Electronic pioneer ‘Trailblazers’ podcast returns for Series 3

  • Trailblazers episode one covers how Norman Jay MBE transformed the Notting Hill Carnival music scene, including challenges of racism around the ‘76 riots and oppression across his career
  • The third series of the Deezer Original podcast returns with 8 new guests including Xavier de Rosnay of Justice, Trevor Horn and James Lavelle

Our chart-topping podcast ‘Trailblazers’ is back for its third series, exclusively on Deezer. Norman Jay MBE joins presenters Nick Halkes and Eddy Temple-Morris for the first episode. Together they discuss Norman’s deep-rooted desire to play at Notting Hill Carnival, during a time when black DJs were not welcomed into the clubs.

As the episode unwinds, Norman hand-picks tracks that relate the most to his story. Nick and Eddy play snippets of songs from the Iikes of Junior Murvin and Marvin Gaye, to bring Norman’s memories to life.

Norman’s powerful story can be heard on the first episode of ‘Trailblazers’, aDeezer Original podcast. The series uncovers the personal stories behind the dance world’s biggest pioneers.

Here’s a preview into the topics Norman covers in episode one:

  • Musical inspirations: the huge role family played in the music Norman was influenced by, bringing ‘black music’ to the streets of London
  • Racism and the ‘76 Carnival riots: how experiencing a horrifying racist attack in London further fuelled Norman’s desire to fight the oppression and make change
  • Shake and Fingerpop: moving from house parties to warehouse parties, how the ‘Shake and Fingerpop’ legacy was born
  • ‘Mr Rare Groove’:  why Norman earnt his title “Mr Rare Groove” and what it actually means
  • Changing face of Carnival: playing at Notting Hill carnival for a decade and the changes that occurred

The first episode is available from 2nd July. Every week thereafter, you’ll hear from eight incredible music legends that helped shape electronic music and played an important part of its iconic history. 

In the second Trailblazers episode, Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay joins the show. Xavier reveals the biggest moments that defined his career, including playing at Glastonbury and making the duo’s film ‘IRIS: A Space Opera’.

Here’s who to expect from our third season of Deezer’s Trailblazers:

  • Episode 1: Norman Jay MBE
  • Episode 2: Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay
  • Episode 3: Arthur Baker   
  • Episode 4: MJ Cole
  • Episode 5: James Lavelle
  • Episode 6: DJ Fresh
  • Episode 7: Trevor Horn
  • Episode 8: Nick Halkes (f.t DJ Andy Smith)

Trailblazers’ presenters, Nick Halkes and Eddy Temple-Morris are champions of electronic music themselves in the UK. Eddy has played a consistently important role as a broadcaster and DJ. Nick signed The Prodigy and countless artists as the scene grew in popularity over the years, and continues to manage an impressive roster of electronic talent. After the last two series of Trailblazers topped the podcast charts, they wanted to unearth even more inspiring electronic music stories.

Nick Halkes said: “Putting the new series of this podcast together has been an absolute pleasure. Records that Arthur Baker and Trevor Horn made blew me away when I was still at school and first getting into dance and electronic music. When I moved up to London to go to Uni, Norman Jay and the rare groove sound was exploding all around me. As a manager I worked closely with DJ Fresh and stood backstage, by the side of the stage and out front at his gigs from Middlesbrough to Ibiza. The music that our guests have made and played has been important to my own journey in music and I’m delighted to bring their stories to a new audience. When I’m giving advice to developing artists it’s not uncommon for me to draw upon the anecdotes and wisdom that our Trailblazers guests have shared with me. These pioneers have done important work and it’s a thrill to see more essential knowledge and history added to the archive!”

Eddy Temple-Morris said: “Both Nick and I are really happy to be able to continue this legacy project. Dance music has become such an important part of our culture and our documenting its leading lights through the years for future generations to learn, appreciate and understand is something we consider an honour and a privilege. We’ve managed to tick some great names off the wish-list for this series: The very definition of Trailblazer is embodied by people like James Lavelle, who started what must be the coolest label in the world and spearheaded the ‘Trip hop’ genre and MJ Cole, who is unquestionably the key man in the invention of UK garage…they blaze the trails, mere mortals follow!”

“Our first episode kicks off with Norman Jay MBE and we’re really grateful to hear from him about the difficult challenges he faced and the constant obstacles he fought to overcome as a black DJ. He really was a huge game changer in the field and never afraid to challenge the status quo. His deep dive into his own family influences and musical inspirations is both insightful and deeply inspiring. We’re excited and grateful to be able to share his story with the world.”added Antoine Buffard, Deezer’s Global Dance & Electronic Music Editor.

Trailblazers Series 3 is live on Deezer exclusively from today. Each episode will be released weekly. You can listen to the full episode here. The last two series of Trailblazers can be found here, with previous guests including Goldie, Fatboy Slim, Mary Anne Hobbs and Gary Numan.