16 April 1967|
Streatham, London, England
|Genres||Electronica, drum and bass|
Grooverider began his DJing at illegal raves and warehouse parties in the UK in the late 1980s, and rose to prominence with partner Fabio through his sets at nightclub nights such as 'Rage'. Grooverider was also on the London pirate radio station, Phase One, in the mid 1980s. The station also featured Colin Dale, Dave Angel, RD aka DJ Dodge, Booker T and Fabio. He originally played soul, hip hop and disco but later played house, upon being converted whilst hearing "Mysteries of Love" by Mr. Fingers.
Fabio and Grooverider began playing house at Mendoza's in Brixton. From there the pair went on to a venue in Barrington Road in Brixton, but it was not until 1991 that they would really make their mark. That year, Grooverider and Fabio took up a residency at the 'Rage' event at the London venue, Heaven. Throughout the 1990s, Grooverider released tracks as Codename John and helped build the reputations of Matrix and Boymerang with releases on his own record label, Prototype. In 1997, Grooverider compiled the album, Prototype Years which featured the best tracks by various artists who appeared on his label.
His show on BBC Radio 1 (1998 - 2012, presented in conjunction with Fabio) attracted a devoted audience. Although Grooverider is known primarily as a DJ and radio presenter, he was also a recording artist under his artist name, and the 'Codename John' moniker. Prototype is known for its sporadic releases, which have included drum and bass work by Dillinja, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Ed Rush, Photek and Optical. The last Fabio & Grooverider show was broadcast on Radio 1 on 26 March 2012.
As a recording artist, Grooverider has released one album, Mysteries of Funk (Sony 1998), produced in conjunction with Optical, and a number of remixes including his reworkings of Jonny L's "Piper" plus Roni Size/Reprazent's "Share The Fall". In 2005, he was holding a weekly Sunday session called Grace at the London club, Herbal. Grooverider returned to the BBC Radio 1 drum and bass show with Fabio on 18 October 2008, and continues to co-present the show weekly on Sundays. Grooverider is a shareholder of the drum and bass forum, Dogs On Acid.
Grooverider has a daughter born in 2000.
On 24 November 2007, Grooverider was arrested at Dubai International Airport for possession of 2.16 grams of cannabis. He claimed he had forgotten it in a pair of his trousers. Grooverider had been employed on a freelance basis and was not paid by BBC Radio 1 since November 2007. "I must have forgotten the spliff," he said in an interview. "It was a small amount. Back home I would not even get prosecuted." Ram Nath, the promoter of the club night Grooverider was supposed to perform at, said his company had lost DH30,000 (£4,000) because of the no-show.
On 19 February 2008, he was sentenced to four years' imprisonment, to be followed by immediate deportation (four years is the mandatory sentence for drug possession in the United Arab Emirates). He was pardoned and released on Wednesday 3 September 2008, during the holy month of Ramadan that traditionally sees the pardoning of select prisoners in UAE. In an interview with BBC, Grooverider described his experience and the conditions in which he was placed as "appalling".