DJ Sir-Vere Profile

aka Phil Bell
Gareth Shute
9 Mar 2017

Phil Bell took up the name DJ Sir-Vere over 20 years ago, though he’s never been just a turntablist. His extraordinary career has included roles as varied as gig promoter, magazine editor, television presenter, and radio station programme director. At every step, he’s pushed the NZ hip hop scene forward and his success is built on his ability to work harder than anyone else in the room and to keep going even when the task ahead is daunting. Take any crucial turning point in the path of local hip hop and it’s likely Sir-Vere was there, helping make it happen.

Bell became a music fan at an early age, following in the footsteps of his father who was a musician in an early 1970s version of The Kini Quartet (a band that appeared on the Billy T James and Ray Woolf TV shows). By 13, Bell was already catching buses into the city to look at record shops and he regularly stopped by the Rip It Up offices to pester editor Murray Cammick into selling him back issues.

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Turn it up (Major Flavours) - MZRE and Smashproof
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Savage - Dollars Circulate (2011)
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Sir-Vere at Beat Merchants
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Think Twice - Aotearoa All Stars (2008, project organised by Sir-Vere)
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Askew One, Deus, Sir-Vere at the launch of Back 2 Basics magazine
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Sir-Vere at Beat Merchants, 2003
Photo credit: Gareth Shute
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DJ Sir-vere - Major Flavours feat. J Williams, JR, K.One & Mareko
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Shan, Ali, Sir-Vere and Slave at the third hip hop summit
Photo credit: Gareth Shute
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Sir-Vere at the launch of Back 2 Basics magazine
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Sir-Vere with a favourite record.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit 2011 part one
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Ali, Shan and Sir-Vere
Photo credit: Karl Hammond
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Otis Frizzell, Darryl 'DLT' Thomson,  Che Fu, Mark "Rhythm Slave" Williams, with Phil 'Sir Vere' Bell in the front, at the 1996 APRA Silver Scrolls
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Philip Bell and his wife Sarah Taiapa-Bell on the occasion of Philip's investiture as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music, October 9, 2018.
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UCD
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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DJ Sir-Vere interview with Matt Hicks from souNZgood.co.nz
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Philip Bell with the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy on the occasion of Philip's investiture as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music, October 9, 2018.
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Sir-Vere shows off a sneaker from his extensive collection
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Sir-Vere outside Cause Celebre/Box in 1992
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Grigg
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Trivia:

Sir-Vere originally played parties under the name DJ Sly but the promoter of one of his first club gigs told him he needed a better one. He hurriedly chose the name Sir-Vere from the name of a track by Sir Fresh and DJ Critical from the compilation, Electro Hip Hop.

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