John Player Special (a.k.a. João Gomes da Costa) was born in Lisbon in 1979, but spent his youth in Braga in the north of Portugal. In 1996, he returned to Lisbon to study photography and video, only to realise that his true passion was music and to make people dance. In the last 15 years, John Player Special has built a dj career that spans practically all major Portuguese clubs and music venues like Lux Frágil, Rock in Rio, Pensão Amor, Out Jazz Festival, Plano B among many others, and has cemented his position as one of the most hard working and original djs in Portugal.
In a digital age, he remained faithful to the analog days and his vinyl record collection is an impressive homage to the best soul, funk, hiphop and jazz of the 20th century. His journey through the vaults of the most creative and respected labels of the past laid the ground for his sophisticated taste. Combine that with his natural capacity for working a crowd and you get an explosive mix, able to turn any event into a memorable dancing session.
John Player Special's dj sets are carefully structured performances that can adapt to very different situations and ambiances, but always provide unexpected musical choices that can make them unforgettable. He his both at ease in more chilled happenings creating elegant atmospheres suited to lounge venues and listening pleasure, as he is in a full swing party at 3 a.m. satisfying hardcore dancers' lust for the ultimate beat.
While his sets usually feature a predominance of contemporary urban music ranging from breakbeat, hiphop and soul, John Player Special crosses freely through genres and epochs adding rhythms from the early rock'n'roll period, latin and afrobeat tracks, jazz and blues classics, obscure soundtrack shakers, Brazilian gems or the latest liquid drum'n'bass beat, creating the right balance to please the most demanding public.
Technically, John Player Special masters the mixes with ease, using to great effect his scratch skills with loops and beats to emphasise the pulsating energy of a funky crowd. It's during his pure vinyl sets that his virtuosity shines the most.
Check the Posters & Flyers section of the site to get know more of the wide range of venues and parties all over Portugal where John Player Special has performed his magic.