Celebrity DJs including Jazzie B and DJ Spoony to support 12-hour DJ challenge to honour Daniel De-Gale


CELEBRITY DJS including Jazzie B, DJ Spoony will support a 12-hour DJ challenge to honour Daniel De-Gale on the 12th anniversary of his death.

In 1999, De-Gale, became the first black person in the UK to receive a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor.

However in October 2008, aged 21, he died as a result of multiple organ failure.

Now, 12 years after his death, his friend Oliver Greaves has organised a 12- hour DJ set, labelled PlayzoFM, to honour him and raise money for ACLT, the charity De-Gale’s parents set up to help patients in need of bone, blood and organ donations.

Oliver Greaves, a YouTube employee, production specialist and digital content creator, said: “In 2008, at the prime age of 21, I experienced a heavy loss which I still feel to this day, when Daniel ‘Playzo’ De-Gale passed away. I lost one of my closest childhood friends. 

PICTURED: Daniel De-Gale, left, and Oliver Greaves

“Daniel’s character and aura were larger than life itself. We both were huge fans of the underground UK Garage scene, so it was throughout love of this genre of music we developed a strong organic bond. His bedroom sound system inspired me to get into DJing myself and when he found out I made beats he wanted to learn how to develop those skills too.”

This year Greaves is attempting to raise £2,000. He is hoping to achieve his target, with the additional support from some of ACLT’s celebrity DJ friends, including Soul II Soul front man Jazzie B, DJ Spoony, Afrobeats DJ Abrantee and Breakfast show radio host Martin Jay, of the now defunct Choice FM.

Each DJ will provide a pre-filmed DJ set where they are spinning the decks for up to 30 minutes each to complement the 12-hour show.

Pre-filmed shout-outs will also be shown during the live YouTube stream from celebrities who knew and supported De-Gale’s campaign over the year’s.

Personal tribute

Greaves said: “Doing the 12-hour DJ set for Daniel will be a personal tribute, showcasing the taste in music that shaped our years of friendship. I’m encouraging everyone to tune in for the live stream and get in touch during the show to give shout out’s and make requests in the true pirate radio style like Daniel and I used to.”

Greaves first developed the idea for the DJ challenge in remembrance of his childhood friend in 2018.

PICTURED: Oliver Greaves DJing

The first PlayzoFM 12-hour DJ set two years ago was a success, seeing Greaves smash through his initial target of £500, going on to raise over £2300, with all proceeds being donated to ACLT, raises awareness on blood cancers and the urgent need for people of all ethnicities with a particular focus on black and mixed race communities due to the low numbers from these groups as potential donor onto the UK Stem Cell Register.

Daniel’s legacy

The charity was inspired by De-Gale’s search for a donor. Alongside his parents Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE, De-Gale launched a worldwide media campaign in 1996 to find a matched unrelated stem cell donor to help beat his three year battle against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Six years after the initial diagnosis, De-Gale eventually received his stem cell transplant. The lifesaving procedure gave him an additional nine years with his family and friends, allowing him to attend London Metropolitan University to study sports physiotherapy. 

In the last two and half years of De-Gale’s life he was diagnosed with Haemolytic Anaemia; a condition which prematurely breaks down the red blood cells. De-Gale needed three to five units of blood each week to survive, however the six years of toxic treatments and his continuous need for blood transfusions eventually took its toll on his young body and on October 8 2008, De-Gale sadly passed away from multiple organ failure in hospital surrounded by his family.

De-Gale’s mother and ACLT co-founder Beverley De-Gale said: “When Oliver first suggested his tribute/fundraising idea to us last year, we were so touched by his dedication to honour Daniel in this way. As Daniel’s parents, it is our duty to ensure Daniel’s legacy is remembered, however when his friends feel compelled to do the same it’s deeply heartwarming. 

“We fully support Oliver’s efforts and we’re thrilled we’ve been able to secure some of the UK’s top DJ’s to support Oliver during his set by providing a short mix of songs they love, all in Daniel’s honour.

“It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of life, I hope everyone who knows of Daniel’s story tunes in!”

The #PlayzoFM2020 12-hour DJ set, hosted by DJ Tailor will be available to watch via live stream on YouTube on Thursday 8th October, from 10am – 10pm. To watch visit DJ Tailor’s YouTube page. 

Donations can be made by visiting the fundraising page here.

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