Ben Watt (born 6 December 1962, Barnes, London) is a UK musician, DJ, and record producer, best known as one half of the duo, Everything but the Girl. Watt is the son of British bandleader Tommy Watt. He lives with his spouse and creative partner Tracey Thorn in North London. The couple have twin daughters born in 1998 and a son born in 2001.
Ben Watt began recording in the early 1980s with a collection of folk-jazz solo recordings on Malvern, Worcestershire indie label Cherry Red (North Marine Drive). He then joined forces with vocalist Tracey Thorn in 1982 and concentrated for 18 years on writing and recording nine studio albums together as Everything but the Girl, racking up several UK Top 10 singles and albums and a global and U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-two ("Missing") in 1995. The band memorably shifted focus from their alt-pop in the mid 90's to achieve widespread recognition for their hugely successful interpretations of electronica (Walking Wounded, "Protection" with Massive Attack, Temperamental).
In 1998 Ben Watt established the London deep house Sunday club and compilation series, "Lazy Dog" with Jay Hannan. Lazy Dog attracted a cult following all over the world. Its main regular twice-monthly venue was the tiny Notting Hill Arts Club in west London. From 2001 onwards it became so popular that clubbers had to queue for hours to get in. Pavement parties developed lasting several hours and the queue became almost as famous as the club itself. Compilations: Lazy Dog Vol 1 (2000) is a collection of the key tracks from the club night , such as 'Cada Vez' by Negrocan, 'Beau Mot Plage' by Isolee and 'Tracey In My Room' where EBTG's 'Wrong' is fused with Soul Vision's 'Come Into My Room'. Lazy Dog Vol 2 followed in 2002. Each compilation sold over 50,000 copies, a huge number for essentially underground club compilations. Moving away from EBTG's mainstream eclecticism and into club-oriented dance music production, Ben also turned out an accompanying string of dancefloor remixes including 5-star re-rubs for Sade, Sunshine Anderson, Zero 7, Maxwell, Meshell Ndegeocello and Sandy Rivera. After five untouchable years, Lazy Dog, the club night started by DJs Ben Watt and Jay Hannan in west London in 1998 ended on May 16 2003 with a farewell closing party at their second home, The End, in central London. It was almost exactly five years to the day since Ben and Jay started their phenomenal success story at Notting Hill Arts Club on Easter weekend 1998, but acknowledging their joint desire to move forwards and onwards into new projects, they parted company and left Lazy Dog at the top, a small pinnacle in the capital's clubland history.
In April 2003 Watt launched his own independent record label and club night, "Buzzin' Fly", with a cluster of underground hits and a series of mix CDs (Buzzin’ Fly, volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4). The label is home to Justin Martin (breakthrough DJ nominee at House Music Awards 2004 and 2005), French-Portuguese trio Rodamaal, Lyon's Manoo and Francois A and Portugal’s Darkmountaingroup. Watt also records his own club-oriented productions for the label including best-sellers 'Lone Cat' (2003), 'A Stronger Man' (2004), 'Pop A Cap in Yo Ass' (2005) and 'Just a Blip' (2007). The label won Best Breakthrough Label at the House Music Awards 2004 and was nominated at Best British Label in the DJ Magazine awards in 2007.