DJ and producer Simon Dunmore—though a talented and established musician in his own right—is perhaps most well known for his work uplifting other artists as the co-founder and former CEO of Defected Records. Defected is hailed as one of the UK’s most influential dance music imprints, and, through Dunmore’s stellar A&R skills, has been behind releases from the likes of Kevin Saunderson, Dennis Ferrer, Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry, Bob Sinclar, Masters At Work, Soulsearcher, and more. Since stepping down from his executive position in 2022, Dunmore still lends his expert hand to the label in an A&R capacity.
In terms of his earlier career, Dunmore’s accolades are equally impressive. The artist got his start, as many do, working at a record store, The Record and Disco Centre, which introduced him to the wider industry and to the many opportunities that awaited him there. Through connections formed at The Record and Disco Center, a young Dunmore got a gig in promotions at Cooltempo Records, the dance imprint of the larger Chrysalis Records, which then led to an even bigger, more prestigious role at the powerhouse AM:PM. At AM:PM, Dunmore helped the label with seminal releases including Alcatraz’s “Give Me Love,” Heller & Farley Project’s “Ultra Flava,” and Ultra Naté’s “Free.”
As a musician, Dunmore’s achievements and history are also certainly nothing to scoff at. Dunmore began playing his own sets in the early 80s, focusing primarily on soul music. As he grew in recognition, the artist also played his own role in the development of Ibiza as the dance music and clubbing capital it is today, with an appearance on the island in 1985, the same decade that saw the opening of Amnesia, one of the island’s oldest clubs.
In addition to the taste he developed from his boots-on-the-ground work in the industry, Dunmore’s past as a music journalist—for Blues & Soul Magazine, and then through his own zine, The London Soul Circular—lent himself to his later position as an A&R powerhouse.