This is heartbreaking news. After many battles with cancer, DJ and dance music legend Paul Trouble Anderson has died.
“It’s with a really heavy heart that we have to post the news of our dear Brother, Father and Grandfather passing,” a post on Paul’s Facebook and Instagram pages reads, signed by “The Family.”
“He died peacefully this morning and not before he played every track on the Album of his Life. Each of you will have your own favourite track that evokes its own special memory of Paul. As do we as a family. One thing for sure there is now no longer anymore trouble for Paul to live through, but Paul Trouble Anderson will always live in us.
“Thank you for your Love, Prayers and Support. Every time you filled the dancefloors to his Boogie you filled his heart with Joy.”
Paul Trouble Anderson (or “PTA”) was one of the pioneers of the house music scene in the UK. He could be disarmingly open about the struggles of his early life – he grew up on the streets and in children’s homes across England.
In every way possible, PTA was a man drawn to the music. His uncle Derek ran a soundsystem, who built the “Trouble Funk” sound back in the 1960s. “Back then it was a Reggae sound, I converted it into a Soul, Funk, Rap, Boogie and Rare Grooves sound,” he told 5 Mag’s Czarina Mirani in an interview in 2017. “In the ’70s and early ’80s I was known for my passion for Go-go music.”
The Go-go band “Trouble Funk” inspired the name, though Paul was better known for his dance moves.
“In the ’70s & ’80s I was a dancer. I danced in clubs up and down the UK from an early age. I was dancing in youth Discos at the age of 11 or 12 while playing football and doing other sports. I was also in a few dance groups. I was in Body & Soul dance group in the mid/late-’70s and Bossa Nova in the ’80s. I did not dance with Diana Ross unfortunately, but I did dance in one of her videos as well as Taka Boom, Chaka Khan’s sister. More recently I also danced in Soul II Soul’s videos.”
I remember Paul’s mixes were some of the first cassettes from “abroad” I ever heard. His KISS FM show was the Saturday night soundtrack for a generation discovering the love of dance music in the clubs of London. Just these names – KISS, Trouble – evoked images of a dangerous, cool, chic underground lurking in the hidden alleys of London.
Paul was first diagnosed with cancer in his upper left lung seven years ago. Following chemotherapy and a major operation to remove part of his left lung and four ribs, he appeared to be on the road to recovery. This summer, Paul returned from SunceBeat in Croatia feeling ill. Doctors revealed that the cancer had recurred, this time in his right lung, and had spread to his brain.
“To be honest I am still fighting every day,” he told 5 Mag. “I take one day at a time and then I move on to the next. It is a lot of medication treatment and pain. I don’t talk about it much but I work through the physical pain. When I am Paulforming the pain is distanced until the music stops.”
PTA continued playing his Saturday night mix show on Mi-Soul Radio. “We bring the decks to him,” founder Gordon Mac told the Independent in October. “And every week he pre-records his Saturday evening show. He won’t let go of that. It keeps him going.”
“I’ve always throughout my career played my music from the heart, because music is a language of feelings,” Paul told 5 Mag. “I change with the times, but I keep my roots… I first played Disco Dub band back in 1976 and am still playing it now. How cool is that?”
Our thoughts are with Paul’s family, lifelong friends and the millions influenced by the music.
Photo by scottmillerphotography.co.uk