Fatboy Slim learned violin with Keir Starmer

“I shit you not.”

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Dance music icon Fatboy Slim has revealed that he learned to play the violin with Labour leader Keir Starmer as a child.

Speaking on the Rockwater In Conversation With podcast, Fatboy Slim AKA Norman Cook tells host Sophie Corbett about how he first got into music as a child.

He tells Corbett about the instruments he played, which included acoustic guitar, “trying to play punk rock records on it” at the age of 13. He also learned to play the piano at grade five level, after feeling inspired by a light-up piano used by The Osmonds during a concert in Cook’s hometown in Brighton.

“That’s the only instrument that I’ve really officially learnt, apart from one term learning violin with Keir Starmer,” he says. “I shit you not… it’s true.”

Also in the podcast, Cook explains that he was motivated by his father’s early doubts of music production and DJing being a financial success.

“My dad saw [music] as slightly below prostitution in terms of respectful job and worse paid in his mind as well,” he says.

“That spurred me on a lot, especially being a teenage punk rocker. The fact my dad hated the music I liked made me want to make it more. One of the main moments that carried me is proving my dad wrong and showing him I could make a living out of it.”

The Rockafeller Skank producer goes on to talk about his early experiences of DJing in nightclubs.

“In those days, DJing was a hobby not a career. DJs got 20 quid a night – it was never really a career move, it was just something to do.”

However, it turns out, not even Fatboy Slim can dance to breakbeats and rave music all year round. His obsession with the details of dance music often requires a break into more soulful territories.

“The music I listen to at home is very different to ‘work music’,” he says. “I listen to a lot of The Beatles, really old scratchy blues records, soul records. Anything that doesn’t sound like what I do for a living.

“The one thing I found that when I started doing it for a living is when you hear music in the same field as you, instead of enjoying it, you just think ‘shit, why didn’t I think of that?’ or ‘how can I use that idea?’

“So you start to appreciate music professionally. When you start doing that, you don’t have that innocent absolute love for music anymore – it’s become like a job.”

Watch the full podcast via Rockwater’s YouTube channel.


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