Broadcaster, DJ, Tastemaker, Businessman, Father, Ambassador, Presenter, Creative Director, Consultant, Trainer addict… some may say that Pete ‘MistaJam’ Dalton is a serial title collector. Others would say it’s a sign of his success and versatility.
As a DJ forget trying to nail him to any one genre for he’s from the school of thought where only those who’ve perfected the art of mixing need apply. His masterful multi-genre sets span all the sounds of the musical spectrum and regularly cause people to get bunions at some of the finest clubs and festivals around the world, including fabric in London, Space in Ibiza, and Glastonbury Festival. It is this fearless approach to delivering the ultimate blend of music that has seen his army of supporters and profile grow at a speed that (a dramatically slower) Usain Bolt would be proud of.
Not bad for a Nottingham lad, who first started in the game at the tender age of 14, cutting his teeth working with youth soundsystems and rap crews at local recording studios and learning valuable studio engineering and DJ skills, all the while studying for his GCSEs. Such strong work ethic and dogged determination to make a living out of music continued, as MistaJam immersed himself in the different facets of the industry, writing about and reviewing music for local magazines, sharpening his production skills and promoting events in his hometown, all the while holding down a 9-5 job at a credit card company.
Talent scouted by a BBC Radio 1Xtra executive at one of his own Nottingham events, Jam joined the station in 2005 and quickly took advantage of his big break, swiftly moving up the broadcasting ladder. The multi-genre sensibilities he had developed from his soundsystem days were perfectly suited to high-profile radio slots and before long he found himself hosting the peak time evening shows he now occupies on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Such broadcasting talent was also externally recognised as Jam deservingly scooped his first Radio Academy Award in 2011 and went on to pick up a further two more in 2012; a fitting reward for all his years of hard work.
Whether it is putting together cutting-edge music for his radio shows, compiling and mixing his own albums (his first compilation album with Universal was released in 2013, and hit the top 20 of the UK album charts) or curating line-ups for his internationally renowned Speakerbox events; there’s no doubt that MistaJam is one of the most trusted voices when it comes to breaking new music in the UK.
MistaJam’s standing as a leading tastemaker has led to exciting opportunities away from Radio. In 2013 he was chosen by car manufacturer Jaguar to be the lead music consultant for the launch of their F Type car and his reputation was further bolstered with TV work both in front (as presenter) and behind the camera (as music consultant) on the show BBC 2 television show No Hats No Trains which i-D magazine described as “pioneering the future for Youth Culture”. No stranger to the world of Television, in his youth Pete was a member of the now legendary ‘Junior Television Workshop’ between the ages of 7 and 20. This early training led to roles in various TV dramas, soaps, radio plays and sitcoms over the years. He even trod the boards for a year in a musical, which ran at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s prestigious West End. However, having firmly scratched that itch, acting isn’t something he’s particularly keen to return to… unless of course Hollywood comes knocking.
With his radio career going from strength to strength, 2014 is shaping up to be every bit as successful and exciting. On the DJ front, there are confirmed gigs across Ibiza this Summer as well as festival slots at Hideout, Creamfields, Snowbombing already in his diary. And with Speakerbox events planned all over the UK expect big things from MistaJam this year. As his ultimate goal is career longevity, there’s no sign that MistaJam is going anywhere:
“MistaJam, is the golden boy of Radio 1 bosses Andy Parfitt and Ben Cooper, having just begun his own two hour Saturday night show… But he is also taken seriously by his musical peers.” Ian Burrell, Independent
Hear MistaJam on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra on Saturday from 7pm - 9 pm, and on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Monday to Thursday between 7pm-10pm.