In this episode of Behind The Decks, we checked in with DJ and producer Russell Small.

Russell Small is the founder of two iconic UK house music groups, Phats & Small and later, the Freemasons.

The very first record Phats & Small ever put out called ‘Turn Around’ in 1999 was a smash hit, peaking at number two on the UK singles chart and catapulted them both into international fame and stardom.

They performed on Top of The Pops four times and went on global tours. Six years later, Russell founded another iconic house duo called the Freemasons which would reach those heights once more with a string of hits.

A lot of these came on their album ‘Unmixed’, which contained singles including ‘Uninvited’, ‘Watchin’ and ‘Love On My Mind’ which still get played in clubs and on the radio today.

This was then accompanied by a string of iconic remixes including ‘Work’ by Kelly Rowland, Beyonce’s ‘Green Light’ and Beyonce & Shakira’s ‘Déjà vu’, the latter they were nominated for a Grammy award.

In this episode we chart Russell’s music journey, from DJing in a mobile disco around Brighton with his dad at school discos and youth clubs, to catapulting into stardom overnight, to remixing some of the biggest artists in the world.

For Russell’s mental health, he lives with diagnosed ADHD which he was only diagnosed with during the Covid-19 lockdown.

He was able to mask it his entire life but was labelled as a ‘dreamer’ and was told he wouldn’t amount to anything in school because of the way his ADHD presented itself and the lack of education and stigma around the condition at the time.

We discuss the build-up to his ADHD diagnosis, how it felt when he was diagnosed, management tools he’s developed since and finding balance in his life now.

As always, #itsokaytovent

You can listen to Freemasons on streaming platforms below:

You can follow Russell on social media below:

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Music: PatawawaStrange
Outro: Phats & Small – Turn Around


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