Leeds's own Tom Zanetti making a mix for the big-time

PARTY TIME: Tom Zanetti at his album launch at Bar Fibre in leeds last month.PARTY TIME: Tom Zanetti at his album launch at Bar Fibre in leeds last month.
PARTY TIME: Tom Zanetti at his album launch at Bar Fibre in leeds last month.
Tom zanetti '“ embarrassing dad.

Probably the last thing you would expect to read in the same sentence about one of the most sought-after DJs in the music business right now.

Girls want to be with him, guys want to be him.

He has just shy of 300,000 likes on his official Facebook page, 184,000 Instagram followers and 73,000 followers on Twitter.

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And on the back of the success of last track You 
Want Me and the number one album, SleepinIsCheatin, which he mixed for Ministry of Sound – the 27-year-old from Belle 
Isle is on the cusp of the big time.

In an exclusive interview with City Buzz, Tom Zanetti gives us a behind the scenes look at what really goes on in his party lifestyle and what he does at home.

He said: “I did not know it would be like this but I couldn’t have dreamt of anything better and it is going from strength to strength.

“It is the next step in our careers (with business partner K.O Kane) but we have worked at this for ten years and it did not happen over night. We have been at it every weekend.”

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That meant a different club in a different city, each day of the week – being on the road, irregular sleep patterns and trying to fit in family life too.

“I have not had many weekends off. Sometimes I sleep, miss a night, the next night I am away then my son’s alarm goes off for school and I take him and see him at home the next night. It is very up and down and just non-stop.”

It is on the school run that son Deaconn isn’t as swooning as the rest of Tom’s growing fanbase.

“He loves it and is really musical. But if I do turn up to his school with the roof down and music on he is embarrassed and says ‘dad, turn it off’. I really enjoy spending time with him. I spend as much time with my family as I can and love watching films. I am a bit of a movie buff. I do try to wind down but my brain is going all the time with different ideas.”

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And it is not about to slow down any time soon with dates at Creamfields and Leeds festival lined up as well as the residency for the Sankeys nightclub franchise over 20 summer dates in Ibiza.

While to the outsider it looks like Tom flits from one party to the next for a living, it hasn’t always been like that.

He recalls: “People see the champagne and all the rest of it but not the ten year-old son who has lived with me since I was 17, I got kicked out of school, my mum was a single parent, my girlfriend died in a car crash, I have worked as a butcher, roofer, scaffolder, done telesales – it hasn’t been easy at all but if you keep striving and do a bit more you can see the potential. I was so ambitious to get better and to get somewhere – I knew I would do something.”

Despite wanting to be a spy as a kid, his path into the music industry was perhaps inevitable.

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His dad was a club DJ in Barcelona and his mum listened to Dean Martin. As a youngster Tom listened to speedline, house and tech and baseline music but would also write poetry. As he got older and more into the music he would rap over it. He burned some tunes onto a CD which was sold on a stall at Leeds Market and it was this that got his name known on the Leeds music scene.

He told City Buzz: “It was before phones and iMusic and you could not get this music in HMV, you had to go to an underground market and I was selling on the market for months, I was only about 16.”

Someone heard the CD and asked Tom to DJ at a gig before he was even old enough to go to a nightclub and it went from there. After the house parties came club spots but again all away from the regular city centre party spots.

He said: “Leeds has always been a thriving scene for house, it is a music city and a prime one for dance. Baseline came from Leeds and the infrastructure is there and that excites me about music and DJs around the area. It is just booming.

“I love playing in Leeds, it is absolutely insane but never a bad vibe and a good mix of everyone. It is peace, love and party. I love the reaction in Leeds.”