"Tiesto made me famous. We still share a shot when we see each other"- MC Stretch
Having hosted the world’s most epic music festivals like Dance Valley, Tomorrowland and Stereosonic, MC Stretch rose to fame when he became a regular at Tiesto’s events in the early 2000’s. The UK born emcee in his early 40’s was in India recently to host VH1 Supersonic and left us with a taste of his super jet-setting life.
Did you always want to be an emcee?
It mostly happened by accident really. I started DJing at 16 years when the UK garage scene was exploding in the 90s. I would also host a show at a radio station. Unbeknownst to me a festival organizer was hearing my show regularly and soon I got approached to try my hand at emceeing at his music festival Dance Valley. That was the coolest music festival on the planet back then. The main emcee was Moose- he is a legend- but he turned up late that day so I ended up hosting half the day of the festival. So that’s when I officially became an emcee in 1998.
What was the turning point in your career?
I was hosting Lowlands in Holland, a music festival with close to 6000 or 7000 people. Tiesto was making his first appearance at Lowlands that year. I didn’t know who Tiesto was. That event ended up being hugely successful, Tiesto was a smashing hit. Management asked me if I wanted to tour with Tiesto for a show where he was playing for 25000 people. I said yes and after that there’s been no looking back. Tiesto made me world famous. We still share a shot when we see each other. I have big love for him. He’s opened so many doors for people like me.
What is the story behind your stage name?
It’s a nick name my best pal game me. I used to bunk off school a lot when I was young and kept sleeping in. So my friends started calling me Stretch and the name kind of stuck.
What else do you do besides emceeing at music festivals?
I can host any event to be honest with you, I am not only restricted to music festivals. I do a lot of voiceovers. I’m great with scripts and do a lot of pre-recorded stuff.
Is emceeing a well paying job?
It’s not really a well paying job. I believe the emcee is an extended tool of the DJ, he is also the link between the organization and the people. I have hosted Tomorrowland, Dance Valley, Stereosonic in Australia, and here I am at Supersonic. I can go back from this weekend and ensure my family has a roof over their heads for the next three months so no complaints. But I think more respect needs to be paid to the good emcees.
What is an average fee per event?
Between 400 to a 1000 Euros depending on the type of event and perks involved.
What is more lucrative- the money or the perks?
Totally the perks- hanging out with the biggest names in the music scene, partying with stars at the biggest parties, travelling to magical destinations. It’s never been about the money for me. But bills need to be paid. Money is the bonus. It’s not exactly the bonus I choose to want, but one I need.
If not an emcee what would you be?
A full-time DJ. I still DJ, the emcee side of me is only an extension of that. But if I weren’t emceeing then I’d devote all my time to DJing, that’s my other true passion.
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