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Newmarket DJ and producer James Diss, 20, dies in hospital after collapsing at The Warehouse Project in Manchester

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The family and friends of a talented Newmarket DJ and producer, who became unwell at a music event in Manchester and died in hospital just days before he was due to start his studies at university, have vowed to make sure his legacy lives on.

Twenty-year-old James Diss died in Manchester’s Royal Infirmary where he was taken after he collapsed at The Warehouse Project venue on September 24.

His parents, Andrew and Tracey, who live in Linton Close, Newmarket, with his 17-year-old sister Emily, were informed by police that James had been taken to hospital and immediately made the three-and-a-half hour drive to the city to be with their son, but by the time they got to the hospital, he had died.

James Diss, 20, collapsed in Manchester and died in hospital a short time later
James Diss, 20, collapsed in Manchester and died in hospital a short time later

“It’s a tragedy that a life full of such promise has been cut short,” said Andrew.

James, a former pupil of Paddocks Primary, Scaltback Middle and Newmarket Upper schools, had done an A-level in business at Long Road Sixth Form College, in Cambridge, before completing an accountancy apprenticeship, but, according to his family, his heart was always in his music.

“He said to me he did not want to do a desk job but wanted to follow his passion, which was music,” said Andrew.

He said James had been accepted on a course run by the British Institute of Music Management at Bristol University – whose alumni include charting top singer-songwriter, George Ezra – and he had moved to the city at the beginning of last month in readiness for the start of his studies.

The self-taught DJ, known as JDizz, had honed his considerable skills in his bedroom, and had had his music played by Apple Music, on Spotify and by Kiss FM.

In Newmarket, James had been taken on by local label OTC Recordings and was looking forward to focusing on his course and becoming part of the vibrant music scene in Bristol, where he had already secured a residency playing at a club once a month and had other gigs booked right through until December.

“He could never believe people when they said how good he was", said Tracey, “but he was very talented and everybody loved him.”

“We know there could have been so much more to come,” said Andrew, “and we want people to remember just how amazing he was.”

The couple said they were very grateful for the support they had received from their family, close friends, and from James’s many friends, some of whom he had known since his school days, and from those he had made more recently following his move to Bristol, where a memorial set will be played for him at the launch party for Debunked Records next month where he had been booked to play.

“He had so many friends who loved him and who are as heartbroken as we are,” said Tracey.

On social media, one friend had commented: “Your tunes were second-to-none and you were the happiest guy about.”

A celebration of James’s life will be held at West Suffolk Crematorium on October 21 at 1pm.

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