How Idris Elba is rising to the top of the DJ world amid his demanding acting career [Interview]

Idris Elba is a commanding figure in any setting which he graces with his presence.

The British actor has made his mark on a broad variety audiences through roles such as ruthless detective John Luther in Luther, revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and his iconic portrayal of the pragmatic drug lord Russell “Stringer” Bell in The Wire. He even managed to lend a rare tone of stoic gravity to The Office during his tenure as Michael Scott’s no-nonsense boss, Charles Miner, in the show’s fifth season.

Elba has become an internationally recognizable actor in the past two decades, however, his dominion extends far past the big and small screens.

In today’s society, where “anyone” can become a DJ and the profession commands larger fan bases than ever before, the recent paradigm of the “celebrity-turned-DJ” can hold a stigma of sorts. Any time an actor, athlete, or similarly famous figure steps behind the decks, there is an automatic temptation to dismiss them as yet another Paris Hilton. And, while this tendency may be subconsciously driven, it’s unfair ― and often inaccurate ― to assume that DJs who have pre-existing fame in other arenas are simply riding on the coattails of their primary careers.

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“It was difficult to sort of be taken seriously [as a DJ] because of my acting.”

Any notion that Idris Elba is an unskilled or bandwagon selector could not be further from the truth. While most fans may have only learned of his second career through his increased festival and club bookings over the past several years, the 44-year-old renaissance man began mixing before the majority of festival-goers were even born. “I’m definitely what you might describe as a ‘vet DJ’,” Elba remarks. “I started when I was 14, and I had two years in my life where DJing is all I did.”

Indeed, the prolific ...

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Idris Elba square press shot

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