Loud label alongside Gilles Peterson at Phonogram.
Jay’s tireless work as a DJ has earned him many accolades – he has appeared on the BBC’s Question Time, and received an MBE for his work in 2002, the first time any DJ had received such an accolade.