The 2020 Breakthrough DJ Competition is now well into Round 2, so we’ve decided to catch up with each of the Top 16 to learn a little more about them 👀We’ll be speaking with all of the Top 16 in the coming days.

Up next is Ryan Willmott from Essex who joined the competition quite early on and has received steady support since day one.

Hi Ryan, well done for making the Top 16! You joined the competition quite early on so it’s great to catch up.

So first, introduce yourself?

Hey everyone, I’ve been mixing since I was 16 and a few of my inspirations along the way have been Roger Sanchez, Mark Knight and Claptone. For me these guys have put a twist on old school house and classics and have really pushed the genre to new boundaries both as producers and DJ’s which is what I aspire to one day do in the future!

We definitely agree with you there. Tell us your favourite genre to play and your favourite track right now?

Mainly Tech House and House but I occasionally mix things up and play some more funky tracks! Currently my favourite track is Todd Terry – Something Going On (K&K Remix), as it gives a high energy twist on an old school classic which when I play always seems to go down a treat!

Cool, so how long have you been behind the decks? Biggest claim to fame?

I have been DJing for just over 2 years and playing our for about 12 months. I guess having the chance to play at Ministry of Sound for Gallery in Baby Box when Laidback Luke was playing would be my biggest claim to fame haha but sadly never got the chance to meet him. 

Ministry is a decent gig, especially as you’ve only been playing out for a year or so. We’d like to know who each of you aspire to?

Personally, it would have to be Mark Knight. Not only because his sound but also his success with Toolroom. To create a label and to give other DJs and producers a platform to grow to the level he has would be a dream come true, not to mention the parties they put on!

Yes, we’ve actually seen quite a bit about Toolroom recently. So, if you could play at any party or venue, where would it be?

I would have to say Printworks in the Press Halls, to play such an iconic venue and to join the elite level of the DJs who play there would be incredible. I think it has one of the best reputations as a venue for the parties it throws, also the sheer size of it just being able to see the amount of people in front of the booth would be crazy! 

Big, high production venues are definitely the way forward for UK nightlife, we think. In fact they rival festivals!

Last question: what’s your opinion on phones on the dancefloor?

I have been to events where it’s strictly no phones and others where there are hundreds. As a raver I think sure take a video or two of your favourite DJ to remember the event but after that I think it should go away. As a DJ though, seeing a couple of phones doesn’t bother me as much as it shows I must be doing something right and they must be enjoying what I’m doing to video it! But as long as everyone’s having a good time that’s the main thing for me.