Yousef is a name synonymous with slick, jackin’ sleazy beats, edged with an aggressive and relentless groove. He is a DJ and producer that literally lives and breathes house music and who still practises his sets today - always trying to improve his technical abilities. He is also a DJ and producer that knows how to put the fun into house music and loves a good ‘Circus’.
Now one of the UK’s top DJs, Yousef began his DJing quest in 1991, messing around on a friend’s set of decks after a night out at the infamous Shellys in Stoke:
"I'd been to cheesy R&B/chart music clubs and a few local ‘raves’ before this, but the first proper night that stands out is when I went to Shellys. I was 16 and my mates rocked up one night saying they were going to this club and told me to come with them; saying it was amazing. Without a doubt, at the time Shellys was part of one of the five legendary clubs the UK had ever seen – it was definitely up there with Hacienda, Shoom and all of those - full on acid house raveness. I joined in with them and turned up in a really dodgy rave outfit. Carl Cox was playing and The Prodigy were on live (before they got big). I remember just standing and watching Keith Flint going bananas; it was like nothing I had seen or experienced before. A moment that definitely inspired me to do what I’m doing now." - Yousef
As many DJs before him, he was originally influenced by Hip-Hop - until he developed a taste for house music. "There were a lot of local radio stations that began to play house, Hardcore and other early ‘rave’ music, and I was into this new sound." He says. Early sets from Carl Cox and later Roger Sanchez were the first to ‘blow his head off’, whilst more recently Derrick Carter, Sneak, Onionz and Laurent Garnier are his biggest influences.
Yousef has DJ’d all over the world, in places such as Miami, Australia, New York, LA, Sao Paulo, Rio, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Ibiza, Zurich, Jakarta, Africa, Ireland, most major clubs in every country in Europe and every major UK city.
Production wise, On Junior Records, Yousef cut the first ever 10,000BC release ‘Whatever’. Together with Paul Woolford, 10,000BC were formed in 2001 and have re-mixed the likes of Meeker’s ‘Come Together’, The Angry Mexican DJs’ ‘Rock Dior’ and Hubert Hudson’s ‘Maracana’ and Baracus "bijongo’s"
Two years ago Yousef also paired with Steve Mac (Rhythm Masters) as the Drum Bums; Their ‘I Like This/The Darkness’ on Dysfunktional was a big player with Tong, Roger Sanchez and Satoshi Tommie, gaining full support and becoming Dysfunktional’s most successful release ever. In 2003 they released the follow-up Drum Bums single, “Circus Parade” it rocked Ibiza with DJs including Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Pete Tong, Tim Deluxe and Darren Emerson and was released on Yousef’s new label ‘Carioca’ with Yousef’s own remix which got in the top 100 in the uk nationals (somehow…?). Carioca has now established itself as a hot yet solid house label. Carioca releases include tracks from Onionz, Blakkat and Tyra and Yousef himself and under his Harry Monroe guise. The label felt the heat of the Miami sunshine when it got much international attention for Yousef’s “Action” track (under Harry Monroe guise) and his remix other Tyra’s “other women” both of which were Miami killers.
Yousef’s own recent remixes include Fatboy Slims “the joker”, School’s ‘If’ (Virgin), Tim Deluxe’s “Less talk more action” (Underwater), Boris D’Lugosh “Keep Pushing” (Peppermint Jam), Moloko’s “Cannot Contain This”, Phil Weeks “Candela” and Danny S “Talking Dirty”
Yousef sites his biggest accomplishments as being true to his roots (after his Cream residency had finished) and keeping house music alive in his home city by making Circus an essential night out in Liverpool, his Radio 1 residency and getting signed as 10,000 BC to Junior Boys Own. Other achievements include winning the ‘Best Breakthrough DJ’ award at 2001's Muzik Awards, mixing DMC’s 2002 compilation and writing a monthly column for Muzik, which he did so for two years. As well as appearing on the front cover on both IDJ magazine and Seven magazine.
On September 14th 2002 Yousef began promoting his own monthly club-night ‘Circus’, held at the Masque Theatre in Liverpool. Initially a 300 capacity venue and founded so that Yousef could play in his hometown and have fun with his friends, the night has since attracted the world’s highest ranking DJs – including Fatboy Slim, carl cox, jeff mills, apul woolford, Sneak, Derrick Carter, Darren Emerson, Lottie, Jon Carter, Groove Armada, Roger Sanchez, Laurent Garnier, Sneak, Phil Weeks and many more… in little over a year (Circus celebrated it’s first birthday on September 13 2003). It also hosted a Live RADIO 1 Essential mix in December 2003 (hosted by Yousef) after only a year in business. It’s now a 1200 capacity venue with a strong and dedicated following from across the UK and beyond after it’s first international outing in Miami this year at crobar with Carl Cox amongst others. Circus also hosted a tent at this year’s Creamfields in Liverpool. After that circus teamed up with long time friends “Chibuku shake shake” and released “circus and chibuku present “Yousef and Krafty Kuts” a mix compilation that captures the sprit of both dancefloors. The mix comp went on to and still is doing incredibly well. The mix CD was named as best mix compilation in 2004 DJ magazine. Just after the clubs 2nd year in business Circus was crowned “BBC radio one Best club 2004”, beating off competition from 39 other clubs.
Forthcoming for Yousef are dj gigs all over the UK, Europe and worldwide, releases as Yousef, Harry Monroe, the jerks (with onionz) on Carioca. Collaborations with Gene Farris and Paul Woolford for their own record labels Industry and Hip Therapist respectively. This year will also see a very high profile mix compilation released. He will also be keeping it tight at his home, circus in Liverpool where he and co promoter Richard McGinnis will be “making it better” while taking “circus” back to Miami for this years WMC killer party featuring Yousef, Fatboy Slim, Frankie Knuckles, Timo Mass and Layo and Buskwacka! Among others…