Abi Clarke remembers Jason Buckham, a beautiful soul

Road Trip with JB

News Published: 23 May 2021

In a musical career spanning 25 years, Abi Clarke is the essence of soul music. Her London-based club night ‘Do Me A Favour’ quickly led to Abi hosting parties all over the capital, while DJing alongside fellow industry tastemakers including Gilles Peterson, Ashley Beedle and Ross Allen.

More recently Abi has played The Southport Weekender, Margate Soul Festival, and Suncebeat Festival in Croatia, while hosting a successful and much-loved show on Mi Soul radio with Bob Masters.

Listen to Abi’s Mix on our Mixcloud channel.

Here Abi pays tribute to her true soulmate, Jason Buckham, who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2019. And she tells us more about her special Beat it Cancer mix celebrating Jas’s life and love of music.

“I met Jason and his twin brother Matthew back in 1999 when I was working in Sounds of The Universe record store in Soho. They were regular customers in the shop and we soon became friends. We were all Dj-ing in the West End at the time and made regular trips together to record fairs and to Crazy Beat Records in Upminster in search of tunes that we loved.

In the 1990s Jason and Matthew had worked around the world in the modelling industry, photographed by the likes of Bruce Weber and featuring in campaigns for Versace, Dolce and Gabbana and countless others. They recalled these days with humility and hilarious anecdotes. Always passionate about fashion and dedicated collectors of military and vintage wear they created their own clothing label Supa 68.

Jason had many creative talents, of which Dj ing was just one. He was brilliant technically, with an immense knowledge and appreciation for soulful music in all its forms. He played regularly in London and later around the world as Kylie’s official tour DJ.

In later years, Jas created his own Instagram based brand Rugged 216, designing and making bags and smocks amongst other things, using vintage military and nautical pieces from his collection, each one unique. He worked at this with love and dedication right up until the time of his passing.

In 2017 our paths crossed again and it was a joy to see him after several years. After a major operation in October 2018 Jas was diagnosed with cancer. Jas and I both loved the sea. We decided to make road trips between each of Jas’s treatments. We stayed in boat houses, woodland cabins and my Mum and Dad’s cosy beach cottage in Cadgwith, Cornwall. These were such happy times full of laughter and love and of course music. The tunes selected here are just a few of the hundreds of tunes that we listened to on the road and beyond.

Jas passed away on September 23rd 2019, a few days before his 51st birthday. He was loved by all who knew him and I want to pay tribute here to his wonderful loving family Kenny, Doreen and Matthew. There was an outpouring of love for Jason after his passing that continues today. Amongst the tributes and messages it emerged just how many others Jas had helped and supported when they started out Dj ing in London. He was always so generous with his time and energy.

It was a great privilege to be by Jason’s side during what transpired to be his final year in this earthly dimension.The immense courage, calm, grace and humour that he showed throughout his illness was awe inspiring. Up until the very end he was always more concerned for others than for himself. Jason taught me so much about love and life and the power of positive energy, of which he had a seemingly endless supply. His unique spirit and beautiful energy lives on and continues to inspire me every day. My darling. My heart hurts, but my soul smiles with nothing but love for Jas and all that he was.

This mix is dedicated to my darling Jas. Remembering many wonderful road trips we made together, full of love and laughter.

I miss you endlessly and with all my heart Jas, thank you for all the love, inspiration and all the great tunes you put me on to… this selection is for you. ”

Abi Clarke May 2021