Bristol Spotlight: Tom D (Donuts)

In the run-up to the day party we’re throwing with Jack Music Agency and Just Ticket next month, we’ll be introducing you to some of the lineup with interviews and mixes. First up is Tom D, owner of the Bristol clothes store Donuts, one of the most important tastemakers in the South West when it comes to threads, sneaks, and music, having put on some great parties recently (with the likes of Dam Funk, Funkineven and Soundstream). Find out more about Tom, Donuts and their latest releases in the interview below and have a listen to the mix he’s done for us to get a feel for what he’ll be laying down next month.

Download Tom’s Bristol Spotlight mix. Tracklist at Soundcloud.

For those that don’t know who Tom D is, can you give a little introduction?

I co-own and run Bristol based clothing store Donuts.  In addition to the physical store we also maintain a website and in our spare time like to throw the occasional party.

A little bit about Donuts…when and why did you set it up? And is there a particular way you like to run the shop that makes it a bit different from similar ones in Bristol?

We set up Donuts back in 2007 with the intention of bringing something a little different to the city.  This was back before Cabot Circus had opened and the ‘scene’ – if you want to call it that – was a lot smaller.  I was working in another clothing store the summer I’d finished uni and I guess it was a culmination of wanting to introduce a few brands to Bristol that we were into, along with wanting to do something for ourselves that got us into the position we are in now.

There’s only a small team of us who work at the shop and I think it’s this personal approach we take to what we do that a lot of our customers appreciate and without a doubt, sets us aside from some of the bigger stores in the city and the country.  I enjoy building relationships with people who regularly visit the store and I think through the exhibitions or parties we host we strengthen these relationships and hopefully provide something that extends further than just a shop.

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What are your three favourite items you’re selling at the moment?

We’ve got some dope Gel Lyte IIIs in right now, anything from Perks and Mini and Norse Projects’s Villads shirts.

[these are included in the staff pick – click image above for more details and free delivery]

How related are style trends and music?

I’m not sure one necessarily dictates the other but I guess in the grander scheme of things they definitely both correlate. Fashion trends have often reflected creativity and diversity within music, be it popular culture or within more underground scenes.

Has there been a noticeable change in Bristol’s style alongside the change in music style over the recent years?

Yes, although I think in this case it’s probably been a natural progression of individual tastes in both music and in fashion that has instigated the change.

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Aside from selling garms, Donuts have developed a reputation for throwing some of the best parties Bristol has seen. What makes a party a success?

Thanks!  My only real gauge as to what makes a party a success is my own personal enjoyment of parties I’ve experienced.  For me, there are many factors that contribute to the enjoyment, in addition to the music – I guess the main two being the venue and the company.  If I’m surrounded by people who are having fun and who are there for the right reasons, then I think my overall enjoyment is massively improved.  Of course it ultimately all comes down to the music though.

What is your party trick?

You can never go too far wrong if you’ve got a glitter ball.

You grew up in the New Forest and are a lover of the great outdoors. How do the outdoors inspire creativity for you?

I think just getting away from the city is enough for me. A bit of country air in your lungs does wonders.

You’ll be spinning some records at our outdoor party next month. Why do you think music and parties translate so well to the outdoors?

Everybody loves to party in the sun!

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About the mix you’ve put together for us, was there a particular idea behind it? 

I’ve not actually recorded a huge amount of mixes, so with this one I wanted to take a fairly dancefloor-oriented approach.  There are a few classics in there along with a couple of newer bits but all in all it’s just music I’m into right now.  There’s no tracklist as I’m as guilty as the next for judging a mix by the tracks included.  I have no set up at the moment so after lots of carrying records to different people’s houses, I eventually recorded this in The Bank in Stokes Croft – the place you can normally find me when I’m not at Donuts.  I did it in one take so there’s a few touch and go moments in there, but I kinda like it that way I think. It is what it is.

As a photographer are you influenced by specific visuals, or do you visualise something in particular when creating a mix?

I definitely have an idea of how I want it to turn out beforehand. I suppose I try and visualise the perfect scenario for enjoying the music.

And finally, is there anything exciting on the horizon for you or Donuts that we should know about?

We’re going to be expanding in a different way this autumn – something that’s probably long overdue.  That’s all I’ll say for now!

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