The legendary Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim recently starred in a BBC feature where the legendary DJ shared a reflection on his highly appraised career.
The man who helped initiate the “big beat” electro sound in the 90’s, described how his Fatboy Slim alias was quite the mystery.
“The fun of Fatboy Slim at the start was nobody knew who I was,” Cook said. “I was never in the videos and I never had my photo on the cover. It suited me really well to be known as an underground dance producer.”
Cook also discussed playing at the Big Beat Boutique. This was a weekly night that could only fit 300 guests and it was here where he realised an opportunity to host bigger shows.
Brighton’s beach would host its inaugural “Big Beat Boutique” festival in 2001, but its second year saw the festival draw over 250,000 people. This led to a great story about trying to convince the city to allow such a big rave.
“They said the only way we could do it was to hold it on the most unpopular day of the year,” Cook explained. “Well, New Year’s Day on the beach on the south coast of England is probably the last place you’d ever want to be. It was quite a leap of faith to expect people to turn out in freezing cold conditions with rain coming sideways at them off the beach. I was getting electrocuted because I was soaking wet. Poor old David Guetta had to stop playing because his equipment got so wet that it stopped working. We got away with it by the skin of our teeth.”
Fatboy Slim eventually saw some of his shows be made into classic DVD’s and as a producer, he made some incredible singles like the iconic “Rockafellar Skank” and “Right Here, Right Now”
The feature also see’s Norman talk about the current DJ culture and how it has grown to the size it is.
“There was a feeling that the first album [Better Living Through Chemistry] had established a new genre and if we refined it, it could go bigger. But we never dreamed how big it could go,”
“I was thinking the other day about how DJ culture has changed, and one of the things is you don’t have the same sense of brotherhood,” he said. “If you were sitting in the airport, you’d know another DJ because they had a record box. So you’d immediately try to work out from the stickers who they were – and then you’d get into a conversation with them.”
Now at 52 years of age, the legendary Fatboy Slim is still going strong. Check out his latest mix below, called the “Smile High Club”, which is also a free download full of great mixes and mash-ups. You can read the full feature online here.