Soundtrack Of My Life: Dynamo

The first magician ever to headline The O2

The first song I remember hearing

Michael Jackson – ‘Black or White’

“My next-door neighbour, Phillip Kershaw, had it on vinyl and we spent hours trying to copy the Macaulay Culkin rap. I can still remember how it goes today! But growing up as a mixed-race kid in Bradford – a very multicultural city – where there were fights at times, I feel like the message of the song was actually very apt at that time in my life.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Oasis – ‘Whatever’

“I first started going to watch Bradford City, my hometown football team, with my school friend Vinnie Holdsworth, and he introduced me to Oasis. We’d always listen to ‘Whatever’ on the way to the match, and I think the reason I fell in love with the song was because it reminded me of the camaraderie of going to a football match. Being in the stand with all the fans was the first time I felt like I belonged to something.”

The first album I owned

Snoop Dogg – ‘The Doggfather’

“I love hip-hop, but I didn’t buy this album because I was heavily into hip-hop at the time; I bought it because ‘Snoop’s Upside Ya Head’ was the song everyone in the playground was listening to – there was a dance we’d do to it at the school disco. I actually remember buying the album on a school trip to Llandudno because it was the one time I was able to go into a music shop with enough pocket money to buy what I wanted. And very randomly, I bought ‘One of Us’ by Joan Osborne on cassette single at the same time. I guess I had eclectic taste from the start.”

The song that reminds me of home

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The Offspring – ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’

“I can remember playing this song really loud when I was in my early teens. We’d moved away from the quite notorious estate that I grew up on and were now living in an area that was a bit safer. I wouldn’t say it was more privileged exactly, but it was definitely nicer than the estate. I think this song reminds me of home because that period was the first time that I really felt safe in a home.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Lethal Bizzle – ‘Pow! (Forward)’

“I was living in London when this song came out and going out to garage raves in Shoreditch. I think this song actually got banned from the nightclubs because it used to get people so hyped up. Even now, if anybody drops ‘Pow’ in a DJ set, it still goes off.”

The album I wouldn’t get sick of in self-isolation

The Strokes – ‘Comedown Machine’

“This album is just brilliant from start to finish and it’s got a feel-good energy that I think everyone needs right now. Every album The Strokes put out is slightly different but ‘Comedown Machine’ is my favourite because it gives me a feeling of nostalgia. I’m an ’80s baby and Back to the Future is my favourite film, and listening to this album sort of makes you feel like you’re an ’80s movie.”

The song that reminds me of my first festival

Bloc Party – ‘Banquet’

“They headlined the Other Stage at my first ever Glastonbury in 2009. It was pissing it down the whole time so I spent most of the festival in my tent watching bands on one of those pocket TVs that was the size of a brick. The one time the sun came out was when Bloc Party came on and I remember them being amazing. I’m a big fan of Bloc Party and this is probably my favourite song of theirs – I actually used it in one of my TV shows.”

The song I want played at my funeral

The Connells – ”74–’75’

“This might seem like a random choice but it’s a song that reminds me of my grandfather, and I owe so much to him. When it’s my time to pass over and join him in the after life, this will be the perfect song to have playing because my life and legacy wouldn’t have existed without him showing me magic and encouraging me to pursue it.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Aerosmith – ‘Dream On’

“It was the opening song to my arena show [from 2015-18], ‘Seeing Is Believing’. Every night I’d stand behind the curtain for the full four minutes of the song waiting to come on. It’s an incredible song which really got me in the right mood – when that curtain went up, I was ready to give the performance of a lifetime. But after doing more than 200 shows plus all the rehearsals, I can definitely live without hearing it again.”

The song that changed my life

Linkin Park – ‘Crawling’

“My nana lives in Memphis and when I was 17 or 18, she bought me a flight and arranged me to stay out there for a year. I’d just dropped out of college and had the idea I wanted to pursue magic for a job, but didn’t know how to go about it. My nana goes on dog-showing tours across America – she’s got 19 award-winning golden retrievers – so I went on the road with her to keep her company and help out.

“When my mate Phillip Kershaw flew out to stay with us for a couple of weeks, he bought Linkin Park‘s ‘Hybrid Theory’ album at the airport and it was all I listened to. ‘Crawling’ just touched me so much – ever since I heard this song for the first time, it’s been a part of me. It’s also been a part of so many pivotal moments in my career; I now use it as the background music for my levitations.”

‘Dynamo Beyond Belief’ is available to stream now on Sky One & NOW TV

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