Tony De Vit

Tony De Vit (12 September 1957 – 2 July 1998) was a British club DJ, producer and remixer and one of the most influential of his generation. He was credited with helping to take the “Hard house” and fast “Hard NRG” sounds out of the London gay scene and into mainstream clubs. His single “Burning Up” reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1995, with “To The Limit” making number 44 in September 1995. During that year he won BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix of the Year Award, as voted by listeners of the show, and Music Week’s re-mix of Year Award for Louise’s (Naked). He remixed many UK Top 40 hits during his career with artists like Taylor Dayne and East 17. Between 1994 and 1998 his popularity with the clubbing public was rivaled by only Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox. With the launch of Jump Wax Records in 1996, hard house music in the UK became more mainstream. De Vit’s “Are You All Ready?” and “I Don’t Care” received major radio play and strong sales upon release. Following the closure of Jump Wax Records in 1996, de Vit launched his own label (TDV Records), which saw him release “Bring the Beat Back” and “Get Loose”, both co-written with Simon Parkes. De Vit went on to play at many major dance clubs/events in the UK during this time, including Legacy @ The Manor in Ringwood, Slinky @ the Opera House in Bournemouth, Cream, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen, and Creamfields. He garnered a string of awards and nominations during the year, including Mixmag’s ‘2nd Best DJ of the Year 1996’, M8 magazine’s ‘Best DJ of the Year 1996’ and was selected by Music Week as ‘Top Remixer of 1996’.

In 1997, de Vit was offered a show on ‘Kiss 100’. He was ranked number 5 in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs in the World the same year. In early 1998, de Vit recorded “The Dawn” with Paul Janes and Andy Buckley, which was part of the six-track Trade EP. De Vit commented that he was ‘very proud of it’. Paul Janes went on to remix “The Dawn” as a personal tribute to de Vit’s work. The track has often been considered to be his best work. On May 2, 1998, de Vit performed a set in the Trade tent at the very first Creamfields festival in Winchester.

Tony passed away in 1998 but his legacy lives on. In September 2010, Mixmag UK announced the nominations of 35 DJs chosen by other big names in the world of dance music as those they considered the best DJs ever. A subsequent 15-month survey, which polled hundreds of thousands of global votes, asked who was the Greatest DJ of All Time and when the result was announced in January 2011, Tony De-Vit was ranked No 9 and one of four British DJs who made the Top 10. In 2022 a blue plaque was unveiled commemorating Tony at The Custard Factory in Digbeth where Tony’s infamous studio was based, and in 2023 a documentary was released entitled “Dont Ever Stop” alongside a new remix album with reworks of some of Tony’s most seminal tracks brought to life once again by some of today’s brightest stars who he continues to influence.