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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Pride Month Series: DJ Paul Morrell from Gaydio

To celebrate pride month, throughout June we will be asking “What does Pride mean to you?” We’ve spoken to people from across our vibrant scene and community.

Today we spoke to DJ, producer, and radio presenter on Gaydio every Saturday night, Paul Morrell.

Here’s what he had to say:

GLL: What does Pride mean to you? 

P: Pride is an extremely special time of year where the LGBTQ+ community can come together and celebrate diversity and difference. For me as a DJ / producer, Pride is always a great time of year for allowing me the opportunity to try out new music on extremely ‘up for it’ crowds that have come for a serious party. Over the last decade, I have performed at pride events across the UK, and these are always some of my favourite sets, be that on the main stage at Birmingham Pride or playing for Bear Pride at XXL in London. Several of the pride festivals that I usually play at have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, however, I am very much looking forward to playing in my home city for the very first ‘Coventry Freedom Pride Festival’ on August Bank Holiday Sunday. I will be joined on stage by several of my friends and artists I have previously collaborated with which makes events like these fun for me as a performer but also the crowd. Former Sugababe Mutya Buena has already been announced as one of the other acts for the festival, and as Coventry is 2021 City of Culture, The Yard (The venue organising the festival), have pulled out all the stops to create an outstanding event & line-up. 

GLL: Tell us about your first Pride experience, what & where was it? 

P: My very first pride event was Birmingham in about 2005, prior to it becoming the huge festival it is today. I went with a small group of friends and had an amazing time in the clubs and bars. To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember a great deal about my first pride event, I just remember it being quite a big deal for me to pluck up the courage to attend as I was new to the scene. At the time, the midlands didn’t have the huge scene other cities such as Manchester, London and Brighton have, and therefore an event such as this was special. 

Paul Morell live on stage

GLL: What is your favourite part of Pride? 

P: I love Pride as it is a special, celebratory time where people of all backgrounds can come together. Over the last few years, not only have I attended with my gay friends, but also my manager Natalie and her husband have joined me in Birmingham, as it is such a fun, memorable day! It really is a ‘no hassle’ time for fun and celebration, and I would highly recommend anyone who has not been to a pride event should attend one.  

GLL: Do you have a favourite Pride memory? 

P: My favourite pride memory is performing after Faithless on the main stage at Birmingham Pride in 2019. I have worked with Sister Bliss (of Faithless) several times before at the Ministry of Sound, so we had a great catch up before our set, and I then played after her. It was May Bank Holiday Sunday, the weather was perfect, and I played to a huge – up for it – crowd. This event was also extra special as it was my last pride performance prior to the pandemic which saw 2020s festival cancelled and 2021s moved to September.  

GLL: Why do you think Pride is still important? 

P: Pride is an important time of year, as it raises awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and also raises huge amounts of money for charitable causes. As previously mentioned, it is also a time where both allies and the community can come together to celebrate diversity in all forms.

Paul Morrell, in the mix every Saturday from 10pm on Gaydio.

You can listen to Paul in the Mix, every Saturday night on Gaydio. You can also catch Paul playing his home town at Coventry’s Freedom Pride Festival this summer.

 

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