THE FRESH PRINCE OF SUB CLUB

By Bill Rah

Meet Joe Eke, the 18 year old fresher playing on behalf of RARE Wednesday @Sub Club providing provocative dirty disco and thumping Chicago house. Now he is Subby’s youngest resident in history

“The two nights I played at Sub Club were probably the best nights of my life.” Joe wasn’t anticipating to perform in Subby. He was working as a PR for RARE Wednesday, the city’s premier student parties. One day he sent a mix to RARE PR Guru and FUNKTION Manager Ross Kirkwood. He received positive feedback but was informed RARE weren’t looking for DJs. However FUNKTION, a new breed of student parties were interested in bringing him on. “Three days later I got a message that said are you free on Wednesday, I’m gonna get you in to play Subby.” It was difficult for him to describe how that felt and when pressed on that moment Joe was lost for words.

He discussed what it was like after playing as he managed to collect his thoughts and ecstatically proclaimed “Loved it, loved every moment of it.” On a chilly January evening outside Glasgow’s filthiest and most renowned basement Joe spoke about his relentless passion for music. “Surreal playing Sub Club at 18. When I got the call up first I couldn’t believe it.” You don’t get that call without perfecting the art and improving your skills every day. Everyone started somewhere and this is how Joe’s story began. In the town of Woking in South West London where he was born and raised, behind the decks where he spent most of his days.

When he was 15 his father purchased him the basic tools required to thrive in a cutthroat industry. He reflected upon the first set he ever witnessed and how that inspired him. “Seen Jamie XX when I was 15, me and my mate went with my dad because we weren’t old enough to get in on our own so my dad had to chaperone.” Although his father was in attendance Joe managed to find time to enjoy himself and embraced the experience with his auld da.

Photography by Clark James

“It was unreal going to a party with my dad, me and him do everything together he’s my best friend. He supports everything I do which is unreal. It’s so good having supportive parents.” It’s admirable to see a father so supportive of his child. Joe displayed genuine appreciation and affection for his father. Joe’s dream became a reality because of his father’s support. Little pushes like that in life can drastically alter an individual’s trajectory. 

“Since that night I said I wanted to be a DJ. I asked my dad around Christmas can you get me a proper shitty pair of decks.” That winter Santa delivered his Christmas wish. He was equipped with a £40 mixer and got to work. “I plugged it into my iPad it was that shit.” Joe eventually migrated to Glasgow to escape English tyranny. “I’ve been to a lot of clubs down London and I’m telling you Sub Club is the best in the world.” This statement holds more weight coming from a Londoner with a flair for disco.

“Glasgow is better, London there’s constantly so much going on. In Glasgow it’s a lot more locale. You bump into a few dickheads in London but in Glasgow I never really bump into anyone that isn’t sound.” There is a reason people make Glasgow. The fact Joe has built a connection to the city in such a short time proves his genuine love for the city’s rich history of music culture. “Sub Club is my favorite thing about Glasgow.”

Photography by Clark James

Although Joe didn’t just move to Glasgow to pursue a music career he began studying Philosophy, Sociology and Politics at Glasgow University in 2019. He reflected upon his course and how it has helped him shape his artistic ideology. “When I’m listening to music I respect that music more in a way as studying politics and sociology you learn a lot about social inequality. Therefore a lot of the time you do respect more underground music.” This highlights Joe’s appreciation for industrial cities such as Detroit and Glasgow where people come together to party and create extraordinary music.

Although he has been spinning tunes for three years he only recently started to experiment with production. “These days if you wanna properly get into DJing you need to stand out. You can’t become a big DJ without production apart from rare cases such as Jackmaster.” Joe has the potential to join the ranks of elite DJs if he fully embraces the rigors of production. He made a candid remark upon living in the moment. “I had a moment earlier where I had to take it all in half way through a tune I just stood still and watched the crowd. It’s just the best feeling in the world, nothing beats it. The atmosphere in Sub Club is the best in the world and it’s part of Scottish culture.”

For three years he was honing his craft as an exclusive bedroom DJ. Putting in the hours refining his mixing. His dedication towards music was reflected in his performance at Sub Club. That was one of the filthiest sets I’ve ever witnessed and a reminder that RARE Wednesday is the place to be every week during the academic year. Providing a platform for students to invest themselves in Glasgow’s vibrant music culture. Joe is now part of that culture. This man is fresher than your average fresher so check out his latest mix.

https://soundcloud.com/eeksdj/2-hour-mix

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