Play it Again Sam: DJ to royals coy about wedding

AP News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2011 5:46 AM
Play it Again Sam: DJ to royals coy about wedding

Not many people can boast a playlist fit for a prince.

As a fixture in the London clubs that attract young royals, Sam Young has taken requests from the future King of England _ prompting speculation the DJ could reign over the dance floor at William and Kate Middleton's April 29 wedding reception.

"Everyone is assuming I'm DJing that wedding and I'm not going to comment," he said, laughing uncomfortably.

But holding court at the prince's favorite nighttime haunts has earned Young the unofficial title of Prince William's favorite DJ _ a claim to fame the 31-year-old Londoner disputes, but isn't altogether unhappy with.

"I'm not friends with him. I don't talk to him or e-mail with him," Young said, recalling his first brush with a young William at London's Boujis nightclub. It was ages ago, Young said. Proof? William requested Outkast's "Hey Ya" _ a top hit of the hip-hop duo's 2003 album.

But encounters like that _ splashed across a London tabloid in 2007 _ have prompted countless interviews and fed the churning royal wedding rumor mill, setting Young apart from the pack.

"My aspiration wasn't to be getting interviewed as Prince William and Harry's DJ. They've probably been to a million clubs and danced to a million DJs. Those guys don't get mentioned. But I'm not complaining."

A younger Young grew up listening to a different Prince _ the artist _ and got his first taste of celebrity from attending events with his father, who snaps photos of the stars.

In his teens and early 20s, Young played around with turntables, experimenting with vinyl and cultivating a love for Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones. He later gravitated toward hip-hop and R&B, eventually building his sound around a mixture of dance, house and club music.

He always sought the limelight _ the opportunity to succeed not just in the hottest clubs but at celebrity studded events and parties.

"I'm trying to live in the best of both worlds," Young said.

He credits his success partly to a background in media studies. "You know how to market yourself," he explained.

While he's drawn the attention of fashion houses, musicians and celebrities, he says he still gets the jitters. Performing at private parties for and attended by music icons like Paul McCartney and Elton John can be intimidating, Young said.

"If you think about it too much, you're not going to perform well."

His status as DJ to the stars put him in the path of William and the British royals beyond those fateful encounters at Boujis, where Young has spun regularly for the past 8 years. At a wedding attended by the couple, Young played a mixture of 1950s and 1960s Rock & Roll. "Run Around Sue" brought Middleton to her feet.

"She was dancing all night," getting twirled around the dance floor, Young said.

If Young had to pick favorites, a song list for William and Middleton's nuptials would play into the couple's love for good dance tunes. Racy tracks such as Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back" or Kanye West's "Golddigger" wouldn't offend the royals, who "party just like anyone else," Young said.

As his star power grows, so do Young's hopes for a chance to play what he calls his "dream" gigs _ something along the lines of Prince's birthday party or a private event thrown by Stevie Wonder, he says.

But he wouldn't turn down the chance to play the royal wedding _ "its like the biggest gig ever," Young said.

He's currently scheduled to tour the U.S. in April _ with a Santa Barbara gig on the books for April 29. But if the palace calls, California will have to wait.

"If they ask me then my whole tour will go down the toilet," Young said without hesitation. "But they haven't asked me. Yet."