Jazzy Jeff On Staying Fresh

A Man with smiling Face
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Do you count DJing as exercise?

Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much my calves burn! It’s not only the DJing, when you’re touring, you walk an awful lot at a furious pace, and you’re travelling with 35 pounds of stuff on your back. But even during a show I lose about three pounds every night just from sweating. Especially now I’m getting a bit older, my feet hurt too – I have to wear comfortable shoes. I don’t DJ in fashionable shoes – it’s all about comfort.

Have you ever allowed yourself just one biscuit then eaten the whole packet?

A ton of times. You always start off with the right intent but it’s just one of those things where I say “OK, I’ll work this off later.” There’s a biscuit brand called Border that I found in the UK and their butter crunch cookies are amazing. I go in every corner store that I can find and buy as many as I can. I even have a pack next to me when I’m playing. It’s a guilty pleasure.

What’s your most impressive personal best?

I remember getting a Nike FuelBand and setting a goal of about 7000 FuelBand points a day. Then after travelling, walking through airports, walking in the streets and doing a show, I'd look at my daily limit and it was 14,000. I was like “Get outta here – there’s no way I do that level of exercise without knowing it!”

A Man

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Which excuse for not going to the gym/working out are you most ashamed of?

You know what? I got married six years ago and I wanted to get in good shape for the wedding. My nephew is a personal trainer and he kicked my behind. He never allowed me an excuse. I’d be like “I did a show the night before and I came in at six in the morning,” and he’d just say “I don't care what time you came in, I don't care about any of that. You had a regime you had to keep and we’re gonna keep to it.” 90% of the hotels we stay in have a gym and you can very easily get up and spend 35 mins in the gym before you go to breakfast. I’m ashamed if I make excuses not to do it.

Have you ever secretly impressed yourself with a feat of strength? 

I don’t know about strength, but endurance. A bunch of friends and I went on a bike ride on a very intense trail – there was ten of us and eight people quit. I wasn’t one of them. It was a mental thing for me – I wanted to finish it. It wasn’t a competition, it was almost like the battle was with myself. The funniest thing was my friend had bought a $600 bike and that was the first trip for it, and when we returned he brought the bike to my house and put it in the garage. I still have that bike. He was like “I'm never riding that thing again.” So I got a free bike out of it.

Would you rather eat a raw steak or a fried insect?

Wow that is an amazing question. I would rather eat neither of them. I’ll eat a cooked steak in a second, but I lost a bet in Bangkok and I had to eat a fried insect too, so I’m kinda in the middle. It’s almost a question I'm scared to answer. I think I would go hungry.

Have you ever bought a piece of exercise equipment but never used it?

Yes. I bought an elliptical trainer once, and I had a very good treadmill that I used to have in my bedroom and it was a clothes rack.

Best time to go for a run - morning, afternoon, or night?

In the early morning, because your brain is waking up and that's the time when you’re at the most peace with yourself. I was explaining to a friend that after having kids I changed a lot of my schedule around – I found myself waking up at six in the morning. You know, you cook breakfast, get the kids ready for school, feed the pets and then it’s almost 7.30 and you realise that you’ve completed so much of your day.

Your brain is the most derailing thing that you have, because it’s saying “OK, I’ve got to get to the store, and I’ve got to go and pick up my stuff from the dry cleaners, etc,” but what’s open at seven in the morning? So your brain automatically taps out, because you can’t do any of those things. If you try to do exercise at five in the afternoon, it’s different – you know how much stuff you can do at five? So it’s the early morning for me – I get the least amount of calls and texts and I can do the least amount of things, so it kinda enables me to focus a lot more.


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Do you take the stairs or the elevator?

Elevator. There are times that I will take the stairs, and I’ll be 100% honest, me taking the stairs is more of an impatience thing than an exercise thing. It’s like “OK, I’m not gonna sit here and wait for this elevator, I’ll just take the stairs.” I’m also more likely to take the stairs down than up – I’ll go down 20 flights of stairs, but going up? I don’t know about that...

Which day of the week is your unhealthiest?

Friday, because I look at it like it’s time to check out. You’ve finished your week and now it’s time to really enjoy yourself, although sometimes you can do it a little bit too much... 

What’s the best way to spice up a boring jog?

Music is the key to everything, something I realised when going to the dentist! I was shaking when I sat in the chair because I was so terrified so he pulled out a bunch of CDs. I remember thinking “What in the hell are you doing?” But then he goes “Pick your favourite,” so I did. I had a root canal and I was singing to the point where he had to tell me to stop. It took so much of the anxiety away, and that’s when I realised that’s why runners run with music, or sports teams practise with music. It all makes it a little bit easier.

When did you last have a sneaky fag?

I haven’t, that’s one thing I'm proud of. Now if you asked when the last time I had a sneaky donut was, that would be a different story…

Catch Jazzy Jeff at The Doctor’s Orders' 10th birthday party at The Scala on October 23rd. thedoctorsorders.com 

Former staff writer

Gary Ogden wrote for the print edition of Coach between 2015 and 2016, writing features, interviewing celebrities and covering entertainment. He has also written for ShortList.