Tony De Vit

Tony De Vit
Birth name Anthony de Vit
Born 12 September 1957
Origin Kidderminster
Died 2 July 1998 (age 40)
Genres House
Hard house
Hard NRG
Occupation(s) Remixer, DJ
Years active 1976-1998
Associated acts

Daz Saund
Smokin Jo
Carl Cox
[[Mrs Wood) {{Jonwayne


Tony De Vit (/dəˈv/ də-VEE; 12 September 1957 – 2 July 1998) [1] was a British club DJ, producer and remixer and one of the most influential[2][3] of his generation.[4] He was credited with helping to take the "Hard house" and fast "Hard NRG" sounds out of the London gay scene and into mainstream clubs.[5][6] His single "Burning Up" reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1995, with "To The Limit" making number 44 in September 1995.[7][8] During that year he won BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix of the Year Award, as voted by listeners of the show, and Music Week's re-mix of Year Award for Louise's (Naked). He remixed many UK Top 40 hits during his career with artists like Taylor Dayne and East 17.[9] Between 1994 and 1998 his popularity[10] with the clubbing public was rivaled by only Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox.[11] In September 2010,[12] Mixmag UK announced the nominations of 35 DJs chosen by other big names in the world of dance music as those they considered the best DJs ever. A subsequent 15-month survey, which polled hundreds of thousands of global votes, asked who was the Greatest DJ of All Time and when the result was announced in January 2011, Tony De-Vit was ranked No 9 and one of four British DJs who made the Top 10.[13][14]

Early life

Anthony de Vit was born to Raymond de Vit and June Silcock in Kidderminster, England.[1] Through his father's family he was directly related to Charles Anatole de Vit, a wealthy French immigrant who migrated to the UK in the 1840s. Kidderminster has also been the family's home since the mid-1930s.


Tony de Vit began DJ'ing at the age of 17, as a wedding DJ in 1976 playing at local pubs in his home town of Kidderminster, followed in his early 20s, by his first residency at the 'Nightingale' in Birmingham on a Monday night where he played pop and Hi-NRG. In a relatively short space of time de Vit, through his talent and the diversity of his music, helped establish the 'Nightingale' as a respected club. During the early 1980s, he worked at Wolverhampton's Beacon Radio, playing club tracks during a regular late-night slot on the 1922 show hosted by Mike Baker of Smooth FM).

It was around 1988 that London's infamous gay superclub, 'Heaven' was looking for an alternative DJ and Tony landed the spot there playing twice a month on Saturday nights he would play the main floor 'Heaven' was regarded as the top gay club in the UK at this time. De Vit’s set at 'Heaven' rapidly established a reputation for itself and in 1990 another soon to be influential club named Trade emerge onto the scene, promoted by Laurence Malice & Tim Stabler, Tony was a regular visitor to 'Trade', where he began to bombard the promoters of 'Trade' with tapes of his sets. Eventually, they relented and allowed de Vit to stand in one night for Smokin' Jo. After great set, de Vit landed his own residency at 'Trade'.

In 1992, the illegal Raves in the UK moved into the clubs in a bid to legalise the scene. One of the key figures of the house music scene at this time was a Birmingham promoter called Simon Raine, who took an interest in Tony’s career he put Tony on the bill alongside Fabio and Grooverider at 'The Institute' and encouraged him to make 'in roads' into other house parties as Tony had predominately played in the gay club scene. Raine had launched the successful 'Gatecrasher' club nights taking this advice he played at the 'Chuff Chuff' events sharing the bill with Sasha. It was at this time that he recorded and released his first record 'Feel the Love (Don't Go Away)' which was well received on the club scene. His second release was a track called 'Higher & Higher' (with disco diva Norma Lewis ), which became the future benchmark for de Vit & his V2 concept, but it was de Vit’s track 'Burning Up' that took everybody by surprise going straight in at No. 24 on the UK Top 40 charts.

In 1995 Radio 1 contacted him for his first 'Essential MIx'. At the same time record companies recognised his ability and talent and Tony featured on no less than twelve of the top compilation dance mix Albums during this year including, Fantazia 'House Collection Volume 2' and the 'Remixers' album, Sound Dimension’s 'Retrospective of House' Volumes 2 & 4, Boxed’s Global Underground series 'Live in Tel Aviv', 'Live in Tokyo' and the memorable 'Live in Handsworth Wood'(joke!), 'Kiss mix 97', the very sought after 'Trade' Volumes 1 & 3, and the international release, 'Trade Global Grooves'.

With the launch of Jumpwax Records in 1996, Hard house music in the UK became more mainstream with tracks like 'Are You All Ready' and 'I Don’t Care' beginning to receive major radio play and strong sales figures upon release. Following the demise of Jumpwax Records in 1996, we saw the launch of his own label TDV Records, which saw him release, 'Bring The Beat Back' and 'Get Loose'. Tony went on to play at all the major dance clubs/events in the UK at this time, including, Legacy @ The Manor in Ringwood, Slinky @ the Opera House in Bournemouth, Cream, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen, and Creamfields. He garnered a string of awards and nominations during the year, including Mixmag's '2nd Best DJ of the Year 1996', M8 magazine's 'Best DJ of the Year 1996' and was selected by Music Week as 'Top Remixer of 1996'. His remix of Louise’s 'Naked' earned Music Week’s vote as the 'Ground breaking Remix of 1996'.

