Two years after leaving his hugely-acclaimed Radio 1 show, legendary reggae dancehall DJ Chris Goldfinger feels the time may be right to re-enter the radio arena.
Goldfinger, born Chris Clarke, presented The Dancehall Show on the station from 1996 to 2009 and is still seen by many as the face of the genre in the UK today.
”I’m considering getting back into radio,” he said. ”After thirteen years I took a break but I went back to it recently and realised I missed it.”
Goldfinger’s show boasted a loyal army of fans and also helped to bring reggae dancehall to new audiences in the UK.
Since leaving the programme he now has his own show on TV channel Flava, as well as DJing in clubs around the country four nights a week.
Still helping out occasionally at Radio 1 and its sister station 1Xtra, Goldfinger opened his own nightspot (simply titled The Club) in Croydon in 2010.
However things have not run too smoothly and The Club was shut down in December by the licensing sub-committee.
A new management team has been put in place and they are now waiting for a new license before re-opening.
Nevertheless, Jamaican-born Goldfinger is continuing to relish his natural role as DJ at numerous regular club nights.
”It’s been really hectic on the road, I’m heavily booked out for DJing. I still love the interaction with a live audience at the club nights though.”
”I’ve been in the process of opening a recording studio back in Jamaica. All the equipment is ready to ship.”
Reggae dancehall as a musical force is very strong at present and Goldfinger speaks positively about the genre and the artists currently reigning supreme within it.
”Reggae dancehall is big right now, it’s a huge force to be reckoned with. Turnouts to UK shows have proved it’s alive and kicking but it’s bigger in other countries, Germany for example.”
”Having played all over Europe I can say that England is still behind in popularity.”
”In terms of artists, Gappy Ranks is the man of the moment. The older artists like Bounty Killer and Beenie Man are still big, as well as Vybz Kartel and Mavado.”
”Also new artists like Khago and especially I-Octane – he’s making a huge impact on the scene in terms of his messages and delivery.”
Moving to England in 1988 from his native Kingston, the mix master gained his stage name while performing one night back home.
”It was when I was just starting out back in Jamaica, I went by the name of DJ Chris or MC Chris then. One night I was doing a mix and someone who liked it shouted out ‘yo gold fingers, man!’, so that’s where it came from.”
Goldfinger’s radio show and his overall career have seen him interview the very biggest names in reggae dancehall.
”I’m a huge fan of reggae so every artist is great to interview, they all have a different story. Damian and Ziggy Marley are always great to talk to.”
So could the airwaves really once again be regularly ringing out the sounds of the true ‘dancehall master’ Chris Goldfinger?
He laughed: ”I’ll just say there’s more life in the Goldfinger yet!”