Leeds-based James Burnham – aka Burnski – is fast emerging as one of the cities hottest young stars. ROB CHADWICK speaks to the DJ/producer…

The hottest property to come out of Leeds since Simon Baker? It’s hard not to describe James Burnham in that way. Since being taken under the wing of 20/20Vision boss Ralph Lawson, the DJ better known as Burnski has gone from strength to strength, having a residency at the legendary Back to Basics, signing to some of best labels around, including Dessous and Infant, and playing all over the world. We caught up with the rising tech star to talk about his rise to fame…

You got your big break at the legendary Back to Basics. How did that come about?
It happened quite quickly really. I was booked to play and then continued to play every other month after that. I think it was only a year after making my debut there that due to some circumstances, there was a slot available and they asked me. It was a honor – I was really excited about it.

You have played at some really memorable clubs. Which stands out as your favourite?
There are a few. Fabric was really good, and I always remember a rooftop party in Beirut to more than 700 people. But my favourite so far was Watergate in Berlin – that was probably the most memorable. It was a Poker Flat night with Steve Bug, Djulz, John Tejada, Vincenzo, Phonique and Simon Flower. I played from 5am to 7am in the main room after Steve Bug and the venue was packed!

Where do you get your inspiration from when producing music?
Listening to other DJs is part of it, but the main source is buying vinyl. There’s no better feeling. I still love it when the postman brings them every week.

What’s it like working with Steve Bug as a label boss?
He’s been good. He’s had me play at some great gigs too, and he’s a good person to send music to. He’s also very funny and likes to pull a funny face or two – my type of vibe.

I hear you’re collaborating with Simon Baker. Can you shed any light on this project?
Well, we are both pretty busy so it’s hard to get in the studio much, but we’ve had a few sessions and started some things. It’s still very early doors though, so there’s nothing to shout about just yet…

Any more productions in the pipeline?
I have a couple of new EPs coming on Morris/Audio and Dessous. Also a remix for Poker Flat…




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“The main source of my inspiration is buying vinyl. There’s no better feeling”