Idris Elba lends star status to local DJ’s new track

Chance encounter...in a Glasgow club six years ago has resulted in Kirkfieldbank music man DJ Mash releasing a single, Please Be True, with Idris Elba.
Chance encounter...in a Glasgow club six years ago has resulted in Kirkfieldbank music man DJ Mash releasing a single, Please Be True, with Idris Elba.

Talented DJ Mash has travelled all over the world and played with some of the biggest names on the club scene.

He’s shared stages with the likes of Groove Armada, Pete Tong and DJ Jazzy Jeff while performing at clubs in Ibiza, Paris and New York.

DJ Mash...aka Martyn Henderson (41), who lives in Kirkfieldbank with his wife Yvonne and two year old daughter Mya, has released a track with movie and TV star Idris Elba, entitled Please Be True.

DJ Mash...aka Martyn Henderson (41), who lives in Kirkfieldbank with his wife Yvonne and two year old daughter Mya, has released a track with movie and TV star Idris Elba, entitled Please Be True.

But it was a gig at the now closed O’Couture Club in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street which led to his latest superstar collaboration.

For it was here, six years ago, that DJ Mash – also known as Martyn Henderson from Kirkfieldbank – first met actor Idris Elba.

Martyn (41) said: “I’d been playing gigs at the club for a while and one night, after filming Luther in the city, Idris Elba came in.

“It was just by chance he went into the club with his entourage that night and the owner got speaking to him.

“He invited him to DJ with me the next night and he was well up for it!”

That chance meeting gave Idris an opportunity to discuss some vocals he’d recently laid down.

“He’s a sound guy – a good laugh, really friendly and we chatted for ages,” said Martyn. “He said he wanted to do more music then handed me a CD and said see what you can do with that!

“I got the impression he could do anything he wanted to do – and that he runs at about 100mph all the time!”

Martyn’s not wrong as Idris, as well as an acting career, also has his own club night in London and has released several singles.

Martyn said: “He’s got a great voice but I don’t think his potential has been realised yet.

“He’s got a soulful, smooth sounding voice which is ideal for the track we’ve just released, Please Be True.

“It’s a house track which Idris wrote and sang the vocals for and I created the music to go along with them.”

But it has been far from an overnight sensation as it has taken six years to get to this stage.

Martyn explained: “Idris was a pretty big star back then but the last few years have seen his career take off.

“So there’s been a lot of toing and froing with his management team to get the track signed off.

“I’d also done very many different versions of the track, which are all still on my hard drive.

“We had to tweak the arrangement and vocals slightly just to make it work with the music I’d written but we’re both really happy with the finalised version.”

And they’re not the only ones. For Toolroom Miami has just included the track on its 2017 album – featuring songs the label believes are the best tracks of the year.

Please Be True has also had radio air play from the likes of Tough Love and Roger Sanchez.

It’s not a novelty for either Idris or Martyn though, as they’ve both previously released a number of tracks, with DJ Mash notching up around 100 so far.

However, working with a singer – never mind one who is now a superstar – is pretty unique.

Martyn explained: “I don’t work with vocalists very often; I can’t sing and am not a lyricist either.

“So it is quite unusual for me to work on a track like the one we’ve just released.

“It took quite a bit of work but I am really happy with the finished version and it was worth it.

“It was a real pleasure working with Idris and I’m delighted we’ve finally got the track out.

“The record label Love and Other gave us the best compliment – saying it stood up without knowing who the singer was.

“They liked the track and vocal, even before they knew it was Idris singing. That was nice to hear.”

Martyn and his wife Yvonne moved to Kirkfieldbank one year ago, after falling in love with the area and they have now settled in Clydesdale, along with their two-year-old daughter Mya.

It’s also ideal for Martyn’s night time job – travelling to clubs and gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as flying off to gigs abroad.

The couple got to know the area as one of Martyn’s day jobs is working as a music business lecturer at New College Lanarkshire.

He is also a columnist at the Sunday Mail and a house music editor at MixMag magazine – the world’s biggest dance music and club culture magazine – where he has worked for seven years.

Martyn added: “I’ve always had a love of music and being able to instill that love in others is fantastic.

“Being able to write about what you love is fantastic too and the column and MixMag enables me to do just that.

“But my first love is making and performing music. It’s not chart stuff but there’s a big audience out there for it, nonetheless.”

School disco to a global stage

Martyn Henderson, aka DJ Mash, started dj-ing in his teens, having become well renowned in his home town in Ayr for his comprehensive record collection.

Starting off his career at the school disco, he graduated to the student union at Heriot-Watt’s Scottish Borders campus in Galashiels, where he graduated in 1996 with an HND in business studies.

After leaving, he started to get more gigs, moving to Glasgow to further his caeer.

Martyn said: “I regularly played in places like the Arches, The Art School and The Sub Club. I was also half of dj-ing duo Jengaheads before promoting my own nights and starting to make music.

“I have since had about 100 releases on labels like Toolroom, Southern Fried, Peppermint Jam, Bulletdodge, Dirt Crew, Glasgow Underground and Love and Other.”

That in turn led to DJ Mash travelling further afield, with shows in Belgium, Brazil, Russia, Ibiza, Paris and Berlin.

He said: “I’ve performed with quite a lot of big names, including Fatboy Slim.

“I’ve also had a great career on radio on stations including Beat 106, XFM, Capital, Galaxy and BBC 6 Music.”

And, of course, that meant invitations to festivals too including T In The Park and Rockness, among others.

Describing Please Be True, a spokesman for record label Love and Other said: “A richly heartfelt vocal performance from Idris Elba allows for a truly rounded piece that artfully portrays both lust and vulnerability. Performed in a manner that wholly reflects the temperament of its musical counterpart.”

If you would like to hear and download the track, visit www.soundcloud.com/loveandotherthings.