Secretsundaze part ways after 21 years

today19/05/2023 16

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Giles Smith and James Priestley of DJ duo Secretsundaze have parted ways after more than two decades.

The duo – who run the beloved London party series of the same name – shared the news on Facebook yesterday, May 18, telling fans that they “felt a desire to move forward”.

“We’ve each been through a lot of personal change and growth recently so after all these years of service together, felt a desire to move forward with more creative and professional freedom,” they explained.

Read this next: An oral history of Secretsundaze, London’s exuberant party institution

First formed in 2002, Secretsundaze started as a weekend-long party on Brick Lane headed up by Smith and Priestley. The events grew over the years, bringing together world-class acts in its 20 years. “There was no master plan and it just flowed and felt natural,” the pair said.

“There have been so many life affirming, fun, beautiful, crazy shared experiences over this time and most importantly many deep & meaningful connections forged with other human beings,” they said.

Last month, Secretsundaze celebrated its 20th anniversary with a 16-hour day party at their long-time home Oval Space, a year-long party series, and a documentary titled Hearts Not Hype: Celebrating 20 Years of Secretsundaze.

“At a time when the world can feel so divided it’s more important than ever to create spaces like Secretsundaze. Music brings us together. The joy and love we have experienced via our community has been so impactful and positive for us.”

Read this next: Secretsundaze launch Dance 2 Sustain initiative to tackle climate change

The pair also revealed that they will be moving their separate ways to work on solo projects. Giles will continue to DJ, work on music, and is soon to start a regular show on NTS.

Meanwhile, James will take “full creative control” of Secretsundaze with a “renewed focus and direction for productions and collaborations”. He’ll also lead the Spirit of Sundaze Ensemble, a label and party series.

“Our working relationship has far outlasted any of our other partnerships,” they said. “We’re both very excited about the future and look forward to staying connected with you.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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