Gareth Emery, also known variously as GTR, Cupa, Digital Blues, Rue de Gar, and Runaway, is an English DJ and producer with an open-minded and fuss-free approach to spinning and producing several styles of electronic dance music, including tech-house and progressive trance. Known overground since 2002, Emery first gained attention with his remix of the Shrink's "Nervous Breakdown" and his own single "Mistral." Voted into the Top Ten of DJ Mag's Top 100 poll in 2009, Emery has remained a popular DJ, issuing albums like 2010's Northern Lights and 2016's 100 Reasons to Live.
Born Gareth Thomas Rhys Emery in 1980, Emery grew up in Southampton, England alongside his sister, singer/songwriter Roxanne Emery. Classically trained on piano, he also played guitar in punk bands during his high school years. It was while earning his degree in politics from the University of Warwick that he became interested in electronic music, especially trance. He began remixing songs by others, and quickly moved into producing his own tracks. In 2002, his remix of the Shrink's "Nervous Breakdown" started gaining attention, including getting played on BBC Radio 1. He made more of a name for himself later in the year with his own "Mistral," released on his and Alexis Hooper's Five AM label under the name GTR. The Five AM Sessions (2005) was the first of his several commercial mix albums.
Five AM shut down around 2008, after which Emery moved to Manchester and established his Garuda label. The label's first CD release was Emery's double-disc mix The Sound of Garuda, which appeared in late 2009. Emery released his debut production album, Northern Lights, in 2010, followed by the remix collection Northern Lights (Re-Lit) in 2011. In 2013, Emery urged his fans to stop voting for him in DJ Magazine's annual Top 100 poll (which he had consistently charted in since 2006) because of the enormous marketing budget involved; instead, he donated his budget to charity.
His second album, Drive, appeared in 2014, with an expanded reissue containing a disc of remixes arriving a year later. Also in 2014, Emery became the host of a weekly online radio show, Electric for Life. He has released two albums of material from the show, Electric for Life 2015 and Electric for Life 2016. Following his move to Los Angeles, Emery issued the full-length 100 Reasons to Live in 2016. In 2019, he paired with fellow DJ Ashley Wallbridge for the album Kingdom United. ~ Andy Kellman