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Mr Flex

Mr Flex, when a French DJ mixes in London

By Manon Variol

With his trainers, coloured tattoos and his hat, Damien Geninazza looks like a skater. Yet, he is a professional of London night life, better known as Mr Flex. He has been a DJ for only one year and will open the Chinese Man concert on 27 May.

From the countryside of Southern France to the biggest European city

When he arrived in London ten years ago, Damien could not have dreamt that he would be one of the numerous DJs setting the rhythm of the nightlife in the British capital. He had hosted several parties in Carcassonne or on the Réunion Island, but nothing more. And in London, there is a huge competition. Yet, after several years of modest jobs, he became the manager of a bar where he mixed on Saturday nights. Last year, he decided to stop and devote himself completely to music. 

Mr Flex at Kopparberg festival
Mr Flex at Kopparberg festival

Damien works under the professional name of Mr Flex. This pseudonym represents his own style. “I make eclectic music, the DJ explains, I mix several genres: I could start a piece of music with rock and finish it with hip hop.” He plays several times a week: he hosts  Friday nights at the Roadtrip and mixes every Saturday at the Trafik.

On social media as in everyday life, Mr Flex does not hesitate to say where he comes from. “London is a welcoming city. But being French is a real advantage” he says. According to him, if the best DJs come from France, there is a valid reason: “In France, we have this special musical culture, in the way the DJs work or in their communication.” And he does not include Martin Solveig or David Guetta, who he sees as way too commercial.

His only regret: commercial musics

If Damien has a regret, it is the commercial side of his job. “During a party, people will ask me to play specific pieces of music. Unfortunately, they always ask for the same artists” he deplores. Every night is very similar to the previous one. If not Work by Rihanna, the audience asks for Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, sometimes several times on the same night. Even bar managers want commercial music to attract loads of people. “I think this is a shame. I only play the musics you can hear on the radio, and this is repetitive. I mix to express my emotions then post the sounds on social media.

His tips on how to spend a good night in London

Mr Flex's equipment
Mr Flex's equipment

For Mr Flex, this commercial side can ruin the partygoers’ night. “I would not recommend going to big and expensive nightclubs, where DJs always play the same music. These places are crowded and customer care is quite bad.” When asked what are the best places to dance in London, the DJ has a surprising answer. “If I were young, I would advise nightclubs. But, as a 37year-old, I prefer  a barbecue with friends!” he says with a smile.

However, to spend a good night, he recommends small bars that remain open until late hours and offer live music. This is the case of The Haggerston pub on Kingsland Road. On Old Street, Damien particularly likes the Nightjar, a cocktail bar, and the Trafik, in which he plays, which is not a big place but has a very good sound system.

Entering “the big league”

Damien has worked with other London nightlife stars  DJ Yoda and Katy B. He would not turn down a collaboration with his French peers. For the second time, Mr Flex and DJ Cheeba will play the first part of the Chinese Man gig at O2 Forum Kentish Town on 27 May. The famous band from Aix-en-Provence will host the night for 500 people with their music mixing funk, reggae, jazz and world music. Then, Mr Flex will go back to the desk to close the party in a nightclub atmosphere. 

Opening Chinese Man
Opening Chinese Man at the 02 Forum Kentish Town

You can find Mr Flex on Facebook et Mixcloud

To enter the competition for a pair of tickets for the 27 May concert, please click here.


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