In 1997 he was offered a show on 'Kiss 100' which grew popularity grew by the year he was ranked number 5 in DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ's in the World. In the early part of 1998, he recorded the anthem 'The Dawn' with Paul Janes and Andy Buckley, which was part of the six track 'Trade EP'. Tony went on to comment that '...he was very proud of it...' considering (for the first time) he was working with a new & different engineer. Paul Janes went on to remix 'The Dawn' as a personal tribute to Tony’s work and special understanding to his music genre, the track is considered to be his best work.


De Vit had contracted HIV. On 2 July 1998, at the age of 40, he died of bronchial failure.[1] After De Vit's death, a conflict kept his records off the shelves for many years, but finally a compilation album of his songs and remixes was released called Are You All Ready? on Tidy Trax records.[15]


A number of artists have cited Tony De Vit as an influence, such as Andy Farley,[16] Dave Pearce,[17] Paul F1 King,[18] Steven J,[19] and Lisa Lashes.[20]




Singles & EP's

DJ Mixes

Discography other releases

Appearances (170)

Unofficial (32)

Credits (304)

Awards & nominations

BBC Radio 1 Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1995 BBC Radio 1 Tony De Vit Essential Mix of the Year Won

British Dance and Entertainment Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 BEDA Tony De Vit Dance DJ of the Year Nominated

DJ Magazine Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (5th) Nominated
1997 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (5th) Nominated
1998 DJ Magazine Tony De Vit No1 DJ of the Year (12th) Nominated

DJ Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1998 DJ Awards Tony De Vit Special Award 'Honoured' Won

International Dance Music Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 IDMA Tony De Vit Best DJ Nominated

Music Week Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 Music Week Tony De Vit Ground Breaking Re-Mix of the Year for Louise's "Naked" Won
1996 Music Week Tony De Vit Top Re-Mixer of the Year Nominated

M8 Magazine Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 M8 magazine Tony De Vit Best DJ of the Year Nominated

Muzik Magazine Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 Muzik Magazine Tony De Vit Best New DJ Nominated

Mix Mag Awards

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1996 Mixmag Tony De Vit DJ of the Year (2nd) Nominated
2011 Mixmag Tony De Vit Greatest DJ of All Time (9th)[13][14] Nominated

Vice Magazine/Thump TV

Selected awards
Year Award Nominated work Category Result
2014 Vice-Thump Channel TV Tony De Vit The 20 Greatest Gay DJ's of All Time (Honoured)[21] Nominated


  1. 1 2 3 - accessed May 2011
  2. "Entertainment Influential dance DJ dies". 2 July 1998. BBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  3. Brewster, Bill; Broughton, Frank (2014). Last Night a Dj Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey. Grove Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780802146106.
  4. "Interview by Mixmag TV with DJ Fergie on Why Tony De Vit was so good". Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  5. Gerstner, David A. (2012). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture. Routledge. p. 154. ISBN 9781136761812.
  6. "New Musical Express Report". 3 June 1998. NME Newspaper. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  7. Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 17th edition (2004), p. 145 ISBN 0-85112-199-3
  8. "DJ Tony De Vit Dies After Holiday Collapse". NME. 3 June 1998. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  9. Talevski, Nick. "Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door". 7 April 2010. Omnibus Press, Page 130. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  10. "Freedom Gala G. Mex Manchester". 25 August 1996. Manchester District Music Archive. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  11. "Respected UK club DJ and producer, has died". 3 June 1998. New Musical Express (NME). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  12. "MIXMAG LAUNCHES 'GREATEST DJ OF ALL TIME' POLL". 16 September 2010. Source Wire News. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  13. 1 2 Mayer, Nssim. "Tiësto named 'Greatest DJ Of All Time'". 19 January 2011. Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  14. 1 2 "Mixmag Announces Results Of "Greatest DJ Of All Time" Poll – Tiesto won". 19 January 2011. House Planet Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  15. Discogs entry
  16. "Celebrity DJs Andy Farley - Hard House Legend". 23 March 2015. DMC World Magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  17. "Who were your early influences?". 2015. Official Site Dave Pearce. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  18. "20 DJs, 20 Questions: Paul 'F1′ King (No9)". 2015. Irish Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  19. "Influenced by one of the most credible DJ / producers of his generation "Tony De Vit"". 2015. Microcrate Webzine. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  20. Ong, Andrew. "I was happy being a Marks & Spencer's accountant". 17 October 2000. In The Mix Webzine Australia. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  21. Glazer, Joshua. "The 20 Greatest Gay DJs of All Time". 10 October 2014. Vice Magazine Canada. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
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