“I have loved lockdown - I don’t want it to end” - Tom Zanetti learns to cook instead of clubbing every night.

Leeds DJ turned international music star, Tom Zanetti says he has spent the first summer at home for more than ten years, finally living a “normal” life.

By Emma Ryan
Sunday, 26th July 2020, 11:45 am

While many people in lockdown over the last few months were craving clubs and cocktails, he was more interested in DIY, bike rides by the river and learning to cook.

In this exclusive interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post he tells us why he is in no rush for the world to get back to normal and how the coronavirus lockdown has actually helped his career, despite hundreds of shows being cancelled.

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Tom Zanetti speaks to the Yorkshire Evening Post about life in lockdown.

At the beginning of March, Zanetti had 100 flights booked, 15 shows lined up in Zante, was booked to perform at the F1 in Monaco, a residency in Ibiza for eight shows, eight shows in Malia and a residency in Magaluf.

He was set to take part in a TV show for SKY in which he drove a Lamborghini across America, and, The Dollhouse club that he owns in Leeds with business partner Kane Towning (K.O Kane) had been nominated for the best bar at the Leeds Bar and Club awards just five months after opening.

So, having to put the brakes on, how did a man who is never still, find being confined to Leeds, where he lives when he is not jet-setting the party islands across the world?

He told Emma Ryan: “To be completely honest I have absolutely loved it. In 18 months I did 250 shows and that was a different country or city every night. For the last ten years I have never had a summer at home and I was always saying about being at home with my family and my son.

Leeds DJ pictured at Dakota Hotel in Leeds.

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Read More: Tom Zanetti's dad, Daz Courtney, writes his own book

The unexpected time off has allowed Zanetti, who celebrated his birthday earlier this month with a private party jet, to incorporate a routine to what he will admit can be a chaotic lifestyle.

“I have been working on my sleep pattern, I have not slept properly in ten years so I have been relaxing and taking it as it comes. I am really not used to it and have been trying to spend more time at home. I have made it into a real home rather than a storage unit and trying to have a normal life. I have never really cooked and want to learn to cook and I am watching cooking shows to better myself.

“People have been saying I can’t party or do this or that but I have just not been bothered. I have enjoyed everything about it (lockdown) and it is a shame it will go back to normal. I am glad things will get better for people for work because I know not everybody is in my situation but, I have liked the down time.”

Making his own music, Tom Zanetti has just recorded the video for new track One Night.

In a way it has allowed Zanetti to refocus his music career.

In the early days he did jobs from labouring on building sites, to a milk round, 12 hour factory shifts and even a stint as a butcher. This was in addition to performing in clubs and selling his own records on Leeds Market.

He created his own brand, Sleepin’ Is Cheatin, which hosts festivals, club nights, records and fashion merchandise and one of the pivotal career moments came in 2016 when he released his own track “You Want Me”.

In 2018, he appeared on Love Island where he threw a party for housemates - again taking his career up a level.

Tom Zanetti with his dad, also a DJ, Daz Courtney who recently wrote his own book.

New music

This week sees the release of new single ‘One Night’ which he worked on with Dappy and underground Leeds artist Haze Da Martian. Within hours of teasing it on social media it had more than 70,000 views.

The video was shot in London last week and features his girlfriend - the model, singer and influencer - Daisy O'Donnell. There are plans for more music and a collaboration with singer and songwriter Dyo is already confirmed.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Zanetti is one person who would be least comfortable with a worldwide lockdown. However, he reveals it led him to reassess what is important and what he wants life to be like.

Cast an eye over his instagram page - which is on the way to half a million followers - and it is a stream of glamour, clubs, photo-shoots, partying and travel. However, the first sentence of his bio is about being a proud father and this is strikingly evident. Deaconn goes on tour with him and Zanetti says repeatedly that he works incessantly to give Deaconn a good life with opportunities.

Zanetti explains: “I have had a lot of years performing and not doing my own music, living a really upside down lifestyle and I had a plan this year to get my head down, earn as much money as I can and invest into businesses but that got put on hold.

Leeds DJ, Tom Zanetti spoke exclusively with the Yorkshire Evening Post about his new plans for 2020.

“Everyone looks on instagram and thinks it is amazing, and it is, but clubs every night in a row on the road three or four hours, run down to the beach and take a selfie and make it look like I am having a good time, I can’t sleep on a plane so take a tablet to knock myself out, it is not healthy.

“Monday I will be in Ibiza performing until 5am, go to the hotel, then the airport and fly to Greece at 10am via Sweden. At 1am I am in the club and it is the same thing again.

“I remember thinking, and it sounds cheesy, but someone watching X-Factor or Saturday Night Takeaway, I would like to be at home doing that and everyone wants to do what I am doing - but I am getting changed in the services and eating a prawn sandwich from a garage.

“I get to go to really nice places but I am only there for six hours, I would love to go back and explore them. Unless you absolutely love it, it is not all it is cracked up to be.

“It ( lockdown) gave me more time to make new music. I had done well but people expected more and more and it was nice to have a break and make music I enjoy, which is house and underground where I started, and there is a lot in the pipeline.”

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Thank you

Laura Collins