A Co Down man has been living his dreams for the past six months after being selected as a resident DJ for an online radio station.
hris Mahood only bought his first set of decks a year ago, but since deciding to pursue his love of music, he has come on leaps and bounds.
“I have always loved music and had a passion for it, so when the pandemic hit and everything was in lockdown, I thought I’d buy myself a set of decks just to have something to experiment with,” said the Annalong man.
“I actually picked it up pretty quickly and now have regular slots on a global radio station.”
Aged 24, Chris suffered a severe stroke triggered by a brain aneurysm that left him with difficulty using his left hand, but he refused to let this stop him living life to the full.
“It’s not an easy thing to accept at any age. It could have happened to me when I was one or 101. It just so happened that day was the day,” he said.
“But anyone who knows me knows I can be stubborn. Anything life throws at me, I’ll just throw it back.
“I was determined that I would continue to live my life after my stroke.”
Chris has been leader of the South Down Stroke Association Group for the past seven years. He also volunteers at a charity shop as well as DJing for Love or Hate Radio, which is based in England but broadcast around the world.
“After my stroke, I carried on doing what I loved — going to nightclubs and going to concerts and festivals,” he said.
“I have been teaching myself how to use decks for a year, but I have loved it for the past 30 years, and a whole variety of genres too, not just dance.
“When lockdown hit, I thought ‘I may as well give it a go’ and it seems to have taken off.”
Chris has a regular Tuesday night slot but also fills in throughout the week at the station, which was established in October last year, close to the beginning of the first lockdown.
The station is thriving and has DJs and listeners from countries including Canada, Turkey, Argentina and now Northern Ireland.
Chris, who broadcasts under the name DJ Crix, said while he was largely self-taught, he brought passion and knowledge to the role.
“Tuesday and Thursday nights are dance, house, drum and bass or techno,” he added.
“Friday could be trance, EDM or hard house depending on what mood I’m in, or sometimes I even go really specific and do some Italian house.
“Some weeks I could DJ up to six days a week. I wouldn’t say I have one favourite musical genre. I love all sorts, so that helps me choose my mixes.”
Chris learned the tricks of his trade through watching YouTube videos during lockdown, but he also sought out advice from his DJ cousin.
“From there, I made my own way to mix and made it suit my style — and all with one hand,” he joked.
“I use a software program called Virtual DJ and am licensed to use any controller in the country with the software I’m using.
“I am also learning key matching and beat matching keys to help improve my mixes.
“I want to keep learning and improving. I think even in the past few months I have learnt a lot and got much better, so I want to keep going.
“I’m only new to this, but you have to start somewhere.
“I want to show others that having a stroke, or any disability, shouldn’t stop you following your dreams and doing what you love.”
– Chris releases a special mix every week. Listen to the latest one or his back catalogue at www.mixcloud.com/christopher-mahood link or https://loveorhateradio.com