Feb 28, 2023
John Cameron & Katie Knight
5 min read
Between a fabric residency, US tours, and the launch of his Midnight Parade label, Jaden Thompson has covered a lot of ground for a 20-something house music DJ and producer. To be fair, though, he had a head start.
The Swindon-born, Manchester-based artist started learning to produce music at only 11 years old. “I’ve always been interested in music since I was very young, and that sort of just came from listening to all sorts of soul music, funk, R&B, hop-hop,” he tells Gray Area. “And then I slowly became interested in making music.”
His first exposure to production came courtesy of Timbaland’s Playstation Portable game called Beaterator. “I was making beats, putting together loops and trying to make hip-hop/R&B,” he says. “And then I slowly got into house through YouTube, Boiler Room, that sort of stuff, and then got more involved.”
It’s true: Jaden Thompson set his sights on house music before he was old enough to set foot in a club. When, at last, he was able to experience dance music in its proper setting, he got his first taste at the Warehouse Project in Manchester.
Jaden was only 16 or 17 when he got to see Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers perform at Store Street, considered by many to be the spiritual home of the Warehouse Project series. Around the same time, he delivered his debut release, the All Day EP, via Cuttin’ Headz. Stripped-back and to the point, each track on the effort reflected an innocence reminiscent of early Chicago house records.
Not long afterwards, Jaden’s parents took him to see Seth play once again at nightlife destination DC10 during their family trip to Ibiza. It just so happened that Seth’s parents were present as well. The two made a strong connection, and Seth continues to play a key role in Jaden’s career to this day.
“He's like a mentor, and a friend to me as well,” Jaden says. “He’s just been very supportive of my career. I feel like he’s very much trying to help push forward the young dance music scene, not just myself but other artists.”
Jaden Thompson landed his first gig at the Bay Bar Beach Club in San Antonio, Ibiza, and then he played one-off sets in Newcastle and Nottingham. After racking up releases on labels like New State Music and Material Trax, he turned a major corner in his career. At only 20 years old, he became a resident DJ of world-famous London club fabric.
“It was around the time when they were looking for new Friday night residents,” Jaden recalls. “And Ellis Coles, who's actually now my one of my managers, he works for fabric. He approached me about becoming a resident, and this was actually before he started managing me. It was such an amazing honor, and I was very shocked, as well, to get it so early on in my career.”
Jaden credits his fabric residency as teaching him how to hold a crowd’s interest once he’s caught their attention. He says, “Creating the vibe is one thing, but actually maintaining it and keeping the crowd entertained for hours is another, especially when you only play like an hour and a half to two hours, which is what I was used to.”
When the COVID crisis put nightlife on hold, Jaden Thompson shifted his focus back to his first love, music production. His single “Closer” landed on Three Six Zero Recordings, and “Only One” arrived by way of Kitsuné Musique.
Then, shortly after nightlife resumed, Jaden made a power move. He launched his artist imprint Midnight Parade with “Move Your Body,” a single he said was influenced by the likes of Kerri Chandler, Derrick Carter, and Omar S.
“Starting my own label was something I've been wanting to do for a long time; I was sort of debating for a while whether it was the right time to start it,” Jaden recalls. “And I just thought you know, there's never really a wrong time to start it.”
On the contrary — his timing couldn’t have been better. In October of the following year, Jaden Thompson embarked on his first of many US tours. From Spybar Chicago to Art Basel in Miami, Stateside dance music fans welcomed his distinctive sound signature with open arms.
Jaden says US crowds can be quite different from those of the UK. “In some areas, they’re more switched on and aware of the underground scene, not just the more commercial side,” he says. “But certain places, like Miami and New York, are among my favorite places that I’ve been able to play.”
But perhaps one of the biggest full-circle moments in Jaden Thompson’s career came when he got to play back to back with his mentor, Seth Troxler, in fabric for nine whole hours in 2022. “It was incredible,” he recounts. “One of my favorite nights.”
Having come such a long way by his mid-20s, is Jaden ready to rest on his laurels and ride into the sunset? Not even close. He’s only at the start of his journey, with bigger and better things lying out on the horizon ahead.