Profile: Nick Chatten
My love of music started at a very early age. As a young boy, I can clearly remember listening to music whilst in the car with my Mum and Dad. My Dad loves music and played the guitar, so I was bought up listening to him playing, sometimes badly, but always trying hard and eventually getting pretty good. Mum wasn’t really so musically-minded, but would tolerate it! My earliest memories of being totally transfixed by music were listening to bands such as Wings, The Eagles, The Beach Boys and The Mammas & Pappas. One album that particularly stood out for me was called ‘That’ll Be the Day’ which was, I believe, the soundtrack to a film about Rock ‘n’ Roll, for some reason I couldn’t stop playing it!
I remember getting record vouchers for my 11th birthday in 1978, I literally could not wait to spend them! But what would an 11 year old kid buy? ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen, ‘Rat Trap’ by The Boomtown Rats and, of course, ‘Sweet Talking Woman’ by ELO. I remember sitting in the car wishing we could get home faster just so I could just play those 7” singles. When I did, that was it, I was hooked. I’d decided music was going to rule my life.
As we all know, music and fashion usually follow a similar path. So it will be no surprise that over the years my wardrobe went through many phases to match my evolving musical tastes. After those first vinyl purchases I decided to become a Punk, following bands such as early Blondie, The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Damned and Generation X (Billy Idol). I was the kid always trying to get noticed with 12” high spiky hair, bondage trousers and ripped shirts. I really wanted to make a rebellious statement, however I’m not sure at the time I really understood what the whole Punk movement stood for if I’m honest.
Moving on to my teens and, after having a part-time job working in a snooker hall, it was time to think about what to do when I left school. Again, from an early age, I had pretty much decided the path I wanted to take and I was very determined to follow it. I’d always been very artistic and, from my primary and junior school days, I’d had dreams of becoming a Graphic Designer or a Sign Writer. So off to Art College it was, this again would be a defining period in my life. I’d reached the place where all the ‘trendy’ kids went, I was now in my element mixing every day with people who were artistic, lovers of music and fashionable!! This was now 1983 and I was heavily into the New Romantic scene – eyeliner and weird hair styles – which seemed to be the natural path from Punk.
I used to have to catch a couple of buses every morning to get to the North Essex School of Art in Braintree & Colchester, but soon got fed up with that and decided I would buy an old Vespa Sportique scooter. It became my pride and joy. It cost me a fair few pounds to repair and maintain, but man did I look cool!
I managed to pass every course at Art College with flying colours and was all set to go on to a degree in Graphic Art at one of the more prestigious Art Schools in London. But then a friend of the family offered me a part-time job during the summer break selling cars at an Austin Rover dealership in Maldon, Essex. Well, the lure of the pound note to a student is rather tempting, as you can guess. So, off I went in my suit and tie to sell some cars over the summer… and I was still doing it 26 years later! Yep, I became hooked on the motor trade and my dreams of becoming a Graphic Designer went out the window.
During my time in the motor trade I always partied well (and hard) and my love of music never abated. At house parties I was always the one deciding what to play, so it seemed natural that in 2003 when I was asked if I knew of a DJ who could possibly come and put on a ‘bit of a disco’ for the Jet Ski club, like a fool, I said, “YES! I can do that, and I’ll do it for nothing!” So, there I was panicking and wondering what equipment I could use. Where would I borrow it from? How would I get the music? The list was endless, panic really did set in. But fortunately I managed to beg, borrow or steel the basics and the night turned out to be a great success. My journey to becoming a DJ had well and truly begun…
The full article can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 87, Pages 15-20.