DJ Fat Tony has candidly opened up about reconnecting to music after giving up drugs and alcohol 16 and a half years ago.
The music star, 56, real name Tony Marnach, discovered drugs when he was 18 and would convince himself that he couldn't DJ unless he was high, sometimes going four or five nights straight without sleeping.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline during Boohoo's Forbidden Forest Festival, Tony also admitted he still suffers from bad imposter syndrome, despite working in the industry for over 30 years.
He explained: 'Since I got sober that reconnection to music is the best gift anyone could ever give me. Some people listen to music but I feel music, it is the best drug there ever is.
'When you feel music it can take you to places no substance can ever take you, music is enough.'
Tony's journey to sobriety was a long and difficult one. Speaking about giving up substances, he said: 'Alcohol and drugs aren't the problem, I'm the problem.
'Being around it is no longer a problem for me because I choose not to do it. People ask me if I miss it and I think 'are you insane?'
'My life is so incredible because of the things I don't do, if I started doing those things again my life would be over, my career would be over.'
Tony had an epiphany and he soon quit drugs cold turkey, spending six months in rehab to beat the addiction.
He added: 'The first 3 months I thought how am I going to do this because for me there was no second chances, I'd reached the end of the road with drink and drugs.
'I got to 7 stone, I had no teeth, I was completely gone. Suddenly the pilot light came on one night and the love from one person saved my life.
'From that moment on I chose to go to rehab for 6 months and then come to London, it was a really big thing because I knew at that point I would never go back.'
Tony is regularly flown across the globe by some of the world's biggest names to play his upbeat sets.
And on Friday, he gave another energetic performance when he got behind the decks at Forbidden Forest Festival.
But the DJ admitted he still doubts his skills and struggles with anxiety before getting on stage.
He told MailOnline: 'I have really bad imposter syndrome. Those moment, I don't allow it to last the full set but I do struggle with it.
'The first 10 minutes the anxiety is always there but I truly believe the anxiety is a good thing because nothing good ever comes from being comfortable.
'The minute you get comfortable is the minute you get complacent. You need the anxiety and fear to drive you. I don't take anything for granted and it does keep my on the edge of my seat.'
When asked if he'd ever take a break from music he replied: 'Never going to happen. I haven't reached the peak of my new career again, I've got a long way to go and I love what I do.'
The biggest electronic music show in the Midlands, Forbidden Forest, kicked off the festival season in the most extraordinary way possible this weekend.
The Boohoo sponsored event, which over 30,000 people attended, was once again hosted in the grounds of the stunning Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.
With a stellar line up featuring over 50 of the best artists across House, Tech House, Techno and D'n'B, key highlights from the weekend include a Defected and Glitterbox takeover.
Those who attended enjoyed performances from a wide range of artists, including big names such as Camelphat and Example.
Chart-topping DJ's such as MK, Nathan Dawe, Ancy C and Patrick Topping got the crowd bouncing over the weekend.
James Cohen, the promoter, said: 'Next year's edition of Forbidden Forest will see the festival raise the bar even further, with more ambitious plans for our ever-growing show including increased capacity. Thanks to our Forbidden fans for their continued support and we look forward to seeing you all next year'.
Organisers say fans who attended Forbidden Forest Festival described it as a 'unique raving experience with an amazing atmosphere'.
If you're battling addiction, call the Frank drugs helpline on 0300 123 6600.Read more 2023-06-08T17:51:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd