Verge Meets: The Dixon Brothers

The Dixon Brothers are a sibling DJ duo who bring life and energy to parties of all sizes with their turntable skills. Justin and Adrian have played together all over the world, building up a reputation as go-to DJs for everything from small clubs to huge events like Glastonbury. They also DJ each week for KISS FM, where they play music from a variety of different genres and bring the energy of their live events to radio. We caught up with the brothers to talk to them about their career.

Why did you decide to become DJs?

AD: I was in my first few years of high school and being a DJ was the popular thing (girls loved it). Channel 4 aired a late night documentary on LTJ Bukem which followed him on tour. After watching that I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do. That matched with our Uncle’s DJ set at Justins’ birthday party resulted in me catching the DJ bug and I’ve never looked back

JD: Yeah, that party was the ONE! I started in my first year of university. I told people that I was some showtime London DJ and really wasn’t. It came to the point where I had to back my chat with all of my friends cheering me on. Real talk, the first two mixes were train wrecks. The third time was a charm and like AD said, I’ve never looked back!

What are some of the skills you had to learn when you began DJing?

AD: Persistence, being original, reading the crowd and never taking NO for an answer. Still to this day I adopt these thought processes when progressing our careers in both DJ’ing and other avenues.

JD: …and DON’T EVER IN YOUR LIFE think you can get away with kissing a girl in the club leaning over the turntables with your headphones on…because the cord will drag the needle across the record, causing the music to stop most abruptly, leaving you looking like a chump all puckered up with no one to kiss in a silent club (smh).

What are some of the benefits and challenges of working together as siblings?

JD: Challenges – there aren’t any…we’ve got a formula that works for us and we’re sticking to it! The benefit – getting to tour the world and rock clubs with your main man; doesn’t get much better than that really.

AD: We often say to each other that we can’t imagine being a solo DJ. I get to travel the world and share new and exciting experiences with my big brother. Whether it’s seeking out a new restaurant abroad, being able to have a scout in the crowd to gauge what to play next or just someone to continue to push you to be better, the benefits are endless.

What are some of your favorite gigs that you’ve done?

JD: I’m an outdoors kid, so stick me in a field with a setup and a crowd and I’m one happy dude. Playing the 40th anniversary of Glastonbury was definitely a moment. Playing our first main stage at this year’s Nass festival was also one for the bucket list. That said, playing Ibiza for the first time felt like a rite of passage for any DJ…there really are too many to choose from.

AD: We’ve been privileged to have played many places and events on our bucket lists; from Ibiza to the F1 to Wembley. For me, my favorite gigs have to be this year’s set in Vegas (madness) and the Cannes beach party we performed at during the Film Festival (ridiculous).

What is it like DJing at big festivals like Glastonbury?

AD: Shows such as these always seem to fly by in a blink of an eye. We never take these opportunities for granted, so when they come we give 110.35%. I always have a few minutes of butterflies in my stomach before walking onto stage but then look over at my brother, and then it’s just like being in a small 100 person sweat box in south London

JD: Amazing…when you know you’ve got a monster record to drop on a rig that big…and then you do it…wow, pure unmitigated vibes!! Being part of a duo also means I get to watch the show from a 3rd person perspective from the best seat in the house!

Tell us a bit about what you do at KISS FM.

AD: My relationship with KISS is slightly different to Justin’s. During the day, I head up their Creative Department as senior designer. Every day is something new, from creating branding, album covers and social content, to setting the creative direction for the brand. At night, we’re looked at to bring what we do on stage to the radio, whilst also championing new music and artists. We’re soon to begin a new show on KISS Fresh, which will see us showcasing the best of the best of what’s to come, new artists and producers, all whilst shining the brightest of lights on the culture.

JD: Yeah, AD’s decent with the crayons. As for me, I turn up just before time, light up the gig…take a bow and bounce!

What types of music do you personally like to listen to?

JD: I’m in love with all music…a good tune is a good tune no matter what the genre. I used to be the drummer in a grunge band back in the day and started my DJ career as a 4 to the floor garage DJ. One of my best university pals got me into the more chilled ambient side of things (enough said about that)…Long story short – I love it all!

AD: I’m very across the board when it comes to musical genres. If you put some strings on a piece of music you’ve already got my attention. Currently and maybe because it’s the summer, I’m back in my liquid DnB world! I pride myself on having no particular genre that I favor which is reflected in our performances and production. However, I’m a Hip Hop and UKG guy at heart. 🙂

Aside from DJing, what else do you like to do in your free time?

JD: I like to throw down in the kitchen, by day I’m a digital marketer. One of my previous clients was a high end restaurant…I made good friends with the chefs there who really sparked off the foodie in me.

AD: Design is a huge part of my life. Food, fashion and culture also play a substantial part in my everyday. To be honest in my free time having the opportunity to just sit in a pub and catch up with friends and family is something I don’t take for granted (shout to the Dukes Head in our manor).

Where would you like to see your career go in the future?

AD: Our career in DJ’ing is on a great path, so now we’re looking at becoming more visual, be it in TV, hosting, modelling (I’m reaching here). We’ve always wanted to do everything and always side step being pigeon holed. I’ve said it before… get me on Saturday Kitchen and I’ll be gassed! We’ve also taken the move into production, so stay tuned for original music coming from us later this year.

JD: Yeah, he’s pretty much covered it there…that’s the blueprint!

Do you have any tips for young people who want to become DJs?

JD: If perchance one day, you decide to dump your entire student loan on DJ equipment and your mum ain’t too chipper upon receiving the news…don’t worry she’ll come round to the idea. It may take a few years but she’ll definitely come round. A mother’s love knows no bounds…but it can be frosty AF for a minute.

AD: We’re asked this quite a bit and always say the same thing. DON’T TAKE NO AS AN ANSWER!!! You’ll take knocks and setbacks as you strive to achieve your goals, but ultimately if you stay true to your dreams and put in the hard work required you will get there.