At Step Forward Luton, we’re all about championing local talent. When news broke that homegrown trio JW Paris landed a gig at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend right here in Luton, we knew we had to put the spotlight on them.

We caught up with Danny, Aaron and Gemma in the town centre for an exclusive chat, eager to hear how they scored this incredible opportunity and get to know the talented three a bit better.

Let’s start with the big question. How does it feel to be playing at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Luton this year?

Aaron: We never thought we’d be playing at Big Weekend in Luton! It’s incredible. It feels very full circle, I used to play football at Stockwood Park when we were growing up. It’s incredible for Luton to host such a big event and shine a good light on the town.

Danny: It’s such a career highlight for us and that we’re from the town! It just goes to show that big things can happen in Luton. It puts Luton on the map. To see big artists playing in your own back yard, it’s inspiring for young people in Luton.

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Tell us about how you got started with the band…

Danny: Me and Aaron got together about 8 years ago, and Gemma joined us in 2021.

Aaron: It’s hilarious, we actually started with pots and pans. We would go round to Danny’s when he lived in High Town and just jam. In fact, we were originally called Whisky Fridays. We made a very creative decision on what our band name should be, purely based on the fact we used to drink whisky on a Friday.

How did growing up in Luton influence your music?

Danny: I’ve been in a band in Luton since I was 14. I went to Lea Manor and was in a school band. Then I was in band called Pirate Radio and we pretty much played everywhere in Luton. Mine and Aaron’s dad’s were in a band together back in the 90’s, so we always grew up around music.

Aaron: I found our style of music quite late, growing up I was really into hip hop and rap. It wasn’t until my late teens that we pulled the band together.

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What advice would you give to other aspiring musicians in Luton?

Aaron: Make music for you, not for other people. We spent far too much time at the beginning making music for others.

Danny: And support your friends. Go to their gigs!

And how can they get their music heard?

Danny: Get onto BBC Introducing and submit your music. That’s how we’ve got played. But also go to gigs at places like The Castle, for Vandalism Begins at Home. Give them your music. Go to other shows. Support other Luton bands and you’ll be part of that community. And get friends with people putting on gigs in Luton.

Aaron: It’s a great proactive attitude to have. You’ve got so many great artists in Luton, the more you support them the more you’ll get back.

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Finally, what’s next for JW Paris after Big Weekend Luton?

Danny: We have a new single coming out before Big Weekend! And we’re also playing a couple of other festivals like The Great Escape. So, don’t forget to follow us on social platforms @JWParisMusic.

Catch JW Paris on the BBC Introducing stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend Luton on Sunday 26 May.

About the Author
Laura Redmond

Laura is a passionate supporter of the Step Forward Luton campaign and a Place Activation and Marketing Coordinator for Luton Council. Armed with a journalism degree and unwavering love for her university town, she often pens positive blogs that spotlights the best of Luton. From charity work to market management, Laura's professional journey has explored every corner of Luton. And when she's not busy being a marketing maven, she's out on a culinary adventure, unearthing the town's hidden foodie gems.