Brightoner of the week: Norman Cook
Norman Quentin Cook A.K.A Fat Boy Slim has established himself as one of the UK’s finest DJs/Record Producer. In his solo career Norman has won no fewer than ten MTV Video Music awards and two ‘Brits’. His endorsement through his own records of the ‘big beat’ has helped the genre attain mainstream popularity since the 1990s.
After initially starting out as a bassist for indie rock band the ‘Housemartins’ who had their own number one record, Cook formed ‘Beats International’ whose debut album possessed the smash-hit “Dub Be Good to Me” which has gone on to be the seventh most sold single in the UK of all time.
Cook adopted his stage name Fatboy Slim in 1996 under which he has produced a number of best sellers including the albums ‘You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby’ and ‘Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars’ which include favourite singles such as “Praise You” and “Right Here Right Now”.
More recently Cook founded the Brighton Port Authority (2008) which has successfully been involved in the remastering of hits from the likes of the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest.
Cook is also an educated man, at the age of 18 he attended the University of Brighton to study a B.A. in English, politics and sociology where he achieved a 2(1). It was during this time that he really began to develop his skills as a DJ, making himself acquainted with the Brighton club scene where he regularly played at various clubs including the student favourite ‘The Basement’. It was during this period where he was known as DJ Quentox that he started to lay the foundations of Brighton’s hip hop culture.
Back in July 2002, Cook performed the first of his free, open-air concerts on Brighton Beach. The gig named the Big Beach Boutique II pulled in a crowd of approximately 250,000 which was over four times as many as organisers had anticipated. It was so popular the event was actually shut down by local police who had safety concerns due to the vast overcrowding of the seafront.
After countless festival headlining slots including Exit Festival, Bestival, Glastonbury and many other stages across the globe in March 2013, Fatboy Slim became the first DJ to ever perform at the House of Commons in Westminster, London. This was in aid of the Last Night a DJ Saved My Life Foundation which encourages grassroots participation for youngsters in community music projects.
Most recently at the Brighton Fringe festival Norman played a private two-hour set “Baby Loves Disco” for preschool children and their parents back in May of this year.
Cook has many ties to the city. He currently lives in Western Esplanade, Hove as well as having a 12% stake as a shareholder in Brighton and Hove Albion who he has supported since moving to Brighton in the 1980s. Cook in April 2010 also completed the Brighton Marathon in a time of 4:53:10. He has also recently been recognised by his university for his contribution to the music industry and his continued support of his prior institution by being given the University of Brighton’s Alumnus Award.
Do you know any Norman Cook stories? What do you think his greatest achievement is?